Remember that time Premier Guitar used my pie charts in the magazine and website?
What we generally refer to as the ‘offset’ Fenders (Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Mustang, Jag-Stang) can sometimes be a quirky bunch and one of their more common annoyances is the bridge.
Often, notes can suffer from a lack of focus and sustain. Strings can ‘jump’ from their slots if played even a little too hard, and the bridge itself can be buzzy and rattly. Sometimes you’ll even have saddle height screws vibrating loose and rattling, or even falling out.
You know the string retainer bar? Also known as the ‘dammit-I-forgot-to-put-the-string-under-it bar’.
It’s that little thing on the headstock, between your nut and tuners. The strings install under it.
You’ll find them most often on guitars with locking tremolo systems like Floyd Rose and Ibanez Edge bridges, and, on these instruments, it's important that it's properly adjusted.
So, I want to talk about a few tips related to string ‘break angle’ — the angle the string takes over the nut or saddle. However, I reckon that it might be useful to explain what I mean and to give a little background on this area first.
Let's start with the break angle at the nut — that's the angle at which the string leaves the nut and heads for the tuner.