Learn To Solder And Open Up A Whole World Of DIY Guitar ModificationsPosted: April 15, 2012
One of the most useful skills I have acquired as a guitarist is soldering. Not only has it saved me money by allowing me to perform simple repairs but gave me the ability to upgrade pickups, modify switching, and change components. There are many free resources on the web detailing how to perform many simple guitar upgrades and even pedal modifications that has helped me achieve my ideal tone.
I learned to solder when I was pretty young after buying a replacement pickup for a cheap Les Paul copy. After I saw how a simple change made a rather pathetic guitar sound quite good I became interested in learning more about electronics and obsessed with guitar tinkering and modifying. Over the years I educated myself in electronics and was able to get a job as a systems engineer for a pro sound company and later as a senior electronics technician.
At first I was really electronically illiterate, all of my modifications came from books. I simply followed the instructions and diagrams- not really knowing the theory behind what I was doing- and gradually learned. Many people change the oil and spark plugs in their car without knowing the inner workings of a gasoline combustion engine, the same principles apply to guitars. Some great guitar techs like Craig Anderton have published diy guitar projects that don’t require anything more than following simple instructions and diagrams, they do all the theory and component calculations for you.
I think these videos by Pace Worldwide are some of the most thorough and easy to comprehend available on the subject of soldering. They not only hit on the basics, but more complicated soldering techniques that you may find useful in the future such as in changing a TS-9 Tube Screamer to TS-808 specs. There are a total of nine videos, here is a link to a playlist of all the soldering videos. Enjoy!!