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Your viola is a complicated thing made up of lots of individual parts and pieces. But the one that stands out the most (literally!) is the bridge. Although, 'stands' may not be the best word since the bridge is actually pinned down by the strings. Not being permanently attached is just one of the special things about a viola bridge; another is that it has a few key roles to play. First, it keeps the strings raised and arced properly. And second, it's the part that carries the strings' vibrations to the soundboard. With so much resting on the shoulders of viola bridges, it's definitely important to choose a good one - and with the options in this section, that's easy to do. The simplest style of viola bridge is made from a single piece of maple. Some examples here would include the Glaesel GL-333446 Maple Full Viola Bridge and The String Centre Student and Aubert Viola Bridges. Affordable on any budget, these bridges are quick and easy to install, and their simplicity makes them perfect for beginner to intermediate violists. If you're looking for a straightforward bridge, it doesn't get any more down-to-Earth than this. For those of us who don't mind a few moving parts in the name of convenience, there are also adjustable models available here. Check out the Glaesel Self-Adjusting Full Viola Bridge and The String Centre Adjustable and Aubert Adjustable Viola Bridges to see them for yourself. What sets these bridges apart is that they're actually made in three pieces: the main section and two moveable feet that pivot from side to side. This means you don't need to file down the feet to get a custom fit for your individual viola - they'll always sit nice and flush, right out of the box. Every violist knows that it's important to keep some spare strings around, and that you can swap strings for a different sound, but did you know the same thing applies to bridges? If you don't have a replacement bridge in your viola case already, it's never too early to add one so you'll always be prepared. And if you want to experiment with different bridges to see how they affect your viola's sound, you should! After all, you're in the right place to do it.
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