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.
I 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.