Introduction: Easiest & Best Frets on Fire Keyboard Ever + Strum Bar

Picture of Easiest & Best Frets on Fire Keyboard Ever + Strum Bar

Easy and cheap mod to create an excellent keyboard for playing the awesome Frets on Fire (Free Guitar Hero PC Clone)

Step 1: Donor Keyboard

Picture of Donor Keyboard

I used a standard USB Dell keyboard, the type as shown in the photo... you could use any old keyboard but i liked the minimalist approach of this Dell one...

Step 2: Remove and Cover Unwanted Keys

Picture of Remove and Cover Unwanted Keys

Remove all the numpad, arrow and pgup,pgdn etc keys... remove all the F keys... remove the ` key and the 6 key...

Replace the backspace \ ] and [ keys with the arrow keys you just removed... much easier to access in the new position...

Replace the F12 key with the Escape key...

Cover all the removed keys with black plastic, i used an old ice cream container lid. Hot glue works best here...

Step 3: Strum Bar

Picture of Strum Bar

I looked all over the net for a good strum bar design and couldnt find one... so i had to resort to icecream sticks and hot glue... basically build a little 'T' and glue it upside down on the shift key so it over hang onto the enter key -- DO NOT GLUE ONTO THE ENTER KEY--- otherwise it wont work like a 'strum'

Hopefully the photos tell a thousand words here... the second one is painted....

Step 4: Paint the Frets

Picture of Paint the Frets

This step is optional but it does look cool... paint the 1,2,3,4,5 keys to match the fret colours in FoF..

I used MDF primer as a base coat and waterbased acrylic as a top coat... the blue could have been better... looks good in real life...

Step 5: Downlaod FoF

Picture of Downlaod FoF

Now go download Frets on Fire and change the key settings to match the keyboard... (frets, arrows, esc)

Get the RF-mod too, then go to and d/l some song packs....!


bbvbcb (author)2011-07-04

Have a look at this instructable, its like an advance version of your instructable, and more better version!!!

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2008-04-28

lol thats actually pretty nice.

BUT =D.. since i have a PS3, i just plug my ps3 guitar hero controller in my pc and i can play frets on fire w-o any hassle :D

qwerty29 (author)!Andrew_Modder!2009-05-29

does that work with a ps2 guitar?

cynnie1 (author)!Andrew_Modder!2008-11-05

can you please tell me how did you do it? i probably wont check this page again XD so please i beg you send me an e mail and tell me cause i plug the controller but the guitar does not works please tell me

divxnz (author)!Andrew_Modder!2008-04-28

Thanks... yea that would be sweet but for cheap asses like me you cant beat FoF..!

conradev (author)2009-03-14

I Fretted Boat 'N Hoes with EOF, its not that hard though. heres the song folder:


firesketch (author)2009-03-14

Thats my keyboard! And nice, but I'm lazy, so I'll just paint the keys :3

PKM (author)2009-01-14

Nice! FoF is the win for cheap Guitar Hero fans... I remapped mine to 1-5 rather than F1-F5 because I hate that little gap. I also remapped strum to down arrow and left arrow, I can't stand the strum bar on real GH controllers but this way I can tap with my first two fingers like I'm playing a bass. The combination plays merry devil with navigating the menus though, so I might change it to something different like keypad 0 and . or . and / The worst bit about using the numbers as frets is when I want to put a great run or percentage on the end of a high score (my PBs are 400+ and 100% on Normal :D ) and pressing 1 is the same as pressing enter.

rsn4ke (author)2008-12-20

Love it! tommorow im goin to prepare stuff for this. i'll buy the cheapest USB keyboard in town for 99,-SKK (3.3 €) get some plastic, some superglue and begin devastation of a brand new keyboard :D

divxnz (author)rsn4ke2008-12-20

Sweet... post a photo when you're done...!

rsn4ke (author)divxnz2008-12-21

it won\t be today because all the shops were closed, so i'll get it tommorow or so :D

joedynamite (author)2008-12-10

i swear this is true... my cousin helped produce this game. he made the the part for how u controll the game with the keyboard like that. if u want one i can hook u up with a gaming keyboard with the guitar strap knobs on it and with a strap. my cousins produceing that for the new frets on fire coming out on march 15 2009

thatguyruste (author)2008-11-25

Pssshhh...Fret on Fire is ghey...why don't you learn to play a REAL keyboard...GAWWW!!!

(...hopes everyone notes the ironic sarcasm...)

TheMadScientist (author)2008-10-26


RiddleOfSphinx (author)2008-07-09

Love Frets on Fire, but the one single most irritable thing I hate about it is that GAT DAYUM ESC KEY !!! But, if you cover that key, then how do you ecape to the menu and such, just askin' :)

i wouold say, change the command in the settings.

True, that "wouold" be the easiest thing to say I guess. ;) Aside from yanking the button out

thats mena you didnt have to quote me!! lol

Me so saw lee

Father Christmas (author)2008-07-24

thats badass. i am off to make one now, assuming i find an old keyboard lying around

JamesW (author)2008-06-28

Okay, firsties - I say awesome. BUT I wanna know how exactly does the popsicle stick strum bar work? Does it push down on one, the other, or both? I made my keytar based on yours, but instead of using a key based strum, I just stripped down a PS2 controller, cut the motors and the pads off, and superglued the joysticks and base down to my keyboard. I might have to make an instructable for that...but anyways, I wanted to know that.

divxnz (author)JamesW2008-06-28

It presses the enter key down to 'strum' the shift key essentially just tilts... feels like strumming with your thumb...

Vynash (author)2008-06-08

wow this is awesome im gonna do some day

MilotisX (author)2008-05-23

This is sick and all, but u can't hold down three keys....l besides that this is sick, i might try it

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