Bridge pins are often an unassuming, guitar or bass component, both entry level and advanced. You may have never put much thought into this standard piece of equipment, and simply replaced them when they became worn or began to stick in the bridge. Far from the simple pegs or ‘screws’ of the guitar world, your selection in pins can have a profound effect on an instrument’s sound as well as its look. Bridge pins come primarily in plastic and wood — particularly ebony and boxwood , although several other materials, including brass and even bone, have been used historically. As with many products of all kinds these days, plastic rules the world. Many guitars come standard with plastic pins. While relatively inexpensive, plastic pins are more readily prone to cracking and breaking. If you’re up for a little experiment, try replacing those aging plastic pins with any of several available ebony or boxwood designs. Your ears and audience might thank you, as these woods often improve a guitar’s sustain and tone. You may be happy to have splurged for wood pins. On the flip side, wood bridge pins can sometimes require a reworking/reaming out of the bridge to allow a good fit, and advances in plastics have yielded some longer-lived pins. One helpful tip: Perform routine checks of your pins’ hold in the bridge, and replace pins at the earliest signs of cracking or any problem with the bridge. Poorly performing pins can have a cascade effect where string position within the bridge alters and can damage the bridge plate or bridge itself. Of course, when it comes to pins, let’s not forget about appearance, as these components can add a nice decorative touch from a range of inlaid materials and colors. Click through our Martin, Fender and Planet Waves pins to get some ideas on jazzing or blues-ing up your bridge plate with decorative yet functional bridge pins.