What is a Bridge Protector?

What is a Bridge Protector?

If you play violin, viola or cello then you may have noticed this added feature on your bridge.

The bridge protector is a small piece of parchment glued to the bridge under the thinnest string. Without it there is a good chance that over time the string will dig deeper into the bridge. This can cause a number of issues:

  • The string height can become too low
  • It can cause a squeaky violin E-string
  • The string might have a limited resonance or response
  • It can pull the bridge out of alignment as you tune
  • It can cause the string to fray or eventually break due to excess stress

The parchment is usually made of leather and is quite durable; stiff yet flexible enough to conform to the bridge. It is glued in place after marking the location of the string. The parchment will help prolong the life of the bridge, but with enough time it can still be eroded, potentially needing replacement.

The parchment-style protector is very commonly used, but there are some other solutions: an inlayed piece of ebony, the Titanium protector, or using only the little tube protector that comes with most E strings (not recommended). We find that the parchment is the best and most elegant solution for protecting the bridge. Every instrument that is set up here at Fiddlershop will have a parchment installed (except for basses!)

Here is a video showing how the bridge protector is installed:

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