How can I remove the saddle without removing the strings?

Hi, I have an acoustic guitar where I need to remove the saddle,

shave it down a hair, then replace it. How can I do this while saving

my strings?



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If it's a bridge with pins, just loosen the string enough to take all the tension off and a little slack, put a capo on the neck to hold the strings in place, then pull the pins to allow the ball ends of the strings to be removed from the bridge,

Assembly is reversed

I use the same technique that Jeff mentioned, and it works great..  I use two capos.  One around the 3rd fret, and one as far down the neck towards the heel as practical.

Michael....only works on classicals or slide in saddles...jus' sayin' or get strings really loose for a lift out if possible...

I have a Martin D-15 Custom guitar, with the usual bridge, saddle, and bridge pins, to hold-in the strings.

I wanted to remove the saddle without removing the strings, and was not sure how to do so. I have since

used the advice I read here, and done it successfully. I wanted to remove the saddle to shave down the bone shim that was installed below the bone saddle. The shim was a bit too thick, and I sanded it down to slightly lower the action of the guitar.


Hey Arthur.  It sounds like this whole saga of working on your guitar action has got you rolling your sleeves up and working your own instrument repairs.  That is great.  Don't treat it like it is too precious.  Martin, schmartin - they are all just guitars.

One day soon someone is going to post the same question here and you will jump in and be the expert.  Next you can replace the bridge pins with some cool bone ones, install some Waverly tuners - in a few years do a neck reset.  Then it will really be your guitar. 

Proud of you!


What a great "attaboy" Mark.  I agree 150%.

I think the other responders aren't aware that Arthur is not a repairman.  He's a player. 

Arthur asks good  "guitar 101" questions and gets great responses.  He's got a passion for knowledge and now he's starting to work on his own instruments.

I think this is great and I too encourage him to continue cultivating his skills. This craft is a series of baby steps and he's learning it "as needed".

Arthur, I know it's been a long and patient journey to find your dream guitar and you now have a very good one.

I'm sure you'll get it "zero'ed-in" in no time flat.  The best part is that you can take pride in knowing that you did it all yourself.

Again, I echo Mark's sentiment by saying that I too, am extremely proud of you.

Best of luck my friend,


Thank you so much Paul and Mark!

 and all the others too


I usually loosen the strings, lift the saddle and pull to the side. I use pliers if I can't do it by hand. 

I have a old set of side cutters that I have ground off the cutter edge that will grip the bridge with out marking it or cutting it. Some times you can use this to remove the saddle,useless . If not
I use a couple of capos to hold the strings to the neck then over the sound hole I have made a spring clamp like a close pin that will Clamp all the strings over the sound hole than remove all strings. When it is time to put the strings it is easy to not have to untangle 6 strings.



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