When my electric guitar is connected to the amp it's fine but when I connect it to my mult fx Zoom g1on and then to the amp, the strings and the bridge feel electrified. Like there's friction when I move my fingers through the strings.

I understand that this might be a ground problem but the thing is the adapter of my Zoom g1on is 2 pronged so it dosen't have a ground prong.

My amp has 3 prongs though.

What do i do?

  • I used to face a similar problem, it happened when I connected to the amp itself. I later found out that the power socket had earthing problems. So check if your multi fx has some kind of problem with electricity. Jul 8, 2020 at 6:16
  • How do i do that at home? Jul 8, 2020 at 7:24
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    What's really fun is when you are playing with electrified guitar strings and your face touches the metal mic screen. Ouch!
    – John Wu
    Jul 9, 2020 at 2:04
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    At a minimum, go to a home improvement store and get an "electrical outlet tester" or "socket tester" (US version might look like homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-Outlet-Tester-OT-112R/… ). You should also try running the fx unit on batteries to potentially eliminate the fx unit power supply/wall connection as a problem source.
    – Yorik
    Jul 9, 2020 at 19:12
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    My first guess (speaking as an electrical engineer) is that the power adapter for the Zoom may have "leakage" (meaning the adapter should be replaced). But one would think that if this is the case it would cause bad hum, so I'm not certain that's the problem. It actually could be that the Zoom unit is "isolating" the guitar in some way, such that some other malfunction becomes apparent (though it's not clear what this malfunction might be).
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 10, 2020 at 0:37

3 Answers 3



You should not feel any electricity when playing guitar. There could be many reasons, including electrical equipment malfunction or incorrect electric installation in your room. There were accidents of electric shock from music equipment, including fatal ones.

Frequent causes are malfunction of the amplifier or ground mismatch between two electrical outlets. But it might be something else. If you don't know how to diagnose the issue safely, let a qualified electrician check it.

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    I actually worked a couple of years repairing guitar amplifiers (mostly, and other equipment). Basically every 5th amp had a slightly dangerous flaw, and every 30th or so a really dangerous flaw.
    – oli
    Jul 8, 2020 at 20:41

This could be a lethal problem. It's just not safe to continue.

Firstly, check the socket you usually use. Socket testers are very cheap, and worth having. When I was gigging several times a week, the first thing I would do is check the stage electrics. Several times, we had to use sockets which were not the convenient ones on stage - they were faulty - things like no earth are potentially a lethal problem.

If the socket is good, don't bother plugging in somewhere else. Take all the equipment - guitar, leads, fx and amp to someone who can check earth continuity etc. out properly.

If any mains plugs are not of the moulded type, open them up and check the connections - that was one big contributor to the deaths of several guitarists in the past: wires coming loose inside, and touching a wrong terminal. Didn't always blow a fuse, either.


Do not touch a microphone/stand or any grounded equipment or go anywhere wet - you may die.

Incidentally I had a similar sensation with my last mobile phone (a Huwawei). When it was plugged into the charger it would create a weird 'electric' feeling if I rubbed my fingers over the casing. I had it for the duration of my contract and I didn't die but I stopped touching it when it was plugged in and I made sure I didn't touch anything conductive.

Note: Working with any electrical gear it's always wise to carry a pen-sized voltage detector. These are cheap and may save you a shock or two. Make sure you follow the instructions.

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  • I have a similar voltage detector. And when i checked the strings with it, it didnt light up. so that means its ok?? Jul 9, 2020 at 18:57
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    @Lelouche Lamperouge - I don't consider myself qualified to answer this. May I suggest you make a scientific question based on this and submit it here ---electronics.stackexchange.com The people there are presumably dealing with this sort of thing as part of their jobs. Simply ask what the sensation might be caused by. Is it a voltage effect or something else?. You should refer back to the question here and make your new one sufficiently different so that they aren't precise duplicates. Jul 9, 2020 at 19:49
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    @Lelouche Lamperouge the Detector lights up only above 110/220 Volt depending on where you are. Depending on your condition Voltages above 40 Volt may be dangerous so you are not safe. Get a cheap Volt-Meter and measure the Voltage both AC and DC. If it's above 40 throw out the amp. If it's below it may only grill other equipment.
    – Spoc
    Jul 10, 2020 at 7:27

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