On Classical guitar bridges, there are options to have 6, 12 or 18 hole bridges. This relates to the way you will tie the string around the tie block part of the guitar bridge. Here we will talk about the 12 hole classical guitar bridge, and why it’s a good idea to have one.
The classical guitar bridge
What does it do
The bridge acts as one large supporting brace for the soundboard, but is also designed to transmit the sound from the strings into the soundboard. They consist of a tie block (where the strings wrap around) the saddle (usually made from bone that sits at the front of the bridge) and the wings of the bridge (which are either side of the tie block and saddle).
What material is the bridge usually made from
The bridge is often made from harder woods, such as a Rosewood or Ebony. They have a lot of strength, and are very good woods to transmit the sound into the top of the guitar.
Benefits of having a 12 hole classical guitar bridge
The greatest benefit of having a 12 hole classical guitar bridge is the break angle at the tie block increases significantly. This is the angle at which the string leaves the tie block and heads towards the saddle. It puts more pressure down onto the saddle which in turn helps transmit the sound into the soundboard more efficiently. If you take a look at the tie block on a 6 hole bridge, you will notice that as the string wraps around itself, it pulls the string to a higher position from the hole and reduces the break angle to the saddle.
Another benefit is that when it comes to putting the strings on the guitar, it’s a lot less fiddly! Usually with a 6 hole bridge, you are required to poke the string through the tie block and then wrap it a few times around itself before applying the tension.
As a luthier, I often tend to make concert classical guitar bridges with a 12 hole tie block, for the benefits above, but also because it leaves the customer with the option to tie it in the 6 hole method as well, if they prefer.
Use a lighter to burn the ends of the treble strings into a small ball before you put them on your guitar. This stops the strings ever slipping through and damaging the soundboard of the guitar.