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Our friend Joel Johnson (of Dethroner fame) is hosting an event (called Funde Razor) in NYC Wednesday to raise money for Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity.  If you’re in the area, you should definitely check it out as a) Child’s Play is a kick-ass charity which you should support, b) you’ll get to play Guitar Hero II with other cool people like yourself,  c) you may be able to win the custom Guitar Hero controller you’ll see us make in this article, and d) we hear that Joel throws some pretty good shindigs.

Anyway, as we made the controller pictured above this week, it occured to us that you might enjoy making one of your own — so we took a lot of pictures, and here you go: a guide to building your own full-sized GH controller.  Or, as we like to call it: What happens when you cross a perfectly good TAC wireless GH controller and a perfectly good guitar?  Read on past the jump to find out.

Related:

Warning!

Before you jump into this project, let us warn you that this isn’t for the faint of heart.  There’s a lot of destruction involved and it takes a good bit of patience to cut and mangle these parts slowly — test fitting as you go — to make sure they’re all going to fit.  It took us about 75 hours to complete ours, and though yours may move along more quickly (depending on the tools and experience at your command) this is still a pretty difficult task.

Task Overview/Selecting the Controller & Guitar

Our goal here is to remove the functional components from a GH controller and install them into a real guitar.  You’ve probably seen some of the pictures of these floating around the ‘net as some people have already successfully built them.  We saw those pictures, too, and it looked like a pretty straightforward task. 

In some ways it is, and in many ways it’s not.  The problem you’ll deal with over and over during this project is space or more importantly the lack thereof.  Whenever you’re selecting parts or laying out the guitar, keep in mind where all the components will fit and whether or not they’ll conflict with each other.

Selecting a controller is easy if you want a wireless controller; at the time we started the project only one was available: the TAC controller.  Now the Red Octane version is readily available as well, so you have a choice.  (Actually, if anyone out there has a Red Octane version and would be willing to crack it open and take a few pix to send them our way, we’ll post them here for everyone’s benefit.)

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Note: Click on smaller photos for larger versions. 

If you don’t care to go wireless, you could save yourself a lot of hassle and expense by starting with a factory Red Octane GH controller.  Remember that if you want to go wireless, you’re going to have to deal with batteries — which is easier said than done.

Obviously you have a little more choice with the guitar.  We started out by looking around the local pawn shops, hoping to find a guitar that’d already had a good life on stage (or in somebody’s bedroom) and was ready for a change.  Sadly, we had little luck.  Most of the guitars we found had been pawned for at least $20, which meant that they wouldn’t let go of them for less than $40 — and everything we found in that price range needed some major paint work.

Of course, if you’ve got weeks to spend on the project, painting can be fun and rewarding.  Since we had about a week, we decided to go for something more “ready to play.”  A trip to Guitar Center netted us a brand-new Fender Squier Bullet for $99. 

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Disassembly

Before we ran out to pick up switches and such, we decided to see what we got ourselves into; we took the GH conroller apart.  Since the battery pack cover is fastened with small Phillips screws, TAC ships a handy little screwdriver with the unit.  We used it to take the screws out of the body, which revealed the controller’s guts.

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There are five main components: the ”strummer” unit (which also houses the majority of the electronics), the “whammy bar” unit, the “fret” button board, the start/select button board, and the tilt switch assembly.  Besides those, there’s also an on-off switch and a battery pack.

The strummer attaches to the controller’s face with four screws, and an orange plastic stand-off captures and positions the “strum bar” so that it actuates the switches.  It’s connected to the button boards with ribbon cables and to the rest with common small-gauge wire.

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The whammy bar unit consists of a white plastic cage that positions the silver swivel perpendicular to a potentiometer.  The potentiometer is held in place by a metal strap, and the swivel connects to the cage via a small spring to return the bar after use.

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The start/select buttons are very inexpensive circuit-board type buttons — where the buttons themselves provide the mechanical connection — there’s no big “switch.”  When you mash the button, you’re squashing some flexible material in the plastic “button,” allowing a small conductor to make contact across a shape etched into the board.

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The same goes for the fret button board.

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The tilt sensor slides into a bracket and is hot-glued in place.

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Read on to page 2 where we begin guitar disassembly.

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214 Responses to How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller

  1. [...] How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller [Toolmonger] Funde Razor [Official Website] tr { border: 0px } td { cellborder: 10px} table { border: 1px solid black } [...]

  2. Pol Pot Pie says:

    It’s a great idea, but the whammy bar is in a terrible, non-usable location.
    I’d also hate to see what the back of the neck looks like.
    Yes, I’m a hater.

  3. Alan says:

    Great job, looks fantastic. Looks like the game would be much more enjoyable with that guitar!

  4. TB says:

    I think it was a great idea, and if you’ve ever played the game, then you know that you really don’t have to use the whammy bar to play the GAME.

  5. Sean O'Hara says:

    Actually after testing the whammy is playable where it is. Although I do spin it around so it faces the back but either way works well. As for the back of the neck we used filler and sanded it down then masked off and painted it. Looks fine :)

  6. glxblt says:

    You do need the whammy bar to play the game. No way to achieve the high scores without it, as it’s used to “milk” star power. I agree that it looks unusable, but if you can turn it around 180 degrees.. then it might work.

    Awesome nevertheless.

  7. kerch629 says:

    Looks awsome! I bet you could try to set other people up and sell em to them cause you know other people will want these and can’t build it themselves. Well, that is if RedOctane doesn’t freak out, but they are actually REALLY cool about fan use of Guitar Hero stuff.

  8. ben says:

    I see how it would be almost impossibly difficult, since you would have to expand the guitar’s cavity considerably in order to do it, but it would be awesome to have the whammy bar where the whammy bar goes on a real guitar. Even find some way to replace the short little whammy bar off the GH controller with a real whammy bar. I’m nitpicking.

    Like I said, I know it’s impossible.

    Good job!

  9. DensityDuck says:

    Well, the question about the whammy bar is whether you want to play the game, or just to play. If all you want to do is goof around, then Style Over Substance Baby!

  10. Xavier says:

    What a total waste of a guitar! Who gives a crap about a game?! Show everyone you’re men and play some REAL freaking guitar!

  11. pete says:

    Why would you ruin a playable guitar to play that junk

  12. Jay Burnage says:

    You’ll note they didn’t do it to a proper Fender Strat, or even a Squier Strat, they did it to a Bullet… y’know, the guitar that is just barely passable as a guitar? The thing is basically a toy already, so it’s not a very hard stretch to rearrange it as a videogame controller (though it sure did look to take a good deal of effort).

    Good job with the handiwork gents!

  13. Xavier says:

    That’s not my goddamn point, my point is you need to grow some balls and learn to play real guitar.

  14. Homeless says:

    I already play guitar (so I guess I grew some balls) and I enjoy playing Guitar Hero, it’s just a freaking game. If anyone thinks they can play guitar because they are good at Guitar Hero you can just hand them a real guitar and let them humiliate themselves. I like this idea (it’s not like anyone who plays guitar buys from Squier, it’s all middle schoolers who want to be cool too) and I applaud the handiwork involved. I’d probably screw it up somehow.

  15. C........Q says:

    My friend told me about how someone built their own guitar hero guitar. It’s pretty cool. But the whammy bar position does suck. I play guitar and when I first played, it was a little difficult to play because the cues are off sometimes, the version of the song might not be what your used to, and the background guitar “playing” what I’m supposed to be playing fucks me up. Whatever, it’s still a sweet game.

  16. ratnikh says:

    “Xavier Says:

    December 8th, 2006 at 4:32 pm
    That’s not my goddamn point, my point is you need to grow some balls and learn to play real guitar.”

    And in that same (idiotic) frame of mind…

    Grow some balls and fly a real X-wing…
    Grow some balls and fight real aliens…
    Grow some balls and have a to-the-death fight with other crazy dudes…
    Grow some balls and fly a fighter jet…

    Geez man, lighten up. Not everyone has the time or inclination to spend the hours a day required to learn music and become a guitar god. However, we’ve all had rockstar fantasies and this is a fun game that lets a lot of people feel that thrill vicariously. Just like street-racing games. Most of us aren’t rich or crazy enough to spend $10,000 on a faster-than-legal car and race down the boulevards at 150MPH, so we enjoy the simulation.

    Maybe spending $99 on a guitar for this was a bit much (for me) but hey, it’s all about fun and experimentation. You need to grow a set of balls and learn to act like a person. If you were one of the guitarists in my band I’d punch you in the throat and break your fingers. Good luck playing anything *but* guitar hero after that.

    To the creators, excellent job! Very creative.

  17. Chips says:

    Too Fkn Cool! Rock on!!! :D

  18. Armon says:

    Xavier: everyone and their mother can play the guitar. We have too many guitarists. An overabundance of people who play the guitar. Most of those teenagers are god aweful. We don’t need more of them. So why don’t you put down the guitar, and pick up a real instrument?(How about the clarinet, trumpet, or the violen?) I mean seriously, grow some balls. You don’t have to succumb to peer pressure and play the guitar like all of the other super-cool emo kids.

    That said, building a Guitar Hero controller out of a real guitar took a lot of talent, skill, and hard work. But I guess those skills don’t count, compared to the lofty skills of guitar playing. I happen to think that they DO count. Not only that, but to then donate these guitars to support charity organizations? Doing something like that is what REALLY takes the cajones. Not playing the guitar to impress the women folk.

    Guitar hero is a fun, and novel, game to play. We need more innovation in the gaming industry, instead of more carbon copy halo shooters. So take your elitism and shove it, Xavier. Some people want to have some fun in between studying for their Physics courses. Not everyone cares to be another jerk who thinks they can play the guitar.

    Moving away from that garbage, I’d like to once again praise the folk here on this website who took the time to find ways to make a fun game even more fun. And then donating the results to charity organizations! I am just amazed beyond belief. You guys rock!

  19. Chris says:

    Completely awesome! One of the coolest things Ive seen in a while. Too bad I suck at manual labor lol. Ill stick to the controller if you dont mind =P.

  20. Katie says:

    I like the concept of someone who posts vehemently negatively on a how-to thread regarding a fun gizmo made for a charity event to benefit hospitalized children.

    I’m starting to think that the fewer balls one has, the better, based on the idiotic posturing purported to engender their gestation…

    Anti-elitist commentary aside…

    I came here from PA’s site (specifically, the link in Tycho’s rant) and wanted to commend you guys on your fine craftsmanship here. Whammy bar looks kind of hard to use in that position but I do not play GH, so I wouldn’t really know. In any case, if you say it works, I’ll just assume that’s the case! ^^:

    Also, I’d consider this more of an improvement than any kind of insult to a stupid Bullet. I’m almost willing to bet it sounds better!

    Caveat: If you had done this to a ’68 Firebird, know that I would have had to kill you. Not only is that perisacriligeous, but hacking open a $12,000 guitar is (while humorous in concept) not a good investment strategy.

    But a $99 plywood twanger? I applaud the motion! Hear, hear!

  21. Katie says:

    I might add, in the unlikely event that Xavier returns, …

    “What a total waste of a guitar!”
    In only the literal sense of the term does the Bullet even qualify.

    “Who gives a crap about a game?!”
    Pretty much everyone under thirty years of age, and many older.

    “Show everyone you’re men…”
    Because obviously all guitarists are male. And therefore all people who play GH are either male or F-to-M transgenderists, and are thus permanently preoccupied with the size and presence of their testicles.

    “…and play some REAL freaking guitar!”
    This one is kind of hard to respond to…

    1. You are assuming that people who play GH consider themselves to be guitarists or something. This is only the case with delusionals, and as a student of psychology, I can assure you they are a minority.

    2. You are then basing your whole argument (that being that GH players are not guitarists, basically) on this primary assumption.

    This is a rather heady combination of idiocy and circular logic… Playing GH is to playing guitar as playing DDR is to dancing… it is a game based on a concept, not a purely accurate simulation thereof. The whole point of GH is to pretend to be a rock star. It’s a game. It’s not real. Why should it have to be real guitar? This does not add up.

    In fact, given the relative skill required, playing GH is to playing guitar as posting on a blog is to writing your own blog software.

    So why don’t you grow some balls and learn a real programming language?

    (If you were a reasonable individual, that would make absolutely as much sense. But you are not, so please return to your kiddie-pool of astroglide for to play some Zelda.)

  22. Rich says:

    8 months ago I also transformed a Guitar Hero controller into a Real Guitar. I found a beat up, almost dead Yamaha Eterna at a local pawn shop. 40$, missing a string, banged up and abused. Gave it a second life. I managed to put the whammy at the right position and oddly enough, where you put the whammy is where I put the start/select buttons :)

    Took me 2 days and a week of small tweaking. My main problem was the fret buttons. Did you know that the Fret Board can be steam-removed?

    It actually keeps the back of the neck intact and by removing the tension rod inside you have a pre-made groove to run the wires in :)

    Main problem were the fret buttons. I re-used the original electronics seeing as there were nothing else than unreliable microswitches that were small enough to fit.

    You can see pictures of the construction here: http://lionheart.tsunami-art.com/guit/

  23. Chuck Cage says:

    Rich: Fine work! I removed the fretboard on a bass once, so I knew it can be done, but our concern was the short deadline and risk of rendering it FUBAR with only days before the event. Another good solution would be to haunt the pawn shops until you find an axe with a rear slot and filler wood.

    Katie: Thanks for visiting! The PA mention was a major highlight in our day as Sean and I are both huge PA fans and daily readers. Having played in bands for years (including one with a female guitarist), I totally understand where you’re coming from re: all guitarists are men. Try this one on: One time I was in GC picking up some gear and I overheard two kids talking while beating on some guitars. Kid1: “Did you hear that song Kyle wrote?” Kid2: “He plays the bass. Since when do bass players write music?” Jeez. Three come to mind rather quickly, two of which are in GH2…

    et. al: Another faulty assumption is that all GH players aren’t musicians. (Or guitarists… just kidding.) Sure, some aren’t, but many are. I didn’t really get into GH until v2 hit streets because I play the bass. The idea of playing the bass on Message in a Bottle and YYZ did it for me, and now I’m a fan — even playing the guitar parts.

    Armon: I play the trumpet, too.

    Chris: Don’t give up! Give it a try. Take your time. Ask your friends for help. Everyone you know who can do “cool things” with tools started somewhere, usually from “scratch” as it were. If you mess up, just “redesign,” or go get another $40 pawn-shop-special. You can do it, even if you think you can’t right now. PS: Check out http://www.makezine.com to get inspired…

  24. Valarius says:

    “That’s not my goddamn point, my point is you need to grow some balls and learn to play real guitar.”

    1. Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.

    Five points if you can identify the band that popularized this saying. HINT: They’re in the game you’re bashing.

    2. (addressed to the rest of you) A Fender Bullet is a real electric guitar.

    Jimi Hendrex could make a cheap guitar sizzle, because he had talent. When you have talent, the crappiest piece of metal/wood/plastic you own sounds like Heaven’s gospel.

    By contrast, a Les Paul in your beginner’s hands will only make you sound like a loser.

    Do the world a favor. Learn to be a guitarist, before you start bashing equipment.

  25. Kizzt says:

    Heh, a bullet is /barely/ a guitar. i’m suprised it even intones correctly. And plywood? c’mon, Jimi hendrix never played a plywood guitar, even his dodgy beater that he started on was a solid wood instrument. While i aggree with your somewhat Valarius, i think companies shouldn’t make a living selling below par goods to unsuspecting beginners? what happened to the days when you could use a beginner’s guitar your entire life? The solid wood guitar from USA (or Australia, in my case) got replaced with cookie cutter plywood doorstops from korea. Back in the day, the Les Paul /was/ a starter’s instrument. I wholeheartedly agree with the dectruction of soulless, toneless, loveless chunks of what the rest of us would merely consider scrap wood if it weren’t branded with a fancy script name, and painted with cheap paint.

  26. SMRT Guy says:

    The song is by RATM. I am so smart.

  27. Unfortunately Young says:

    Valarius: You sound just like my father when I’m trying to explain to him why a hollow body Silvertone with a single-coil pickup is unsuited for heavy metal. Of course talent is required to sound good, but dear god man, that should be a GIVEN. The fact of the matter is, the Bullet is a bargain basement /i/copy/i/ of a real guitar.

    Valarius and Kizzt: Jimi Hendrix is dead. We have no idea what he’d think about a Squier Bullet. My guess is that he wouldn’t be caught dead playing one on stage, but one never knows.

    Also, to whoever made the middle-schooler comment: While there is a depressing number of ‘me too!’ guitarists in my age group and younger, (i’m seventeen) those cheap guitars do serve a purpose. If I hadn’t started out on a dirt-cheap Danelectro reissue, (which i love to this day, and is made of masonite, to all you who decry plywood) I would never have realized how rewarding music can be, and wouldn’t be on my way to professional musicianship.

    And finally, damn cool thing you guys did there. I’m impressed; even if I could figure out how to replicate your achievement, i doubt it would look half so pretty, and it’d probably play like shit. …DETHKLOK RULES!

  28. Guest says:

    Nice work on the conversion. If I had musical talent, I’d play a real guitar. If If I was jhandy, I’d try a conversion. Very nice work.

    I suspect Jimi might light a Bullet or two onstage. LOL

  29. Armon says:

    Chuck Gage: I’d like to apologize for any misunderstandings about my post. Any negative comments were purely directed towards Xavier. I was trying to make the point that even if you learn a certain skill, then there’s always another step up to go. And to act like an elitist jerk because of a certain skill that you have is just wrong. I’m not trying to say that guitar is an inferior instrument. I also wasn’t suggesting that everyone should learn an instrument other than guitar to be a real man.

    I was merely showing the logical fallacies in Xavier’s statements by taking them to the logical extreme. I don’t mean any disrespect to guitarists, or to musicians in general. And even if some(perhaps many) people play guitar hero and real instruments, some of us choose not to play an instrument at all(myself included) and still enjoy having fun playing guitar hero. I think that’s A-OK.

    Finally, I’d like to apologize for posting these kinds of comments on a post that’s supposed to be about fun, and supporting charity organizations. My anger often gets the best of me. It’s always good to know that people much more intelligent and ingenuitive than I are always coming up with new ideas that help those who are less fortunate than most.

  30. ChuckyT says:

    Beautiful conversion from plastic to wood, although I agree with the folks that say the bar is out of place. Guitar Hero is an awesome game, too bad I can’t play it on my ps3. :(

  31. [...] Making your own wireless full sized guitar hero controller – An interesting concept, and only if you have tons of free time and a guitar you don’t want. [...]

  32. Chuck Cage says:

    Armon: In the (somewhat bastardized) immortal words of Kid Rock (which seem appropriate here), “You read the blog, so you’re cool with me.”

    Thankfully none of us are forced to choose between GH and real instruments — we can do either, both, or none. It’s all good, man!

  33. [...] Chuck Cage spent 75 hours converting a Squier Strat into a controller for Playstation’s Guitar Hero II and then went and documented the operation to an almost absurd degree on his blog, Toolmonger. And after all of that effort, he went and donated the guitar to be auctioned off for charity.-MJS [...]

  34. Joel says:

    Listen I may be a beginner on guitar but even though companies like fender make cheap ones like the starcaster (which I own one of course) plays just fine It’s worth about 160 at least. but what I dont get is that it has the body style of an american strat but has a pointed headstock WTF is up with that!!? but you get what you pay for I will make mine last several years, ya gotta start somewhere ya know. its says its made out of agathis wood. and maple so there ya go.not plywood!!

  35. [...] the culprit blog: toolmonger – how to build your own wireless guitar hero controller [...]

  36. [...] Guitar Hero II for nerds uh artists.. __________________ I’m-a trying to wonder, wonder, wonder why you, wonder, wonder why you act so. [...]

  37. Anthony says:

    I have a squier strat. It’s got the rolling rock graphics on it (uncle won it in a raffle), and i’d pay someone ~100 bucks to turn it into a gh controller. I’d buy all the parts and stuff too (well not machinery, obviously).

    Major props on a job well done guys.

  38. idl3mind says:

    I realize it’s just Squier, but c’mon, screwing up a perfectly good guitar for a video game that emulates guitar playing? I’m all for realistic gaming too, but this is just too far. sorry if I’m out of line.

  39. [...] How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller [...]

  40. [...] You know Yngwie isn’t playing messing around with some plastic toy, so it’s a good thing Toolmonger has an in-depth guide to turning a real guitar into a proper Guitar Hero controller. The whole project will set you back a staggering 75 hours or so, but that’s a small price to pay to do some virtual shredding on a real Strat or Flying V, right? [...]

  41. [...] How to build a custom Fender Guitar Hero controller(the size and weight will make the game much more satifying) [...]

  42. [...] Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller Posted by fro Filed in Miscellaneous, Games [...]

  43. Fred Durst says:

    why would you ruin music by learning to play guitar?

  44. Den says:

    I think what you guys did is AWESOME. Doubly so because you donated it to be auctioned for charity. And to anyone who thinks it’s a waste of a guitar, quit beating the dead horse. I don’t care if you have a stick, it’s still the same dead horse. It takes guts to do what they did. I would never DREAM of doing that…mainly because I suck at wiring and all the technical stuff they did.

    and btw, Girls can play guitar too. So there!

  45. Guitar Hero Fan says:

    Looks awesome–but could you post a way to do it with a GH controller that AIN’T wireless?

  46. neoelasticman says:

    You know what would be extra cool? Don’t even buy a guitar for this project. That forces you to build around a design that just isn’t meant to hold that particular set of electronics. It is cool, and clever, but it would be extra cool to build the guitar yourself and design it around the goal of putting it to use in GH.

    Here’s a darn good book that tells you how to make a guitar:

    Make Your Own Electric Guitar (second edition)
    by Melvyn Hiscock

    Here’s the page on Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-Electric-Guitar/dp/0953104907/sr=8-1/qid=1167124580/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-0912245-6581643?ie=UTF8&s=books
    I’m sure you can also find many more books on the subject if you needed

  47. Tony says:

    This is very cool…I applaud the handiwork and effort that went into it. For the bozo who derides playing GH and instead implores us to play a real guitar…take it from me..a drummer who loves GH..the skills involved are actually more closely related to the drums than the guitar which is maybe why I love this game so much (despite being a bit over 30).

    …and remember..life is hard but it’s harder for drummers…. peace.

  48. J says:

    I think it looks damn cool, and as an actual guitarist, I gotta say that parts of Guitar Hero (I and II) are harder than playing an actual guitar.

    Any guitarist can tell you that for the most part, playing really fast notes isn’t hard.

    You don’t need perfect timing, and can pause and hold notes you normally wouldn’t for a different effect.

    So then, Guitar Hero isn’t about playing the guitar, but it’s actually about playing the songs, which anyone can tell you are two entirely different things. You can make a song sound better by holding notes longer, playing notes faster, looping parts, etc, but you CAN’T do that in GH, and attempting to will hurt your score; instead, you gotta play it right.

    But it’s just a video game, so.

  49. sullyrepellent says:

    Great idea. This “crash” project probably occured to many musicians who played the game. I’m glad someone had the stones to try it. Very rock n roll thing to do!

    I noticed that there were many musicians appalled by the idea of defacing a perfectly functional squier. An alternate activity is to plug in your real gear and jam with the set list in practice mode. On the downside there is no way to compete or advance in the game. Although there are no cyber-groupies to impress so why keep score?

  50. sullyrepellent says:

    In regard tio the whammy bar placement issue:

    How about modifying the whammy bar mechanism into a wah or volume pedal chassis? I missed stomping on something while running through ‘Bad Reputation’ and ‘sweet child o’.

    Although the user would not be creating the wah sound per se’,
    the tremolo effect through a pedal controller would give the user the trappings of both tremolo and wah while playing.

  51. Man I play GHero on expert and I am tired of playing on a fake guitar i will try this method out!!!!!!!! Thx good job!

  52. Sorry guys wrong website man!!!!!! I updated the name. Thx again

  53. Gilson Santos says:

    Excellent JOB! Guitar Hero is one of my favorite games ever. But..it’s a little heavy to play a lot don’t you think? :)

  54. [...] Toolmonger » How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller.  For those people who meet all of the following criteria: [...]

  55. jason says:

    anyway you can post the part #’s for the buttons used and also for the rechargable battery pack.
    Thanks

  56. mustugio11 says:

    Nice guitar(s). Here is a link to some photos of my custom Guitar Hero guitar control, http://photos.yahoo.com/mustugio11 . I also have a few pics of the inside of the Wireless Red Octane guitar that I used. I am also going to be working on another guitar pretty soon as I may be selling it on EBAY. My initial goal was to sell the one in the photos on EBAY, but now I am pretty attached to it. The funny thing is, is that I do not even own the Guitar Hero game nor do I own a gaming system. But I do play guitar and I did not feel bad about tearing into the Washburn Lyon guitar or the Red Octane guitar. As for the extra weight of the guitar, just think of it as more exercise. Hope you like the pics and maybe you will soon see the guitar on EBAY.

  57. [...] Given his Bradley Whitford like technical directing skills, I’m sure Patrick will have one of these whipped up in no time.  That is when he’s not making wasabi mashed potatoes.  Wasabi mashed potatoes?  Who let him into the fantasy football league?  [...]

  58. [...] Want to build your own custom Guitar Hero Controller from a Real guitar? Joel Johnson shows you how. [...]

  59. [...] Auf toolmonoger.com ist heute ein Artikel erschienen in dem beschrieben wird, wie man eine normale Gitarre zum Contoller für das beliebte Playstation Spiel Guitar Hero umbauen kann. Der Umbau der Squier Stratocaster hat laut Angaben von Erbauer Chuck Cage 75 Stunden Arbeit in Anspruch genommen. Sieht dafür aber jetzt richtig cool aus. Wer mehr über den Umbau wissen will…[click here] [...]

  60. ElRocker says:

    Just a few thoughts (OK maybe its my life story)…
    Celebrated my 40th birthday yesterday. My wife (in an effort to keep my mind off growing older) bought me a PS2 to replace the one we bought for the kids that crapped out (we tried to fix it since we probably have $200+ games lying around but had no luck). She, in her infinate wisdom, also gave me a GH2 game w/controller. I’ve played guitar (for real) since I was 12 years old, travelled on the road for many years, taught guitar full-time for a few years and I’m still in an active bar band on the weekends. My wife and I now have 4 kids together. After 17 years of marriage and my two oldest sons playing guitar (still working on the other boy and girl), I’m telling you this GH2 game is a true inspiration and a very life-like exercise in the dexterity of the basic mechanics required to play guitar with the immediate satisfaction of hearing professional results from basic fingering and strumming on time. It’s the best simulation experience I have ever encountered, period. The game’s basic function is to HAVE FUN and ROCK OUT while actually learning something you can apply to the real thing. My entire family has had nothing but fun passing the “guitar” around and cheering each other on as we “jam out” on the big screen TV. I applaud your efforts in educating the online community on turning “street-trash” guitars into “kick-ass” game controllers. With my basic woodworking tools and experience combined with several old parts of guitars lying around the house, I now have a exciting goal on my list… Keep the ideas coming and don’t forget the step-by-step pics everyone!
    Thanks and God Bless!
    (don’t forget that rock stardom is much harder than it looks)
    ElRocker

  61. [...] Lost yet? OK, so the most awesomest game in the universe ever is, obviously, Guitar Hero. It’s like Dance Dance Revolution, but you play it with a guitar shaped controller (or a hacked Squire.) If you don’t know what DDR is, then Guitar Hero is…a game where you play simplified versions of well known rock songs by pressing buttons in sync with an onscreen fretboard. [...]

  62. [...] Originally Syndicated via RSS from del.icio.us/tag/diy Juicy CELEB GOSSIP. Get it NOW! [...]

  63. adam Weber says:

    I am a memeber of the newspaper staff at Francis Howell North High School. I am currently working on a page about guitar hero and i need a photo of a Guitar Herocontroller modified from a real guitar. I was wodering if you would be willing to give me permission to use a photo, as long as I gave proper credidation.

    Please E-mail meas soon as possible at sk8er3126@hotmail.com

  64. Chris says:

    I’m working on a conversion right now. I really thought I was the first one to go that crazy but kudos to those doing the same.
    Although my guitar will still look more like a real guitar instead of just a “transplant” mod which is what this one looks like ^_^

  65. Cauldron of Skulls says:

    I think changing any real guitar (no matter how cheap) into a video game controller is like strapping an inflatable sex doll onto the front of your wife or girlfriend.

    At the end of the day, video games are buttons and a screen. And a complete waste of time. How can you compare sitting on your ass, pushing some buttons and “playing” Madden NFL 07 to ACTUALLY going OUTSIDE, breathing fresh air and THROWING a football. You may even have to run.

    Kids should learn to play guitar and play sports, not video games.

  66. superman says:

    omg what the heck u destoyed a perfectly good guitar i know it looks better but when ur playing the game u could just learn the real thing since u have it. u had a 100 doller guitar and u tured it in to a one perpose controller.that and the fact the game will get boring eventully and u wont even use it any more

  67. Twitch001 says:

    I agree with Xavier, If you want to destroy a perfectly good guitar to play a freakin’ game, what in the hell is going on in your damn head?
    To hell with the game, learn to play the damn thing.

  68. [...] Dann vielleicht doch gleich diese 10-Knöpfige? Und mit etwas Geschick kann man sich auch selber einen Funkcontroller in seine alte GH-Klampfe löten. Überlegenswert. Aber nach etwas Recherche im Netz kommt sowieso nur die hier in Frage. [...]

  69. Rob says:

    just for those who dont know jimi hendrix did play and own a plywood guitar, a white silvertone (well it was made by danelectro and has a silvertone decal) dc-59 he painted red which Al bought him after his supro ozark was stolen which has more in common with the plastic guitar hero controler(as far as the body material) than the tone woods of a fine guitar. actully it was not plywood it was worse than plywood it was masonite which unless painted falls to peices when it gets moist. jimmy page owned a dc-3 danelctro and recorded with it. some of the budget guitars from the 40′s thru the sixties have a lot of charater despite some of their dookie appointments. I have 3 really nice vintage guitars, but I also have a danelectro, a kay,and a harmony which some vintage snobs look down on but they have their own place and unique sound. I dont put too much emphasis on brand names, if you develop your own style you will sound like you no matter what guitar you play. I saw doc watson play a korean epiphone plyboard texan and he sounded better than most anyone playing a prewar martin.Its all about technique.
    That is a pretty cool controller though.

  70. eupher says:

    I have an old beat up guitar that every guitar shop I’ve taken it to has said it would cost more money than its worth to get it in working order. So I’m considering transferring it into a controller. The problem is, the guitar is a hollow body, and there is know good way to get inside of it. Any ideas?

  71. eupher says:

    And by “know,” I meant “no.” It’s been a long day.

  72. Deseed says:

    Good way to deface a perfectly good instrument!
    You fool!
    Destroying a Fender Strat for the sheer purpose of playing some asinine game? Learn how to play a real guitar and get your head out of you ass!

    Some kid some where that could be a great guitar player one day, could have grown from the use of that instrument and you ruined it for a cheap thrill on a video game. Beside all of that, isn’t this guy just a little to old to playing video games? :evil:

  73. Deseed says:

    BTW, I would much rather learn how to play a real guitar than go through the motions.

    In fact i have been playing one for over 20 years. I still have my first guitar. I would be damned if someone demolished like you ignorant morons are doing. I hope the damn things cause your brains to rot out. Of which, I think that has already happened! Dumb ass’ the lot of you, that go for this garbage!

    Go outside for a little while and see the real world and get your nose out the games. Grown men should not be spending their time playing with children’s toys. They most certainly shouldn’t be destroying things of beauty like musical instruments.

  74. Deseed says:

    Strat Bullet or not, it’s still a guitar. I would rather that fools that said playing real guitar was stupid didn’t even own or try to play one. My first guitar was a cheap sears guitar and it plays just as well as my 2000 dollar Gibson Les Paul custom.

    Not everyone that plays guitar is a teenage emo kid. I make hella money playing in a band. So don’t tell me it’s a waste of time or pointless to play a real one.

    Video games are fleeting and music is forever! Tech tool fuckwits!

  75. Deseed says:

    Play your little piddly video games and stay fat, moronic, and ignorant.

    Losers !

    I have never seen such a dumb piece of shit like that. It’s funny seeing that fat old buffoon holding his junk and calling it worth something. Time and effort to doesn’t make a difference. The fact that you had enough time to dream this up and do it, makes me sick! You could have done so much good and all you did was create a foolish contraption that will be used for a small amount of time and then stored away in some closet, basement or trash bin.

    I suggest using your time to create something worth while that could help someone some day. Not bullshit without rhyme or reason.

    If you have all of this free time to create nonsense, then doesn’t make sense to create useful gadgets that actually benefit someone?

  76. Deseed says:

    Why must we suffer the retarded, that create useless contraptions of this sort?

  77. Deseed says:

    It’s a Squire Strat not a Bullet.

  78. Andy Cloude says:

    # J Says:
    January 3rd, 2007 at 5:19 am

    I think it looks damn cool, and as an actual guitarist, I gotta say that parts of Guitar Hero (I and II) are harder than playing an actual guitar.

    Any guitarist can tell you that for the most part, playing really fast notes isn’t hard.

    You don’t need perfect timing, and can pause and hold notes you normally wouldn’t for a different effect.

    So then, Guitar Hero isn’t about playing the guitar, but it’s actually about playing the songs, which anyone can tell you are two entirely different things. You can make a song sound better by holding notes longer, playing notes faster, looping parts, etc, but you CAN’T do that in GH, and attempting to will hurt your score; instead, you gotta play it right.

    But it’s just a video game, so.

    ———————————————————————————-

    That’s fine if you wanna hear outdated cover songs or you wanna play them and waste your time playing someone else’s music.

    Playing the guitar allows you to create songs of your own. It allows you to decide where all of the notation goes and it allows you to grow within your self.

    A video game cannot, there for it’s shite!

    Have fun little boys! Playing with your worthless toys. I think I will settle for the real world and real guitars

    To the thing you said about, “You don’t have to have perfect timing.”

    Apparently you don’t play in a band. When you play a song with a band you have to have perfect timing. If you don’t then it all sounds like shit. This game just plays the same damn songs you listen to on the radio or download fan mp3 for. So you can push buttons on a generic contraption. It is a waste of time, that you could be doing something more interesting and self rewarding.

    After you learn how to do sweeps and arpeggios, tell me that it isn’t hard and you don’t have to have good timing. You can’t do that stuff on stage if you aren’t on step, playing the song “RIGHT.” Right on this game is preprogrammed, so eventually you will become flawless. Every time you play it, it’s the same experience. Never growing, never going anywhere, never being. Just setting and/or standing in front of the idiot box all day wasting effort and energy that can be applied to so much more.

    Might as well be watch t.v.

    Oh yeah, even though that is a cheap guitar. I think it was a waste of money, waste of guitar and a controller and 75 hours of time. Not to mention, pawning it off for charity. I have children and I know how this oges. You give then something like that, they play with once and then they never touch it again. It’s novelty and I doubt that it will catch on with general population.

    You plan on playing that stupid game the rest of your life? Are you so much of a geek that you can;t find anything better to do with your free time? Do you date and have a life outside of this bullshit?

    I think it’s a shame that grown men can be this childish and juvenile. This is something me and buddies would have done at fourteen. lol You are sad!

  79. DaRk ReVeR says:

    Well, this shadow thinks it was not only an inovative and cool idea; it was the very thing, I thought would be pretty awsome if to play w/ when I 1st. played the GH 1-2 games w/ a buddy of mine. Yet, awsome idea or not the fact was we just lacked the right insperation. Couldn’t come up w/ a good enough method for a practical design.

    But when we found this hack(and the excellently documented step-by-steps), we jumped on the chance to try the build for our selves. W/ the help of your faq, we were able to successfully build our own GH 1 axe.

    I really wish I could post a picture of it, but I don’t have a way to right now. We used a guitar I’ve had sence I was maybe 11 or 12. Any way, It’s a jet black Yahmaha RGX211 elec. Moisture got to it yrs ago and ruined the electronics, it was also missing an unreplacable cradle off the bridge. The paint and body were still in moslty mint cond., so that made it the perfect candidate for our little opperation. It worked out very well in the end and it looks great. We were even able to find the very same buttons @ the “SHACK’. that you guys used on yours.

    Any way just sayin thanks for the guide, couldnt have pulled it off w/ out it. And ya know, it wasn’t really as hard to work it out as I’d thought it was going to be.(P.S. If anyone really wants to see it, just email me an adress to reach you and i’ll just mail ya a pic of it. I really want some opinions from others on what they think of it.)

  80. DaRk ReVeR says:

    Yeah, I’ll bet an email adress would’ve been nice with that post hu?
    Any way, here it is, jerm2tiff@netzero.com.

  81. Andy Cloude says:

    Dark you are just as big a geek as the rest of these peons. LOL@Dumbass Technerds!

  82. Z-Boy says:

    I bow to you. I have been looking for something like this, I have been wanting to build my own controller for so long. I think it would just be a lot of fun to be able to use a real guitar body for a PS2 game.

    All the others who say it was a waist of time or gave negative feedback, they just aren’t as creative. It seems like a really fun project and I can’t wait to try it out.

    Z-Boy

  83. nick says:

    hi…good site.

  84. Andy Cloude says:

    Has nothing to do with being creative, “z-boy.” Try writing 7 novels in one year and painting, sketch artistry and not to mention writing countless songs. That is creativity.

    Making a single purpose controller for an outdated PS2 is not being creative. I am sure a bunch of stoners could have done just as well as these morons.

  85. Mike... says:

    I don’t understand why you people are bashing this…..try to do something of the sort. No one cares what kind of guitar you have or what you’ve done in life, or it would be on a website somewhere. I think its cool that these guys pulled something off like this taking two things and putting them together. Bring your angry idiotic comments somewhere else. If your lfe sucks that bad, end it…….

  86. xngfx says:

    http://toolmonger.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/post-gh109.jpg

    First post is right, the finished back of the neck looks terrible.

  87. Han says:

    Why the fuck did you take a real guitar, gut it, and replace it with some shit so you can play a game with it? PLAY THE GODDAMN GUITAR LIKE IT WAS MEANT TO BE PLAYED.

  88. Han (Cont.) says:

    BTW, Jimi Hendrix playing a squire as George Bush running the country correctly.

    It never happened and it never will.

  89. HAHa! says:

    Hendrix would have played whatever he had in his hand at the moment. Drugs make people do stupid things.

    BTW, It’s not the guitar the persons playing; it’s the person playing the guitar.

  90. morganusvitus says:

    The site looks great ! Thanks for all your help ( past, present and future !)

  91. Judy Nails says:

    Mr George Lucas,

    Please stop ruining guitars and go make a good movie.

    XOXOXOXOXO

    Judy

  92. Flying Poop says:

    Its a kinda kewl game bt for the hell of it why dont u just teach people how to play a real guitar in stead of makng these stupid plastic ones

  93. Flying Poop says:

    i really dont care on what you think about this, its retarded because instead of people doing there hmework there siting there waisting time doing that dumb game. Parents have to take them away frm them, dude get a life and do something

  94. Flying Pop says:

    not that i like schoo but u need school t get a job, dude ur to old for that stuff

  95. Binksie says:

    Play the game. It’s awesome! This controller looks great too.
    As far as learning to play the real guitar. Yea do it if it’s what you want to do but do not be dis-illusioned that it will make you a man or a living. I know plenty of “guitar players” most wasted their youth dreaming of becoming a Guitar Hero but alas most also didn’t have the luck, talent or the drive to make it. Now as they pack the fryer at McDonalds and load up the Happy Meals they realise all their time spent dreaming of becoming a Guitar Hero would have been better spent getting an education. I see much evidence of this in the cheap insults on this blog.
    Play the game it’s the closest you “Real Men Guitar Wannabes” will ever get to being a Guitar Hero.

  96. ZIPPER says:

    Why dont they make a guitar hero with some electronics on frets that look and play like real guitar positions so when you learn the songs you can get off the gizmo and play the real thing ($KACHING$KACHING). I started playing on a fender squire so I am a bit disheartened that is was abused for the purpose. I pulled apart my squire replaced it with a few parts I got from different guitar shops second hand and it level pegs with a good USA strat now. Guitar hero is cool , I have never played but seen it being played and people were having fun.

  97. jordan 69 says:

    the worlds crappest idea in history who is stupid enough to o that

  98. Matt says:

    Well, it appears the pro-real-guitar idiots are out in full force tonight! The time you maniacs spend bitching about people not playing a real guitar could actually be used to increase your own skills on an actual guitar. Stop wasting your time insulting people and get on with your lives.

    Guitar Hero is a game and is meant to stay as such, not become any bearing on the musical prowess of any of its players. Personally, I love playing my ESP guitar and hearing it scream through my amp but I also love playing Guitar Hero with my friends. Everybody knows that playing Guitar Hero won’t turn you into a rock star, but it’s fun to get together with a group of friends and suspend your disbelief and reality for a few minutes just to have fun.

    Deseed, to attack these people so blatantly just because you have some kind of superiority complex is completely idiotic. As a matter of fact, you’re no better than the alleged “retarded” that you so decide to suffer. If want to talk about retarded and call these men such a thing, I’ll give you some examples taken from your own comments. The spelling is “too”, not “to”. The brand is spelled “Squier”, not “Squire”. Possesives are spelled like “your”, not “you”. In addition, learn where the hell to put your commas so your comments won’t be so painful to read! You’d think someone who would take the time and several comments just to attack someone would know how to spell basic words and when to use a comma. Until your head is in fact out of your ass, you have zero credibility and are the equivalent of white noise.

  99. freddy fuddpucker says:

    Perfect English is boring. squire or squier who gives a flying fat rats fanny it still means the same thing and Matt your doing the same as everyone else and that is sledging off at people with opinions. Good game , bad game , cool game , uncool game is a matter of opinion YE ? Someone who cant spell , know where commas go might just make shyte loads more money than you. Who is the better person? Thats right Matt neither is a better person one just might have been luckier to get a beter education. Alot of unlucky people out there so you have sledged them as well. Guitar hero sux , no it doesnt there I changed my mind so am I a good person or a bad person. Can you do a spell check on me please. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA some people HUH

  100. Waffles says:

    Omg…you guys (chuck and rich) = the rule….at least i think it is chuck who made this tutorial thing…(if not you all can strangle me with the extra guitar strings). You guys, even if you don’t know it, really have inspired me and I’m sure many other people by doin somthing so awesome. And I gotta give it up to you guys, its people like you who really kinda wake me up and makes me realize that pretty much anything can be done if you strive for it enough…haha and i thought i was done modifying GH2….(le custom songs? :D ) but now this is a new project I will have to do…thanks again for the inspiration guys, I’ll keep this in mind anytime i start and a seemingly hopeless project.

    As for all you bitches bashing the game, get a god damn life or go back to attending your retarded ass obsessions. You got no room here to insult somthing people find meaning on trying and experiment with, and all together have fun. I bet your moms fucking tits if there was a room full of people who did indeed love this game, your scrodom licking face would not say a god damn word insulting or opposing shit. People with problems and enjoy insulting other peoples hobbies can go doushe out their sore vagina and stick a fucking bullet up their ass.

    Props neegros.

  101. [...] Toolmonger is offering up a how-to guide for building a custom Guitar Hero controller — using a real guitar! Be warned, it’s a difficult task, as the original modders can attest. It took Toolmonger a full 75 hours of dirty work (read: deconstruction, cutting, and mangling). Thankfully, the site documented the process down to the minutest detail. Did you know that cat-5 networking cable is the ideal wire to run inside the neck? [...]

  102. jp says:

    this is one of the most stupid things i have seen done to a guitar

    the game is bad enough i cant beleve Buckethead signed off on that pile!

  103. Berry Terry says:

    First of all, all of your “pro-guitarists” out there who feel its thier duty to defend guitars in general and bitch about other peoples lives, take the popsicles out of your ass. People need to calm down and not take everything so seriously. If people want to GH, let them. Everyone should be free to do what they want without poser guitarists telling them what to do.

    “Apparently you don’t play in a band”
    -Andy Cloude

    Seriously to all you guitarists that think your all big and care about “real world, and real guitars” can i say something to you. No band wants a guitarist who takes every thing as serious as hell as feels its thier duty to defend all “real guitars” on a “how to…” site. Wow you guys must be incredibly cool. You play “real guitar” like half the population and also are uptight as hell. Once again, let people do what they want and be who they want to be without interfereing with your image of how cool you must be because you play guitar.

    “geeks that you can;t find anything better to do with thier free time”
    -Andy Cloude
    One more thing. Your calling people who are playing guitar hero geeks with nothing to do on thier free time when you are wasting your life on a Blog. When you become a succesful 45 year old guitar player who doesnt know when to chill out and have fun, tell me. Ill get your autograph.

  104. Berry Terry says:

    And since when is helping charities “do nothing better with your free time”
    Thats doing a hell of a lot more than all you 45 year old guitar players are doing bitching and telling people how to be.

  105. gobsmacked says:

    My son plays guitar, he also has a playstation. An hour on the playstation makes him hyper, tense, short-tempered and out of control. An hour’s guitar practice calms him down (and everyone else in the household).
    Disturbingly, such different personalities are mirrored in everything I’ve read here.
    The boy wants his first electric geetar after proving his aprenticeship on nylon. Fair enough (Fret not [geddit], he’s not giving up acoustic). So I googled ‘perfect first electric guitar’. I googled ‘pacifica’. I googled this, that and the next thing etc, etc.
    I then googled ‘Squier strat’ and found this article.
    I don’t understand. I just don’t get it. I’m not sure I understand anything anymore. Not so much the sawing up of a guitar*, not necessarily that guitar hero is a waste of time that could be better spent learning to play a real guitar**. But the anger and vitriolic bile that spews down the screen. It really is not a pleasant sight.
    * Why not add three legs and turn it into a small table?
    ** Hey! I know! Let’s all sit down for dinner together! At the same time! I know, I’m a crazy guy with cra-a-a-zy ideas…

  106. Antwang says:

    cool
    idk why all u guys are like what a waste of a guitar
    the guy took skill he had and made a real guitar into a toy guitar
    just because peopl dont play real guitar doesnt mean ther homos
    playing an instrument is a very difficult thing i would know i play set and i still enjoy guitar hero its a very enjoyable game and if u dont like what he did dont even bother posting here because of all the work and skill he put into this project sorry some people enjoy doing things like this and like enjoying there lives rather than people like you while the man is trying to help other people make somthing like his
    im workin ona uklali project myself right now : )
    just the 360 version so idk how its gonna come out
    thanks for the help on this site

  107. [...] Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller So who’s ready to chop up that Strat ? , found this nice little DIY over at Toolmonger, BTW it’s a great site with all sort of intresting projects for those who like to do a bit of ‘tinkering’ DIY: Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller Purveyor of fine posts, replys and other useless drivel since Jan 2004 [...]

  108. Dalmac says:

    haha….. you notice that xavior didnt come back….

  109. George Hull says:

    This one makes sence “One’s first step in wisdom is to kuesstion everything – and one’s last is to come to terms with everything.”

  110. [...] If I did a controller mod, it’d be this. __________________ Request a coldboot Tutorial: Make any custom RCO Image PSP Modification Dictionary Customize your PSP [...]

  111. alli says:

    y would some one waist a perfectly good guitar, for just a stupid game?!

  112. Danni says:

    Have any of the people insulting GH actually ever played the game themselves?

    Guitar Hero is one of the few video games out there that actually requires skill and co-ordination, as opposed to luck or chance.

    I know guitarists from local bands who (shock horror) enjoy playing guitar hero as well as playing the guitar in real life. Guitar Hero, and playing the guitar are in no way alike, and nobody is trying to say that they are.

    The problem is that some people seem to forget that GH is a GAME (ironically, there people are those who dont actually play it). Its intended to be FUN. People who play it dont play it to fulfull delusional fantasies of being a rock star, or because they wish they could play guitar in real life… they play for the pure fact that it is fun. Why do so many people not seem to understand this?

    Im not even a huge fan of GH. Sure, it’s fun, but I dont live my life around it. And nor do the majority of people who play it.

    And if a guy wants to create a more realistic guitar controller to raise money for charity, then good on him. The novelty of a real guitar as a GH controller probably raised more money than the guitar’s original value. And shame on the guitar-playing obsessives who seem to think that that is so wrong.

    So before you go throwing around mindless insults about how wrong it is to destroy a guitar, and how people are taking games so seriously, please do two things for me.

    1) Try to realise that it is YOU taking the games too seriously? Dont try to deny this, because if you weren’t then you wouldn’t be on here ranting.

    2) Go raise money for charity by using a skill, and by doing something that YOU enjoy.

    After you’ve done that, feel free to come back to me and moan.

    But, if you actually read, and understood what I have put, then I don’t think I’ll be hearing from you any time soon (well, apart from those people too stupid / stubborn to live and let live)

    Thankyou

    and

    Goodnight

  113. Danni says:

    BTW, sorry about the few typos.

    Im tired

    And its late (1.40 AM here in England, to be exact)

    And I’m annoyed at how closed-minded some people are.

  114. Steve Hobley says:

    Thanks for the inspirational article – I went ahead and built one myself.

    I kept the button board from the Red Octane controller and mounted it on the fretboard through a slot in the neck. I bought the guitar from Sam Ash for about $99.

    It’s a struggle getting the components into the body – I had to resolder a lot of the connectors as they were too short, or too weak to withstand the ‘transplant’.

    The tremelo arm is a problem, as the mounting hardware is a lot bigger under the scratchplate than above, really limiting your placement options.

    http://www.stephenhobley.com/blog

    I added a custom paint job too, guess where I’m from?

  115. josh says:

    ok i love guitar hero……but dude wtf……tearing apart a perfectly good guitar like that to play a freaking game omfg,u have to be insane….

  116. some guy says:

    that’s pretty awsome, but i’d have to agree, messing up a perfectly good gutiar…

  117. guy that's obsessed with GH (I & II) says:

    that’s pretty awsome. btw, (not that anybody gives a crud) I’m stuck on the last song (Bark at the moon, GH 1) on expert. very hard! i keep getting 98% or 99% through it before i lose.

  118. hypr says:

    Whats with all this sanctimonious crap about the wrongness of destroying a guitar for a game? I’m sure he paid for that guitar at some point and the guitar companies are gonna keep making em, thats for sure. There is certainly no shortage of guitars, crap ones or otherwise. What about all the deserving and perfectly useful guitars destroyed by Townshend, Hendrix and Cobain for starters.
    I for one am into anything that might turn some kid on to a guitar line in a song and make him feel like part of that sound for a second. Maybe that kid might be inspired to go get a real guitar (which are in no short supply) and start the journey of finding his own sounds.
    For all the elder guitar heads pontificating about rock, music and playing, they seem to have forgotten its soul. For all the people who just want to have fun playing a game, great, they will all have more respect for the real guitarists and what they can do. For all the people who play guitar and don’t have any interest in the game, fine, just realize that it doesnt hurt you it only makes a lot more people care about what you do in even a small way thats good.
    Sorry if this was long or scattershot
    just my 2 cents

  119. [...] the gibson HD.6X-Pro Guitar System is a les paul outfitted with multiple digital i/o’s including, Media-accelerated Global Information Carrier or MaGIC: An Ethernet port with that carries bi-directional signals with low latency and no signal degradation over miles of cable. gibson calls it, “the most revolutionary leap forward in guitar manufacturing in more than 50 years…that is poised to usher in a new era of music making. ” its a bold statement and i will say its the first guitar thats given me a hard-on since i was 14, but i think this shows how out of touch the r n’ d department at gibson has become. obviously none of them have played guitar hero.  that shits bad ass.  maybe they should do a little more research next time. [...]

  120. doos123 says:

    is there any way i can buy one of these

  121. Ricky says:

    thats really cool……and u dont NEED the whammy bar to play….its not required idiot

  122. Bruce says:

    Freddy Fender was my grandmother’s favorite singer. Vaya con dios Freddy!

  123. Siiru says:

    Noooooooooooooohh!!! its not worth it!!! Its not that i’m against GH. but to ruin a real guitar for this game is just a waste! today it may be fun, but you’ll regret it once the game is out of its luster. there are actually a lot of guitar toys out there that looks exactly like a real guitar. why mod a real one? Ouch! it hurts me seeing you torture that poor guitar. :( *sobs* *mourns*

  124. Dick says:

    Its wonderful, Sweet!

  125. applw eeeeef says:

    how do you set up the fret buttons with the real neck?

  126. Grunt says:

    Nice work on the gaming axe. I have to admit that for over a year I’ve stood back and quietly bashed people playing GH whenever I was in the electronics stores. I’d say (just loud enough to hear) ‘That’s NOTHING like playing a REAL guitar’ in my snobbish, ugly way. But I got the fever this weekend, and I’m completely smitten. What a thrill to jam along and have fun with friends on toy guitars. And I’m more into PC shooters like BF2, BioShock & HL2, than any console, but this is so different from everything else. Great work on the Fender – turning it into something useful! And Thanks!

  127. [...] Full size guitar conversion: Full size-1 Full size-2 Full size-3 Full size – Lego guitar [...]

  128. Dean says:

    (Before I start this rant: This project is cool, as are the guys who did it! Way to go, and way to support your local charities!)

    So, I have read a really large portion of these responses and am almost nauseous. My oh my, where do I begin.

    How about with the creators of this guitar/controller. It has been said that these guys should find something better to do…. Apparently those who postulated this concept have never picked up a power tool, or did any kind of project in a workshop. I have, and let me tell you it takes skill to run a lot of that equipment. Not to mention the ingenuity it took to figure out how to get all of the parts to fit into the guitar.

    Or that you shouldn’t be “destroying” a “real” guitar to make a controller. Ok, I have been a guitarist for 15 years, and though I have played on some pretty awful guitars (my first was a 50 cent garage sale deal) that does NOT mean that I think that everyone else should be subjected to the same thing. If I had owned a GOOD guitar from the start I think my playing would have progressed quite a bit faster. Another thing to point out here is that there is no craftsmanship anymore. I had a friend (that has since passed) who was an elderly country musician. He told me about when he was younger and saved up to buy a hollow body Epiphone for himself. It cost $35. The quality of the instrument was every bit as good as a $3500 Gibson ES 335 today, but thanks to China, and Korea we have an overflow of useless instruments on the market.

    I would personally rather spend my practice time playing my guitar, not tuning it (or trying to). And further more, the lousy tone of many of these instruments makes even the best guitarists sound awful.

    Also, there ARE too many guitarists out there. Too many guitarists… and too LITTLE originality. There is a BIG difference between Hendrix picking up a Danelectro and playing a song, and some pituary retard with a “Bullet” or “Showmaster” fumbling around trying to plunk out some lousy nu-metal or emo song. It doesn’t make you artistic, it doesn’t make you special. It makes you a dedicated member of the “herd”. So you can stop trying to make everyone else feel inferior on that argument.

    Now, as for the game. So you don’t like video games. So what? Don’t play them, and for the love of Jimi don’t tell other people not to play them either. I don’t play video games because I’m not creative, I am. I am a professional photographer and graphic designer. I am a (former) musician. NOT A DAY goes by that I don’t create something. But when I get burned out, and need a break from the demands of my career as a creative there is nothing I like better than to let my mind go blissfully blank and stare at a screen with a controller in my hands.

    So get off of your soapbox and stop preaching to everyone! You don’t want to play? Great, I don’t give a shit (and I doubt anyone else does either).

    And as for cutting down these guys for what they did, I have never been so taken-aback in my life! Nice reward to them for doing something good for charity! Goes to prove that no good deed goes un-punished…

    Now, as a conclusion, if any of you are interested to see what I did to a cheap $100 pawn-shop guitar, check it out here:

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j53/deanreevesii/guitar_front.jpg

    http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j53/deanreevesii/Guitar_Back.jpg

    Just an old ugly green squire that I got, and gave a face-lift to. Nothing special, but kinda’ fun. The entire work was done by etching into the factory lacquer with an X-acto knife.

  129. Mike Dunbarr says:

    Great job! … One question I have… What kind of buttons did you use for neck of your guitar?

  130. Dean says:

    If you are asking me Mike, I did not turn this guitar into a controller. It’s still a fully functional Strat. I do plan on making a controller out of on of the old guitars I have lying around, and I plan on using the stock buttons (internal electroinics) from the RedOctane SG. Though the faceplates for the buttons I plan on cutting out of wood to preserve the look. I think a nice light toned wood stained to match the colors of the original buttons would look great.

    Hell, it might even be worth getting a real strat so I can do an etching to it like the one I posted above, but with a “Guitar Hero” theme.

    I’m currently working on one with a “Brian Setzer” theme for a friends son who’s into rockabilly. I’ll post shots of that here (if you want) when I’m done with it.

  131. Lol says:

    Here’s an Idea for you people angry about “defacing a perfectly good guitar”. Is it really a waste if you didn’t pay for it? Is it your guitar they’re doing this to? Was it your $99 dollars? If you answer no to any of these questions, then it’s none of your business what they do to it. By your twisted logic, all the giant corporate moguls should donate all of their profit to charity because it’s such a waste to spend it on expensive cars and jewelry, beach houses, and all that other crap. But guess what? They earned the money, now they’re gonna enjoy it, and I’m guessing you’re the trailer trash idiots who are bitching about how it’s not fair.

  132. jacob says:

    rock on bitch

  133. Matty B says:

    Well first off, its a pretty cool idea and came out looking nice, so cheers to you guys with the patience to do something like that lol. Another thing, aimed directly at the losers who say “why would you wreck a perfectly good guitar to play that junk/crap/game etc.. well think about this, its not actually a fender, but merely a crappy squire, which deserves everything a set of crude tools can throw at it. Frankly, Squire should only exist as a Cost effective copy, and thats what it is, so dont keep saying why wreck a perfectly good guitar. If you still need an answer to your question, then think of it like this. The guys who made this would get 10 times more for their finished product then what they would have paid the muso shop for it. Finishing on a lighter note (no pun intended), can i buy one!? haha..

  134. djon says:

    This is a great tutorial thanks!c

  135. Garegh says:

    Play a real guitar like a real man… Tsk,tsk,tsk! I can see the people who are sayin this sitting in a bar right now, watching a band with their arms crossed saying “I can do that”. Posers. Plain and simple. I think Guitar Hero is a GREAT way to get people interested in playing guitar that may have tried it once and found it frustrating or are just trying it for the first time! I’m a musician of 27 years and am ear trained. Guitar Hero may not be as intricate as playing the guitar for real, but it’s an excellent tool for rythm training. People who may have thought they didn’t have the “chops” to play the real thing might use this as gateway to the real thing! Anyone who puts someone down for playing this game because they can play the “real” thing doesn’t deserve to call themselvs a musician. How nice it must be to tear other people down who are aspiring to become musicians! At the higher levels, this is almost as daunting a task as the real thing! That’s like saying a drummer isn’t really a drummer unless he owns a real set of drums. There ya go posers, chew on that for awhile. You know who you are.

  136. CPU64 says:

    How about a guitar mod that DOESN’T use the controls from the game’s controller: Like MINE! ^_^

    http://www.putfile.com/pic.php?img=7010786

  137. Stephen Gilman says:

    CPU64: That is incredible! How the heck does the “pick” switch work? You MUST provide instructions/schematics!

    All: Do your modded guitars only work with consoles, or would you be able to plug them into a PC to play something like Freetar? I personally find the console games limiting, and crave the freedom that Freetar gives to use MP3 songs.

  138. Stephen Gilman says:

    By the way, I think this sort of project would be a FANTASTIC way to get new life out of an old, broken-down, cheap-ass guitar that you don’t play any more. But to mod a new guitar, even a cheap-o one, seems silly.

    I used to have a cheap-ass guitar that had only one pick-up and no tone control. It was great fun paint weird designs on and bash around on stage with, since I didn’t care what happened to it. I eventually gave it away to some kid. I would love to turn a guitar like that into a GH controller.

  139. Stephen Gilman says:

    If you don’t want to spend the money to cannibalize a real Guitar Hero controller for this mod, there are YouTube videos about how to turn a regular PS2 controller into a GH controller:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xPM1FogpTQ

    The disadvantage is the lack of a tilt sensor for star power. You have to map one of the buttons to trigger star power.

    Still, I eagerly await seeing someone take an old guitar body and a regular ps2 controller to create something truly incredible…

  140. [...] The “AG RiffMaster” is a Guitar Hero/Rock Band controller for the Playstation 2, built into a real wooden-body guitar. (Not the first by any means, but the first commercially produced model.) [...]

  141. [...] The “AG RiffMaster” is a Guitar Hero/Rock Band controller for the Playstation 2, built into a real wooden-body guitar. (Not the first by any means, but the first commercially produced model.) [...]

  142. Jim says:

    Theres so much to say here… first of all, as a guitar player, any guitar is worth playing if you take the time to set it up properly and provide the appropriate periodic maintenance – same applies to a Squier. Sure nobody is beating down the door to get hold of one… I started out with a Harmony Garage Sale Special with strings nearly an inch of the fretboard and pickups that looked like an old gate latch – even a Barbie tool set could remedy that?!? Balls aside… a real guitar player could tie strings to a mop handle and make it sound good.
    I dig the guitar hero thing, I wish to god I could find a way to wire a 1/4″ jack to my PS2 and really lay down the law! I think its great exposure for people who normally wouldnt have access to the feeling of a guitar in their hands (however crude the replication). After playing the game for a few months with my girlfriend, I found her with a stack of my old guitar mags and my axe in her lap trying to learn something about it, I was so proud! She has since developed quite an interest in learning to play the guitar though we still take time to enjoy the “game” aspect of GH.
    The main reason for my post is simply that in my minimal-to-moderate experience in practical manufacturing, I think it would be infinitely more appropriate to fashion a replica controller out of dense hobby wood (basswood or planed birch). Ive taken such a wealth of information from this article, if for no other reason, the mechanical detail of the GH controller, and plan to build my own in the near future.
    With respect to craftsmanship, hobby wood is very versatile. When wet, it can be shaped to match a guitar’s outline or even the contours of an archtop. Though you would likely have to fit the interior cavity with a dense filler to compensate for both the weight and the lack of structural integrity on account of the inferior wood. It would facilitate much easier transition of the GH controllers mechanical components to the new housing. It could be manipulated to better accomodate the ribbon to the fret buttons, battery pack (for wireless units) and the ever controversial whammy bar. Dependent upon your trade preference, it could take less time than the method already described.
    I personally would rather have a pint sized realistic Les Paul or PRS replica beside my PS2 than a destroy a full size guitar, regardless of who finds it valuable, to make a video game controller. If you buy both, why not play both?
    If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, or even anyone who’s tried it already – feel free to contact me with your photos, results or tips at Ternyerhedncoph@msn.com.

  143. [...] Yet a videogame it still is.  The heavy metal trappings may lure in the novice player, but the ornaments vanish when you’re actually playing.  Quite literally, all you can see are the notes, and all that carefully rendered rock-god animation is irrelevant.  It’s hard to showboat without getting booed off the stage. Most players eventually make that critical mental transition from playing a song to beating a song.  Yes, it’s fun to score 99% on Medium, but isn’t it even better to do it on Hard, to prove that I can push myself that much further?  Stepping up to Hard puts me negligibly closer to “real” guitar, but tremendously alters my level of play (in both senses of the word).  This is the game, not the fantasy.  Like any great videogame, Guitar Hero has its psychotic adherents, and between these people and the casual players there lies a wide spectrum of commitment levels.  I’d be thrilled to master Hard, but I have no desire to torture myself on Expert.  The Tall One, on the other hand, won’t be satisfied until he’s conquered “Through the Fire and the Flames” on Expert with his eyes closed.  By the way, all of Dragonforce’s songs sound like that, and they’re all awesome. [...]

  144. Yrahcaz says:

    Wow, it’s a $100 guitar, he didnt destroy a 69 mustang or something….lol

    Hell, a guitar hero controller damn near cost the same as that POS guitar they used.

    Great workmanship guys, I have the same guitar in my attic that my kid never learned and I can’t because my index finger is missing on my left hand and I plan on following your instructions to make this. My problem is I have to carve a hole in the gutar, Im playing on the wii….holy crap this is gunna be tough.

  145. DILLIGIF says:

    STOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID.

    YOU SHOULD PUT THAT ON A BROOM= THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN COOL.

    DRILLING HOLES THROUGH THAT NECK WAS EVEN DUMBER. THERE WAS A MILLION OTHER WAYS TO DO WHAT YOU DID….YOU COULD HAVE REMOVED THE FINGERBOARD, USED SMALLER SWITCHES, ETC……

  146. used cars uk says:

    Cool guitar, agree with previous though lol

    anyone looking for some used cars in the uk

  147. beans n frank says:

    a squier bullet is pretty crappy. wont the neck bow without the strings?

  148. alberto says:

    that is one kick ass mod

  149. alberto says:

    crap, i didn’t realize this post was over a year old. no wonder you were talking about GHII. can you still do this for GHIII?

  150. Mike Makreel says:

    How much would you charge to build me Six for Guitar Hero #3…I would start with two.

    Mike makkreel

  151. Tyler says:

    Wow I tried to follow the instructions got half way through got confused took my time. I made it don’t know if it really works though haven’t tried it out. Also you should sell a couple of these. I’m sure alot of people don’t want to build their own, they just want one.

  152. Marco says:

    Great job!

  153. Aaron says:

    This is a really old post but I wanted to throw my hat in the ring regardless.

    Good job, on the modification, for the time you had to have it done by it’s impressive. And the myriad responses are a riot.

    As a guitar player for approximately 15 years, I find all of the new ‘instrument’ – based totally entertaining. They are a good time, and a blast when you play it with some friends since 90% of my friends are not musically inclined.

    This gave me some good ideas, I am planning on doing this for the Rock Band controller, which will increase the complexity of the build a bit. The five triggers near the base of the neck should be interesting.

    I cannot believe the sanctimonious attitude of some of these people. It’s a guitar. If it’s a guitar that belongs to me, I will drop-kick it into a wood chipper if I feel the urge and with not a twinge of regret or guilt. I shot a telecaster across the room once by dropping it on a full-speed treadmill. (As an aside, it hardly got scratched and not a damn thing happened to it, this is one of my all-time favorites and I will never part with it.) Also, I almost died laughing.

    I consider a guitar that is bought and left in it’s case a waste of a guitar. That’s about the only waste of a guitar I can think of. And of course, ‘waste’ is relative.

    Being in my mid-20′s and having collected approximately 4-dozen guitars of various styles and eras, (not one squier, danelectro, samick or epiphone in the mix thankyouverymuch), I respect quality worksmanship, inlays, finishes, etc… I love guitars, I have built a few of them, but I wouldn’t hesitate to butcher one for an alternate use. I have a table made from a guitar, there are various furniture pieces, clocks, art and whatnot, made from true guitars that don’t seem to create a fuss. Personally I don’t see the difference between those and this.

    If this thread is still around and I have a functioning example I will post a link to the creation of it. I had been planning on doing this already, but many of these posts have inspired me…… to upgrade the guitar I was going to convert! I am thinking now an American Strat, since it worked…maybe the short-lived and hideous Gibson Nighthawk, though that would probably be a huge pain. Who knows.

    Seriously, it’s a guitar, get over yourselves. It doesn’t have a soul, that comes from the player…

    Later.

  154. andy says:

    I found this site after deciding to do just the same thing to an old encore strat i had lying up the loft it was battered to bits and the fret board was departing from the neck so i was able to remove the truss rod and make space inside the neck for the buttons, i also have a proper trem bar so have remove all but i spring (its far to heavy without the tension of strings on it) its a bit queer but works most of the time. the only thing i’m having problems with is the strum bar, i keep breaking my home brew efforts !!!!

    oh yeah the electronics are from on old PS1 pad.

    Regard Andy

    Lets ROCK

  155. Derek says:

    Awesome work dude.

    Im looking for more guides on doing this same thing, pic of others, links, etc.

  156. [...] Und wenn der Spielspaß weiterhin so andauert (davon gehe ich mal stark aus), dann wäre das hier vielleicht ein nettes Bastelprojekt: Guitar Hero Controller in real Guitar. Denn der originale Controller ist ja schon etwas… hm… arg Plastik. Und klein. :-) [...]

  157. Chuckles says:

    what a freakin retard!!!!! just use the damn controller they give you!!!!!! if u have time to tear up a perfectly fine guitar and make a guitar hero one out of it, maybe u should get a life, a job and perhaps a girlfriend! what a bunch of idiots, use a controller they give u. i takes less time to assemble…. if u dont like it, THEN GO FIND SOMEONE TO PLAY BUTTS_N_WEENIES WITH!!!!!

  158. Jokey-Jokeman says:

    WTF??!?! maybe for your next project, u should take your car apart and make it a street legal tank!!! yeah that would be the shit! NOT! I agree w/ Chuckles.

  159. [...] Egal, ich halte Stereo und MIDI eh für das Handwerkzeug des Gehörnten und wende mich lieber sinnvollem Gitarristenspielzeug zu. Fein, fein, z.B. einen Controller für das Guitar Hero Spiel in eine richtige Gitarre einzubauen (via Webrocker) oder Guitar Hero als pre CBS C64-Vintage Reissue (via Twitter/dasistdasen.de). Echten Gitarrenhelden huldigt man eh mit der Luftgitarre und die gibt’s jetzt auch im praktischen Luftgitarren-Set inkl. Luftplektrum (via Jeriko One). Der technisch allerletzte Schrei auf dem Luftplektrenmarkt, sozusagen das HD.6-X Pro unter den Luftplektren, ist das Rock Tamashii Greatest Hits Air Guitar Pick incl. Walk This Way (Aerosmith) and Banbiina (Tomoyasu Hotei). Mehr Luftgitarrenplektrum geht nicht (via GuitarPimp). Da mein persönlicher Weihnachtswunsch, GarageBand auf dem eiTatsch, wohl auch 2008 ein unerfüllter Wunsch bleiben wird, mich aber die Haptik des Touch mehr und mehr begeistert, werde ich wohl eh die Gitarre an den Nagel hängen und zu einem adäquateren Instrument wechseln. Auf dem Wunschzettel 2008 steht bei mir ganz oben das innovative Tenori-on (via All That Jazz). Beim Weihnachtsbaumschmuck 2008 bleib ich aber dem traditionellen baumelnden Mandokugelschmuck treu. (via DoppelstoppBluegrassMandoline) [...]

  160. TOMX says:

    I think all you haters need to stop and think while yes it is in fact a waste of a guitar that maybe you guys need to come up with something better to do than to flame the creators, if you have all those guitar skills maybe you should be playing guitar and not flaming people. If you had half the technical skill this guy has to build a controller like this you would understand.

    “Everything i say is fully substantiated by my own opinion.” -TOMX

  161. TOMX says:

    Oh and don’t bother flaming me because I’ve got better things to do. Peace Out.

    “Everything i say is fully substantiated by my own opinion.” -TOMX

  162. 666 says:

    ur all bitches. if u like it, just say so and stop being a goddam Hater! that Xavier fool needs to shut up, yes, but so do the rest of you bastards! GROW SOME BALLS AND ROCK ON, B-I-T-C-H!!!!

  163. 666 i feel that was unnecessary but you have a point about the “if you like it just say so” thing…If you all want to complain keep it to yourself please.

    Why must you all act like children and fight…Some of you are right that playing real guitar is awesome but the rest of you are right too that guitar hero is fun.

    but you people out there saying stuff like: “are you retarded? using a real guitar to make some *beep* gay fake guitar!? your all crazy”

    well i got something to tell ya…SO WHAT IF THEY WANNA MAKE A GUITAR INTO A GUITAR HERO GUITAR THEN ITS THIER CHOICE! THEYRE LOSS OR GAIN!
    Why should you care!?its not like its YOUR GUITAR theyre dismantling!

    I say you all should stop argueing like little kids and get along!

    if you dont like what im saying then tough luck because im sick and tired OF LISTENING TO ALL THIS GODDAMN COMPLAINING AND INSULTING!!!

  164. Arkham says:

    There’s an awful lot of people who get upset when other people have more fun, or do cooler things than them…

    Excellent work on the conversion, and kudos for supporting the charity.

    http://xkcd.com/359/

  165. [...] And, if you really can’t stand playing GH with a plastic guitar controller, check out how to build your own custom full-sized Guitar Hero controller like the modified Strat in the picture below. File this under projects labeled “when-I-have-too-much-time-on-my hands…” [...]

  166. Dave Robo says:

    I made a guitar from scratch. All wood. The neck is carved out for the actual keys. My son is presently using it. Here is the youtube address to see it. I am making another one but much different.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=02gW3quL8Lg

  167. Andy says:

    How can it be a waste of a guitar?? If you are a real guitar player and have been playing for years, then you have some old crappy guitars laying around and they would be PERFECT for this! I think I am going to attempt this..

  168. Renkuto says:

    There are some guitarists that happen to be female, and I’m one of them. I also enjoy guitar hero, but I’d rather play the real thing. Even so, I still agree that guitar hero was a good idea. What about the people who can’t play the real guitar for some physical reason, and maybe they want to? They can pick up GH because that has less frets, notes and therefore is easier to play. Everyone who said the people who are just giving negative comments about the game don’t have enough creativeness are right. I agree with that, I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I’d have to say I can argue well too. People have lives and they can do whatever they want with them. Some people just choose to be negative and non-creative and act lifeless because they can’t think of even the smallest thing to do with their lives.. Anyways, I could go on and on about this but I won’t. The other thing I don’t agree with is destroying an actual guitar to make a GH controller. It would be even more creative to come up with an original creation than to take someone else’s and turn it into something for a game.

  169. RUPufnstuf says:

    Haters suck. Posers suck. You guys rule! What you did is amazing and impressive and I envy your skillz. Donating it to a great cause is magnanimous and I humbly doff my cap at your thought, style and generosity. I can only add my own meager thoughts as a disabled gamer; Is it wrong that I wish I had one? LOL Honestly, you guys are the bomb and a certain hater deserves a case of Karmic Krabs. (I’m lookin at you Xav.) Gramma always said, “If you can’t add something positive to the conversation, shut up and listen to better minds and try to learn something.”. GH ROX!

  170. Cherub-Rocker says:

    i doubt anyone can help me with this but i would like the measurements of the circuit boards involved in this project. width, length, and depth please

  171. Hugh G. Rection says:

    I personally think that this guitar looks pretty F@#ing rad! And when did this become about bashing guiter hero? i thought it was about a childrens charity. I also wanna say that this Bullet may have been (to some people) a waste of a guitar, but it’s not a one of a kind or anything. I’m sure there’s a few more out there. Oh, I’d like to clarify that I play GH AND guitar and they’re both awesome.

  172. GHELMOROCKER says:

    Hey Guys,

    I found this Blog while seeing if anyone had an idea about making a bigger Guitar cause the Cheat Wally-World one that i got is small and hard to play.
    I liked the idea that you had but i don’t like the idea of ripping up a musical instrument for a controller. I plan to make all of my stuff from scratch except the electronics out of the Guitar. While your handy work is good I would have been more impressed. Good nonetheless I will get some pics to you when i am finished.

    P.S. Thanks to the guys at Guitar Center for Letting me trace the design i wanted i hope to do them some Justice!!!

  173. Paul says:

    Hi, Great work how much did you make for charity at the auction in the end?

    I am also working on a slow time real guitar hero strat style guitar project, for my brothers birthday, I have until September (should be enought time??).
    You can see my blog here:
    http://real-guitar-hero.blogspot.com/

  174. Aesalonius says:

    It looks really good but isn’t it quite heavy? Even so it gives a more realistic feeling with that bit more weight. Nice job :D

  175. John D. says:

    Thanks for the nice mod. I just did one using a lot of tips from your website and wanted to add a few comments about what I learned.

    1) In order to have a guitar that would work with all GH versions, I used a wired PS2 controller board for the “brain” instead of a wireless guitar. The strum switch, tilt switch (star power), and metal part of the whammy bar were the only things used from a plastic wired guitar.

    2) I mounted a female 8-pin DIN plug on the side of the body and wired an 8-pin male DIN plug to the controller cable. This way I can unplug the cable from the guitar.

    3) Instead of using momentary on/off switches for the START and SELECT buttons, I replaced the original guitar’s pots with two pots that have a built-in switchs. You leave them in the off position and then rotate them on/off to use the switch. This way I was able to keep the original knobs and the guitar looks better.

    3) I used tiny microswitches for the fret buttons and made wooden actuators that fit onto the switch’s shaft. The wooden buttons only project about 1/32″ above the fret board and blend in with the fret board.

    4) I installed colored LEDs on the side of the neck to indicate the color of the button. The LEDs are wired to the 3v source of the controller and have the appropriate resistors to make them work. I also installed an LED on the front of the guitar that replaces the LED on the controller. The color matches the guitar and tells you whether or not you have good communications with the PS2 unit.

  176. parker says:

    awesome but seem as if it is a technological nightmare

  177. Hjortnaes says:

    Raknikh responds to Xavier with this wonderful little reaction

    on December 8th, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    “Xavier Says:

    December 8th, 2006 at 4:32 pm
    That’s not my goddamn point, my point is you need to grow some balls and learn to play real guitar.”

    And in that same (idiotic) frame of mind…

    Grow some balls and fly a real X-wing…
    Grow some balls and fight real aliens…
    Grow some balls and have a to-the-death fight with other crazy dudes…
    Grow some balls and fly a fighter jet…

    Geez man, lighten up. Not everyone has the time or inclination to spend the hours a day required to learn music and become a guitar god. However, we’ve all had rockstar fantasies and this is a fun game that lets a lot of people feel that thrill vicariously. Just like street-racing games. Most of us aren’t rich or crazy enough to spend $10,000 on a faster-than-legal car and race down the boulevards at 150MPH, so we enjoy the simulation.

    Maybe spending $99 on a guitar for this was a bit much (for me) but hey, it’s all about fun and experimentation. You need to grow a set of balls and learn to act like a person. If you were one of the guitarists in my band I’d punch you in the throat and break your fingers. Good luck playing anything *but* guitar hero after that.

    To the creators, excellent job! Very creative.

    TAKE THAT XAVIER….

    creators, you rock with your guitar, literally :D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  178. Aesalonius says:

    All those that say it was a waste of time and things are all idiots because it was to raise money for a charity so it was time well spent and would you rather help lives or play a real guitar?

  179. Drew says:

    All of you people ranting on about “Learn to play a REAL guitar” or “Go out into the REAL world” etc etc. Look at those tools, and I mean seriously. Those probably cost more than your car. How about the fact that they are turning a $99 guitar into a very generous donation to charity?

    Some people can’t make it outside to play football, or ‘rock out’ with their Generic black SG because they’re saving children with Cancer.

    God Bless guys. Amazing work.

  180. [...] Since Guitar Hero for the Playstation 2 was originally released in late 2005, there were been rumblings about converting a real guitar into something you could use with the Playstation 2. The first one I ever saw was the toolmonger tutorial. [...]

  181. [...] Habe ich hier gefunden. Finde ich mal eine Superwitzige Idee. Mehr davon! Since Guitar Hero for the Playstation 2 was originally released in late 2005, it was inevitable that someone would go about converting a real guitar into something you could use in the game. The first one I ever saw was toolmonger’s How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller. [...]

  182. Patrick says:

    “So why don’t you put down the guitar, and pick up a real instrument?(How about the clarinet, trumpet, or the violen?) I mean seriously, grow some balls. You don’t have to succumb to peer pressure and play the guitar like all of the other super-cool emo kids.”

    Damn! those are fighting words. The guitar is as real of an instrument as you can get.. its more of an instrument than trumpet or violin or clarinet because you can have all the notes right in front of you. no need to get a trumpet in Bb and another in C or any of those. SO… the guitar and piano are more of an instrument than the ones you mentioned.

  183. Ian says:

    Jesus, I am trying hard to see the point of what you have done. Even if you can only play “yankie doodle dandy” then its better than wasting hours with that stupid game. If you play a guitar or other real instrument you can go out and jam with other people. Its never too late to learn. okay so maybe yo won’t be the next “guitar hero” but at least what you’re doing will be real

  184. Natural Mystery says:

    Excellent mod !! I’ve gotta agree with the position of the “Tremolo” arm or whammy bar as it’s also called. I’ve got an old ” Ibanez Roadstar” that has been lying in a case for years unplayed and broken and it’ll make an ideal guitar to use for this type of project. And considering that I have 5 guitars which all work and I play all the time, I won’t mind one bit destroying the Ibanez and I know I will have great fun trying to make one of these. Please note the word FUN all you folks that are moaning about playing REAL guitars, that’s why this has been created IT’S FUN !!

    Keep up the good work

  185. scarletfrost says:

    oh my word,
    i am so excited, ive got a bare bones ibanez and my trusty first ever guitar a Legend they are just waiting to be given a new lease of life.

    Brillant work chaps, im getting my dremel.

    n.b as for the bitchin on and ON about playing a real gtr yadda yadda, give it a rest , point taken , every gtrist i know that has played has grown a pair and gotten over themselves, and im a pretentious string player i can play a REAL instrument without dots or anything…

    counting down to GH4, the drums will be mine…

  186. Jason says:

    Wow! Thats awesome. I actually took apart my Guitar Hero Controller myself to shoot a disassembly video for my website. Check it out!
    http://www.takeitapart.com/guitar-hero-controller/

  187. Steve says:

    Hey -

    I think this is AWESOME. Is there any way that you guys could make one for me, and I’ll pay you for it? I’ll give you the guitar I’d like it to be made on, and the regular guitar hero guitar to use the pieces from. please email me and let me know, because I’m very interested. Thanks!

  188. JAMA says:

    thats a cool gutair. what was the final cost of the build??? can you just make me one too?

  189. [...] If you’re a Stratocaster person, try this guys 7 page walk-through/hack: Share Article: [...]

  190. CPU64 says:

    Well, its been almost a year since I made mine, and there still isn’t a better build out there ^_^

  191. kustoz says:

    Wow!

    That’s awesome!

  192. Billy Bob says:

    Couldn’t you just make a guitar out of wood instead of waisting the perfectly good guitar? I was thinking about trying it. I would just hate to destroy the equipment.

  193. Mr D UK says:

    What is wrong with you fucktards???

    It took alot of skill to turn the guitar into a controller!!!!
    AND IT WAS AUCTIONED FOR CHARITY.

    CHARITY YOU FUCKING IDIOTS!!!!!!

    it isn’t like buying a ps3 just to smash the shite outta it!!!!
    wheres the point in that???

    Holy Jebus LOL

    Nice one guys for the conversion.

  194. Calum says:

    Congrats Guys!

    Obviously anyone who has said anything negative clearly hasn’t read the article. This project was not a waste of time, or a waste of a guitar. It was a project done for charity in a very limited time.

    Good on you guys. I hope the charity were more grateful than some of the readers!

    Calum

  195. [...] If you are into Guitar Hero, and you are also a real guitar player, I’m sure you can agree with me with one thing… the feel on that plastic guitar is really crappy. It’s too light and it’s plastic! What if I can show you that there is a way for you to mod a real Strat to become a wireless Guitar Hero Controller? Yeah baby! Check this out. Some dude at toolmonger.com made one that is way cool! Get more photo’s and how to make one from the source here. [...]

  196. [...] #1: Todd Swarthout just sent in a link to a 7-page DIY guide on taking a real guitar and chopping up your fake Guitar Hero guitar to mod the real one to be a [...]

  197. Bill says:

    Very cool mod, sure beats the easy mods of just adding vinyl decals,
    http://www.squidoo.com/Customize_Your_Rock_Band_Guitar
    I think the people who feel others should learn to play a real guitar versus destroying a perfectly good (although low end) guitar just don;t understand it’s just a game. People mod their cars, their computers, their garages, so why not a controller for a game?

    Bill

  198. [...] …or be a true rebel and Guitar Hero – and have it turned into the ultimate stringless axe: Toolmonger Blog Archive How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller __________________ http://thecubanspy.deviantart.com/portfolio/ My music gear: Epiphone Les [...]

  199. chibby says:

    that looks like shit on a stick

  200. Great job on the conversion but I have to say that I prefer the real thing. But…if I had to play guitar hero, I would prefer to play it on your conversion guitar rather than the original.

  201. Guitar Hero Hero says:

    Wow I am amazed and horrified on what you’ve done, as my heard is bleeding for the broken Fender. But to play Guitar Hero with a real Guitar would bring me over the pain. Building everything within 75 hours is definitely convincing me in doing so myself. I, therefore, hope that my parts will arrive today, as RS Components is quite quick in delivering. And it means Guitar Hero Rock Legend HERE I COME.

  202. Looks really cool. I might have to try this.

  203. [...] Toolmonger » Blog Archive » How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full … [...]

  204. skooponsomebody says:

    wow, too cool. 99$ does seem a bit steep but its a cheep guitar, not like its a strat or anything. alot of trolling here. all i can say is: be it on a game or a real guitar its still fun. I love to jam out on my strat then put it down and go play rockband on my replica strat. “whatever floats your boat just might sink your ship”

  205. zKITKATz says:

    Awesome mod! I would definitely like to try and make something like that. However, what I want to know is why are people bashing so much on this. The whole point of a video game is to simulate something either in real life or in fiction. Guitar Hero is simulating being a rock star. The more realistic the feeling is, usually the better the game. That’s exactly what this mod does. On top of that, if you don’t like the game, why are reading an article about it?

  206. [...] Too&#108monger » B&#108og Ar&#99h&#105&#118e » How-To: Bu&#105&#108d Your Own Cu&#115tom Fu&#108&#… [...]

  207. Echoleon says:

    Has there really been 2 years of flaming going on?

    Good job on the craftsmenship and getting everything to fit. :]

  208. [...] adding wireless at the same time. It really isn’t hard if you’re half-handy with a soldering iron. Toolmonger Blog Archive How-To: Build Your Own Custom Full-Sized Wireless Guitar Hero Controller Seven pages of (comparatively) DIY guitar conversion __________________ Gaming tag = [...]

  209. bob says:

    Excellent job. I’ve never played guitar hero. I’ve played guitar for 25 years, and this project in no way offends my guitarist sensibility. I’ll bet the controller sees more use than the guitar ever would. Hell, I turned a guitar into a lamp. I took out the truss-rod, ran wire, and the volume knob controlled an on off switch. It was the late 80′s; I used small halogen spot (size/design issues) and wasn’t satisfied with the light it produced.

  210. Phishbiskit says:

    First off, I love the mod, and the fact that it was donated for charity!

    One disparaging line of thought I noticed awhile back was the notion that someone(anyone) was “too old” to be playing video games. What the hell? Since when is there an age limit on FUN? Maybe that’s part of what’s wrong with this world… too goddamn many people have become bitter because they’ve forgotten how to have fun. If more people allowed themselves to have a bit of fun, perhaps they wouldn’t be so pissed off all the time.

    Second: I too heckled GH for the longest time, often referring vociferously to it as “Guitar Noob”. That is, until I actually picked up a controller and got 99% on my first song. I still refer to it as “Guitar Noob” for fun, but I am HOOKED. I also play real music… I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination on any instrument, but I play a bit of piano, violin, and the doumbek. This game inspired me to go out and buy my first ax. I doubt I’ll ever write my own music, or be a rock god, but I know I’ll have fun playing covers and writing filks/parodies. Ant that, my heckling narrow-minded friends is the point.

    “Grow some balls” and have some fun in your life. If you’re “too old” to have fun and be creative, you might as well give up on life because you’ve become nothing more than a mindless cookie-cutter clone who only survives… and one day will die, as miserable and bitter as you’ve lived.

  211. matt says:

    Seriously people? These guitar hero games are ruining music as we know it. Pick up a guitar if you want to play the guitar.