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Banjo Lessons: Bridge Placement

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[MUSIC]
I
had a request to talk about bridge
placement, which is really important for
being in tune, particularly up the neck,
but anywhere on the neck.
E, even if your bridge is in the wrong
place you'll still generally be pretty in
tune down here, but once you start getting
up in this zone and especially up here,
it's, it gets more out of tune as you go
along.
So, you really want your bridge in the
right place.
I set this off just a little bit so
basically,
the way to check it is you wanna hit the
harmonic at the 12th fret.
[MUSIC]
I usually use just the third string for
starters.
[MUSIC]
And again, to hit the harmonic,
you just touch the string over the fret,
not behind it.
But, over the fret and just touch it
lightly.
You don't press down, just touch it.
[MUSIC]
And, let go immediately,
[MUSIC]
To let it ring out.
[MUSIC]
If you keep it down.
[MUSIC]
It's subtle, but it,
it it deadens it a little bit.
So.
[MUSIC]
Let go.
[MUSIC]
Whichever ones you're using.
But, let's say the third string.
[MUSIC]
Then,
when you compare that with the fretted
12th fret.
[MUSIC]
Where you're actually fretting it.
[MUSIC]
Those notes should be the same.
And, actually, in this case, they are
pretty darn close.
[MUSIC]
I think it's a hair flat.
But, it's, it's pretty much right there.
[MUSIC]
And then, check the other strings.
The fourth string.
[MUSIC]
The harmonic of the fourth string.
12th fret.
[MUSIC]
And then, fret it,
right behind the fret of the 12th fret.
[MUSIC]
And, the second.
[MUSIC]
First string.
[MUSIC]
I'm just doing this by ear,
but it's, it's pretty in, I think.
Now, let's say your bridge is in the wrong
place.
And, I will just move this a little
forward.
I may never get this tune again.
We'll see.
[MUSIC]
I don't know if you can hear that.
I moved it a little bit forward so it's in
the wrong position.
So, that means when I, when the bridge is
a little too far this way, away
from the tail piece, when you fret it,
[MUSIC]
compared to the harmonic,
the harmonic will always be right.
[MUSIC]
It'll go a little sharp,
it'll be a little bit sharp.
[MUSIC]
Hopefully, you can hear that.
[MUSIC]
I'll do it even a little bit more.
So, it's a little more obvious.
[MUSIC]
That's way off.
[MUSIC]
And,
that's because the bridge is too far this
way, away from the tail piece.
[MUSIC]
Hear, hear how sharp that is.
So, what you do is you push it back to
where it should be, and I just check.
[MUSIC]
That's pretty close.
[MUSIC]
That's pretty close.
I mean, I can fine tune it, but just for
our purposes right now.
Now, let's say your bridge is too far this
way closer to the tail piece.
[MUSIC]
And, you can pair it.
Fret it hit the harmonic at the 12th fret.
[MUSIC]
And then, you fret it.
Here how low.
That's too flat.
It's low.
[MUSIC]
Especially, at that third string there.
The fretted note and the 12th fret
harmonic.
Again, the, the fret now is too flat.
So, to accommodate that, you gotta move
the bridge this way away from
the tail piece, shortening the string,
basically.
[MUSIC]
And, that's basically in tune.
I just got lucky by moving it that way.
So, you don't have to really you don't
have to loosen the strings to do this.
In fact, you really don't want to.
Just make sure you're holding it from the
the outside of the bridge,
the outside legs.
And try not to let it topple over.
But that's all you have to do.
So again, if the bridge is too far this
way when you compare the fretted and
harmonic note it's going to go a little
sharp.
The opposite, it will be a little flat.
So, do this adjustment yourself and you'll
be nice and in tune up the neck.
Okay.
Thanks.
[MUSIC]