The pitches of the strings between bridge and tailpiece vary from instrument to instrument.  Their contact with the bridge means they are well amplified.  Variations in pitch, dynamics and tone colour can, on an open string, be quite easily controlled.  

It is difficult to stop the strings because there is no fingerboard, but touching the string with high pressure and with a dense object (e.g., the fingernail) changes the pitch.  In this case, plucking/striking/bowing between the stopping finger and the bridge is louder and overtone-richer than between finger and tailpiece.  

Some plucked, struck and bowed tones between finger and bridge and finger and tailpiece

Harmonics are also possible.  

Some plucked, struck and bowed harmonics between bridge and tailpiece.


Struck harmonics in this area are difficult to distinguish from clavichord-tones. 


Plucking between bridge and tailpiece also makes a low, thudding sound.  This is very similar to the sound when the edge of the tailpiece is plucked. See cello map link This sound can be (almost) isolated by damping (e.g., with the palm of the hand) at the bridge. 

The ‘plucking tailpiece’ sound is isolated by damping at the bridge. Firstly, the strings between bridge and nut are allowed to ring, then they are dampened


Bowing over the silk-wrapped part of the string close to the tailpiece produces a coarse sound.  This sound is similar to the timbre of a string bowed with excess pressure because, in both cases, the bow is unable to grip the string in the ‘normal’ way. 

Bowing on the wrapped part of the string by the tailpiece. The sound becomes less course and more pitch-based as the bow moves away from the tailpiece.

↩︎Slide Effects: Exciting a string after a slide object has been placed on it

↪︎Bridge-Tailpiece and in the Pegbox: In the Pegbox

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