BASIC GUITAR MAINTENANCE: FIXING A SCRATCHY POTENTIOMETER

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.