Posted on March 4, 2022February 2, 2024 by Dale Phillips Thoughts on Soundboard Vibration Thoughts on Soundboard Vibration by Paul Wyszkowski Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #200, 1981 The classic guitar, like the harp but unlike the violin, the mandolin or the zither, has its strings attached directly to the soundboard. In the case of a violin, it is pretty clear that the bridge communicates primarily vibrations which are perpendicular to the surface of the soundboard. But it is not so obvious how the strings of a guitar transmit their vibration to the soundboard. However, a few minutes’ thought and a simple experiment can settle that question. Back in 1954, J.K. Sutcliffe stated in an article in Guitar News that the fundamental action linking the string to the soundboard is the rocking of the bridge in response to the longitudinal (along the length) vibrations of the string. That is, the front and back edges of the bridge rise and fall as the string becomes tighter and looser (see Fig. 1). Later, Michael Kasha used this idea in his theory of guitar design. As a consequence, this view was accepted by many luthiers as correct. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.