Ok so I was playing my Ibanez electric guitar when the first string broke during a bend. Afterwards the bridge seemed lifted up, like moved upwards (see image). When I tried strumming the other strings, they had a horrible buzz so I decided to change them. While I was trying to take them off, I noticed that the bridge had moved and didn't align with the back of the guitar. So I had to open the guitar to take the strings out. Every Luthier is closed so I want to try and fix it myself. Can anyone please help me? Thank you very much!

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3 Answers 3


Your guitar is probably fine. The tension on the strings usually keeps the bridge attached at the correct point on the two pillars.

You can see the two knife-edges are supposed to sit in the narrowest part of the pillars.

So you can move it there now by hand - and if you can't, temporarily remove a spring from the back of the bridge (you'll need to take off the back panel)

Your best bet to getting things back to normal is to restring the guitar, without putting too much tension on the strings. Then ensure the bridge sits in the right place as you bring the strings up to tension.


That basically normal behaviour with a floating vibrato system, particular those knife-edge models.

Solution is to just put strings on again. Their tension should pull the bridge back in place – hopefully. It would have been better not to remove all strings, now it might be jammed. To be safe, I would first release the spring tension (screw out the long wood-screws in the back opening beneath the pickups by ca. 5 full windings). Then check that the bridge is actually still moveable (should be possible with bare hands now, or at any rate with the vibrato arm). If that's ok, start by putting on the low E, D and b strings, then re-tighten the springs and put on the remaining strings too.

If this kind of behaviour bothers you and you don't need an idle-flexible vibrato, then you can put it in “fixed” position: screw down the two outer screws, on which the knife-edges rest, so the bridge can be in full-area contact with the top. Then tighten the springs so much that it actually stays there.


What happened was that when one string broke, the tension the rest produced was less than normal. That tension is balanced by the springs inside the body, under the bridge. That's why the strings rattled. Probably out of tune, too!

Now you've taken all the strings off (not a good move), those springs have pulled the whole bridge up. As you replace the strings, they will pull the bridge down gradually, until it's back where it belongs. If you replace with the same gauge, it will settle in like before. If you've changed the gauge, you'll likely have to change the tension balance by adjusting the long screws, or moving the spirings, or even adding or taking off a spring.

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