It’s a good idea to check your guitar’s output jack regularly as the nut can work itself loose over time.

What to avoid

Resist the temptation to simply tighten the nut from the outside. It seems like the obvious fix. But doing this very often twists the jack itself inside the guitar. This twists the wires, potentially damaging them or their soldered connections.

It can also impair or interrupt the signal if things that shouldn’t touch come into contact. Not what you want at any time but especially not when you’re midway through a gig, rehearsal or face-melting solo!

The right approach

What you need to do is hold the jack in place from the inside while you tighten the nut on the outside.

This can be a fiddly job on semi-acoustic guitars (where you have to reach inside the soundhole).

On electric guitars and basses, you’ll need to unscrew the jack plate from the guitar body or access one of the guitar’s control cavities so you can reach and hold the jack still.


Removing a jack plate or cavity cover might not be an option in the heat of a live performance. And it may not be possible at all if you have a hollow-body guitar like an ES-335 that you cannot reach inside with your hand, or a strung semi-acoustic guitar that won’t allow you to reach into the soundhole.

So what can you do in these situations?

oiling strings

The all-round solution

Get yourself a Bullet Guitar Jack Tightener.* You can buy one on Amazon for around £20 (or from StewMac if you don’t mind shipping costs from the US).

This tool has a rubber part that fits into the jack socket, holding it still while you turn an arm to tighten the nut.

All of this is done from the outside without the need to remove any parts or reach any hard-to-access places.

And best of all, the jack won’t turn inside the guitar.

This really is an essential tool. It tightens a jack’s nut in seconds. And one day it might just save your life on stage!

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* This is an affiliate link. If you purchase through this link we make a very small commission. You don’t pay any extra for the product.

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