How to Set Up the Bridge of a Violin / Viola

    Before tuning the violin, let’s see a detailed violin and bow diagram.

     

     

    Upon receiving your violin, the first one should do is to check the integrity of a violin. Make sure every part is shipped securely, especially the bow is not broken.

    You may receive a violin like this (the bridge is included in the package but not installed):

    Taking into account the safety during shipping, we do not setup the bridge beforehand. So next you should tune your instrument.

    1. Find the sound post

    The sound post is a wood cylinder beneath? the treble side of the bridge position. You can have a general idea about the position of a bridge from the above picture but from the above diagram, it is hard to understand where is the sound post. Let’s take a look at the following photos.

     

    2. Identify the bridge

    Now take a look at the bridge. Our violin / viola comes with carved bridge, which is ready to use with 4 grooves on top for four strings. But carved bridge is not symmetrical, for the height of the four strings are different.

    Take a look at the carved bridge:

    We can see clearly that the height of the left hand side is a little bit bigger than the height of the right hand side. The side with a shorter height is for the treble strings and the bigger height side is for the bass strings.

    3. Place the bridge

    After identifying the position of the sound post and bridge, put the bridge on top of the sound post position and under the loosen strings. Move the bridge forward / backward to make sure the foot of the bridge is located in the ‘f hole area’.

     

     

    So the bridge position should be like the following from the sectional view:

     

    And look like this from the front view:

     

     

    4. Align strings and upright bridge

    Now lift the top of the bridge a little bit, then align the bridge and the 4 strings to make sure each string is aligned on top of correct groove.

     

     

    After strings are aligned, lift the top of the bridge till bridge is upright.

     

     

    Here is 2 video demos on how to set up a violin: