How to String an Acoustic Guitar without Bridge Pins

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Before you string an acoustic guitar without bridge pins, you must determine the string type. While all nylon string classical guitars use pin-less bridges, some steel string guitars also use them. You can easily tell the string type by looking at the strings. If the thinnest strings on the guitar are black, white or clear plastic, the strings are nylon. If the thinnest strings are metal, the strings are steel.

Things You'll Need

  • String set
  • Electronic guitar tuner or pitch pipe (optional)
  • Wire cutters

Installing Nylon Strings on a Pin-less Bridge

  • Turn the tuning key of the thickest (low E) key counter-clockwise until the string is visibly loose.

  • Untie the string at the bridge and pull it out.

  • Unwrap the string from the tuning key post and remove by pulling it out.

  • Install the new low E string by inserting one end into the vacated bridge hole until it protrudes about 2 inches through the other side of the bridge.

  • Grasp the protruding end of the string and pull it back toward the hole where the string was inserted.

  • Wrap the loose end up and over the long end of the string three to four times, and pull the long end to tighten the knot.

  • Thread the opposite end of the string into the hole of the tuning peg string post and pull it through.

  • Wrap the loose end up and over the section if string where it was inserted into the hole three to four times.

  • Turn the tuning key clockwise to tighten the string until it is tuned to pitch. You may tune by ear or use an electronic tuner or pitch pipe.

  • Repeat all steps for the 5th (A), 4th (D), 3rd (G), 2nd (B) and 1st (E) strings.

  • Trim any excess string at the bridge and tuning key by snipping with wire cutters.

Installing Steel Strings on a Pin-less Bridge

  • Turn the tuning key of the thickest (low E) key counter-clockwise until the string is visibly loose.

  • Unwrap the string from the tuning key string post and pull it through to remove.

  • Push the string out through the bridge until the ball-end is visible, then pull out to remove.

  • Insert the plain end of the new string into the vacated bridge hole and pull it through.

  • Thread the opposite end of the string into the hole of the tuning peg string post and pull it through.

  • Wrap the loose end up and over the section of string where it was inserted into the hole.

  • Turn the tuning key clockwise to tighten the string until it is tuned to pitch. You may tune by ear or use an electronic tuner or pitch pipe.

  • Repeat all steps for the 5th (A), 4th (D), 3rd (G), 2nd (B) and 1st (E) strings.

  • Trim the excess string at the tuning key by snipping it with wire cutters.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can obtain an inexpensive string winder for faster turning of the tuning keys.
  • Tugging lightly on the strings as you tune will aid in breaking in the strings to improve tuning.
  • Don't cut strings off the guitar unless they are loosened. Tensioned strings will recoil when cut and may cause eye or facial injury.
  • Change strings one at a time to avoid string mix-ups and maintain constant tension on the neck to avoid neck problems.

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References

  • Photo Credit guitar part image by stassad from Fotolia.com
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