I don't want to destroy my Les Paul by drilling any holes into it. I've seen someone create a kill switch that you can take off anytime but I don't know how to use a soldering iron. I also do not want to use the toggle since I've heard it destroys the wires that connects it to the neck and bridge.

  • Is your question about playing Jordan without using a kill switch at all, or implementing an equivalent without modifying your guitar? – NReilingh Jan 29 '16 at 6:24
  • Little bit of both – SomeRandumbGuitarPlayer Jan 29 '16 at 6:33
  • 1
    More likely to wear out the switch itself than destroy the wires. – Tim Jan 29 '16 at 7:54
  • As I mention in the other comment, I doubt you'll destroy anything by using the pickup selector as a kill switch. If you somehow did wear out the switch, they are easy to replace. – Todd Wilcox Jan 29 '16 at 11:51
  • So learn to solder. It's not hard. At some point you'll want that skill, along with wire strippers, voltmeters, etc. if you continue using electronics (a category that electric guitars, pedals, amps belong to) – Carl Witthoft Jan 29 '16 at 13:21

If your guitar has two pickups and a volume knob for each of them you can put the one pickup on 10 and the other one on 0 and use your pickup selector switch as a kill switch.

That is in fact how Tom Morello used a kill switch for many years before he got his custom made guitars.


Just note that if you do this and you use your pickup selector switch as a kill switch you are probably going to wear that pickup switch out many times.

You mention wanting to use a Les Paul but make sure it is not a guitar that should be kept mint. That pickup selector switch probably never built for the vigorous switching that a kill switch has to endure.

So just make sure you do this on a guitar that can have switches replaced.

  • I have a 1995 Les Paul Studio and I have used the pickup selector as a kill switch to do Rage songs many times over the 21 years I've had that guitar and I've never had to replace the pickup selector. I did have to replace the little plastic knob on the end but I think that was due to impact. Either way, it was like $3 and 30 seconds work – Todd Wilcox Jan 29 '16 at 11:49
  • It is OK to replace things on a Studio but can you think how long you would cry if you had to do that on a custom. My point is just if you have a sentimental attachment to your guitar than maybe do this with another one. – Neil Meyer Jan 29 '16 at 18:39
  • I wouldn't cry at all about replacing a pickup selector on any Les Paul. It's literally the easiest wiring job I can think of for any electric guitar. You don't even have to take off the strings. At the same time, if you look at the design and construction of the Les Paul pickup selector, it is a fairly simple and reliable design that would be very hard to break. And you better believe I have a strong sentimental attachment to my first real guitar, the aforementioned Studio that I've had for over 20 years! – Todd Wilcox Jan 29 '16 at 18:59
  • Ah, now that I think about it, the output jack on a Strat-style guitar would be slightly easier than a Les Paul style pickup selector. It's only a few screws to undo and no string removal either way, but the Strat output jack is only two wires and the pickup selector is three. So, second easiest wiring job I can think of for any electric guitar. – Todd Wilcox Jan 29 '16 at 19:05

I would suggest building a switch box for the floor. A light-action microswitch built into a metal box, similar to a standard effects pedal. This could even be used while picking.

The only limitation I can see is it can only be used as quickly as you can tap your foot...

  • 1
    I used to have a tremolo box which would do this: turn the signal off and on repeatedly. – No'am Newman Jan 29 '16 at 12:36

This question reminds me of a project called the Scrub Board by Jeremy Bell.


I'm not sure what state it's in, but half of the project was a home-made "rocker" to cut audio signals in and out. Made from a couple of coins and a rocking piece of foil. There are videos of him using it with his guitar (as well as looping and delay effects).

If you could get a kit, or construct one of your own, that would create the effect you want.

(Again, I'm not sure if this is something you could easily do at the moment.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.