Understanding the Different Types of Guitar Bridges

The flat top of the guitar is equipped with a big wooden part, usually made of rosewood. Its main purpose is to hold the strings through holes with bridge pins. The saddle is a smaller structure, a thin strip that transmits the vibration of the strings and controls their intonation and action.

The guitar bridge adjusts the saddle to fine-tune the strings and eliminate dead frets. It also controls fretboard action to control the gap between the strings and the fretboard. The bridge aligns the strings over the soundhole and pick-ups to some extent. Here's what you need to know about different guitar bridges.

Fixed Bridge

Also known as hardtails, fixed bridges are mounted into the guitar’s body, where the strings pass through the saddle. Each end of the string runs through the body up to the headstock.

The fixed bridge will accommodate the functionality of the strings that come standard with ball ends – positioned by a small hole that is big enough for the string to pass through. The ball ends may be located at the bridge tailpiece or from the backside of the guitar.

Tune-O-Matic Bridge

This is an example of the fixed bridge that Gibson first designed to improve the precise intonation adjustment. The Tune-o-Maticbridge is placed on the guitar's body with two screw pillars located on the right and left sides of the bridge. You can adjust the height of the action and the saddle.

Tremolo Bridge

The tremolo bridge provides a way to achieve minor pitch waves without bending the strings with fingers. It also offers considerable changes in the pitch while you press or raise the tremolo arm.

Using a floating bridge can help you develop your creative playing and add unique accents. Since the strings are fixed at the bridge and the locking nut, slippage is non-existent.

Floyd Rose Bridge

The Floyd Rose bridge is one of the most commonly used options for most metal guitarists. It incorporates a locking nut instead of a standard nut. Three clamps keep the strings in place so they can’t move. This eliminates a significant source of friction that may cause your guitar to go out of tune.

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