I built a guitar (bought a LP body and the electronics) and wired everything in it myself. However, There is a strange buzzing that stops when I touch the tailpiece (or any metal when the strings are on it). This doesn't seem to be normal buzz though; it only occurs when the volume for the selected pickup (they are humbuckers) is under a certain point (around 9) and the buzz gets louder as you turn the tone up. what is the cause of this buzz, and does anybody have any suggestions on how to fix it?

P.S. I have used multiple amps, and every one buzzes when the guitar is plugged in.

2 Answers 2


Usually this sort of hum or buzz is because of the resistor in the volume pot. When the volume is at 10, the resistor is not being used. This means that the pickup is essentially directly connected to the amp. There's no chance for 60 cycle hum to enter the signal except through bad cables, etc. When below 10 the resistor itself will pick up 60 cycle hum, which is what you're hearing. Usually, grounding the volume pot casing will fix the problem. When this doesn't fix it, it's usually that the pot is poorly insulated internally. Replacing with a higher quality pot should fix it.

  • could the wire used make a difference? I just used some bare copper wire I had laying around for ground (and I have cts pots (the standard))
    – ryans617
    Apr 7, 2013 at 21:57
  • It shouldn't matter that the ground isn't sheathed. You can try bypassing the volume pot. If the hum is still there, then the tone pot is suspect. Bypass it too to be certain. Does the hum stop if you turn the tone pot all the way down?
    – ecline6
    Apr 7, 2013 at 22:13
  • yes, it does stop when it is at 0, and gets louder as it gets closer to 10
    – ryans617
    Apr 7, 2013 at 22:41
  • Ok, could be a bad tone capacitor or an ungrounded tone pot (if the capacitor is soldered to the tone pot casing). Or it could be a capacitor with too small a value. If it's not any of that, we're past what I know.
    – ecline6
    Apr 7, 2013 at 22:43

Quite simple actually, I had the exact same problem when I did the exact same thing, it it very likely caused by either a dodgy solder connection,a ground loop, or a lack of magnetic shielding.

The reason for buzzing by a dodgy solder connection is clear the electricity doesn't pass through easily causing a buzzing.

A ground loop is what happens when there is a 'loop' in the ground wiring. If this is the case, try to touch other metal parts of the guitar, does the buzzing stop? You will have to pull apart the wiring and ensure there isn't a loop in the wiring of the ground.

Buzzing from dodgy magnetic shielding can sometimes rarely cause a buzzing. Outside magnetic impulses cause current in wires and therefore buzzing. At guitar shops or even hardware and electronics stores there should be some magnetic shielding paint which you paint on the wood around the electronics to exude outer magnetic impulses.

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