Do you want to learn more about all the different types of guitar bridges but don’t know where to get started? Then you’re in the right place.
One of the most important things about learning the guitar is being able to tell apart all the different types of guitar bridges.
Your guitar sounds differently depending on what type of guitar bridge you’re using. So, you must learn what type you want to get and how to choose the perfect one for you.
To learn more about them, let’s explore the most common types that you will come across and what makes them special.
Different Types of Guitar Bridges-Which Is Your Perfect Guitar Bridges?
What if you could become the next super start by learning more about guitar bridges? It is quite shocking just how much you would improve if you took some time to learn more about guitar bridges.
That sounds pretty interesting, doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at those guitar bridges:
01. Classical Bridge
Now, let’s start off with one of the most popular bridges: the classical bridge. This one is pretty common, and you can find it on Spanish guitars.
One of the main things about this guitar is that the strings are made of nylon. The classical bridge also has 6 holes through which the strings go.
The strings push through the holes so they can get wrapped around themselves. This is more than enough to create tension for the chords.
02. Acoustic Bridge
Now, this time we have the acoustic bridge. This one is often mistaken for the classical bridge. However, the biggest difference between these two guitar bridges types is that the acoustic bridge has steel strings.
What this means is that the strings have more tension than the classical one. Another main difference worth pointing out is that the strings do not go through the bridge on the surface.
This time, they are pushed into the body of the guitar. And the string tension is now held within the six pins of the guitar.
Now, let’s take a look at an electric guitar. Tune-o-Matic, also known as TOM, is a well-known type of bridge. You can find this bridge on most Gibson electric guitars.
Manufacturers tend to make some designs to keep more distance from the bridge and the nut. This happens because they want to make the strings a lot thicker.
On the other hand, the Tune-o-Matic bridge takes a different approach to this. They made it so you could adjust the distance for all the strings within the boundaries of the guitar.
Because of that, you have a lot more control over the strings.
04. Wrap-around Bridges
You’re probably familiar with this one. This bridge has been around for such a long time now. These strings are different compared to the others we’ve gone through so far.
What makes it special is the fact that they are on the front side of the bridge.
Another reason why it’s popular is that it is fairly cheap compared to other alternatives. So, you’ll most likely find this bridge on low-end guitars.
05. Fixed Bridge
This one is pretty popular among beginners. You might even know it as hardtails. But how does it exactly work? These bridges are attached to the upper part of your guitar. Because of this, the strings rest on the saddles.
This type of bridge quite easy to learn. Regardless of your background, you will find this bridge quite easy to handle.
06. Floyd Rose
This type of bridge is well-known for how long it can stay in tune. When it first came out in the 70s, it totally revolutionized the guitar world as we know it today. Back then, the music industry wasn’t as developed as it is today.
One of the biggest issues about this particular bridge is that it is not beginner-friendly. However, it is still worth learning.
07. Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
The Synchronized Tremolo Bridge is quite popular because of how easy it is to achieve beautiful and effortless results. As a side note, you mostly find this type of bridge on fenders.
This type of guitar bridge is more accurate than others. This is because the tailpiece moves along with the bridge.
What makes it special is that users can change the tension and the length of the strings for shorts periods. If you do this, you will change the pitch of the guitar, causing a vibrato.
How to Choose a Guitar Bridge (The Advanced Guitarist Guides)
Now you have a pretty deep understanding of quite a few guitar bridges. But you might still feel overwhelmed by how much there is to learn, especially if you’re trying to choose one.
To help you out, here is a small summary of the things you must keep in mind when choosing the perfect bridge:
The first thing you want to ask yourself when picking up a guitar bridge is how experienced you are. If you’re getting started, you probably want to pick up one that makes your learning process a lot easier.
Choosing one that is out of your league can heavily discourage you from getting any better at playing the guitar.
So, instead, we recommend getting a fixed bridge. It is quite easy to get used to regardless of how experienced you are.
We never really took into account the price. Some of the bridges we talked about can be somewhat expensive.
And if you’re on a budget, you might not feel so comfortable spending too much money on a single bridge.
One of the best and cheapest guitars bridges we’ve found so far is the wrap-around bridge. It’s been around for a very long and has proven to be good enough for anybody willing to put in the time to learn it.
There are many reasons why you would want to learn several different tunings. They are pretty fun to learn, and each time you learn a new one, it’s almost as re-learning a new instrument. Who wouldn’t like that?
However, some tunings don’t work especially well with some types of bridges. Some of them force you to unluck the strings whenever you want to learn a new tuning. And that can be quite annoying after a while.
So, if you want a great bridge for many different tunings, we recommend getting a Fender-style bridge or a fixed one.
Those are good and reliable guitar bridges for anybody who wants to play many tunings.
If you want to know more about tunings; here is a great video that does a good job of explaining everything you need to know about tuning:
Sustain on a guitar refers to how much your guitar can hold up to the string’s vibration. Now, if you want a reliable guitar, you probably want it to have great sustain.
Long sustain means all the strains can remain in motion for a longer time. And as you might tell by the name low sustain means the strings won’t stay in motion for long periods.
We’ve found the Tune-o-Matic to be a great choice for those folks that need a bridge good enough to hold tunes and provide mind-blowing sustain.
So, if you’re in the market for a bridge with reliable sustain, you should stick to the Tune-o-Matic.
DIY Guide: How To Adjust The Action
What if you want to adjust the strings on your guitar for more precision?
After a while, your strings might not feel so tight like they did back when you first got them. So, it’s not a bad idea to tighten them up again.
This is important if you want your guitar to feel as comfortable as possible. To do this, this is what you need to do:
01. What You’ll Need
There is just one single tool we’ll need throughout this tutorial; we’ll need a truss rod adjusting tool to adjust the action of the guitar.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Get in touch with a professional if you don’t want to do this on your own.
Nonetheless, it is worth learning how to do it yourself. You never know when you might need to adjust the action on your own.
02. Upbow & Back bow
Before we move any further, you want to determine if the neck has an upbow or back bow. To do this, this is what you need to do:
- Hold the guitar straightforward and look down the neck
- By doing so, you will be able to tell whether the neck is straight or bowed
The reason we’re doing this is that by knowing the type of neck we’re dealing with, we’ll be able to understand how the neck is reacting to the string.
03. Adjust the Truss Rod
Now that we know how to determine the type of neck we’re dealing with, it’s time to adjust the truss rod. Here is what you need to do that:
- Grab your truss rod adjusting tool and turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise. By doing this, you will be able to loosen up the neck
- If you want to make your guitar feel smoother when playing it; you want to tighten up the truss rod clockwise
- If you feel way too much pressure when adjusting the truss rod nut, you want to stop right there. Putting in too much pressure could damage your guitar. So, don’t try to force it
If you follow step-by-step, you will be able to adjust the truss rod to your liking. This is essential as you might not like your current set-up.
Here is a video you can watch if you’re more of a visual learner:
04. Look for Dead Spots
To make sure that everything is working, there is just one more thing you need to do; you need to look for dead spots.
Dead spots are quite frequent, and they ruin how your guitar sounds. To find out if there are dead spots somewhere in your guitar; here is what you need to do:
- Check the string for dead spots. Most of the time it’s on the first fret
- Make sure to go through all the strings to make sure you don’t miss a single dead spot
If you did go through all the strings and didn’t find a single dead spot, you’re good to go. However, if you did find one, you have to adjust the string height until that dead note is gone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Of Guitar Bridges
You can find the most popular questions about different types of bridges for your guitar in this section. Perhaps, you might have a doubt that was not answered throughout this article.
What is the guitar bridge?
In short: a guitar bridge holds the strings of the guitar. Because of that, it allows the strings to transmit their vibration.
What is a fixed bridge guitar?
Fixed bridge guitars have plates attached to the upper part of the guitar. It also has six saddles for each string.
This is the easiest type of bridge to handle. Even beginners have a rather easy time handling this bridge. As such, beginners often stick to this one.
What is the best guitar bridge?
There are several guitar bridges out there. But these are the best and common that you will most likely come across:
- Fixed bridges: These are some of the most popular among beginners
- Tune-o-Matic: Well-known just for how much you can adjust them
- Acoustic Bridge: Perfect for acoustic delivery
So, did you manage to grasp all the concepts we went through just know? We hope so.
It can be hard to learn many different types of guitar bridges at the same time. But if you break them down into a small list, you should have an easier time learning them.
Overall, you’ve learned quite a few things. You learned: how to pick up the perfect guitar bridge, many different types of bridges, and how to adjust the guitar action.
Now you all need to do is to put all this knowledge into practice and begin to notice just how much you know now.