Bridle Strap Replacement-an in depth look


Bridle straps have a primary and a secondary purpose. One function of the bridle strap is to help the hammer assembly in coming back to rest after playing a note. Although this is a redundant feature, in that there is a part called the hammer butt spring that ensures that the hammer returns to rest, it becomes important in instances where a spring has slipped out, or is weak or broken. When the hammer does not return to rest, the hammer is likely hit wrong when the key presses down. The most important function of the bridle straps, however, is that they help to hold the piano action together so that a piano technician can remove it and replace it back in the piano without damage. If bridle straps are missing, servicing the action is a real problem, in that removal and reinstallation of the action may easily result in broken parts when the action placed back in the piano.

Lots of things can go wrong in removing a piano action with broken bridle straps. For instance, if you were to take the piano action out for servicing find bridle straps broken or missing, the lower part of the mechanism (the wippen) will swing down. (see picture 1)

Picture 1 Bridle Strap

At the same time, the part of the action which rests upon the key will also swing down too far. This is where trouble can occur. (see picture 2)

bridle strap repair 2

When a bridle strap is missing and you put the action back into to the piano, the jack (the vertical part) is prone to jamming up against the underside of the hammer butt.

Bridle Strap Repair 3

In such a situation, if you push the action into place with a bit too much force the lower flange can easily break from the excess pressure, necessitating replacement. (see picture 4)

Bridle Strap Repair 4

With new bridle straps installed, removing the action for necessary maintenance doesn’t cause a problem, in that the wippen is held correctly in the right place. (see picture 5)

Bridle strap repair 5

The lower flange is not exposed to undue stress when putting the action back into to the piano, saving time and the money of unwanted repairs. (see picture 6)

bridle strap repair 6

  While you do not have to replace all the straps once they start breaking, it does make a lot of sense. When the braiding in the original straps deteriorates to the point where they start to break, all of them will be prone to breakage in the future if they are not replaced. By having the old bride straps removed entirely and replaced with a new set, you’ve made sure that the piano action is easy to properly service for decades to come. Plus, you won’t end up with a mismatched set of straps that is the result of a number of technicians replacing a few broken straps at a time. This would not be repair which a regular piano owner would be able to tackle. The piano action is a complicated mechanism involving thousands of parts, where more things can easily go wrong than right for the average do-it-yourselfer. Needing just a few broken parts replaced would easily exceed the cost of having new bridle straps replaced. The repair would be accomplished by removing the old braid straps to prevent them from interfering in the working mechanism of the action. Depending on the type of action your piano has, either cork, spring clip, or original braided bridle straps are then installed. Once the new set of straps is in place, your piano technician will make adjustments to see that the action is held together correctly, therefore preventing unnecessary damage to the action when removed and replaced for servicing.  You can learn more about bridle strap replacement at or If your pianos bridle straps have begun to break, the most effective repair is to replace the entire set at once by a certified piano technician. For this job, the action (working mechanism) of the piano would need to be removed and transported to our shop at Brigham Larson Pianos. You can call us at 801-701-0113 and we would be glad to find a convenient time to schedule the work in order to complete this job or any other piano repair you may have. We can get your grand or upright piano sounding great again! Or, if you are ready to upgrade or trade in your used piano to a new one, we offer many options. We are Utah’s exclusive Hailun Piano Dealer! #pianorepair #piano]]>