How much are lowered bridges popular?
Good time of a day for everyone🙂
Having read a terrific bunch of topics on tuning a fiddle bridge I couldn’t still get the idea of what bridges does the majority use or maybe, to put it closer, what bridges are said to be more suitable for Irish fiddling. I have two friends who recently started learning Irish-style, one with classical background, another from blank. As soon as the ornamentaion was faced, the problem of the strings height arose. Well, I’ve got the idea of bridge height importance when comparing two violins of my friend: her old one (4/4 instrument), that she actually learned on, had *really* low 3/4 bridges as spare ones with 1/2 (!!!) bridge installed, her new one has a normal 3/4 bridge that seems to be not modified at all, simply as it came with that shop-instrument. I can’t quite get it how she managed to re-learn so easily without even noticing the difference =) But she never tried playing rolls so far! It’s understandable that higher the strings, tougher to press them down and hence use any finger ornamentation. Now we’re going to experiment with different bridge heights with another friend of mine, lowering them to different extent. So far, as I got it, lowered bridge has following (+)es and (-)es:
(+): a *really* lowered one increases the opportunity for fingers’ speed-up incredibly, as the strings then require little action and also don’t wear out fingers at all. This seems to be essential for finger ornamentation. Unluckily, it’s impossible to adjust the bridge the same way on my cello ;(
(-): lowering the bridge alters tembre a great deal, it becomes sharper loosing those nice features of different sets of strings. It’s a matter of taste of course but anyway the sound gets completely different with the change of bridge height.
These’re the observations, but here’re the questions…
1). Most say, that the height is adjusted according to instrument and personal wishes - and, as well, to some certain measures that craftsman finds suitable. As I couldn’t find any agreement about classical or whatever standarts, but came across some division "high/medium/low" in one of the topics, are there really any defined heights *in mm* for 4/4 and 3/4 bridges to try?
2). I’ve been advised to use 3/4 bridge if it’s to be lowered that much for 4/4 may break, while 3/4 are usually stronger/thicker/lower-in-size themselves. Is there any opinion about using bridges that’re not the same size as the fiddle + do *thin* variants transmit sound noticeably better, than thicker?
3). Finally, the main one… Surely we’ll consult specialist soon, but obviously he would be the one who’s never heard of ITM =) That’s why I’m wondering, what bridges do personally YOU *and* Godfathers of Irish fiddling use? (measures and photos are veery welcome as well) How do you find those (+)es and (-)es of lowering the bridge from your experience? Any logical drawbacks affecting ornamentation clarity? (as it’s been supposed as well!)
Yeah, that might sound too pedantic, but in my opinion it’s better to define your path before starting walking on it, as future re-learning is always tough. Thanks a lot in advance, Good Luck! 😀