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Avoiding Palm Muting Injuries

Q: The height-adjustment screws for the bridge pieces on my guitar stick up past the top of the bridge piece. When I palm mute, with my hand on the bridge, the screws are poking into my hand. After a long night of playing, my hand is getting ripped up. What can I do to fix this?

A: This a common problem. There are several things you can try:

  • Change out the bridge pieces for others that use a different type of height adjustment, or that can use shorter height-adjustment screws.

  • Purchase new, shorter height-adjustment screws.
  • Shorten the current height-adjustment screws – some players have had luck carefully measuring the screws, removing them from the bridge, holding them in a vice or vicegrips, then using a Dremel-type tool or file to shorten the bottom of the screw. Be careful and be sure before you attempt this!
  • If the neck on the guitar is removable, shim the neck slightly so that the bridge will need to be raised, which will reduce the amount of height-adjustment screw that protrudes above the brodge.
  • Put a small amount of wax or other material on the top of the screw to make it less abrasive. Note that this may make it difficult to change the height of the screw later.

(NOTE: Perform any modifications to your instrument at your own risk – we are not responsible for any damage or problems that result. Be sure before you make any changes that may permanently affect the instrument or its performance.

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