How to Choose Bridge for Cello

If you are a cello player, you certainly know that cello is a stringed instrument which produces its sound through the application of energy to the strings, which sets them into vibratory motion. However, the strings alone produce only a faint sound because they displace only a small volume of air when they vibrate. Therefore, a cell bridge is created to match to the surrounding air by transmitting their vibrations to a larger surface area which is capable of displacing larger volumes of air to produce louder sounds. The cell bridge allows the cell strings to vibrate freely and conducts those vibrations efficiently to the larger surface.  To sum up, A cell bridge is a very useful device used for supporting the strings on a cell and transmitting the vibration of those cello strings to some other structural component of the instrument in order to transfer the sound to the surrounding air.

Generally speaking, a good quality cello bridge will make a big difference in the sound quality produced by the cello. Most of people consider the wood used to make the cello bridge as the most important factor which affects the sound produced. However, the sound quality of the cello would be largely depended on the alignment of the bridge with the sound pole on the cello instead of just simply the wood of bridge.

So, what exact should we know and prepare before we start to choose the bridge for the cello?

Following are some introduction and tips for you to take into account when purchasing a cello bridge.

 

Some Famous Cello Bridge Brands around the World

There are many different bridge brands available on the market around the world, among which the most popular three are Aubert Bridge, Despiau Bridge as well as Teller Bridge. All of the three types of bridges vary in different sizes and grades for the cello. However, their dominant differences lie in the quality of wood.

 

Aubert Bridge

                                  

When compared to other bridge, Aubert Bridge is much wider, more random, less-straight grain, worse quartering, and what is more, Aubert Bridge is proud of its nice consistency and quality. Aubert Bridge uses the maple wood which has good hardness and density as the material and the wood of Aubert Bridges hard to cut cleanly. However, the wood itself is worse in hardness and texture.

Despiau Bridge

 

Despiau Bridge is harder when compared to Aubert Bridge. Despiau bridges are available on the market in a wide number of options including a variety of models, quality of graded finish, leg widths as well as heart height. Despiau Bridge is usually hardened using a procedure specially developed to improve stability and tone

Teller Bridge

 

When it comes to grain and Flame, Teller Bridge is same quality to the Despiau Bridge. The wood that Teller Bridge use is made only from selected Bosnia Mountain-Maple. What is more, the wood used is dried in a natural way during 5 years. Teller Bridge is capable of giving a resonant sound which tends to be warmer when compared to Despiau Bridge

Cello Bridge Materials

If you want your cello to produce the best sound, you must select the best cello bridge. However, if you want the best cello bridge, a good quality wood used to make cello bridge is highly recommended.

Generally speaking, maple wood is the best cello bridge material all over the world coming into use. All of three above-mention cello bridges are made from maple wood. Usually, maple wood which is strong and thin is the best cell bridge material because it will allow the bridge to vibrate at higher frequency and make the cello produce a more vibrant and focused sound.

Normally, the cello bridge with the grain of the wood that is horizontal is the better cello bridge material. Usually, bridge has two sides. To pick a good one, pick the one that on the tailpiece side the grain is a vertical (height) flowing pattern and the fingerboard side has beautiful spot like (black) sesame.

 

Gauge of Cello Bridge

Choose the gauge of your cello bridge is another consideration you should take. The gauge (or thickness) of the cello bridge does make a significant difference. The cello would sound soft and weak.

Generally speaking, if you get a much thicker cello bridge, it will be much more difficult for the cello bridge to transmit vibrations throughout the bridge. That is to say, your cello will get a more dampening sound. Worse than that, the frequency at which the cello bridge transmits will be largely reduced, and the sound produced by the cello would be very soft, and dispersed.

However, if you choose to use the thinnest cello bridge, your cello will tend to produce bright and direct sound, but there is a high possibility that the bridge will not be able to withstand the great pressure of the vibrating strings and break under immense pressure.

Curvature and Structure of the Cello Bridge

A bridge with a good curvature will be definitely regarded to be a better bridge for cello. What is more, the better cello bridge is usually capable of supporting the four cellostrings at an appropriate height away from the fingerboard. The bridge you choose to use must also separate the four strings evenly and properly in order that the cello can be played with ease. More importantly, you’d better select the cello bridges whose feet are able to stand and fit well with the curvature of the cellobody.

If the bridge you choose to use cannot at least satisfy above-mentioned conditions, the cello that the bridge is equipped with will unquestionably not be as playable as it should be.  All these considerations taken are to help you ensure a clean transferring of sound vibrations from the bridge to the cello and prevent damage done to the surface of the instrument as well.

Holes in the Cello Bridge

As we all know, cello bridges have hole in their body. Fact has to be made clear that these holes of cello bridge are not just decoration; instead, the holes allow the cello bridge to project the sound to comparably greater level and at the same time, make the cello bridge much lighter. Since these different sizes of holes make a difference in the transmission of the sound vibrations, so as the sound quality produced by the cello. As a matter of fact, a small change in size and shape of the holes will definitely have a great impact on the melodic sound your celloproduced.

Bridge gap of the Cello Bridge

On the top of the cello bridge, there are four little gaps which are used for supporting the cello string. A good quality cello bridge will feature a gap which allows the string to go through freely, without dragging the bridge along.

If a gap in the cello bridge is too small, it will cause the string to pull the bridge, especially when the string is tightened, which in turn, damage the bridge and the sound your cello produces.

It will be a great benefit to you to take above information and tips into account in the process of selecting your perfect cello bridge. But the tips above are just for your reference. You should consider your own need, and select the best cello bridge home for your cello. Good luck.