Lesson suggestion: How to get rid of hum on single coil guitars

Right OK, what I was reading suggested to me that you’re a beginner, you don’t appear to be so!
Right, it would be useful to know what guitar your single coils are in, it will make a difference.
In less expensive guitars (and sometimes even expensive ones) the pickups are not potted and the cavities and pick guard not shielded, the other problem can be bad earthing.
Yes I agree that an interface and free plugins is a good way to learn about tone in a way but some of the free plugins are not great.
I always used a tube amp, and very few effects - I had (and still have) an EHX (sovtec) big muff and a Phaser and Delay pedal and that was it.
Now I have a Blackstar BEAM, I’ve just started learning to play Bass so the amp is handy, I tend not to be reliant on the built in FX to me they’re not that good. I use analog pedals where possible especially for recording.
My current recommendation for beginners is an Orange Crush 35RT amp, then when they’re more experienced try either a multi fx pedal or reasonable individual pedals.

You’re on the wrong course then, there are plenty of free courses online where you learn by playing music, scales etc is a cop out to get more money off you!

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I think I know which course youre referring to, its the course with a guy named Robin. And yes thats an outstanding course, but the crappy sound-like-famous songs are so boring and demoralizing to play IMO. There is also the issue that you need to be able to sight read well to play piano, thats whats holding me back right now for piano.

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And you wonder why the electrics hum?


Yet you’re asking for videos on guitar mods to reduce hum, something most beginners are unlikely to notice, care about, or even realise there may be methods of reducing. Given that many, many guitarists of all abilities love the way a wah sounds, I would say that is a far more interesting and relevant topic for a video on this particular site… along with the various other pedal types which he does indeed cover if you bother to check.

At the end of the day, Justin’s stated mission is teaching the world to play. There are literally hundreds of other websites, guides and videos covering all the tech stuff for those who want to go into all that. Specialising in one thing is far better than trying to cover everything, which is why Justin’s courses are so extremely popular.


Listening to my last AVOYP on a Strat, there are plenty of places where I stop, I hear no hum. This guitar has a MIJ body and a Squier neck. So not an expensive Fender. I think the pickups are MIM:

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So you want the chicken before the egg, get real! You’ve been dismissive about any good advice that you’ve been given, tbh it makes me wonder what you’re up to and why you’re here!

60 cycle hum, string squeaks, foot taps, planes flying over and dogs barking during recording – there is musical life in there if you open your mind to it. If you set your bar at pro-production rock radio levels, you will soon become discouraged. Embrace the suck. When I hear that hum, I know I got to get busy and play something or muck with my volume knob. :slight_smile:

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Almost seems like a troll. I read: Stop hum on single coils. Get rid of lessons on pedals. $150 guitars are good enough. Need to know all the scales to play piano (wtf).

So off.


I have strong opinions about music, Im not trying to be argumentative with anyone, I just disagree with most of what has been said in this thread. I stand by all the points I made.

I get why most people want to spend $3000 for a guitar, youre getting better worksmanship and quality assurance (but not better accuracy). Ive bought some cheap acoustic guitars and they were awful because they were made in asian factories where they know nothing about guitar making. So I get why people think cheap guitars are bad. But the machinery used to make production electric guitars by well established guitar companies like Jackson and Epiphone is accurate down to a thousandth of an inch. And the the machinery on the production line are going to be the same for cheap and expensive guitars. You might have a lazy factory worker mess up on a step in production on the cheap line, but the overall accuracy of build and construction is as good as custom hand made shops because of this accurate machinery.

As for having good sound effects pedals for beginners, first you’ll noitce that Justin almost always uses distortion because clean electric guitars sound boring and just suck. Also I notice a lot of people try to learn to play electric guitar and get bored and give up. I think the reason is because the simple sounding chords they play with a clean guitar sound is boring. There is a book I suggest to anyone who has got bored and given up on guitar, its called “The Ultimate Guitar Course” by Rod Fogg. It shows how to play cool sounding instrumental songs mostly with just power chords and how to set up an amp to get proper distortion or delay. It comes with a CD so you know what its supposed to sound like. And a beginner can get through half the book in just one evening. It really builds confidence because it helps a beginner have fun making cool sounding rock and blues riffs from the get go (sorry if this sounds like an ad, Im just using this as an example). And having fun is what hooks a beginner, not boring clean sounding guitar sound.

I honestly think Im offering a lot of good suggestions for Justin’s site, like how to improve the pedals section. So I dont see this thread as negative.

This thread has wandered all over. It started by asking how to eliminate hum in a single-coil guitar. Then we find out you prefer $150 electric guitars, and reject any suggestions to ameliorate the problem that requires spending any money, or that maybe cheap guitars are part of the problem (low-end pickups, poor shielding, etc.)

Then, somehow, you changed it to criticizing the lessons Justin has done on pedals, and now to plugging someone else’s book about playing “cool” songs with mostly power chords to avoid boring clean chords. I’m really having trouble following your train of thought.

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I have a feeling this thread will get locked. But thats ok, good points were made. Sometimes conversations dont go well.

This is true… but it’s more about the materials that are used than the machines. For example pretty much all strats or teles say they have a maple neck regardless of where or who made them. But there are many different kinds of maple trees and not all are good for making a guitar neck.

Cheap electric guitars are less about the wood and the machining of that wood. They are more about cheap components assembled with short-cuts to reduce costs.

That is, of course, not always the case, and, often, having cheap components doesn’t really impact the tone.

But cost savings like cheap electronic components, not installing or shielding properly, or poor QA can definitely result in instruments that have issues with hum.

I’m not saying that is the case here, but any claim that there is zero correlation between cost and quality, especially down at the sub $200 level, is clearly nonsense.

Faults can occur on an instrument at any price level, and it is manufacturer dependent (cough Gibson) but issues are far more common in budget guitars than more expensive ones. That’s a simple fact.




Rubbish! Justin plays distortion because it’s relevant to what he’s playing!
So clean electric guitar is boring? How about this? Need your love so bad.wav - Google Drive
That’s me playing, all clean tones through a small tube amp with no fx other than reverb!
Oh and out of interest I used a Harley Benton guitar for that, modified by myself to make it sound better - nearly 60 years of playing and learning how to work on guitars allows me to do that!


Your old enough then to remember what pre-Clapton blues was like, when clean sounding blues was the only game in town. Keep in mind for a brief period of time, Apache by the Shadows was the hardest rocking guitar sound around. You know that the ears of the human race evolve and musical genres like big band swing music will never sound as exciting and cutting edge as it did for people who only knew that music. I also find it interesting how popular the pre-worn Harley Benton guitars are. Its impossible to find vintage guitars of the 50s and 60s like the ones that Justin managed to find. So people have to resort to new guitars that look vintage.

Justin has good quality guitars with good quality electrical compnents and good quality effects recorded on good quality equipment. If you look back to some of his early videos (which he is replacing over time with updated versions) there is hum and hiss and less good sound quality. Hum can be reduced with good grounding and shielding as already advised. There are many online sites and videos to show this.

That’s fine and you have linked one. Be content that Justin doesn’t need to cover the same ground and seek to occupy and already busy space. Justin has this quick tip video. https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/use-volume-to-clean-up-the-dirt-qt-013

Again, you are requesting Justin makes lessons but you have already found lessons doing what you want and covering the topics you are interested in. And, as @roger_holland has linked, Justin has other lessons on the site you had not found.

Those are very old videos that are soon to be taken down (if they haven’t already gone).

Newer videos:
Guitar effects: https://www.justinguitar.com/modules/all-about-guitar-effects

Guitar tone: https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/getting-great-guitar-tone-gg-010

I fundamentally disagree. Beginners need to play with clean tones if learning on an electric so that they hear the true nature of what they are playing. Drenching sound in layers of effects pedals can all too easily disguise bad technique and poor chord formation.

I agree with that sensible conclusion. Adding after-market mods that equal or exceed the purchase price of a budget range guitar is not necessarily a good idea. It is much better to either add some more modest-cost mods (that will still be an improvement) or to invest in a better quality instrument to play on and modify

There are very few people in this Community who have already bought a $3000 guitar or expressed a burning desire to do so.
General consensus is that very good guitars can be had in the $350-700 range and guitars up to about $1000+ will be mostly excellent.
There is a law of diminishing returns above say $1300 or so which boils down to taste, aesthetics and more.


Yes, it will, but perhaps not for the reason you anticipated.

This reads as a racist remark and this community does not tolerate such comment.
I therefore am giving an official warning and locking this topic.

And in which countries / on which continent do you think that Jackson and Epiphone manufacture the dinky and Les Paul?
It is not the USA.