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What Makes A 12-String Guitar Bridge Different?

12 string guitar bridge

12 String guitar has always been a sign of luxury and versatility for a musician. The general 6-string guitar build style and a 12-string guitar build style are quite different.

The 12-string guitar bridge is one of the most vital parts of the guitar because of the string action and pull. It is differently built and supported than a 6-string guitar bridge. 

When it comes to the general design of the bridge there are several differences between the 12-string guitar bridge and the 6-string guitar bridge. The 12 string bridge is wider to make space for the extra strings. In this article, we will discuss those differences in the bridge on a 12 string guitar.

Explore the evolution of different guitar body styles here. 

What Makes 12-string Guitar Bridges Different

The most significant difference between the 6-string and 12-string guitar is the sound. The 6-string guitar has one string for a single note, whereas the 12-string has two strings for each note. The first two strings, E and B pair share the gauge and are tuned to the same pitch. Meanwhile, the lower strings E, A, D, and G are of different gauges, and the lighter strings are tuned to a higher octave. 

12-string guitar bridge

To learn more about 12-string guitar tuning, check out here!

The Saddle

The saddles on the bridge are positioned in pairs to accommodate all the strings. The wider bridge positions the strings accordingly to make space between each string, ensuring that each string has enough space for movement and vibration. The intonation of the strings are carefully balanced and the saddle helps to maintain it.

The Action

The bridge is made sturdy enough to handle the action and pull off the extra strings maintaining the intonation. The bridge is made of durable material using strong wood, metal, and bone. The bridge is supported by additional bracing or a bridge plate made of hardwood or metal to ensure that it does not warp or crack under the extra tension of the doubled strings.

Bracing

The bridge is reinforced by bracings on the underside of the guitar or the bridge pins positioned between the bridge and the body of the guitar. The reinforcement distributes the tension of the strings throughout the bridge to reduce the risk of breaking or warping.

What Is a Bridge Doctor?

A Bridge Doctor is a device that is used to prevent or repair acoustic guitar bridges from cracking. It has a threaded rod that is inserted through the bridge and into the underside of the soundboard of the guitar. It is set up on clamps or brackets that secure the rod under the bridge.

The purpose of a bridge doctor is to stabilize a damaged or lifting bridge or to prevent a bridge from lifting due to the tension of the guitar strings. 

When the tension of the guitar strings is too great, the bridge can begin to lift off the guitar body, which can cause damage to both the bridge and the soundboard. 

To use a bridge doctor, the guitar strings are loosened, and the device is inserted through the bridge and into the soundboard. The clamps or brackets are then tightened to secure the device in place, and the guitar strings are re-tuned. 

Want to find which string will be suitable for your guitar? Click here!

Bridge doctors are typically used as a temporary fix for bridge problems and are often recommended in situations where the cost of a full bridge repair or replacement is not feasible.

Know Your Preferences

A 12-string guitar bridge is a key component of the unique construction of a 12-string guitar. Its design must accommodate the additional strings, spacing, and tension that come with a 12-string guitar. 

For those who appreciate the sound and construction of 12-string guitars, understanding the differences in the bridge design can deepen their appreciation of this unique instrument.

FAQs about 12 String Guitar Bridge

Mahir Rahman

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