Fret Buttons not working? – Solutions here!

We had a few questions from visitors about their fret buttons not working. This is a troubleshooting guide to help you fix exactly that problem.

Obvious things first - make sure batteries are good and the controller is connected to your console!

Ideally you will have lots of friends who play Guitar Hero too ( if your friends do not play GH ditch them now and get some proper ones!), if this is the case you can borrow one of their guitars, swap the necks around and see if that makes the difference - This will confirm weather the issue is in the neck of guitar side of things.

If the different neck does not stop the problem then the first thing to do is check the connector inside the body of the guitar that the neck plugs into. This sits just inside the body of the guitar and should be well fixed into position and not full of dust - a tiny bit of movement is OK but if it is moving about a lot it is not making the connection to the neck properly and you are lucky if any of your buttons work! If this is fine then the problem either lies in the wiring inside the guitar or with the connection to your console - both of which are very difficult to fix so we shall leave there!

If the problem is in the neck of the guitar there are a few things you need to check see our troubleshooting video below

Download this video to watch later (wmv 6.5mb)

One thing to note with fret button problems is that they are not always traceable or fixable, due to the way the buttons work, if the board or connector is faulty then you really have no option but to buy another guitar as replacement of these parts if quite difficult.

If you have any questions about your fret button problems please post them here and we will try to help!



41 Comments on "Fret Buttons not working? – Solutions here!"

  1. John Burton on Sat, 20th Jun 2009 3:23 pm 

    Thanks for the video. I have been trying to fix my guitar for ages. The frets were all working except the blue one. I did what you suggested and it worked. It seems the board had got some dirt or dust in there or something or the connector was not quite right. It gets a hard life!
    Cheers again, you saved the day.


    PS Picked up a second hand PS3 dirt cheap via your site, wish I’d come here first as my other one cost an arm and a leg new.

  2. Steve on Sat, 20th Jun 2009 8:39 pm 

    Nice one JB its a pleasure to help!

  3. Dazhedley on Tue, 14th Jul 2009 9:48 pm 

    Hey i just got a new GHWT guitar off eBay. It seemed boxed and sealed like brand new, but hey can you trust eBay sellers? Anyway the Orange button does not work on this axe, ive tried giving it a clean and putting some paper behind to pack out the frets but still no joy. It seems to be if i hit the orange note hard it works for a few notes then dies again.

    Any suggestions to resolve this would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Steve on Tue, 14th Jul 2009 11:48 pm 

    Hi Dazhedley,

    Once you have tried the basic steps, as you seem to have, there is not really a lot more that can be done short of changing the whole neck for a working one. As you brought it on eBay unless the seller described it as faulty you should be entitled to a refund but if you have been taking it apart and playaing around inside it that may be more tricky. Ebay does ahve a great number of excellent sellers on there (me included :)) and if you go back to them and explain your problem you should be able to come to some kind of agreement

    Good luck!

  5. Martin Dann on Mon, 17th Aug 2009 9:10 pm 

    Just bought the solo guitar version of Guitar Hero World tour and have noticed a strange problem with it.

    All buttons work fine on their own but when I try to play red and green together it doesn’t work.

    Will I need to take it back to the shop?



  6. Steve on Mon, 17th Aug 2009 11:02 pm 

    Hi Martin

    If your guitar is still under warranty I would advise taking it back if you can any problems like you describe would suggest faulty wiring on the circuit board

  7. toffeeblue08 on Wed, 9th Sep 2009 8:28 pm 

    Hows it going? I’ve had my ghwt guitar for a while and recently the red button has stopped working…none of the methods above work and i’d say the warranty had passed anyway, any suggestions?

  8. Steve on Sat, 12th Sep 2009 11:39 am 

    Hi Toffeeblue08

    If you have tried the suggestions in the artical I am afradi i dont have anything else to suggest, maybe one of the other readers could help….

  9. Wilsky on Tue, 24th Nov 2009 7:26 pm 

    I already have done everyting possible with my guitar controler… but the red fret button stil don´t work…
    Any advice ?

  10. Steve on Mon, 7th Dec 2009 10:20 pm 

    if you have done everything possible then there is nothing left to try i am afraid!

  11. Acey on Wed, 30th Dec 2009 10:26 pm 

    When I play GHWT the first few minutes, everythings fine, but the green fret button dosent work after a while. All my other buttons work, but the green one dosent.
    Is there anything i could do to fix it?

  12. Steve on Sat, 2nd Jan 2010 11:40 am 

    Other than the suggestions we have given you here we cannot think of anything else to suggest – if anyone else has found any good tricks for this please add them to this thread for all to see!

  13. joy on Thu, 12th Jul 2012 12:34 am 

    Hey thank you for taking the time to make this video. You have saved me a bunch of money 🙂

    You rock

  14. Laurie Summers on Sat, 22nd Feb 2014 6:34 am 

    When I press the fret buttons they light up on the screen but no sound and not registering with game.

  15. Gregg on Sun, 30th Mar 2014 6:03 pm 

    Hello, I have recently purchased a guitar hero III for the PS3 and when I try to play it the orange button on the game does not shut off on the TV screen. So I am unable to use it for the game. All the other buttons appear to be working fine. I have tried a different neck and same thing happened.

  16. Mike on Mon, 7th Apr 2014 2:58 am 

    My wireless guitar controller works fine in all the menus, but during an actual song, the fret buttons either don’t work, or they play the wrong note…no strumming, though strum works outside of songs. The controller worked fine previously, even during songs. Any advice?

  17. Gustav Jensen on Wed, 4th Jun 2014 2:31 pm 

    Hi, thanks for the video! It turned out to be dust between the neck and the body :D. Now I can start using the red again.

  18. Chris on Sat, 7th Jun 2014 11:54 am 

    Question: I have a PS2 and i’m having trouble playing Guitar HERO. If the disc itself is badly scratched (i love this game literally to death) does it effect the function of the guitar fret buttons??????

    BACKGROUND: I can toggle through the menu using the fret buttons, but when the song starts, nothing registers.

    I followed all the above instructions regarding cleaning, batteries, dust etc and it changed nothing, so i put in GH3 and everything seems to be working fine. I can play to my hearts content! I put GH2 in and again nothing registered when i got to the song part.

  19. matt on Thu, 12th Jun 2014 12:18 pm 

    How about this one…just bought a guitar off ebay. 2nd guitar from this seller ’cause the first one, the frets didn’t work at all. this one, when I press the green button it plays the orange note, when I press the orange button it plays the red note, and the yellow and blue notes don’t do anything. any idea about this one?

  20. Nick on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 11:49 pm 

    I have an explorer guitar for the xbox 360. When I press the yellow fret, the orange fret also lights up. The same with the orange fret. This problem used to just flicker on and off but now it is just stuck. I have opened up the guitar and checked all the wiring but I have no idea how this is happening. Any help is appreciated.

  21. Nick GHR on Mon, 11th Aug 2014 3:21 pm 

    Hi, if you have followed all the advice above then i’m afraid it sounds like your guitar is dead :'(
    Thanks for visiting the site

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  24. Chase Besiallon on Sat, 2nd Aug 2014 5:56 am 

    If your fret buttons are not working you can use a can of WD-40. You have to use a cotton swab and use it around the button. Then wipe out some of it with another swab and then press the button a few times or until it starts working. If it does not work I suggest you return it and get a new one. Hope this was helpful.

  25. Adrian Figueroa on Sun, 24th Aug 2014 2:12 am 

    OK so my problem is a little different. The blue button is always registered on the game but the button is not stuck or sticky.

  26. Holly on Sun, 7th Sep 2014 6:30 am 

    I was having trouble with the fret buttons on my guitar hero world tour guitar for xbox 360. The fret buttons worked fine when i wasn’t playing a song and so did the strum bar. However, when i went to play a song the blue and green buttons were pushed in on the screen without me pressing them and when i did press the green button the orange one responded on screen. The other buttons were completely unresponsive. I ended up opening up the body of the guitar and using a pencil eraser to clean off the little circuit board connected to the part of the guitar that connects with the neck of the guitar. After that, the buttons worked perfectly.

  27. Lennart on Tue, 14th Oct 2014 5:20 pm 

    Hi there,

    I do have a huge Problem. The Frets themselves work perfectly fine, while browsing through the menu and when confirming stuff, going back in menu, etc. However, once I start playing a song they dont seem to be working anymore for some unknown reason. When i hit the frets, the buttons on the screen actually light up, but there is no sound whatsoever and I always get 0% and booed off the stage in a matter of seconds due to the fact that i dont play anything whatsoever.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much.

  28. bodyslidebyone on Sun, 14th Dec 2014 7:01 pm 

    Hi Lennart I have the exact same problem on my PS3 with both of my Guitar Hero World Tour guitars and it’s the same in Rock Band 2. Did you find a fix?

  29. ted on Fri, 19th Dec 2014 12:44 am 

    Ok, I’ve got a weird one. Ive got a les paul for the ps3. When i push any of the three green red or yellow buttons it pushrs all 3. I replaced the buttons, the ruber, cleaned connections.. no dice. Any ideas?

  30. MetalGear on Fri, 9th Jan 2015 2:23 am 

    My problem is when i push blue fret button it shows that im pressing blue+orange and when i press 2 buttons which are not next to each other it presses the button or the buttons between them too..Tried everything on internet, cleaning iron soldering etc. 0 effect.Any advice?Also where i can order cheaply neck for Les Paul guitar for ps3 if i dont find any solution, since the problem is 100% in the neck?

  31. Annoyed on Sat, 17th Jan 2015 6:44 am 

    We have the same problem as Lennart and Bodyslidebyone. Has anyone figured out a fix for this? Thanks!

  32. jacob on Thu, 30th Jul 2015 6:18 am 

    So my GH5 guitar was playing fine and now my orange button is permanently pressed. What can I do to stop this?

  33. donnierotton on Mon, 24th Aug 2015 8:12 am 

    hi guys just figured it out!! the problem with the guitar working but not working is you must have the receiver in port 1 if in port 2 it works but doesn’t work properly!!

    hope this helps

  34. Kirk on Tue, 1st Dec 2015 12:01 pm 

    Thanks for the advice. I gave up after unscrewing and re screwing the screws back on the neck 3 times. Then I saw this video and the rubber and button paper sorted it.

    YouTube video title: how to fix frets On Les Paul controller guitar Hero Xbox 360

  35. Guitar Hero Fixer on Wed, 9th Mar 2016 10:39 pm 

    I had a similar problem to Lennart. I think it is because the pads that connect to the pogo pins in the neck when you remove the neck are worn down. I soldered some solder onto the pads, and now my guitar works like new. Just take the neck off and look at the disconnected part of the neck. You will see that the pads are kind of scraped of. Heat the pads with a soldering iron get the solder to flow. Don’t paint with solder (although silver paint might solve the problem as well).

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  37. Garrett on Sun, 5th Jun 2016 6:28 pm 

    My guitar says that it’s plugged in on the screen, but not a single button works. Is there any way to fix one problem for the whole guitar, and where do I start trying to find the problem(, other than the wifi controller plug in)?

  38. Garrett on Sun, 5th Jun 2016 6:54 pm 

    Oops, I meant to say wii

  39. Sonya on Tue, 21st Jun 2016 4:35 am 

    So here’s my problem my front buttons are working to control everything else but once I start a song they don’t hit like they’re supposed to as if not at all. is there a way to fix this?

  40. jeffrey on Mon, 4th Jul 2016 11:13 pm 

    I have the 360 xplorer controller and everything works fine but when i press green red and yellow together it registers blue as well on the game only does that with this combination does anyone know how to fix this problem its really bothering me

  41. Erica on Wed, 6th Jul 2016 5:04 am 

    Well you see I just got a brand new guitar today for guitar hero lor and the red fret button won’t work at all its been doing that for a while even with our old guitar

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