How to string a guitar without bridge pins?

No matter what kind of guitar you play, changing the strings is an essential practice to master.

We fully understand that this can be annoying, especially if you are a beginner doing it for the first time. But don’t get discouraged – with more persistence and patience, each next time will be easier for you.

If you have an acoustic guitar without bridge pins, then this article is for you – we have described everything you need to know about how to string an acoustic guitar without bridge pins.
What exactly are bridge pins on a guitar?

The primary function of bridge pins is to hold the strings in place.

Bridge pins are often used with ball-end strings because raw edge strings will slip, and you’ll have difficulty holding them in place.

What are the types of bridge pins?

Bridge pins can be made from various materials, each offering different quality and price.

  • Plastic bridge pins – a cheap option suitable for most acoustic guitars; offers stable and clear sound.
  • Bone bridge pins – also an affordable option, immune to moisture and high temperature; make cheap guitars sound better.
  • Brass bridge pins – they are cheap and suitable for guitars with a heavier bass sound.
  • Ebony bridge pins – are available at a low price and have a damping effect at some frequencies.
  • Buffalo Horn bridge pins – have a higher price; they increase the volume and give a sharp and clear sound.
  • Walrus Jawbone bridge pins  are expensive and rare; make the sound warmer.
  • Martin Luxe bridge pins – are expensive and stable; they are produced from liquid metal.
  • Persimmon bridge pins – are expensive and handcrafted; they have high quality and durability.

Are the bridge pins important for the guitar?

bridge pins on a guitar

Most guitars have bridge pins because they are essential to guitar playability and correct tone reproduction. They maintain the balance and alignment of the strings and transmit their vibrations to the guitar’s body, creating a sound.

But since bridge pins are so important, why are some guitars without them?

Let us answer this question for you.

Why is my guitar without bridge pins?

There could be many reasons why your guitar might not have bridge pins, but there are two main ones.

The first is that you probably have a nylon strings acoustic guitar or classical guitar. These types of guitars are most often made without bridge pins, but steel guitars without bridge pins are also found.

Many musicians continue to play guitars without bridge pins, and this is why manufacturers continue to make them.

The other reason your guitar might not have bridge pins is if you bought it second-hand and the bridge pin was broken or fell off before you got it.

And if this happened while you were using the instrument – don’t worry at all. You can continue to play your guitar without a problem.

And now, we will describe in detail how to change the strings of a guitar without bridge pins.

How to change the strings of your guitar without bridge pins – step by step guide

As you play, the strings collect dirt, dead skin, and grease from your fingers. They wear out, and this affects the sound your guitar creates. The tone becomes dull, and the strings become stiff and difficult to play.

That’s why it’s important to change them periodically depending on how much time you spend playing.

Restringing a guitar without bridge pins depends on the type of strings – whether they are nylon or metal.

Restringing a nylon string guitar without bridge pins

This is a slightly more complicated type of string change because most nylon strings do not have a ball end. Just follow the next steps, and you will quickly understand the process.

Tools you will need:

  • new strings
  • wire cutters
  • tweezer
  • a guitar tuner (optional)

Remove the old strings:

  • Untie the string from the bridge and pull it out using the tweezers.
  • Turn the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string becomes loose.
  • Pull it out to remove it completely.
  • Repeat with the rest of the strings.

Insert the new strings:

  • Take the new string and insert one end into the empty bridge hole. It should come out on the other side with about 2 inches of excess.
  • Fold the string back towards the bridge so that it makes a loop.
  • Take the short end and wrap it under the long end of the string.
  • Pull it back towards the bridge and wrap it around itself 2-3 times.
  • Pull on the long end of the string to tighten and secure your node in place while finger-pinching the short end at the bottom of the bridge.
  • Thread the long end through the tuning key’s hole and pull it through.
  • Wrap the string around the tuning peg a few times, then push the excess through the hole again.
  • Cut off the excess string at the bottom of the bridge.
  • Turn the tuning key clockwise to tighten the string.
  • Tune the string.
  • Repeat with the rest of the strings.

Restringing a steel string guitar without bridge pins 

Changing steel strings is easier because most of them have ball ends. Just be careful not to injure yourself because they are sharper.

Tools you will need:

  • new strings
  • wire cutters
  • tweezer
  • an electric tuner (optional)

Remove the old strings:

  • Turn the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string becomes loose.
  • Pull it out.
  • Then push the other end of the string out through the bridge until the ball-end is visible.
  • Pull out the string to remove it completely.
  • Repeat with the rest of the strings.

Insert the new strings:

  • Push the open end of the string through the bottom end of the bridge hole and pull it all the way
  • Push the open end of the string through the hole in the tuning peg.
  • Wrap the string around the tuning peg and wind the extra back through the hole to secure it.
  • Cut the leftover string if there is any.
  • Turn the tuning peg clockwise to tighten the string.
  • Tune the string.
  • Repeat with the rest of the strings.

Tips for changing acoustic guitar strings

classical guitar without bridge pins

Although we have already fully described the methods of changing steel and nylon strings, we will now give you some valuable tips to use while doing so.

  • Change the strings one at a time – this way, you’ll avoid the possibility of mixing them and switching their places. Also, you’ll maintain constant tension on the neck of the guitar and avoid possible damage.
  • While tuning the strings, you can give them a slight tug to get a more natural sound.
  • Always loosen the strings before cutting them. If you need to cut any excess strings, do it before you tighten them. Otherwise, the string may bounce off and hit you in the face or the eyes.
  • Be careful not to cut the string too short. This can cause the string to slip and get damaged, as well as hit you.
  • While changing strings is a great time to clean the guitar in places you can’t reach when the strings are in place

Tips for maintaining the new strings

To enjoy your guitar for a long time, you need to take care of it. This also applies to the strings you are using. With a few simple steps, you can extend their life. Here they are:

  • Clean the strings with a soft cloth after each play
  • Store your guitar in the case
  • Keep the guitar away from moisture
  • Wash your hands before playing


Do bridge pins affect the sound?

Yes, the bridge pins affect the sound because they carry the vibrations from the strings to the guitar’s body, and that’s how the sound we hear from the guitar is formed.

Do all acoustic guitars have bridge pins?

Not all guitars have bridge pins, so every guitarist can choose an instrument that suits their playing style and standards.

What can I use instead of bridge pins?

You can use wooden pins, but first, you need to measure what diameter they need to be.


Every musician knows how essential instrument maintenance is.

The strings are a significant part of the guitar and deserve care and attention to perform their role in the best possible way.

If you’re a beginner and find restringing your guitar challenging, don’t worry about taking your guitar to a professional to change and tune your strings.

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