How to guide - What do I need to do to my Tele neck pickup for it to work with 4 way switching?
4 way switching for a Tele is a fantastic way to retain the existing, classic 3 pickup positions of neck pickup only, bridge pickup only and neck & bridge pickups in parallel. But if you've fancied achieving a slightly beefier, almost humbucker esq sound too but didn't want to compromise the rest of your Tele sounds as they are, 4 way switching offers you an additional position: Neck & bridge pickups in series! Putting the two pickups in series as opposed to parallel creates a louder and chunkier sound and it can be great fun to have this available to you without compromising the traditional 3 position tele sounds.

Telecaster 4 way switching

So, you've decided 4 way switching is for you and can see yourself using that extra position, or at least enjoying having it available to you. What do you need to do to make it happen? First of all you'll need to address your neck pickup, in most cases a telecaster neck pickup has a metal cover, be it a full cover or a partial 'open' cover like the photo above. If it does, then you'll need to do a little bit of modding before carrying out the switch work, but don't worry it's not as bad as it sounds.

Telecaster 4 way switching

Looking at the underside of your neck pickup, you should see a very small 'jumper' ground connection as pictured above. This is from the upper(central) eyelet/lug which is actually a locator for the metal cover, to the ground output of the pickup. This grounds the cover in regular use, but for 4 way switching due to the series position we need to snip that jumper ground connection. 

4 way telecaster switching

With that jumper now cut, you can look at adding your 3rd wire, a separate ground from the cover as shown in the 4 way wiring diagram. You can ultimately add this anywhere from the metal cover that is convenient for you, so I've shown a couple of examples below. First one is from the same cover eyelet that it was ground from originally, but now shown with the additional wire instead.
Secondly is just from one of the folded over cover lips, which is probably the least fiddly of the two to do. I've shown this with black wire, but you could use any coloured wire you wish, perhaps if you already have white and black wires on your neck pickup it could be worth using a different colour to make life a bit easier when you've pushed them all through the cavities to the control plate, helping decipher which wire is which afterwards.

4 way tele switch
4 way tele wiring

With this done, you are now ready to tackle the switch wiring itself, but I hope this helps if you weren't already sure on how to add the cover ground when modding your Tele for 4 way switching or perhaps installing your new Home of Tone 4 Way Tele wiring harness. Grounding is a vital part of the 4 way switching working as it should, although it can be done at home and can be rewarding when complete, if for any reason you're not sure it is best to take to a local and trusted guitar tech to you.

For the wiring diagram to follow for 4 way Telecaster wiring, please check that out HERE

ooking to purchase a complete 4 way Telecaster wiring harness? I offer my Signature Series 4 way harness for Telecaster which is one of the most popular models I do! You can check that out HERE

r perhaps you're looking to wire this up yourself from scratch? If so, then I also stock the Oak 4 Way switch to complete this mode and those can be ordered HERE

Have you made good use of some of the free resources here? Wired up your guitar or found useful info here along the way? Perhaps you might consider kindly supporting this free resource for guitarists via 'Buy me a coffee'! Thank you so much!

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