How to Replace the Neck of a Telecaster Guitar

Written by wade shaddy
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How to Replace the Neck of a Telecaster Guitar
The Fender Telecaster has a bolt-on neck that is easy to change. (electric guitar image by Blue Moon from

Telecasters are single coil, dual pickup guitars made by the Fender company. Telecasters have a revolutionary neck for two reasons; first, the neck is a solid piece of maple without a fretboard. The frets are inserted directly into the maple surface of the neck. Second, the neck is bolted on instead of glued on. This makes it easy to change. There are only four bolts that hold the neck to the guitar body. You can change a Telecaster neck in about 20 minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings from the guitar. Lay the guitar upside down on a padded surface; the back of the guitar should be facing up.

  2. 2

    Remove the four screws and the chrome plate from the back of the guitar with the Phillips screwdriver. The screws pass through the plate, through the guitar body and into the neck.

  3. 3

    Hold the guitar body up with one hand. Use the other hand to wiggle the neck up and down as you slide it out of the guitar body.

  4. 4

    Lay the guitar down facing up. Lay the new neck over the routed-out recess where the other neck came out. Push down gently on the neck with your fingers; it will be tight, so force the neck into the opening by wiggling it slightly back and forth to get it to go all the way into the routing until it bottoms out.

  5. 5

    Turn the guitar upside down; the neck should be facing down. Lay the chrome plate over the existing holes in the guitar body where it came off. Insert the four screws back into the plate, and push them down through the holes in the body until they contact the new neck. Use the screwdriver to screw all four screws into the neck until the screws and the neck are tight. Put the strings back on.

Tips and warnings

  • If the screws are exceedingly hard to screw into the new neck, remove them and rub the screws with some paraffin wax to lubricate them. If they still resist going in without moving the neck, put a small hand clamp on the neck and clamp it to the guitar body and then screw them in.

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