Make Your Own Guitar Counterweight For Neck Heavy Instruments – A Special How-To



If you’re like me you’ve got a couple of instruments that are particularly neck heavy.  It’s hard to find a balanced bass guitar, especially when you get into the realm of 6-strings and 7-strings.  Those extra strings require more headstock room, and with that comes extra weight.  Many people have looked to find a way to make a guitar counterweight for these neck heavy instruments.

Well, I’ve come up with a way to keep your guitar perfectly in balance, is non-destructive to the instrument, can be taken on and off whenever you want, weight can be added and subtracted depending on the instrument, and is great for live application.  And it’s easy to make, as well as cost effective…

Below, you will find a video tutorial where I talk about the steps you need to take to make your own guitar counterweight.

Aside from my method, there are a couple of options you have on the market to eliminate neck dive – and they’re more expensive than what I’ve come up with.
There’s the “Heads Up” strap which is basically a guitar strap that you can put weights in.  There’s also the “Axe Balancer” that you can put on your strap pin.  However, the problem with these two is that the Heads Up strap is really only good if you’re wearing the strap and standing up.  Sure, you can use it without wearing it but it would be, in my opinion, a bit cumbersome.  The Axe Balancer looks like it’s only really meant for electric guitars as the weight it adds is only a few ounces.  Well, with bass guitars you sometimes need a couple of pounds to balance things out.

My first prototype was made out of some old jeans, an old guitar strap, and some thread.

vlcsnap-2013-05-21-10h20m30s93I cut off one of the legs of my jeans, figured out how much to cut off the sides, cut off a guitar strap, made a pocket out of the jean cloth, sewed it to the strap, added a clip to close it up, and that was that.

I actually still use this one since it’s a bit easier to take on and off; it dangles a bit further down than my actual finished product, creating a lower center of gravity.

But I didn’t like the way this looked and I knew I wouldn’t be able to use it live.  So I came up with a better, smaller, and less obtrusive final product.

What I did was I bought a Neotech wifi pouch.  This is the pouch that guitarist use to attach their wireless transmitter onto their guitar strap.  It already comes with a latch and it already comes with a way to attach it to a strap.

But I didn’t want to create a strap; I wanted to create a counterbalance.

Okay, so I bought three Neotech pouches for three guitars.  I then went out and bought a variety of scuba weights.  These scuba weights are soft packs that contain a type of metal pellet inside them – so they’re flexable.  They come in different weight classes so you can mix and match however you like depending on how much weight you need.

I then bought a cheap guitar strap.  Add some needle and thread and a lighter and that’s all you need.

I took the wifi pouch, threaded the cheap strap through it so that the top of the strap stuck out of the top of the pouch just a bit.  Then I cut off the excess of the strap.  I then sewed the strap to the pouch with needle and thread – tacking it on all sides.  Then I used a lighter to melt down the frayed ends of the strap so it wouldn’t keep unraveling.

At that point I just added whatever weight to the pouch and stuck it on the strap pin.  Done!  Perfectly balanced and it doesn’t get in the way of my playing. I can take it off whenever I want; I can add more weight if I want.  There’s no screwing and unscrewing the back compartment of your guitar; there’s no drilling involved.  It’s great!  I use it all the time now.  Plus, it works best with my Dunlop strap locks:  It fits on the strap pin and still allows room to put a strap over it.


So the video below will walk you through the steps a bit slower and will teach you how you can make your own.  Enjoy.


Check out my band’s most recent video. Our new album is currently out and available through Generation Prog Records

About Jay Lamm

J. Lamm is the bassist, vocalist, song writer, and keyboardist for the mercurial metal band Cea Serin. While away from Cea Serin J. Lamm also performs live with Cirque Dreams as a touring musician. J. Lamm has also written and recorded music for movies, television and radio.
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7 Responses to Make Your Own Guitar Counterweight For Neck Heavy Instruments – A Special How-To

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  2. Bennie Burger says:

    Thanx for this video dude. I just got a ESP Viper Standard Series, and sitting down I absolutely love this guitar, fits like a glove. But when I stand, NECK DIVE! SO this is rather magnificent!

  3. Jay Lamm says:

    I use scuba weights in the pouch I made. I mean, if you want to go really low tech then buy some panty hose, fill it with something a little heavy, and then tie the panty hose around the strap knob. I would only do that if I was recording something though. The beauty of the pouch is that you can take it on and off really quickly and have it on with a strap as well.

  4. Pingback: Epi SG neck dive (and other things) -

  5. david says:

    all I did was take an old phone case I had laying around,i turned the belt strap on the back of it around [or leave it as is ] – put the weights in the pouch as needed and sewed up the end of the pouch.put it on my guitar strap,job great.for weight,you can use whatever you can come up with.i used washers from the hardware store.if your worried that they might make noise – glue them together…………..

  6. HEADKNOCKER says:

    I would put two strap buttons on the bass, Centered that when the bass is stood on end it rests on both buttons, The higher button should change the balance point enough that you should now have a body heavy bass without the addition of any weight at all.. I saw that gary willis uses a setup like this on his 5 string Ibanez
    Also note the lack of a truss rod cover too, besides they are just in the way plus the three screws IF your bass has one..The addition of a ramp will also give a very small amount of weight to the body.. Note: that on the GW basses only have one pickup & a lightweight body + lightweight tuner buttons & no frets, All factors of weight.. I plan on making some type of mod to my Ibanez basses & a ramp for the fretless.. The 4 strings balance fairly well..
    I now wonder if the relocation of the strap button will give any change in the basses ballance? There’s always the Dive Shop or Lead in the strap!
    Thanks for the YouTube videos & any help you’ve given to myself & others.
    ROCK ON my Brotha

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