How to Upgrade a Squier Telecaster

Written by elijah chau
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How to Upgrade a Squier Telecaster
Modifying your Squier Telecaster requires some inexpensive equipment. (head of fender telecaster type electric guitar image by david hughes from

The guitar is the ideal instrument for any musician who's good with a toolbox. Unlike most instruments, the guitar features many components which can be easily swapped out for better ones.

This is especially easy when it comes to solid-body guitars like the Squier Telecaster. While the exact process for modifying components can vary depending on the part, upgrading your Squier Telecaster only requires some basic hardware.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soldering iron
  • Solder wire
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Replacement pickup
  • Replacement pick guard

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  1. 1

    Loosen the tension on all six strings with the tuning knobs or remove them from the headstock. This will allow for easy access to the pickguard area.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the eight securing screws that hold the pickguard to the guitar's body with the Phillips screwdriver.

  3. 3

    If any additional hardware, like pickups or pots, are mounted onto the pickguard, remove them either by hand or with the screwdriver.

  4. 4

    Take the new pickguard and reattach any components from the original pickguard. Place the pickguard over the body cavity and reattach with the original eight screws.

  1. 1

    Remove the pickguard to give yourself access to the pickup wiring and pots.

  2. 2

    Turn on the soldering iron and locate the points on the guitar where the pickup wiring is attached. Once the iron is heated, place the tip onto these points to melt the solder, which allows you to remove the pickup wire. Following this, remove the pickup from the pickguard with a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Take the replacement pickup and reattach it to the pickguard.

  4. 4

    Following the appropriate wiring diagram, use the solder and soldering iron to connect the pickup's wires to the correct locations. Place the solder wire on the attaching point and use the melted solder to connect the pickup wiring to the proper component.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that the any soldered wires are firmly connected to their contact points. If the soldering work is poorly done, the wires will separate after little use and you'll have to reopen the guitar a second time.
  • When soldering, make sure to maintain a clean work environment. The solder iron heats up quickly, so it is easy to burn yourself if you're not careful.

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