Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Can I move bridge to prevent neck dive?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Honza992, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Meister

    Aug 12, 2011
    Malmoe Sweden
    I would actually say the contrary. And by far. If you carve out the space that's needed for the BLOCK that contains the strings, springs, it will always be waaaaay heavier than any of the wood removed. No wood will ever weigh as muc has the tremolo block inside a strat. Not even if it's an aluminium one. Springs too. But as it is, it's not about strats but Teles in this thread.

  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Meister

    Aug 12, 2011
    Malmoe Sweden
    Look, there's a thing that you haven't really serched it out, and turned on all stones first. As you think Strats are ugly, well then consider this.

    In order for making ANY instrument ergonomic and streamlined, you will have to make huge concessions regarding "ugliness" or "beatiful". General consensus is - throughout the world, and regarding other things too - that the more ergonomic - such as neck dive - the more ugly it have to turn out. Ugly or ugly, but "challenging aesthetics" at least. Since you're out of anything that will resemble ugly, since you think Strats are ugly... you probably will loathe anything headless.

    If you have to buck neck diving, and keep the light weight, you're just bound to stretch the boundaries of traditional designs and "beautifulness" You just have to. Simple as that. The "lightweight" that you're thinking of isn't by huge amounts. You can even have the tiniest grams either way, and it will turn out the straw the breaks the camels back. You're overthinking this too much, and I think you'll end up with an even more ugly construction, than if you just made it headless, or tampered with the thickness, wideness, or wood of the body. You don't even have to increase 1 lbs to make a guitar tip one or the other way.

    regardless of what, headless, or headstocked with no neck dive, it'll turn out a Frankentele in the end, and maybe turn out too ugly too. The reason you got a lot of flak here, is that there's not much neck diving - if any - to talk about on any Tele around. Maybe some kind of Thinline version made out of balsa wood.

    And I don't think it's especially rude to point out that... of all guitars that you feared neck dive of... you definitely picked the wrong one. The least likely candidate. It's almost like you could have said "Les Paul" too, and thought that that one would neck dive. Those ones are body diving though, and are way too heavy for you, and breaks headstocks when you stare at them for prolonged periods of time. But no Tele.

    - - - - - - - -

    Considering you build basses too, this "weight" thing with people is my biggest gripe, I don't know yet what your stance is to it all, but I find it peculiar when someon plays a mere 4 string bass (of any shape and kind) and whines over the weight of it, but as fast as they switch to a 6 string beast of fancy boutique bass, which weighs the same, or a lot more, they - all of a sudden - don't mind. Just as if you shoulders and back should care about how many strings there are on any instrument. This beats me.

    It's general consensust though, that a bass that doesn't neck dive can weigh totally much more, than any bass with neck dive. You PERCEIVE it as heavier although it isn't. Same weight neck diving basses feels heavier, than a heavier bass with no neck dive. Can't think of that it would be the same with guitars, Tele or whatever.

    - - - - - - - - -

    To end this thread with your initial question and not probe deep into it:

    Q: Can I move bridge to prevent neck dive?
    A: No.

  3. Mat UK

    Mat UK Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 17, 2009
    London, UK
    I wouldn't sweat it. Ruffling feathers is a right of passage on TDPRI ;-) We've all been there

    The good thing about this forum is the wealth of information, opinions and advice you can gather - all from people that have been there and done that (and those who haven't!). The even better thing is that you can totally ignore all of it! Building an instrument for yourself is about self indulgence not collective indulgence... and you will learn a thing or two along the way, mistakes and all...

    So crack on and show us what you're made of!
    Mr Green Genes likes this.

  4. mtorn

    mtorn Tele-Holic

    Nov 29, 2016
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm as surprised about this as you are. I've been posting builds both here and on Talkbass, and have found them to be equally friendly. I want to give you credit for sticking around.

    Have you considered a headless design? I've built a few headless basses, it's fun to do, and easier than anything. The hardware is pricy, though. My latest build thread here was a super-light headless medium scale bass. It certainly would have neck dive if it had a headstock.

    When you take an iconic design and tweak it a little, odds are that people will look at it as weird and ugly, simply because we are trained to seeing the design in the familiar way.
    A new design (although no design can be genuinely new) doesn't fall into that trap, and you have much more freedom to make it yours, without offending anyone's senses.
    MatsEriksson likes this.

  5. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Meister

    Aug 12, 2011
    Malmoe Sweden
    And BTW, Stratocaster is one (together with Les Paul) one of the most enduring industrial designs out there. Which you can't expect or plan ahead of when you're starting out. Even in cartoons when they just have to "portray" rocknroll and electric guitars, it's mostly the two horn strat, not the Les Paul. not Tele.

    It's still ugly by your standards. It doesn't neck dive. There you go.

  6. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    I will. And then you'll all be sorry.....mwah ha ha ha ha...

    Mat UK likes this.

  7. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Wow, really? If anyone's giving off a troll vibe, it's you with this post.
    Outcaster likes this.

  8. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Thanks Mtorn. I haven't considered headless because I don't play guitar. But I would like to learn. So I wanted a simple design that I can build from start to finish in a few weeks. I normally build chambered, bound, f-holed basses with hand made wooden bridges and knobs, with non standard scale lengths. So building a tele is a much more simple proposition. I can then see whether I like it. Maybe it would make more sense to just buy a second hand guitar....but I'm a guitar builder, I build for the mental and physical challenge. I like building bass guitars and my instinct is I'll like building 6 strings just as much. And I make no apology for considering the possibility that I can design a guitar for me, that is more suitable than an off-the-shelf tele.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    Mr Green Genes likes this.

  9. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

    Aug 25, 2017
    Dublin, Ohio
    Honza, in your original post, you asked for opinions on what you wanted to do with a Telecaster build. What you are talking about makes it a very loose Telecaster design, indeed. That's what most guys are reacting to. (I don't believe that anyone here was coming from the position that the Telecaster is a Holy Grail and cannot be modified. I agree, what you want to do will not really be a Telecaster at all. That's cool. I hope you get what you need. And I want to see it.

    The other thing about your "for me, for me, for me" post just a couple up from this one, you infer that you KNOW what works "for you". Then why would you go to an internet forum and ask what will work "for you"? Seems your mind is already made up on what you want and what you want to do. Why not just do the build and then show us the results? I think you'd get an overwhelming positive response from every single person that posted on this thread. (Don't go getting all defensive because most people advised that you are probably overthinking the whole thing.)

    You asked for opinions. Like them or not, you got them.

    I agree with every person that told you to GO PLAY ONE, before re-inventing the proverbial wheel. You may find that nothing needs to be done. You may find that every change you envisioned will be completely necessary. You will be subject to this conjecture and "discussion" until you do.

    I expect a build thread with lots of pictures to follow, from you. ;)

  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm not one of those folks who think headless instruments are a crime against nature. There are some headless basses that look good to me, but I haven't seen as nice designs for headless guitars, besides Steinies. The problem is, since the guitar's bridge is more toward the middle of the body you end up with this bum cheek look:


    I still think that a headless Tele would look cool if you cut a D-shaped hole in the body and had the bridge/tailpiece assembly tilt into it. Tuning would, however, require a reach around :eek:

  11. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Post deleted for sake of world peace.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    xafinity likes this.

  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    The annoying thing here is that you asked a bunch of questions to which you already knew the answers. I mean if you understand about scale length, then you understand about moving the bridge back an inch or two, and the tele is just a frickin' slab, there's no magic secret inside it that would prevent moving the bridge back. Most of the responses you got were "neck dive is not an issue on teles" or "go try a squier, it's exactly what you are looking for." People responded with various opinions on moving the neck, most opinions were "you are solving a problem which does not exist." I still think that's basically true, but if you've tried some teles and it's not true then of course build on.

    Some people suggested that the tele was a 70 year old time tested design with proven ergonomics and it might be better to just abandon the tele as a model rather than trying to make a tele into what you are imagining.

    I had a similar question about building a bass that would be
    A: light
    B: not shaped like a fender
    C: 34 inch scale

    and not have neck dive

    The thread is here if it's useful. My bass ended up having a 17 fret neck and a 34 inch scale, and no neck dive despite being made of very light basswood. Belwo is before I put the finish on it


    Fender did something very similar in the 60s with the original Bass five, which had a 15 fret neck and a High C string to make up for the lost range.

    Fender Bass V

    I suspect you already know about the Bass V

    The answer, which you already knew, is of course you can move the bridge back towards the endpin. You just have to move the neck and everything else as well. The idea of a 24 3/4 scale is reasonable and might work without reshaping the basic tele ergonomics.

    I'm designing another version of the bass above but this time I want it to be hollow, so I will likely go with a 32 or 30 inch scale
    Mike Simpson likes this.

  13. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    I'm sure it's been mentioned at least once in the 7 pages this thread has accumulated but if you want to shift the neck in but keep the tele aesthetic I would consider a short scale build. Other than being a less neck dive prone design (assuming the bridge stays put) it would be more playable in my opinion and don't get me wrong I love my fender style guitars (that's all I own now) but out of all the guitars I've owned my long gone epiphone sg (the one that neck dived, although it doesn't bother me much) had the easiest neck to play, shorter scale length and a flatter fretboard.

    Anyway point being, lets say you make a 24.75" scale then you've moved the bridge 3/4 inches which isn't a lot but 25.5" and 24.75" are the common scale lengths but fender jaguars have 24" scale length and mustangs have 22.5" one which would shave 3 inches off neck length and would land the strap button at around the 11th fret marker. I'm sure I'd love a neck like that but obviously, it might not suit you especially with the bass to guitar transition with the scale difference being made more extreme, although you'd want some thicker strings on a 22.5" scale which again might make it easier. ;)

    I would also maybe consider thinking about strap button positions, people play around the neck side of the body usually but I think some tweaking on the lower bout could help. If we take an extreme and locate the lower strap button a lot closer to the neck position on the guitar would hang off a strap pretty much perpendicular to the floor so there must be a compromise between that extreme and right on the but end of the guitar. Maybe you have a prototype body (one of your past screw ups) ;) that you could strap a neck onto and then get busy with a drill and some strap buttons and see if it makes a big difference to the balance. If you found a better position for the strap button for you then it would be easy for you to implement it in to future builds.

  14. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

    Aug 25, 2017
    Dublin, Ohio
    Honza, you forgot to mention the one overwhelming answer (in your nicely compiled list) to your initial question...."There isn't and never has been an issue with neck dive on a Telecaster."

    How many people said that?
    RadioFM74 and Mr Green Genes like this.

  15. Honza992

    Honza992 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Let us leave this discussion since we are simply going round in circles.


  16. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016

    Well, one of us is clearly missing the point. Rolleyes right back at you.

    We're trying to help you with a question that you asked. I'm sorry if the answer isn't what you hoped it would be, but that doesn't change the facts.

    Where is all of this hostility coming from?!

    Go for it. Nobody is stopping you.

    No, you've made your point ad nauseum.

    If you're building a Precision bass, that information is relevant. Since you are not building a Precision bass, that information is not relevant.

    We've all tried to make that basic point, apparently unsuccessfully.

    You didn't say anything about wanting to build a classical guitar. You said you wanted to build a Telecaster.

    The two instruments are complete polar opposites.They are different instruments, with different playing techniques and different design parameters.

    A Telecaster is not a classical guitar any more than a Telecaster is a Precision bass.

    A Telecaster is a steel string electric instrument. It has an extremely tight 184mm fingerboard radius and is 42mm at the nut, designed to be played with a flat pick.

    A classical guitar is a nylon or gut string instrument. It has a completely flat fingerboard (no radius at all) and is a much wider 54mm at the nut, designed to be played with all five fingers.

    It's also worth noting that for a right-handed player, a classical guitar is played off the left leg, sitting down. This is to bring the bridge closer to the player's center line, which allows for a more comfortable right hand playing position.

    What you're talking about doing is the exact opposite- moving the bridge farther from the player's center line. Care to guess what the results will be?

    Playing with a pick calls for a different right hand position, which would only exacerbate the problem.

    I'm glad you brought this up. The Telecaster has 70 years of field testing. Classical guitar has hundreds.

    Based on your own posts, yes. To wit:

    Since by your own admission you have never even held a guitar, and all of us here have, I would say that every single forum member here knows better than you what angle you should play the guitar at.

    Most people who don't know how to play an instrument but are serious about learning how to play that instrument seek out an instructor.

    The whole student/teacher relationship is based on the idea that a person who is skilled at playing the instrument knows more about how to play the instrument than somebody who has never even picked up that instrument.

    I would suggest that you might do well to go and take a few lessons from a qualified instructor near you, but it's pointless to try to pour knowledge into a vessel that's already full.

    In a word, yes.

    Nobody called you or your views asinine.

    I said that the idea that the Stratocaster, Jazzmaster and Mustang were designed because Leo Fender thought that a Telecaster didn't look enough like an acoustic guitar was asinine. It is asinine.

    You're trying to set up a straw-man argument, a logical fallacy. Doing so only draws attention to the weakness of your position.

    You didn't mention that you were a guitar builder. In fact, what you did say was:

    If you're a guitar builder, perhaps you'd be willing to post some pictures of some of the guitars you've built. We'd love to see them.

    We're trying to help you get there. Although you came here asking for that help, you seem to be very resistant to it.

    What would I do? for starters, I would make sure I had a clear understanding of the reasons for the design choices in an instrument that was extensively tested for 7 years before going into production, and has been considered iconic for almost 70 years, before I made any radical changes to that design. I would consider anyone doing otherwise to be not much of a builder.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't make any changes to the design. I'm saying that you should have an understanding of why certain choices were made before you go changing it.

    In the case of the bridge placement, that choice was made because putting the bridge closer to the end piece would force the picking hand farther from the player's center line and force that hand into an uncomfortable angle.

    Since your stated goal is to make the guitar more comfortable to play for a person suffering from tendonitis, forcing your wrist into an unnatural position is at cross purposes to your goal.

    As far as shutting the mind, the only person I can see in this thread exhibiting a closed mind is you.

    We're all trying to help you get closer to your goals. We're trying to help you understand why certain things are done in certain ways, in order to save you lots of time, money and frustration. We've all given generously of our thoughts, experience and knowledge on the matter. I can't think of anything more constructive and positive than that.

    I just went back and re-read the entire thread. The only negativity I can see is coming from you, and from the poster who equated our suggesting that moving the bridge is a bad idea, and explaining why it's a bad idea, to coming at you with "torches and pitchforks", which is another straw-man fallacy.

    The advice you've been given is advice that you asked for. It's meant to help you have a better understanding of some of the design elements of a guitar, in order to save you some grief. I'm sorry if you read that as some sort of attack. It's not.

    As far as guitar builders being an open and sharing lot, that's been my experience, too. That openness, sharing, and generosity have been seen in this thread.

    After re-reading this thread, the only one I can see who seems closed to any kind of feedback is you.
    MatsEriksson and maxvintage like this.

  17. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    Personally, I have a strong dislike for headless guitars, but if you find it attractive, you definitely won't have dive issues.

    It would definitely make sense, on all levels.

    Get yourself a cheap used squire and learn a few chords. You'll have a better understanding of the mechanics that go into playing a guitar, which are not the same as playing a bass, you'll know first hand whether or not there are issues with neck dive, and when you build your own, you'll have first-hand knowledge and experience with what you do and don't like about the guitar.

    When you do build your own, you can cannibalize the Squier, which will save you money on the control plate, bridge, pickups, etc (buying all those things separately will cost more than what you paid for the used Squier, so you'll come out ahead there, too).

    You'll also have something to compare yours to, so you'll have a better understanding of how your changes to the design impacted its playability, for better or for worse.

    It's not a one or the other proposition. Buying a cheap used guitar doesn't mean that you can't build one, it just means that when you do build one, you'll have a much better understanding of what you're doing and what you want from the instrument.

    It will only make you stronger. There is no down side.
    Artunes, Bugeater281 and maxvintage like this.

  18. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 23, 2016
    Okay, let's take these one at a time.

    I understand what you meant, and many others did, but you just said that you wanted to move the bridge, not that you wanted to move the entire scale. I can understand why people mis-read what you posted.

    It's not just that you'll have to re-shape the lower horn. It's the law of unexpected consequences. What looks like a simple alteration on the surface will cause other unexpected problems, the lower cutaway being only one. Another is the fact that if you move the bridge back, the control plate will be in a different position relative to your picking hand. That may or may not be a problem, depending on your playing style. Also, you won't be able to use a standard pick guard. If you have to have a custom one cut, it'll cost at least 50 GBP. These are just a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head. You could find yourself opening a can of worms on a build that you have absolutely no experience with or understanding of.

    You're talking about changing things when you really have no understanding of why they are the way they are to begin with, and that's asking for trouble. If anyone tells you that's the smart move, they're lying.

    This is an argument that is taking place only in your imagination. There are far more modified Telecasters on this forum than there are stock. Nobody has any issue with modifying a telecaster that I know of. The question is whether or not there is any benefit to that modification.

    Again, an argument that is only taking place in your imagination.

    Leo Fender was not a guitarist, either. The difference between you and Leo Fender is that Leo Fender spent years seeking out thoughts, opinions and feedback from professional musicians, and when they answered his questions, he listened closely to their advice and acted upon it.

    You have come on this forum and asked our advice, and we have given it freely. It's good advice. However, you're choosing not to heed that advice. Can you come up with a better design than the Telecaster? Sure. But the odds are not in your favor.

    You can't possibly know what best suits your playing style until you have a playing style. Do I really need to elaborate on this one?!

    Moving the bridge will cause more problems for you.

    People are trying to offer you suggestions that will not cause more problems for you.

    Moving the bridge will make the guitar less ergonomic, not more ergonomic. Your comment is based on a false premise.

    You're trying to fix a problem that is not there, while creating new problems that were never there to begin with.
    Primum non nocere. It's not a new concept.

    If there is no neck dive to begin with, there is nothing to fix. You can't correct a problem that doesn't exist.

    It's not my first choice, but if you're really that freaked out by the idea of neck dive, it's something to look into. Again, people are only trying to be helpful. I don't understand why you perceive that as some sort of attack. It's not.

    Bugeater281 and maxvintage like this.

  19. I guess TDPRI has turned in TGP. Oh well, more time to actually play guitar

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.