I just got myself a violin, being a beginner who has never played any bowed instruments before and intending to teach myself how to play. I came across an instruction video that stated that the bridge should be standing absolutely perpendicular to the body, but that it can be acceptable that it tilts slightly backwards. I looked at my violin and concluded that my bridge tilts ever so slightly forward. At the base, the edge closest to the neck is the contact point with the violin body, and the edge closest to the tailpiece is less than a millimeter above the body.

Is this acceptable until I change the strings, or should I loosen the strings and reposition the bridge right away? I don't have any sense of how delicate the instrument is yet, and I don't want to find out the hard way.

  • 2
    Since you are new to the instrument, and because the bridge is maladjusted, you really should have a luthier inspect it to make sure the soundpost is properly placed. If the soundpost is missing, string tension could break the violin; if mis-adjusted, the sound will be very poor. Aug 20, 2019 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


The bridge has feet which need to be properly in contact with the violin body. If it tilts, then chances are that it's not completely so. It can be moved, slowly ('untilting') so that it's perpendicular to the body - upright - without slackening the strings, although you may be more comfortable sliding the bridge if they are loosened slightly.

The other problem may well be that at some time that bridge was removed. Maybe it fell off when all the strings were changed - not a good thing to do all at the same time. So, at the same time, it's worth checking that the bridge is indeed in the correct place. The decision as to where that should be was made when the violin was made. On the side of the f-holes are tiny vs. An imaginary line between them will be the line that bridge sits on. That way, the fingering patterns will be correct for that violin.

  • @Jacob Be very careful correcting the bridge! Lie it on something soft, put a rag underneath the tailpiece, and with your arms resting on the body and slowly tilt it upright with your thumbs on one side and your fingers on the other. Use a piece of card with a 90 degree angle to check if it is correct. If the bridge falls over, take it to a luthier for proper setting. (Its position is important) Aug 26, 2019 at 19:57

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