Mounting a Strat Hardtail Bridge

Written by cecil fontaine
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Mounting a Strat Hardtail Bridge
Mount a new bridge on your Stratocaster. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Made of metal, hardtail bridges sttach to the body of the Fender Stratocaster (Strat) beneath the pick guard. This type of bridge does not have a tremolo bar, which helps keep the strings in tune for a longer period. The strings are held in place with saddles, whose position you can adjust to experiment with intonation. Hardtail bridges are a common choice for guitarists who prefer to alter their notes by bending rather than using a tremolo bar.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance from the 12th fret to the nut at the top of the guitar's neck with a tape measure. This distance should equal the distance between the endpoint of the bridge and the 12th fret. Your Strat will achieve the best sound when the 12th fret is equidistant from the nut and the bridge. When measuring this distance to determine the proper place to attach the bridge onto the body of your Strat, consider the saddles as the endpoint of the bridge.

  2. 2

    Mount the bridge onto the body of the Strat, and secure it in place with the mounting screws using a screwdriver. Most hardtail bridges have three mounting screws, although some brands have up to five. These screws attach the bridge's base plate to the body, at the bottom of the pick guard. When tightening the mounting screws, check to ensure that each screw rests flush along the surface of the guitar.

  3. 3

    Adjust the bridge's saddles by moving them to the centre of their range. String the guitar by sliding the strings through their respective saddles and securing them to the tuning keys. Setting the saddles in this way will create a default position, from which you can adjust the saddles to improve the strings' intonations.

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