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How to add guitar volume knob tension the easy way

tape and knob 1

Regardless of what electric guitar you own, sometimes loose knobs happen, and this is the easy way to fix that.

When I say "loose knob," I'm not talking about the nut that holds the potentiometer in place, as the fix for that is to simply tighten the nut. Rather, I'm talking about when the turning tension has very little resistance where you need to add tension.

The knob that almost always develops this issue is the volume control because that's the control used most on an electric guitar.

The poor man's method using stuff around the house

As seen in the above photo, all you need is matte tape and a knife.

Take off the volume knob, add a few layers of tape:

tape and knob 2

Cut off the excess tape:

tape and knob 3

Cut a hole in tape for the post to go through:

tape and knob 4

...and that's it.

Self adhesive felt pads work much better

If you buy this variety pack of self adhesive pads:

166 PIECE Two Colors - Variety Size Felt Pads. Self Adhesive Pads with Transparent Noise Reduction Bumpers will have a much easier time compared to using matte tape. These are ordinarily meant for furniture use to protect hardwood floors, but that's actually a good thing because it significantly decreases the chance of marring plastic pick guards or body wood for guitars without pick guards. In addition, it's real nice that you have both round and square pieces, allowing you to experiment with what works best for your guitar controls.

If your volume knob works but is loose, better to add tension instead of replace it

The first reaction by most guitar players is to replace the potentiometer when it gets too loose. I disagree with this because if it works, better to just keep it and add tension because the sound of your guitar will change slightly even if you buy an exact replacement.

I can understand replacing a volume pot if the wiper on the inside is bad, causing "scratchy" sounds whenever using it. But if the wiper is good, the pot works and the only thing bad with it is the loose tension, again, better to just add tension.


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