March 24, 2008

Fixing a Loose Les Paul Guitar Neck

The wireless Les Paul guitar introduced with Guitar Hero III is my favorite fake plastic guitar of all time. I’ve owned them all, and I think the Les is a cut above in every category — it has style with the detachable faceplates, it has the best fret buttons, strum, whammy bar and start/select positioning, and it performs great. And it’s wireless!

But the Les, even though it’s arguably the best fake plastic guitar on the market, has one recurring problem area: the detachable neck. The neck doesn’t attach very firmly to the body in many of the Les Pauls out there, leading to the neck sliding around a bit as you play. This is aggravating at best — nobody likes a loose, slippery guitar when playing tricky sections. But it can be much, much worse. It can cause you to screw up songs when the buttons to fail to register due to the loose connection points between the neck and the guitar.

I’ve been hunting around for solutions to this loose neck problem for months, ever since Guitar Hero III was shipped in October. There are some low-tech fixes out there for the loose neck problem, such as:

  1. Wrap a rubber band around the neck peg and the rear guitar strap peg
  2. Move the neck contact board forward
  3. Hard-wire the neck and permanently attach it to the guitar

I don’t like these solutions for various reasons, mostly because I think they’re too complicated and/or ghetto. I’d rather tighten up the neck connection itself with judicious use of tape. I’ve been experimenting with different tape locations for a while and I’ve finally found the perfect location for tape that gives a super-secure, rock-solid neck connection!

Simply place several sections of duct tape (or similar) on the neck itself, in the small rectangular area on each side of the neck, where the neck presses against the body of the guitar. See the picture, below– do this on both sides of the neck.

Les Paul guitar neck, tape location for tighter neck connection

It will take at least two layers of duct tape on top of each other. For me, it took three to get a completely rock solid connection. The “push back” of the tape equalizes the neck pressure, so when you snap it in to the body, it’s held with quite a bit of force now. (Pushing the neck in will be a little bit harder, but it should snap in with a bit more force than without the tape).

You can see the tape mashed between the neck and the body of the guitar in this photo with the neck attached. There are three layers of black duct tape in this closeup.

Les Paul guitar neck, taped neck attached to body, closeup of tape in junction

I was ecstatic to finally stumble upon this great fix to my loose guitar neck problem, after months of trying so many different types of tape and so many locations on the neck and body.

With this simple tape mod, my Les Paul necks are now rock solid. They don’t budge an inch while I’m playing. They feel so solid now you’d swear they were permanently attached.. and they’re still easily removable, too!


The buttons on my wireless Les Paul fail to register so often that I literally cannot use the bastard. It’s been such a persistent problem that I actually prefer to use the original Kramer (360 ed) to max out scores on GH and RB (I like it better than the RB Strat).

I’m gonna give this fix a shot and let you know how it turns out. I’m excited to get some of that fake plastic back!

Chris Pearson
June 14, 2008 at 12:03 pm

There is a better way to fix this issue, and it doesn’t require much. One scew driver and a pair of hands. Pictures are included and everything.

September 12, 2008 at 9:01 am

hey this McGuyver-fix works perfect; so much better than the stupid
*open guitar* fix, and much less ghetto than the *rope wrap* fix. Hope this way can fix the impending falure of the Guitar Hero 4 fender style detachable neck guitar. Youll have to make a post about that one too probably! LoL

October 2, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I love you.

January 24, 2009 at 10:37 pm

a better fix! the problem basicaly is where the neck and base of the guitar meet start losing connection. So, all you have to do is raise the connection. Detach the neck, take the screws out and open it up. All you have to do now is put a little bit of solder with a soldering gun on all eight connectors. I did this with 2 guitars and they work fine. NO tape, no rubber bands or any other unsightly effects to your guitar. It’s very simple to and cost effective to do.

michael presnell
February 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm

I just did this to my 360 LP, and it has kept all my buttons working. This beats the rubber band/hook trick and the \jam your neck into the socket mid-song\ trick as well.

April 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

July 2, 2009 at 3:43 am

Obviously, set necks are a bit more difficult to tighten. A set neck like a Gibson Les Paul is glued in the neck pocket and finish is sprayed over it. Set neck usually come loose for two reasons: either you dropped your guitar or you left it out in a hot car. If your set neck is loose, it will need to be steamed off the body and reset.

April 3, 2019 at 4:14 am

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