Noobsy questions about guitar bridge

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by guitardoctor, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. guitardoctor

    guitardoctor Will Rx for food

    Hi guys

    Wanted to ask about the difference between a fixed bridge and a floating bridge. I mean what does it look like and why the latter is not recommended for a beginner.

    There are a lot of confusing terms in the air and I'm not sure which of these terms mean the same, although I've heard people using them all over the forum. I wonder if someone could explain the following terms:

    Vibrato arm and tremolo arm
    Whammy bar
    Fixed bridge
    Floating bridge
    Floyd rose
    Nonlocking and locking tremolo
    Double locking bridge
    Synchronized Tremolo

    Thanks in advance to the saint who'll answer these questions
  2. flood

    flood New Member

    wow, way too many question. i'll address what i can:

    the fixed bridge means that the bridge is fixed in one position usually screwed hard into the wood. this means that you cannot manuipulate the pitch of the strings by moving the bridge. a floating bridge means that the suspension of the bridge to the body is indirect, usually through springs. using by engaging the bridge, you can bend the pitch of the strings down, or in some cases, up.

    vibrato arm = tremolo arm = whammy bar. all refer to the same thing. it's the attachment that is used - physically seen it acts as a lever - to move the bridge and thus change the pitch of the strings. the correct designation should be vibrato - tremolo refers to amplitude modulation and not pitch modulation.

    locking bridges, such as the floyd rose bridge (floyd rose has now become a generic term of sorts for all locking bridges designed by floyd rose), "lock" the strings to a certain tuning or setting, so that the strings do not go out of tune with heavy vibrato use, or regain the original position. has pros and cons.

    the syncronized tremolo is a common type of tremolo usually found on classic designs, like strats.

    for more details, pictures and explanations, probably a lot better than you'll get here, google is your friend.

    a primer at the most obvious place:

    btw., i found a guitar that suits both your style and budget well:

    i'm lusting for one and thinking about it. maybe next year i will just act on it...
  3. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    A fixed bridge is fixed to the body of the guitar.

    A floating bridge floats over the body. Basically it's held in place by the string tension above and spring tension underneath. If you've seen a Fender Stratocaster/Ibanez RG guitar, they all have a floating bridge.

    A vibrato/tremolo arm/whammy bar is connected to the floating bridge to allow you do change the pitch by either pushing the bridge down (reducing string tension) or raising the bridge (increasing string tension). Doing this in rapid alternation is called whammying.

    Floyd Rose is a type of floating bridge.

    Non locking tremolos are the floating bridges that don't let you lock the strings, so frequent use of the tremolo can affect the tuning. Locking tremolos let you lock the strings in place so that you don't lose your tuning.

    You can google the terms, the internet isn't always full of lies.
  4. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    Vibrato arm and tremolo arm and Whammy bar are one and the same thing.
    They enable the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily. U'd have seen pros like Satriani and Steve vai using it very often.

    Fixed bridge is one which is fixed and is considered to be good for drop down tuning (i never tried though) Floating bridge is one which can be moved. It is normally difficult to tune floating bridge guitar as compared to fixed ones. Thats why they are fixed is considered superior to floating for beginners.

    Double locking bridge is used in floating bridge guitars.In this both ends of the strings are locked so that the guitar stays in tune even after some dive bombing stuff.

    Floyd Rose is mainly a company which manufactures the floyd rose locking tremolo.

    I know only this much dude...
  5. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    LOL@flood: You're more bored than I am.
  6. flood

    flood New Member

    huh? :S

    that's not me dude. i have better things to do, like write inordinately long answers to your mails.... i'm not THAT bored!
  7. guitardoctor

    guitardoctor Will Rx for food

    Thanks a lot, guys...

    I did some googling and some learning... And looked at Wikipedia again (this time I understood a little more)

    The question which Wikipedia does not answer is the problems faced by beginners with the different tremolo designs. Being a first timer to an electric guitar, a problem like inability to tune the guitar properly or strings popping out of tune quickly would really sour out the learning experience...

    So do you think I should look for a fixed bridge guitar. The little research I did has definitely soured me towards the floating ones... Maybe I should look for a fixed bridge for now and maybe in a year after I become an intermediate level player I should get the bridge put in. What is your opinion, guys...

    Another question - Regarding stability of tuning is the vintage/synchronized tremolo superior to the floating tremolo? For instance, in comparing the Ibanezes to the Yamaha Pacificas and the Squier strats.

    These questions must be really noobish :eek:: Thanks for your patience...
  8. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Exactly, you're thaaat bored :p

    @guitardoctor: What kind of music do you play? Unless you're planning on molesting your guitar like Steve Vai you don't really have to buy a guitar with a floating bridge.
  9. g0g0l

    g0g0l ! SpAm

    Fixed Bridge guitars are recommended for the beginners because if you are given a floyd rose guitar, you'll bound to get carried away with the effects you can do with it and tend to less focus on the notes you play (which is more important to me). Also, if you buy a low budget Floyd Rose guitar (like Ibanez GRG s etc), and use the whammy, the guitar gets de-tuned very quickly (and that's the last thing you want on a stage). So, it's better to buy a fixed bridge guitar first. Believe me, it's the technique which matters the most, not the effects....and you can always do cool things with the fixed bridge guitars also...
  10. ambush

    ambush _RASTA_man_

    A floating bridge is not an absolute necessity when you progress in your skill level. It all dependson the kind of stuff you want to play. If you want/like to play materials that require a whammy, get it. Dont get one just cause you MIGHT need it in the future or because everyone else has one.

    Luckily for me, before i got my rg321, i had the chance to get my hand on a floating bridge for a substantial amount of time. That way, i knew i wouldnt need one. Otherwise, i might have gotten one just for the novelty of it.
  11. flood

    flood New Member

    i think for the kind of stuff you want to play, a fixed bridge would be better. i personally wanted a vibrato of some sort from the start. if you're into that whole MBV thing, keep in mind that kevin shields picks his chords while engaging the bar... which is why he has that signature modulation thing going.

    i still feel the jazzmaster copy that i linked in the other thread is the best axe for you, except that you can't try it out.

    if you avoid a floyd rose, a vintage/syncronized tremolo (like on stratocasters) would be fine. it doesn't present too many tuning issues either, except the fact that the cheaper guitars can be a bit instable. that pproblem has to do more with the tuners in the headstock than the tremolo itself.

    i think you're being inordinately paranoid about this, even if this is your first guitar; no point getting into something with fear and apprehension. go to the stores, check out different guitars and take something that feels and sounds good to you. don't worry TOO much about this stuff - the rest of the world figured it out too. avoid floyd rose trems though.
  12. flood

    flood New Member

    speak for yourself :p
  13. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    anybody has info bout SAT Pro Bridge?
  14. g0g0l

    g0g0l ! SpAm

    Since then. the world has changed for me. Grass is looking a lot greener these days. ;)
  15. guitardoctor

    guitardoctor Will Rx for food

    Thanks a lot guys!

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