Basically, we divide electric guitar bridges to non-tremolo bridges (hard-tail) and tremolo bridges (soft-tail). The main difference between them is that the first ones allow changes in pitch and the latter don’t. Non-tremolo bridge often appears as fixed bridge, although the term bridge also indicates an individual part of non-tremolo or even tremolo bridge (e.g. Bigsby). This is probably due to the fact that non-tremolo guitars always have a fixed bridge, either as a part beside the hard tailpiece or as the only part, which makes it a (hard) tailpiece. It is similar with tremolo bridges, except the term hard tailpiece is replaced with the term soft tailpiece. In terms of a non-tremolo bridge there are generally the floating and the non-floating tremolos. Of course both allow changes in pitch downwards, while the floating ones allow it both ways.

Further on in this topic you’ll hear about the individual bridge-type’s basic look, its features, advantages and disadvantages, its use and even more. For each individual type of bridge we are going to count up some typical popular electric guitars. For instance: Stratocaster as an example of a guitar with a floating tremolo bridge.

You may be troubling yourselves why there is such a topic regarding one piece of hardware. You must be aware that bridge affects the guitar’s tone as well and is, therefore, far from being irrelevant as a contributor to guitar’s sound character. Besides, certainly some bridges are more suitable for a particular genre than the others.

 

Guitar neck