Neck Pickup Not Working? [Quick Solved]

Your electric guitar’s neck pickup not working can be a frustrating issue for any guitarist. It can significantly affect your tone and limit your creative possibilities. In this guide, we’ll explore the various reasons why your neck pickup might not be functioning and provide you with effective solutions to solve the problem.

Neck Pickup Not Working

Common Reasons: Neck Pickup Not Working?

a) Wiring Issues:

Loose or disconnected wires can cause the neck pickup to stop working. Check the connections on the pickup selector switch, volume and tone controls, and the pickup itself. Damaged or frayed wires can also lead to signal loss. Inspect the wires for any visible damage.

b) Faulty Pickup:

Over time, pickups can develop problems such as coil winding issues or magnet weakening. A damaged pickup will not produce sound properly. Test the pickup’s functionality by tapping it lightly with a metal object like a screwdriver. If it doesn’t produce any sound, it might be faulty.

c) Potentiometer Problems:

The potentiometers (pots) responsible for volume and tone control can wear out or become dirty, leading to signal loss in the neck pickup. Turn the knobs back and forth and listen for scratchy or intermittent noise. If present, cleaning or replacing the potentiometers might be necessary.

d) Switch Issues:

The pickup selector switch can become faulty over time due to wear and tear. It may not properly engage the neck pickup. Test the switch by toggling between pickups and listen for any crackling or inconsistencies.

Effective Solutions to Fix the Neck Pickup:

Fix the Neck Pickup

a) Check and Repair Wiring:

Inspect the wiring for loose or disconnected connections. Re-solder any loose wires and ensure a secure connection. If you find damaged wires, replace them with high-quality, shielded guitar wiring.

b) Test and Replace the Pickup:

Use a multimeter to measure the resistance of the neck pickup. If it reads significantly different from the manufacturer’s specifications, it may be time to replace the pickup. If you’re not confident in your ability to install a new pickup, seeking the expertise of a professional can be a wise choice to rejuvenate your guitar’s sound.

c) Clean or Replace Potentiometers:

If the pots are the issue, you can try cleaning them with contact cleaner or replacing them altogether. When replacing pots, make sure to select the appropriate value (usually 250k or 500k) and type (audio or linear) for your guitar’s circuit.

d) Repair or Replace the Pickup Selector Switch:

If the switch is malfunctioning, consider repairing or replacing it. This can be a bit more complex, so consulting a guitar technician is advisable if you’re unsure about the process.

e) Consult a Professional:

If you’ve tried the above solutions and your neck pickup still isn’t working, it’s time to seek the expertise of a professional guitar technician. They can diagnose and fix the issue accurately.


A non-functioning neck pickup can be a significant hindrance to your guitar playing experience. By systematically troubleshooting and addressing the common issues discussed in this guide, you can often resolve the problem and restore your guitar’s full tonal range.

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FAQs –

Why did my neck pickup stop working?

Your neck pickup may have stopped working due to wiring issues, a faulty pickup, potentiometer problems, or issues with the pickup selector switch.

Why is my pickup not working?

Your pickup might not be working due to wiring problems, damage to the pickup itself, issues with the potentiometers, or a malfunctioning pickup selector switch.

How do you test if a pickup is working?

You can test if a pickup is working by tapping it lightly with a metal object like a screwdriver and listening for sound output. Alternatively, use a multimeter to measure its resistance; significantly different readings from the manufacturer’s specifications may indicate a problem.

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Perry Garner

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