A guitar potentiometer is the volume and tone controls on a guitar. These are commonly shortened to just “guitar pot”. Over time these little mechanisms get scratchy and create fuzzy noises when you use them. This is an extremely easy fix and something that you can save yourself a lot of money doing yourself rather than hiring a guitar repair man to do it.
The first thing you need to do is buy an electronic contact cleaner. One isn’t better than any other, just buy one and it will be fine. The second thing you will need to do this job is a screw driver. The type and size of the screw driver will vary depending on the type of guitar. The third thing you may need is a new set of strings. This is because some types of guitars will require you to remove the pick guard to clean them.
Now that you have all the tools you need let’s jump in. Find the part of the guitar that contains the guitar pot. It may be under your pick guard or it may be under a separate plate. Take this off so that you can access the electronics in your guitar. On the electronic that is scratchy, look for a little hole that goes into the electronic. Squirt a little of your electronic contact cleaner into the hole and then use the pot to all extremes. You need to turn the knob to fully on and fully off several times. This allows the cleaner to be spread within the pot.
Replace all the screws on your guitar and put the strings back on. Your guitar should now be free of scratchy noises. This will take away that awful noise it was making before. I would suggest doing this to all the pots on your guitar at one time. If one pot is dirty, surely the other pot is not far behind. Repeat this procedure every time you get a noisy guitar pot.
When most people first learn guitar, they learn how to play. Very few people learn the basic maintenance skills for guitar until a later time. However, most people in the beginning use cheaper guitars that are not made by world class crafts men. This simple little thing will hold your guitar together and keep it in top notch condition. Even expensive model guitars sometimes need this maintenance.
When you sit down some time to change strings or there is nothing else to do, bring out one of your screw drivers and check all the screws on your guitar. Check the screws in the back of the guitar neck, the ones that hold the neck to the body. Check the screws on the pick guard. One of the most common places to find loose screws is the strap lock, especially if you play a lot with a strap. This will ensure your guitar is solid and firmly together.
It is also a good idea to check the screws on your tuners. These should not be tight, because that will prevent you from tuning your guitar, however they should not be loose either. It is best to adjust these with strings on the guitar and test them as you adjust. This will help your guitar stay in tune and it will make it easier to tune your guitar.
You do not need to do this a lot. A good time to check the screws on your guitar would be when you notice a screw looking or acting loose, and if this doesn’t happen check it once every year to 2 years.
Just one warning, make sure the screws are snug, but not too tight. Your guitar is made of wood and if the screw is too tight it can cause damage.
Guitar necks get dirty from all the use. When we play guitar we sweat and have grease and dirt on our hands and the strings collect it and the fret board collects it. If we want to keep our guitar looking nice and sounding its best we should clean it. I am going to teach you an easy way to clean your rosewood guitar neck. However you should not do this on a maple guitar neck because it has a finish on it and this will ruin the finish. Rose wood guitar necks do not have a finish on it, so this is a good way to clean it. Let’s first take a look at what you will need to clean your fretboard.
The first thing you will need to clean your guitar neck is lemon juice. You do not need much at all. You will not need much of the lemon juice, you can probably just dab your cotton or tooth-brush once and that is plenty. The second thing you will need is something soft to apply it. I use cotton to apply lemon juice. Q tips work well because it is soft and easy to hold on to. Another option that people use is a soft toothbrush. Make sure it is soft, because if it is too hard it may hurt the wood.
Once you have all the tools you will need to clean your fret board you can gently apply the lemon juice. You will see the gunk coming off of the fret board. When you wipe it down you can also clean the frets. Let it air dry for about a minute maybe 2. Then you should take a soft rag and wipe the fret board off. After you clean it, the neck should look as good as new.
I suggest you clean your guitar neck once every 3 – 4 months. This will keep your guitar in good playing condition and make it look good too! Some people suggest more, but this should be enough. When you take care of your gear it will last longer and look better. Your gear will thank you for taking care of it.
Guitar fret boards have a habit of collecting dirt. Even if your hands are clean they still have oils on them. This will be collected on the fret board. You can clean your guitar to make it look better and sound better as well. Use something soft such as cotton or a soft tooth-brush and apply some lemon juice to the fret board. Wipe it off when you are done and it should look as good as new. Happy cleaning!