Guitar Hero Controller Anti Double-Strum Mod (Wii Version)





Introduction: Guitar Hero Controller Anti Double-Strum Mod (Wii Version)

There are a few different techniques for playing the guitar hero controller. There's the "thumb" technique, where the player pushes down on the strum bar with his/her thumb to play a note. Some players grasp the bar between the thumb and forefinger like a pick, rocking it up and down to play the "notes". Some (like myself) actually strum the "strum" bar", brushing it with my fingernail as though I were picking an actual guitar string. Still others use an actual pick (you know, for heightened realism) to play the strum bar.

Those of us in the last two category have had to fight an enemy most foul: the double strum. When you strum the bar, it will play the note, but then spring back and play a second note on the rebound. The harder you strum, the harder it bounces back: it's especially bad on the up-strum. Once you get into hard mode, it's a near-impossibility to get through without strumming up and down, and passages that are played perfectly will get you booed off the stage.

The problem is this: the strum bar sits right on top of two switches, one for the up strum and one for down strum. The only thing restraining it from playing the second "ghost" note is the weak spring inside the switch itself. We need to add some padding to the switches that will stop the bar from pressing on the opposite switch on the rebound without interfering with a normal strum.

Step 1: Disassembly

The first step is to disassemble the controller. Remove the neck, the WiiMote retaining cover, and the faceplate. Place the controller body on its back and remove the four screws around the neck slot. Flip the body over and remove the nine screws using a #9 torx bit. Note that one of the screws is covered by a warranty sticker warning you that the warranty is void if removed. It will have to come off to take the controller apart. If you're having reservations, remember that throwing the controller against the wall in frustration because you can't get past "Raining Blood" due to double strum also voids the warranty.

Once all the screws have been removed, you should be able to pull the back cover off and reach the delicious innards. Make sure you note how the strap buttons are attached and keep track of them.

The offending switches are under the central and largest circuit board. First, remove the three screws holding the analog thumb controller. Remove the four corner screws from the strum bar circuit board and lift it up (with the thumb controller board and neck connector).

Step 2: Padding the Switches

With the strum bar circuit board exposed, we can now see the switch assembly. What we will do is mount some foam around the switch actuators (the white plastic pieces in the switch assembly pictured below) for the strum bar to rest on and absorb the rebound. It will need to come up higher than the white plastic parts.

Take some double-sided mounting tape and cut out a hole for the switch actuator, making sure that it is not blocked or impeded in any way. I used an x-acto knife to make the cuts. Make sure that yours is new and sharp. The second picture below shows what the cuts will look like when the x-acto knife blade is worn and dull.

Cut some foam to size and adhere to the mounting tape. Make sure that the foam comes above the switch actuator, with about 1/4" to 3/8" clearance. It needs to provide just the right amount of resistance to strum bar rebound without interfering with normal gameplay. I used foam from a microphone shipping container and a worn and dull x-acto knife. Once again, I recommend new and sharp.

Reassembly, as usual, is the reverse of disassembly. Be sure to include the strap buttons in the first reassembly to avoid a second disassembly and reassembly.



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    I didn't know if this would really work - but I followed your instructions and it worked beautifully! Your pictures are very helpful and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. I now have a guitar that has perfect playability thanks to this instructable. Great job and thanks!

    your first pic is a stock photo of a fake guitar hero guitar because all the hardware is white instead of blak. ive seen it on ebay before

    I hold the bar, too, but sometimes it slips and double strums on me. This would be a great way to prevent that. Now I'd love to see an instructable where somebody makes a more pick-friendly switch. Perhaps one that is a string suspended between a switch and an anchor point, where the switch is pulled on each strum. That would rock.

    6 replies

    You're probably better off getting a switch-friendly pick. I've had the best luck with the stubby, pointy ones.

    I've considered getting a rubber pick of the type that some bass players use for use with my GH controller, but I just never got around to it. It seems like something like that would work well with the strum bar as it is (with this anti-double strum mod).

    I might have to try this. Good idea.

    I just now thought of this. You take the strum bar and notch out a nice grove and put a guitar string in there, make sure its nice and taught, and use a pic to play. This would go great with this anti double strum mod. I don't have GH, so if some one wants to try this go ahead.

    Cool ideas. If I ever get off my arse and decide to void my guitar controller, I'll do this. I like your illustration.

    I use a pick (having played real guitar for over 10 years) to play guitar hero, and have been having the same problem. I followed your Instructable, and it was amazing. My scores jumped up on average 50000 points! I could barely believe it. I had been killing myself trying to play the songs correctly when in reality it was the guitar controller screwing me out of my multiplier. Great Work Man!!

    1 reply

    I have the same problem. I'm a bassist, and when I play GH I flick the strum bar with my fingers instead of strumming it, and the back-action of the switch messes me up something FIERCE. I've had to learn a whole new style. I will totally try this mod!

    this works for my wii guitar great. nice instructable

    Does this work with an Xbox 360 guitar?

    1 reply

    I'm pretty sure that the rocker switch mechanism is the same, so it should work as long as you can get to the circuit board that has the switches on it. Both of the PS2 controllers I have use the exact same board. Standard warranty disclaimers apply, of course ;)

    Very creative mod! The only thing is, I play on expert and I can't, for the life of me, imagine NOT needing to double strum through some of those songs. hand would fall off. Then again, maybe it's different on the wii? Never-the-less, great idea for those who use it!

    4 replies

    Good Lord, it's hard enough to get past hard mode without going down AND up. No, this mod is to prevent unwanted ghost notes when the strum bar rebounds from stroking the strum bar and letting go.

    ok, so you still go up and down, but picking instead of fingering. I don't play real guitar, so I'm not sure how you play quick notes on one. Do you strum both up and down on a real one, as well?

    Yes. Unless you are James Hetfield.

    Ohh, I get it now. I guess I just misunderstood a bit before then. Well, excellent! +1 from me :)