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Archtop Jazz Guitar
© Frank Ford, 7/3/00; Photos by FF, 7/2/00

The archtop guitar is a pretty straightforward beast when it comes to string installation. All archtops have tailpieces, to which strings are usually easily and efficiently attached.

Most traditional tailpieces are metal affairs that float over the face of the guitar:

Many modern acoustic archtop builders use a wooden tailpiece, more akin to that found on a 'cello:

Here, the strings simply thread through from the back side.

Whatever the style of tailpiece, the strings usually hook or thread on in a very simple fashion. Here, I can hook the string on from underneath. I just make a very slight bend at the end to make it easier to slip it into its notch:

Here, you can see it from the bottom, reflected in my little mirror:

Bringing the string up over the bridge to the peghead, I thread it through the hole in the tuner:

I'm holding the string tight, about 1-1/4" past the the tuning post.

With my right hand, I'll pull the string back while keeping light tension on it to avoid having the string fall out of the tailpiece or out of its position on the bridge:

Bending the free end of the string back downward:

and under, I still keep the tension with my right hand:



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