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Stupid question: How to change pickguard

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by byrdsfan, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. byrdsfan


    Feb 9, 2004
    I have a very nice Reissue 57 P and bought a custom made pickguard to try instead of the gold adonized one it came with. (the guitar is dakota red, the new guard is red tortoise shell).
    I got as far as all the screws out but the guard hung up on the pickups. Also the jack was a little dicey as i allmost gouged the body using a pliers on the nut on it.
    My expert bandmate/pal (who talked me into this) was going to change it but he keeps canceling out.
    Can someone give me a step-by-step "Changing the Pickguard on a P for Dummies"?

  2. If I'm not mistaken, the p'ups on your bass are mounted ON the pickguard. You'll have to take the screws out first before trying to remove the old one.
    All pickup screws, pots (knobs) , and plug-in jack must be removed from the pickguard before trying to remove it. After that, it's a simple matter of pulling the screws and gently lifting it away. If it sticks anywhere, look at it closely to make sure there isn't a forgotten screw. Sometimes pickguards want to stick to the finish just a bit, depending upon how long they've been on it.

    Please don't use pliers on the nuts holding the jack and pot knobs, ok? Get a socket that fits it or a wrench and gently turn them counterclockwise to loosen. Pliers are definately not the right tool for those.

    I'm sure you'll get other replies too, but I hope this helps ya..

  3. byrdsfan


    Feb 9, 2004
    Thanks, that is exactly what i was looking for!
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    No, on a P bass, the pickguard should have little cutouts to go around the pickup screws. Magneto is correct about the pots and plug. Also, if your strings are very close to the pickups, you may need to loosen the strings to remove the pickguard.
  5. byrdsfan


    Feb 9, 2004
    It does have cutouts around the pickups but it sticks there nonetheless.
  6. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    You may have to adjust the pickup height to get the pickguard off. With the split pickups set so that the center part is higher, the sides are angled outward a little bit making the whole thing wider at the top than the bottom. Also, be sure you're getting all the screws--some P-basses have another screw in the middle of the pickguard.

  7. Mmnn?! The fact that you have to ask the question suggests to me that your time is better spent playing and practicing and subcontracting this issue to an expert. No shame in that - how many poeple maintain their own car? How many pianists tune and adjust their own Steinway? Don't be proud - sometimes its just not cost effective for you to be doing something that will take you ages to complete in an area where you do not have core skills.

    I can do almost anything with a bass - build it from parts, completely dissassemble it , adjust it, flatten and recrown frets - but that's not what I do for a living - I teach and I play. I have a friend who's full time at building and adjusting a set of clients' basses and guitars. He does the adjusting and building and I do the teaching and playing with another, different, long list of clients. We both have full time busy schedules doing it that way. Why do you want to do someone else's job?

    Focus on your core skills, focus on a core market of people who must buy your skills, focus on getter better at what your clients want, focus on keeping those clients loyal and buying regularly. (Get the message?)
    madjazzbass likes this.
  8. OptimusPrime


    Mar 30, 2008
    So much easier to swap out a J bass pickguard. I can have a totally different looking bass in 3 minutes with the 3 PGs I have on hand. :D
    madjazzbass likes this.
  9. radicaldreamers


    Apr 21, 2014
    About to put my pick guard back on my Jazz. I know it's easy, but any pro tips on how not to shag it up?
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    First pre-check the fit around the neck pickup and control plate. Then make sure the screws don't bind in the pg holes and pass through freely. Lay it in place. Put the screws in the holes with your fingers. Turn backward until it drops into the thread cuts in the wood. Turn in righty tighty a couple turns with your fingers. Finish with a screwdriver; press the guard flat with your free hand and stop turning as soon as the screw just snugs up in its hole.
  11. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
    Jazzes are much easier, there isn't any electronics to deal with. Just remove the screws, remove the pickguard, replace the pickguard and replace the screws. You might have to loosen the screws on the control plate a bit to get the pickguard and control plate to mate properly.
    madjazzbass likes this.