The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

by Terry Relph-Knight 27/02/18, copyright retained

This idea, that a screwed down stop tailpiece transfers vibration to the body and provides more sustain is an evil meme. It is perhaps something that some guitar journalist, who didn’t understand physics, wrote in some popular guitar magazine years ago and has been repeated mindlessly ever since.

 

For a start it is a contradiction – if the screwed down stop bar did provide a better mechanical coupling to the body then more of the string vibration would be adsorbed by the body resulting in LESS sustain. For sustain you want as much of your picking energy to remain in the string as long as possible. Bolting down the stop bar (and the bridge) reduces movement and lossy vibration in the components directly connected to the strings and that is why sustain may be affected. 

Tune-O-Matic

Tune-O-Matic

Secondly the standard stop bar is not designed to be locked down. The design of the slots in the bar and the collars on the fixing bolts means that the stop bar is more or less equally coupled to the body no matter what height it is set at. To be able to couple the stop bar rigidly to the body you would need to use bolts without collars.

All the Gibson guitars that use a stop bar and an Advanced Bridge 1 or a ‘Nashville’ bridge (should probably be known as an ABR-2) derive from a guitar design using a trapeze tail piece. The stop bar, with its collared bolts, is actually designed to allow the string ends to be raised to approximately where they would be if a trapeze tailpiece was used, otherwise why would those bolts have collars?

The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

If the stop bar is set as low to the body as it will go, over time there is so much pressure on the Tune-O-Matic bridges that they gradually start to collapse and bend in the middle.

Some guitarists recommend ‘top wrapping’ the strings, fitting the strings with the ball ends on the bridge side of the stop bar and then folding them back over the top of the bar. This method of installing the strings to the stop bar does allow the stop bar to be screwed down, while still providing a shallow break angle for the strings behind the bridge saddles. However, if the standard collared bolts are used, this method still does not lock the stop bar firmly to the body of the guitar and many people do not like the rough feel of the strings over the top of the stop bar, which over time will get scratched and grooved by the top wrapped strings.

   

So why top wrap, when you can use stop bar bolts without collars, fit spacers under the stop bar, and both lock the stop bar firmly in place and set it at the height it was always intended to be, which by the way reduces tuning problems by minimising string friction over the bridge saddles and doesn’t collapse the bridge.

If you are interested in this sort of stabilisation modification for your stop bar equipped guitar then please contact me via terry.relph@gmail.com or through an enquiry to the London Guitar Academy.

Slop in the Gibson style Tune-O-Matic ABR-1 and Nashville bridges

Like the standard Gibson style stop bar the Tune-O-Matic bridges rely on string tension for their mechanical stability and often have a degree of movement. The holes in the bridge have to be larger than the diameter of the support posts and the screw posts on the Nashville model are often not a tight fit in the threaded inserts into the top of the guitar.

Epiphone are to be applauded in their efforts in addressing this problem. Their solution, called  ‘LockTone’, involves fitting small stainless steel leaf springs in the bridge holes and in the slots of the stop bar. This solution does not firmly lock the bridge or the stop bar in place, but even so Epiphone have published test results that they claim show improvements in sustain  http://www.epiphone.com/News/Features/News/2011/Understanding-The-Epiphone-LockTone-Stopbar-Tune-o.aspx.

There are other solutions, from for example TonePros http://www.tonepros.com/ that will mechanically lock the bridge in place, improving sustain, tone and tuning stability.

Guitar Lessons Acton West London

Guitar Lessons in Acton London

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Tuition and lessons in Acton, London Guitar-Lessons-Acton-London

London Guitar Academy offer private guitar lessons to students of all ages and skill levels in a fun and patient environment. Whether you’re picking up a guitar for the first time or you’ve been playing for a while and are looking to break out of a rut, I can help.Helping students achieve what they are most enthusiastic about is what is most rewarding to LGA.

Guitar Lessons in Acton West London

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Guitar Lessons Acton, London

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The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

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Guitar Lessons London Home Visits

Home Visits Guitar Teacher London

Home visit guitar lessons in London. Our friendly and approachable guitar tutors will be perfect for YOU! LGA’s Home Visit Guitar Lessons cover all every area of central London. Take our mobile tuition service in offer lessons from the comfort of your own home.

Buy A London Guitar Academy Gift Certificate - Perfect for all levels of guitarist, from absolute beginner to advanced. Lessons in a fun and relaxed environment Guitar Lessons London Home Visits

 

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Guitar lessons London home visits with London’s guitar masters London Guitar Academy. Anytime at your London home or office.  As a home visit tutors, Guitar Lessons London brings the lesson to you!

Home lessons available. Flexible lesson times can be arranged to suit our fantastic students.

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Guitar Lessons Home Visits

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Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

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Guitar Lessons London give individual lessons in  all styles of music from beginner to advanced. We are here to help you to improve your music playing, enjoy your music to the fullest, and achieve your music goals.  Our instructors have degrees in music, and are professional working musicians. LGA gear the lesson towards the needs of the individual student, teaching a basis of theory in the style of music the student is interested in. And most importantly we guarantee satisfied, happy students.

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

 

Peckham Guitar Lessons

London Guitar Academy focuses on private music instruction with top-tier music teachers, supplemented with ongoing performance opportunities and events.

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

Guitar Lessons Peckham & Peckham Rye London SE22

Our fantastic tutors always gear the lesson towards the needs of the individual student, teaching a basis of theory in the style of music the student is interested in. Styles Including: Pop,folk, Blues, Rock, Jazz, Funk. Specialising in the practical application of music, improvisational and theory.

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Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons

Guitar Teacher Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons Turn Pike Lane

Guitar Lessons Turnpike Lane. Learn from one of our experienced guitar teachers
and become the musician you want to be, today! Turn Pike Lane guitar lessons for beginners and experienced guitarists. Specialist online lessons  including courses for beginners. Find the top London guitar training specially tailord to help you improve as fast as possible. Learn To Play The Guitar The Fun and Easy Way.

Guitar Lessons Turnpike Lane

Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons

Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons

LEARN GUITAR In Turnpike Lane

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London Guitar Academy teach Guitar lessons, Bass Guitar lessons and Ukulele lessons to students in Turnpike Lane London.

Guitar Teacher Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons Turn Pike Lane

Guitar Teacher Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons Turn Pike Lane

 

Turnpike Lane Guitar Lessons London

Week 4

Guitar Week 4

Week 4 article.

‘Good morning, afternoon, or evening!  The first video we looks at a tasty Dorian inspired Steve Lukather Style lick.

Then we will be  looking at pentatonic runs and making up patterns. Given the repetitive nature of these patterns, they lend themselves well to being played fast, as your fingers can learn the pattern fairly quickly; a lot of the fast runs you hear Joe Bonamassa play are repetitive pentatonic patterns . As always, start off slow and build up speed gradually. The examples here are to be used as a springboard for you to come up with your own runs. https://vimeo.com/224822361

Joe Bonamassa style Pentatonic Lick from London Guitar on Vimeo.

Enjoy!

All of these examples are in the first position of the D minor pentatonic scale.

 

Guitar week 4 tab 1

Guitar week 4 tab 1

week 4 tab 2

week 4 tab 2

https://vimeo.com/224822361

week 4 tab 3

week 4 tab 3

week 4 tab 4

week 4 tab 4

Cheers,

Sean

Little Steven Soulfire

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

 

Last year at his O2 Indigo show in London, Little Steven announced that he was going to be back in 2017 with a new album and another European tour. The only UK date that’s been squeezed into his schedule was Manchester but the promised new album is now out and it’s a scorcher!

LITTLE STEVEN SOULFIRE

LITTLE STEVEN SOULFIRE

 

His first solo album for 18 years (“Born Again Savage” appeared in 1999), the new release marks a return to the sound of “Men Without Women” (his first album with the Disciples of Soul) and the first three albums for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, which he produced and provided a lot of the original material. So you know what you’re going to get – lots of brass, big production, classic 50s and 60s R & B and striking rock guitar

Little Steven

Little Steven

 

The 15 piece band includes top horns man Eddie Manion (from the Asbury Jukes) and guitarist Marc Ribler (the musical director for Darlene Love), and it’s primarily the band that played over here at the London Blues Fest.

 

It’s not what you would call a “brand new” album – most of the Van Zandt material has appeared in some form previously. It’s effectively Van Zandt pulling together a set of songs that can be seen as his story so far – and it makes you realise what a good songwriter/producer/arranger Van Zandt is.

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

ALBUM REVIEW: SOULFIRE – LITTLE STEVEN

 

You get Van Zandt’s take on 5 of his own compositions (or co-writes) which were first recorded by Southside Johnny – I’m Coming Back, Some Things Just Don’t Change, Love On The Wrong Side Of Town, I Don’t Want To Go Home (the first song he ever wrote) and Ride The Night Away. Also featured is an update of “Standing in the Line of Fire” (originally recorded by Gary US Bonds)

 

The “old” songs are good and anyone familiar with the Southside Johnny versions isn’t going to be disappointed. “Love on the Wrong Side of Town” is the most changed version- it gets a “Byrds style” intro before the familiar brass parts kick in, and then the instrumental section goes for an altogether different sound which is strikingly different from the horns on the Jukes version.

Soulfire

Soulfire

Even more interesting are the less familiar songs –“Soulfire” the album opener is a co-write which was recorded previously by The Breakers – a band on Van Zandt’s own label. It’s a strong opener and sets out the tone of the album that follows – a big sound and Van Zandt’s trademark vocals and guitar.

 

Here’s a link to Little Steven’s Youtube site to hear “Soulfire”:

 

 

“The City Weeps Tonight” is a new Van Zandt original – and it’s a gorgeous piece of updated doo wop. “I Saw The Light” is another Van Zandt original (not the Todd Rundgren song) which has never appeared before.

 

There’s an excellent choice of covers – first up (track 3) you get the “Blues Is My Business” a strong blues rock number first recorded by Etta James. This is the track for all you LGA students to plug in the guitar and play along to. Clocking in at over 6 minutes there’s plenty of licks and riffs to get your teeth (fingers!) into. You can play along here at Little Steven’s Youtube site:

 

 

The album also features a cover of “Down And Out in New York City” – the James Brown track from the movie “Black Caesar”. Marc Ribler gives it the full-on ‘70s “Shaft” wah-wah guitar sound.

 

“Saint Valentine’s Day” is another Van Zandt original that was originally given away and recorded by The Cocktail Slippers. It also featured in a stripped down rocky format in the rock movie “Not Fade Away” but this version brings in the full band and horn section to keeps this version within the sound of the album as a whole.

 

You can hear it here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjOmE-45Abk

 

 

If you like the “Men Without Women” album (or Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes) this is definitely an album to go and buy.

 

TRACK LISTING

 

  1. Soulfire
  2. I’m Coming Back
  3. Blues Is My Business
  4. I Saw the Light
  5. Some Things Just Don’t Change
  6. Love on the Wrong Side of Town
  7. The City Weeps Tonight
  8. Down and Out in New York City
  9. Standing in the Line of Fire
  10. Saint Valentine’s Day
  11. I Don’t Want to Go Home
  12. Ride the Night Away

 

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Here’s Youtube live footage from the current European tour with Southside Johnny joining Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul for a sing-a-long version of “It’s Been A Long Time” (written by Van Zandt and originally recorded by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes on their excellent 1991 comeback album “Better Days” )

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-qa3IuoTWQ

Guitar Lessons Vauxhall

Guitar Lessons and Guitar Teachers in Vauxhall  Greater London

Guitar Lessons Vauxhall London. Guitar, Bass And Ukulele Lessons In Vauxhall London. Professional London Tutors Offer Guitar Lessons At Your Home In Vauxhall Greater London.

Guitar Lessons Vauxhall

Guitar Lessons Vauxhall

 

Guitar Lessons in Vauxhall South Lambeth

Guitar Lessons in Vauxhall South Lambeth

Guitar Lessons in Vauxhall South Lambeth

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Kennington Guitar Tutors Kennington Guitar Lessons

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Guitar Lessons Lambeth. Here  At London Guitar Academy, we believe that music makes a difference in the lives of people.

Kennington Guitar Tutors Kennington Guitar Lessons

Kennington Guitar Tutors Kennington Guitar Lessons

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Kennington music lessons for all ages and abilities are full of fun, interactive activities that not only help develop a strong musical foundation and build essential life skills, but offer a unique bonding experience for you and your child.

Guitar Lessons in Kennington

Guitar Lessons in Kennington

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We give guitar lessons, ukulele lessons and music theory lessons. One of Guitar Lessons Kennington’s great missions is helping others learn how to express themselves through music.

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The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges

The slammed stop bar myth and movement in Tune-O-Matic bridges by Terry Relph-Knight 27/02/18, copyright retained This idea, that a screwed down stop tailpiece transfers vibration to the body and provides more sustain is an... Read more

Bass Guitar Pedal Board build

Build Log: Bass Pedal Board build 19/06/17 Terry Relph-Knight copyright reserved. This pedal board was commissioned to easily mimic the bass sounds of Roger Waters for a Pink Floyd tribute concert tour. The pedals used were already owned by the client. The... Read more

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NILS LOFGREN MAY 2018

GIG REVIEW – NILS LOFGREN MAY 2018 Nils Lofgren is back in the UK with his “50 Years…Up The Road Tour” and LGA reviewer, Paul Wood, was there to catch his recent show at the Birmingham Town Hall. Interspersed with stories from his life on the road with Neil... Read more

Indie = Psychedelia

Indie = Psychedelia in 2018 by Peter Marchant In 2014 I was introduced to my friend’s new boyfriend who was a massive fan of ‘psych’ music, especially one band in particular: ‘The Brian Jonestown Massacre’. I had played guitar in ‘indie’ and ‘pop’ bands for... Read more

The Seven Modes of the Ionian System The Ionian system is a collection of modes (scales with characteristic musical features) all of which are based on the... Read more

London Guitar Academy

The London Guitar Academy is London’s only dedicated Rock Pop and Blues guitar school specialising in one to one guitar tuition in either electric or acoustic guitar.

Each lesson is tailored to suit each students individual taste and ability; offering a fresh and innovative approach to learning the guitar.

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