help with bouzouki bridge placement

help with bouzouki bridge placement

I have a Phil Crump B-3 and when changing the strings, I forgot that the bridge is moveable (too many years of playing guitar). Is there an accurate way to determine where the bridge should be placed?

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

Measure the distance from where the nut meets the fretboard to the twelfth fret. The point at which the strings pass over the bridge will be the same distance from the twelfth fret. You can check by playing the harmonic at the twelfth fret and then playing the note at the twelfth fret, they should be the same.

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

Nut to the twelfth fret is a good start but not perfect as it doesn’t take into account the height of the action. As Tony says, try the harmonic and the fretted note at the twelfth fret on the two outside strings. If the fretted note is sharp move it towards the tailpiece a little and if it’s flat towards the fingerboard. You will usually find it has a slight angle to get it perfect but that’s normal.

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

As a little aside, you should always change strings one at a time (on guitars as well as bouzouki/mandolins). If you take all the strings off, without the string tension the truss rod pulls the neck back and it then takes a while for it to settle back to the correct shape when you put the new strings on. You’ll find the instrument settles down and stays in tune much faster if you change strings one at a time.

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

What they said^

This is an essential skill (and not a difficult one) for any player of bouzouki/mandolin to acquire, since instruments are often poorly set up in shops. It’s surprising how many players you meet who have been playing out-of-tune instruments for years.

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

I once had a mandolin with a fixed bridge. Fixed a quarter inch out of place. Untuneable.

Re: help with bouzouki bridge placement

I’m surprised you couldn’t see a shadow on the soundboard of where the bridge had stood, or rather a lack of suntan……
As everybody said above; you can always do this with an electronic tuner, by checking the 12th fret having tuned the open string, and adjusting as Boy Davey said.
I certainly agree about not changing more than one string at a time - there’s always that period after you’ve re-strung anyway when the strings are taking their time adjusting to the tension, and you need to keep re-tuning up to pitch for an hour or more. I haven’t ever re-strung after taking everything off, but I remember tuning up a new bass guitar, and the head rose about an inch off the table till I adjusted the truss rod to compensate.