Bridge and vibrato

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Music_Maestro_Ma

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Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 161

If a bridge is securely fastened to the body of a Fender squier where the screws are vertical, will using a vibrato arm cause the strings to snap under tension? I've seen YouTube videos where some guitar players loosen the bridge and even have it floating above the guitar body?

During a string change on fender squier electric, I can't remember if i tightened the vertical screws where the bridge meets the guitar body. Should I leave the bridge secured in a fixed position or loosen the screws a little?

Guidance much appreciated in advance, Thank-you :)

P. S. I meant to say whammy bar when referring to vibrato. Apologies.

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

#1

If a bridge is securely fastened to the body of a Fender squier where the screws are vertical, will using a vibrato arm cause the strings to snap under tension? I've seen YouTube videos where some guitar players loosen the bridge and even have it floating above the guitar body?

During a string change on fender squier electric, I can't remember if i tightened the vertical screws where the bridge meets the guitar body. Should I leave the bridge secured in a fixed position or loosen the screws a little?

Guidance much appreciated in advance, Thank-you :)

P. S. I meant to say whammy bar when referring to vibrato. Apologies.

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma

If a bridge is securely fastened to the body of a Fender squier where the screws are vertical, will using a vibrato arm cause the strings to snap under tension?

Not normally. But possibly if there is a metal burr or worn groove in the bridge saddle. But this is more frequent if you are bending strings up in pitch because that adds tension. Whereas using a standard Fender vibrato relases tension (strings go down in pitch).

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
But I suppose it I've seen YouTube videos where some guitar players loosen the bridge and even have it floating above the guitar body?

You can set it up like that. But even then Fender guitars don't usually have enough "travel", more motion for the bridge to rise enough to add tension to snap a string unless there is some other problem present.

Consider that locking vibrato systems (Floyd Rose, Kahler, etc.) all typically allow for a great deal of upward pitch motion. In my experience (playing & watching players) with that equipment strings can take an amazing amount of abuse before they break. :)

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
During a string change on fender squier electric, I can't remember if i tightened the vertical screws where the bridge meets the guitar body. Should I leave the bridge secured in a fixed position or loosen the screws a little?

The edge of a Fender bridge plate is bevelled (has a slant or wedge) that allows it to travel forward. If you tighten the screws too much, then you can cause the bridge plate to lean forward or be completely immobile.

I find it best to screw them in until the screw heads are flush with the top of the plate, but not enough to make the plate lean forward.

I have a floating setup on a couple of my Strats & the screw heads are just a tiny bit higher than the plate, with the claw springs loosened enough to let the back of the bridge plate rest about an 1/8th of an inch above the body.

In any case, adjusting those screws is not going to directly cause strings to break.

You should probably ask the resident GT tech professional Stephen White for more knowledgable advice!

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/threads.php?f=30

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma

If a bridge is securely fastened to the body of a Fender squier where the screws are vertical, will using a vibrato arm cause the strings to snap under tension?

Not normally. But possibly if there is a metal burr or worn groove in the bridge saddle. But this is more frequent if you are bending strings up in pitch because that adds tension. Whereas using a standard Fender vibrato relases tension (strings go down in pitch).

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
But I suppose it I've seen YouTube videos where some guitar players loosen the bridge and even have it floating above the guitar body?

You can set it up like that. But even then Fender guitars don't usually have enough "travel", more motion for the bridge to rise enough to add tension to snap a string unless there is some other problem present.

Consider that locking vibrato systems (Floyd Rose, Kahler, etc.) all typically allow for a great deal of upward pitch motion. In my experience (playing & watching players) with that equipment strings can take an amazing amount of abuse before they break. :)

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
During a string change on fender squier electric, I can't remember if i tightened the vertical screws where the bridge meets the guitar body. Should I leave the bridge secured in a fixed position or loosen the screws a little?

The edge of a Fender bridge plate is bevelled (has a slant or wedge) that allows it to travel forward. If you tighten the screws too much, then you can cause the bridge plate to lean forward or be completely immobile.

I find it best to screw them in until the screw heads are flush with the top of the plate, but not enough to make the plate lean forward.

I have a floating setup on a couple of my Strats & the screw heads are just a tiny bit higher than the plate, with the claw springs loosened enough to let the back of the bridge plate rest about an 1/8th of an inch above the body.

In any case, adjusting those screws is not going to directly cause strings to break.

You should probably ask the resident GT tech professional Stephen White for more knowledgable advice!

https://www.guitartricks.com/forum/threads.php?f=30

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

Music_Maestro_Ma

Full Access

Joined: 10/12/11

Posts: 161

Thank-you for taking the time to write and explain. I won't have to consult Mr White just yet. Your reply is very knowledgeable. Guitar maintenance terrifies me, but I'm intrigued enough to learn how.

You are 1 of my first instructors when I first studied Guitar Fundamentals. I've had an account here that long. Ahhh, fond memories!

All the best, Chris J (yep, another Chris. Great name. Not biased. Nope lol.)

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

#3

Thank-you for taking the time to write and explain. I won't have to consult Mr White just yet. Your reply is very knowledgeable. Guitar maintenance terrifies me, but I'm intrigued enough to learn how.

You are 1 of my first instructors when I first studied Guitar Fundamentals. I've had an account here that long. Ahhh, fond memories!

All the best, Chris J (yep, another Chris. Great name. Not biased. Nope lol.)

Epiphone SG 400 Pro, Fender Squier, Flying V for shredding. Celtic fusion,rock, blues & Metal. From Wales, GB.

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7356

You're welcome!

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma

Guitar maintenance terrifies me, but I'm intrigued enough to learn how.

Best of success with it!

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
You are 1 of my first instructors when I first studied Guitar Fundamentals. I've had an account here that long. Ahhh, fond memories![/p]

That's wonderful! Glad you've been here that long & enjoying it.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#4

You're welcome!

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma

Guitar maintenance terrifies me, but I'm intrigued enough to learn how.

Best of success with it!

Originally Posted by: Music_Maestro_Ma
You are 1 of my first instructors when I first studied Guitar Fundamentals. I've had an account here that long. Ahhh, fond memories![/p]

That's wonderful! Glad you've been here that long & enjoying it.

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory