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Usually, a bridge needs to be put back on an instrument because it was dropped (YIKES!) or it suffered some blunt trauma during the shipping process. It’s actually pretty easy to put your bridge back in. I’ll show you how to do it and how to do it so your instrument will probably work better than it did before the bridge fell out.
There are about 6 steps to put your bridge back on the instrument.
1. Identify which side is which on the bridge: First, you’ll want to identify what side is which on your bridge because your bridge is not symmetrical. Your bridge has a “high side” and a “low side.” The taller portion of the bridge goes towards your low string. For violin it’s the G, for viola it’s the C and for the cello, it’s the C.
2. Identify where on the instrument you’ll place your bridge: Your F hoes have 2 notches on them (one on each side). You’ll have to use your imagination and align the bridge feet in-between these notches. You’ll also want to align your bridge in the middle of the fingerboard. This way, you’ll have the vertical and the horizontal aligned.
3. Place the bridge on the instrument: With the bridge laying down, place the feet in the proper place on the instrument and then slowly tilt the bridge upright and make sure you do not move where the feet are. Make sure that the strings are all on top of the fingerboard, are in the nut notches (near scroll box) and the strings are in the notches on the bridge. Once you are certain that the strings are in the right spot, you can begin to fully stand the bridge up.
4. Completely stand up the bridge: The strings will provide resistance. If you feel the resistance is too much, you can turn the pegs clockwise to provide more slack to loosen the strings.
5. Tighten the strings: Now that the bridge is up, you’ll want to tight all the strings. However, I STRONGLY recommend that you watch my video on slipping pegs: https://youtu.be/ufWWaIoKprk If you watch the video and tighten the strings properly, your pegs will not slip after you tighten them.
6. Check the bridge often: For the first few days, you’ll have to check the bridge to make sure it is not leaning towards the fingerboard. Keep straightening the bridge and tuning the violin. After a few days, they should settle down and stay in tune.