Originally Posted by MikeReiner
Well I'm more or less a newbie as far as guitars go. I'm also leaning to the possibility of just buying an extremely cheap guitar for learning how to play.
Whats the term bridge mean?
I only know of dean as a reputable company that many musicians (dimebag especially) and a few friends who love them.
Well to start you off, check out this diagram of a Warlock:
I'm not saying you shouldn't feel confident about buying a Dean, they're world-renown guitars but they can usually be mostly expensive.
When it comes to electric guitars you've mainly got 2 different types of bridges - a fixed bridge and a tremolo bridge.
A fixed bridge is cheaper and it's easier to maintain because it's pretty straight forward, it is fixed onto the body and the strings are then fed through the back through the body before being wound onto the machine heads like usual, so it's all solid and fixed which increases note sustain. Of course there's different designs and patents but you can view a popular fixed bridge in this
high resolution photo.
Now onto the tremolo bridge. The most popular brand is Floyd Rose which is what I use and it's pretty complicated. Basically, you have a routed space underneath the bridge and this tremolo bridge is in the same spot as where a fixed would be. Only this bridge has springs attached underneath it that are then attached to an adjustable mechanism and it 'floats' because of the string tension pulling on it from the top and the spring tension pulling from underneath. So you know about whammy bars? (tremolo bar) You can then use that to manipulate it to force it up and down, producing all sorts of sounds so it's mostly for solo orientated guitarists.
The reason why it's harder to maintain is because of the amount of pressure you're applying by using the tremolo bar means where the nut is, it's called a lock nut, 3 small vices that take 2 strings each are locked down by an alen key. Then you're probably wondering how you could possibly tune it considering the machine heads are on the locked down side, well that's why bridge itself has fine tuners. So you can tune it from there but nothing too major you know because the fine tuners don't exactly have a long range, the strings have to be roughly tuned before it's locked down.
Changing strings on that kind of bridge actually takes me around an hour, instead of feeding the strings through the body, you cut off those little steel balls on the ends of each string and it sits in a clamp, before being wound to the machine heads. it's a pain tuning it for the first time, you actually have to tune your guitar literally 9 or so times because the pressure changes and by tightening a string on 1 side, can lower the string on the other side because of the tension shift.
Then there's also hardtail bridges which are common with people using Fender strats and Ibanez RG's or cheap beginner guitars. They're similar to a fixed bridge but it kinda sits on the body like a tremolo would except that it can't move, they usually give it a tremolo bar too just to humour you because you can only slightly dip seeing there's obviously no routed space for it to fall back into but yeah, hope I helped you out, that was alot of typing haha.
PS: Too many people buy BC Rich Warlocks because they look kool even though the pickups are crap and it's usually a pretty average guitar. Acoustic guitars are a little harder to learn on but they teach your frethand better because the action on an electric guitar means the strings are always very close to the frets already without applying pressure. ESP is great but expensive, their LTD brand is good though. Jackson and Washburns are kool but don't go buying a Fender Strat unless it's really your style, goodluck.