How to string a guitar without bridge pins

How To String A Guitar Without Bridge Pins? 4 Easy Steps

Facing the challenge of restringing your acoustic guitar without bridge pins? This task can seem puzzling at first, but you will learn it quickly. This comprehensive guide is tailored to unravel the mystery and simplify the process for you.

To string a guitar without bridge pins, thread the string through the tailpiece or bridge hole, then secure it at the tuning peg and tune to the desired pitch. Classical guitar strings need to be tied at the bridge as well (video below).

How To String A Guitar Without Bridge Pins? 

Not every guitar is the same, so how to string your guitar is different if you have a nylon string guitar than if you have a steel string guitar, but let us start with the most common first.

bridges of classical guitars

What You’ll Need

  1. a new set of nylon/steel strings
  2. a string cutter 
  3. a tuner 
  4. additionally: you can use a string winder to speed up the process
  5. patience is also an indispensable tool here (especially if you haven’t done it before)

How to Restring a Nylon String Guitar Without Bridge Pins

  1. Remove the Old String: Begin by releasing the tension of your string and then either completely unwind it or carefully cut it with your scissors or string cutter. Gently remove the string, pay attention to not damage the wood or the finish of your guitar.
  2. Secure the New String: Take your new string and feed it through the bridge hole, now take the shorter end at the bottom of the bridge and loop it around the string exiting at the other side, fix it by wrapping it two times around the string part that is now covering the bridge.
  3. Winding at the Tuning Peg: Guide the string towards the headstock, pull it through the hole at the winding peg and secure by knotting it loosely. Leave enough slack for proper winding.
  4. Tuning the String: Slowly wind the tuning peg, tightening the string. With a open style head plate, watch out that the lowest string wraps to the outside of the pin, the other two to the inside, to prevent crossing of the strings. Use your tuner to get the string to the correct pitch. It’s normal for new strings to stretch and require retuning a few times.

How to Restring a Steel String Guitar Without Bridge Pins

  • Remove Old Strings: Begin by releasing the tension of your strings and then either completely unwind them or carefully cut them with your string cutter. Gently remove them from the guitar, paying attention to not damage the wood or the finish of your guitar. Be mindful of sharp edges.
  • Thread New String: Slide the new string through the bridge hole, so that the little peg rests snuggly against the bottom of your bridge, pull the string carefully towards the headstock.
  • Wind at Tuning Peg: Wrap the string around the turning peg (make sure the string rests on the inside of the peg wrapping to the outside) and secure it by pulling it through the hole at the top of it, allowing enough slack for winding.
  • Tuning: Gradually tighten the string using the tuner to achieve the correct pitch.

Tips for Restringing Your Acoustic Guitar

When restringing your guitar, it’s important to maintain the tension on the neck. This is best achieved by changing one string at a time. 

New strings, especially nylon ones, often need a period to stretch and settle. During this time, you might find yourself tuning more frequently than usual. This is normal and expected. 

Additionally, ensure the strings are properly wound around the tuning pegs to avoid slippage and tuning instability.

If you use the steel-string bridge system, where you need to feed the string through a hole, you have it much easier iff you bend the top slightly (bend turned upward) to guide it through the hole.

And last but not least, protect the top of your guitar with paper, masking tape or rags. Better safe than sorry 😉

Getting the Right String For Your Guitar 

The choice of strings can significantly affect your guitar’s playability and sound. For beginners or those with softer playing styles, lighter gauge strings are often more comfortable and easier to play. 

On the other hand, heavier gauge strings, while requiring more finger strength, can produce a richer, more resonant tone. So finding the best strings for your acoustic can make a difference.

It’s also important to match the string type to your guitar – nylon strings for classical guitars and steel strings for acoustic guitars.

Why Some Guitars Have Bridge Pins and Others Do Not? 

Bridge pins are common in many steel-string acoustic guitars. They serve as a point of anchor for the strings, transferring the vibration to the guitar body. The material of the bridge pins, which can range from plastic to bone or even metal, can subtly influence the tone of the guitar.

Guitars without bridge pins, typically classical and some folk models, rely either on a tie-block system at the bridge. This system requires the strings to be tied in a specific manner, which can be a delicate process but allows for a different kind of string vibration and tone quality. 

The other type of pin-less bridges have hole system that allows you to feed the string through the hole automatically securing the string by the (much bigger) peg at the bottom of it.

Taking Care of Your New Strings

Maintaining your new strings is key to their longevity and sound quality. Regularly cleaning your strings with a soft, dry cloth can remove oils, sweat, and dirt that accumulate during play. This not only prolongs their life but also maintains the clarity and brightness of their tone.

Get More Out of Your Acoustic Guitar 

To get the most out of your guitar, regular string changes are recommended. Over time, strings can lose their tonal quality and become more prone to breaking. 

Avoid over-tuning, as this can unnecessarily stress the strings and lead to breakage. Proper storage of your guitar, away from extreme temperatures and humidity, is also crucial in maintaining string integrity.

How To String An Acoustic Guitar Without Bridge Pins: FAQ 

What can I use instead of bridge pins?

For guitars designed without bridge pins, strings are either tied at the bridge or secured through a specialized mechanism that doesn’t require pins. If you have lost the bridge pins of your guitar, the easiest solution is to buy new ones, as everything else is either a lot of trouble or can damage your guitar.

Do all acoustic guitars have bridge pins?

No, classical guitars and some acoustic guitars come without bridge pins.

Do bridge pins affect the sound of a guitar?

Yes, the type and material of bridge pins can subtly influence the guitar’s tone and sustain.

What is a pinless bridge on a guitar?

A pinless bridge is a design that allows strings to be attached without the use of bridge pins. It’s often found on classical and some modern acoustic guitars.

Can you string a guitar without a Winder?

Yes, it’s possible but slower. A winder simply speeds up the winding process at the tuning pegs.


Mastering the art of stringing a guitar without bridge pins is a valuable skill for any guitarist. With this guide, you can confidently tackle this task, ensuring your guitar remains in top playing condition. 

Remember, practice and patience are key to perfecting this process. Happy playing!

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