How to make your own USB guitar cord

Written by sam jones
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How to make your own USB guitar cord
Making your own USB guitar cable is as easy as splicing two cables together (usb 2 image by Bosko Martinovic from

One of the great things about the digital age is that many things are easier than before. One of those things is recording music. Until very recently, the only way a musician could record high quality guitar music was by paying a lot for recording equipment. Now it is as easy as plugging a guitar into a USB port on a computer, downloading some free software and strumming away. While you can buy a premade USB guitar cord, if you wish to save money, it is also possible to make your own.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Guitar cord
  • USB cable
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire stripper

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  1. 1

    Cut one end off a guitar cable using the wire cutters.

  2. 2

    Cut one end off a USB cable. Cut the end of the USB cable that would normally plug into a peripheral device, not the end that plugs into the USB port on the computer.

  3. 3

    Strip the guitar cord casing and wires. Use the wire stripper to first strip off two inches of the outer casing of the cut end of the cord. Then separate the two covered wires and strip them individually with the wire stripper. A wire stripper is a combination of a wire cutter and a pair of pliers. Place the wire in the tool at the point where the gauge markings match the wire gauge that is being stripped, then grasp the wire or cable in one hand and pull the wire stripper in the opposite direction. This action causes the outer plastic casing covering the wire to be cut free from the cable, leaving the metal wire inside exposed.

  4. 4

    Strip the cut end of the USB cable. Use the stripper to remove two inches of casing off the cut end then remove the inner casing from each wire inside, leaving nothing but two strands of exposed metal protruding from the cable.

  5. 5

    Bend and twist together wires from both cables. Grab the bare wire on the guitar cord in one hand and the bare wire on the USB cable in the other. Bend both wires at a ninety degree angle at their midpoints then hold them together so they are lined up evenly and touching each other. Starting at the point closest to the cables, start twisting the two wires together. Continue twisting until they are twisted or braided together all the way to the tops of both.

  6. 6

    Tape the connection. Cut off two inches of electrical tape and wrap it tightly around the twisted wire. Bend the twisted pair of wires down towards the guitar cable end of the new combined cable until it touches the exposed wire. Cut off two more inches of electrical tape and use it to tape the combined twisted wire to the rest of the wire at the base. The end result should be a taped join between the two black wires, with no bare wire showing.

    Repeat the whole process for the red wires from both cables.

  7. 7

    Tape the join. Once both of the inner wires are securely twisted and taped together, tape the whole area over with three layers of electrical tape.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't have a wire stripper, a sharp knife can be used to cut nicks in the cable casing. Pull it free of the metal wire below.
  • Use electrical tape, not regular tape, or your cable can catch fire when it gets hot.
  • Be sure to completely cover the inner connections with tape. They will short out if the metal from one touches the metal from the other.
  • Be sure to cover the connection with at least three layers of electrical tape. The electrical tape will keep the heat in, thus preventing a fire.

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