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Hello again!

I have yet another question, only this time it is a more technical question concerning violin maintenance.

I noticed that my E string is cutting into my bridge a little bit (not surprised since the E string is so thin). The "cut" into the bridge is not too deep (yet), but I was wondering if I should get a new bridge, along with new strings, installed on my violin?

I purchased a set of string a while back already and I believe that my new E string has a little pad, if you will, that is supposed to prevent it from cutting it into the bridge. If I recall from memory, I believe that Beth's E string has that pad(for lack of a better word) on it.

I might take my violin to a Luthier to get a better assessment, but I thought it may save me a trip into the big city if I could hear some advice from Beth or any of you advanced musicians first. ;-)

3 Responses
Posted: January 26, 2011
Last Comment: January 29, 2011

Posted: January 29, 2011
I am glad this question came up I haven't noticed any problems with my E-string until now. It has the little straw on it. I might have to put it under a magnifying glass to really tell, but it looks like it is starting to cut one end of the little straw.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 26, 2011
Yes, Anne is correct. If the notch is deep, it is still possible that your bridge is high enough that the luthier can just shave a little off the top of the bridge, making the notch more shallow. Also as Anne pointed out, a little piece of parchment can be glued over the notch so that the string won't cut down into the bridge as much. This is the preferred method rather than using the "little straw" on the string itself. If the string isn't buzzing and is speaking well, then you're probably fine. A notch that's too deep can not only affect the string's sound but can also damage the string. Fortunately E strings are cheap.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 26, 2011

Hi there (sorry, I can't see your name)!

First of all, your E string should run through a little plastic thing that looks like a clear drinking straw, just two or three millimeters long. It should lie across the bridge, the smaller part extending in the direction of the fingerboard, the larger in the direction of the tail piece. This gives the bridge some protection.

Second, your luthier can fit a little pad on the bridge just below the E string (or any other string that has cut into the bridge, of course; I had it done for the A string once).

Only when the ridge is beyond help of this type, will you need to have a new bridge fitted. This requires expertise and, hence, is expensive, compared to the other two measures.