I just got an Arabic Oud, I recently notice that my 5th string is off tune when I tune the string. That would be in the 3rd course. I decided to put some small piece of paper under by where it touches the bridge (top of the handle). It worked, I am getting a perfect sound when tuning the the string. Then I decided to place a tiny long piece of paper under the the whole bridge of the Oud, but unfortunately the other strings are now messed up.

So what do you guys recommend me to do, buy another bridge or should I just keep a small piece of paper under the 5th string only ?

  • 1
    If the paper under the 5th strong fixes it and the rest of the strings are fine, I'd stick with that unless you have other issues with the bridge that you can solve by getting a new one.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Oct 8, 2018 at 21:43
  • Can you clarify what you mean? It's impossible for the open strings to be untunable; do you mean that when the open note is correct, the octave is in the wrong place on the fingerboard? Or do you mean you're getting an undesirable overtone or 'buzz' sound? Oct 9, 2018 at 12:13
  • yeah buzz sound, i even replaced it with a new good one, but still.
    – Nrowa
    Oct 9, 2018 at 13:15
  • @DoktorMayhem thats what i am thinking, i have no other choice !
    – Nrowa
    Oct 9, 2018 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


A 'buzz' usually indicates the string is too close to the fingerboard, and thus is contacting it when plucked. If raising the string at the bridge solves the problem, good enough -- make sure it isn't so high that fingering is difficult.

I would recommend something other than paper, as that is prone to tear, soggify, etc. If you can get a string pad such as is often supplied with violin, viola, cello upper strings, use that - it's a very short tube of either felt or plastic which is intended to go around the string and sit on the bridge.


Perhaps the simplest thing to buy is "Bridge parchment," which is listed at just about every string instrument store I found online. You just glue a tiny piece onto the bridge (same place you put the paper, but the parchment behaves better). I don't know if you can get the protective tube without buying a violin E-string (or a cello A-string), but I'd bet a decent instrument store salesperson could comp you one or two from their luthier's junk drawer.

  • can you provide me with a link to the item you just described !!
    – Nrowa
    Oct 9, 2018 at 15:18
  • 1
    @Nrowa, see edits. Oct 9, 2018 at 15:25

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