The bridge is the narrow piece of wood that supports the strings and is held up by the tension of the strings. When vibrations are created either through plucking or bowing the violin, those vibrations are actually transmitted through the bridge into the body of the violin and create sound. Bridge is very important yet delicate. To ensure it is in its proper, straight position, first hold the instrument up and look straight at the bridge, making sure it’s standing at a right angle. It should be straight and parallel to the fingerboard and centered between the f-holes. The feet of the bridge should lay flat with the belly of the violin. Since your instrument and the bridge are made of wood, they both can expand and contract, causing the bridge to lean. If the bridge is leaning slightly, you can minorly adjust it yourself. If it is leaning significantly, take it to a violin repair shop or luthier.
To slightly adjust your instrument’s bridge, first properly support the violin so it cannot slip or fall in any way. Place your middle and ring fingers along the front and back of the bridge, using your index fingers to very gently move the bridge back to a 90 degree angle. If the bridge is too tight and will not budge, you can loosen one or two strings to provide more give. Do not loosen all of the strings as that will cause the bridge to fall over! Continue making very slight and small adjustments to the bridge until it is back in line.
The instrument’s soundpost, a stick of wood the size of a pencil, is wedged inside the instrument between the top and back of the instrument. A properly-placed soundpost makes the difference between a wonderfully sounding instrument and a horrible one. Peer through one of the f-holes to ensure the soundpost is standing up straight.
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