How to Make a Piezo Bridge

Written by alane michaelson
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How to Make a Piezo Bridge
The piezo bridge is placed perpendicular to the strings when installing it to a guitar. (S Dunn/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A piezo bridge, or pickup, is an electronic device that can be used for recording or performing with acoustic guitars. A bridge supports the strings of the guitar and transmits the vibrations of the strings to the body of the guitar to create sounds. A piezo bridge electrifies the vibrations of the acoustic guitar, which can then be amplified with a guitar amplifier. Connecting your guitar to a recording device or computer allows you to clearly record your performance.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Piezo buzzer
  • 25-cm shielded audio cable
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • 1/4-inch audio jack
  • Small piece of medium density foam (just a couple square inches)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Guitar amplifier

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Purchase a piezo buzzer with a 1.1-inch transducer size, an audio range of 106 dB and a noise level of less than -111 dB. Carefully break open the piezo buzzer to remove the piezo element, which is round and about the size of a quarter. Do not bend the element.

  2. 2

    Strip the ends of the shielded audio cable using the wire strippers, and solder one end to the piezo element and the other to the audio jack. On the piezo element end, solder the signal wire to the centre of the element and the ground wire to the metal surface of the element. On the audio jack end, the signal wire connects to the signal tab and the ground wire to the shielding.

  3. 3

    Glue the foam piece to where the wires connect on the backside of the piezo element with the hot glue gun, and hold it until the glue cools.

  4. 4

    Plug the device into the guitar amp to make sure it is working. Tap on the element lightly. If you can hear it in the amp, the device is ready to install on your guitar. If not, ensure your piezo element and audio jack are securely connected to the audio cable.

Tips and warnings

  • Piezo buzzers can be found at most electronics stores.
  • A soldering gun can be hot and a potential fire hazard, so use caution when soldering.

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