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Best Bridge Doctor How To Guide

bridge doctor

Ever wondered how a Bridge Doctor could enhance your six-string experience? You’re in luck! This guide is your go-to resource for learning everything about this transformative device. The Bridge Doctor can improve your guitar’s sound and longevity.

A bridge doctor is used for fixing the action of a guitar. When the middle section of the guitar is pushed down or as everyone says it “the guitar has bellied” due to pressure the strings on the guitar get too high to play. To fix that issue a bridge doctor is used to fix the wood structure and give support to the pressure of the strings.

From its core components and benefits to a detailed installation guide, we’ve got it all covered. Whether you’re an experienced musician or someone who strums occasionally, this bridge doctor guide is your key to unlocking a new level of guitar performance.

You also need some other accessories to elevate your playing. Check out some of the must have classical guitar accessories in 2023!

What is a Bridge Doctor?

A Bridge Doctor is a mechanical device attached to maintain and improve the structural integrity of a guitar’s soundboard and bridge area. Its primary function is to counteract “belly bulge,” the warping of the guitar top due to string tension.

Bridge Doctor

By redistributing this tension, it flattens the soundboard and extends the life of the instrument.

In addition, the device enhances the guitar’s volume and sustain by optimizing the tension and position of the bridge.

The Core Components of A Bridge Doctor For Guitar

When it comes to the mechanics of a Bridge Doctor, two key components steal the spotlight: the tension rod and the mounts. Understanding these parts is crucial for anyone wanting to dig deep into the world of guitar maintenance with a Bridge Doctor.

Tension Rod

The tension rod is the backbone of the Bridge Doctor system. This component is designed to be adjustable, allowing you to control the amount of tension that’s applied to the soundboard. By doing so, you counterbalance the pull of the guitar strings, effectively reducing the notorious “belly bulge” and warping that can occur over time.


The mounts serve as the anchoring point for the Bridge Doctor. They come in various types like screw mounts or bridge pin mounts, depending on your guitar’s build and your personal preference. These mounts attach the system securely to the bridge or tail block of the guitar, ensuring that the tension rod can do its job effectively.

How They Work Together To Alleviate Stress On The Guitar

So, how do these components work together? Once the mounts are securely attached to the guitar, the tension rod connects to them, creating a stable system. As you adjust the tension rod, it modifies the force distribution across the soundboard.

This action flattens the soundboard, improves volume, and enhances sustain. Each of these parts play a critical role in achieving the final, harmonious result.

The Benefits of Using a Bridge Doctor

Ah, the perks of using a Bridge Doctor—there are quite a few, and they’re not just superficial. Let’s dive into the specifics so you can truly grasp why this device can be a game-changer for your guitar experience.

Enhances Volume

First on the list is volume. One of the immediate benefits of installing a Bridge Doctor is a noticeable increase in your guitar’s volume. The device redistributes the tension across the soundboard more effectively, allowing for better vibration and sound propagation. The result is you get a fuller and, louder sound.

Check out some of the classical guitar pickups that can be used for any kind of acoustic guitar.

Straightens The Soundboard

A straight, well-balanced soundboard is essential for optimal sound quality. Over time, string tension can cause warping, which compromises both the structure and the sound of your guitar. The tool tackles this issue head-on by flattening the soundboard, ensuring it stays in its optimal shape for sound resonance.

Reduces Belly Bulge In Acoustic Guitars

Ah, the dreaded “belly bulge,” the bane of many acoustic guitars. This bulging occurs when the top wood of the guitar warps due to continuous string tension. Not only does it affect aesthetics, but it also impacts the guitar’s structural integrity.

A Bridge Doctor is particularly effective in counteracting this issue, providing a long-term solution to keep your guitar looking and sounding great.

Increases Sustain

Last but not least, let’s talk about sustainability. That’s the ability of your guitar to hold a note for an extended period. A Bridge Doctor enhances sustainability by ensuring that the tension and structural integrity are in harmony. When you strike a note, the sound will linger longer, providing a richer musical experience.

How to Install a Bridge Doctor


Before you even touch your guitar, make sure you’ve got a clean workspace. Lay out a soft cloth or towel to place your guitar on to prevent any scratches.

Tools Needed

  • Screwdriver
  • Allen Wrench
  • Soft cloth
  • Pencil (for marking)

Step-By-Step Guide

  • Detach Strings

Loosen and remove your guitar strings.

  • Mark Position

Use a pencil to mark where the Bridge Doctor will be installed.

  • Attach Mounts

Securely attach the appropriate mounts (either screw-mounted version or brass pin mount) to the tail block of your guitar.

  • Install Tension Rod

Insert the tension rod into the mounts.

  • Test

Restring your guitar and pluck the strings lightly to test the initial setup.

  • Attachment to the Tail Block

Securing the mounts to the tail block is critical for stable installation. Use the screwdriver to tighten the mounts into the pre-marked positions.

  • Adjusting the Tension Rod

Use the Allen Wrench to adjust the tension rod to the desired level. This is where you balance string tension against the Bridge Doctor.

The installation process is straightforward—even if you’re not a guitar tech wizard, you should be able to manage just fine.

Different Types of Bridge Doctors

Screw Mount

screw mount acoustic guitars that already have a screw hole in the tail block, making installation easier and faster.

Brass Pin Mount

Perfect for those who prefer a more discreet setup, as they use the string pin holes for installation.

Why Choose One Over the Other?

Screw Mount

Quicker installation and removal.

Brass Pin Mount

It is less invasive and better for guitars without pre-drilled holes.

The JLD Bridge Doctor

The JLD Bridge Doctor is designed to solve common issues with guitar bridge lifting and soundboard bulging. It’s crafted from durable materials and comes with detailed installation instructions. Its primary functions include stabilizing the guitar bridge and improving tone quality.

Pros and Cons of The JLD Bridge Doctor


  • Effectively addresses bridge lifting and soundboard bulging issues.
  • Adjustable spruce pressure post rests against the tailblock 
  • Made from durable, high-quality materials.
  • Comes with clear installation instructions.


  • Installation may be a bit challenging for beginners.
  • Some may consider it a bit pricey for a specialized item.

It’s an invaluable tool for guitar owners facing specific structural issues, and it also has the added benefit of improving sound quality. While the installation might be a hurdle for some, the benefits far outweigh the downsides.


Rafsan Ahmed

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