Author Topic: Pickup selector for which tone?  (Read 731 times)

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Offline Mateo

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Pickup selector for which tone?
« on: July 19, 2017, 03:59:57 am »
I have a new to me HSS Strat, (Bridge: Pearly Gates / Mid & Neck:  SSl-1), ----- I am curious to know as to when you guys would use each pickup selection, and why??? For example: What type of tones do you select the bridge pickup for, or the neck pickup, and so on???

Offline Drubbing

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 04:51:47 am »
Depends on what you're playing, the rules are pretty loose though. A lot of rhythm playing is done on the neck or neck and middle. But many driving riffs are played on the bridge. Malcolm Young pulled the neck pu out of a lot of his gretches, cos he never used them.

For anything mildly or wildly distorted, or heavy riffs I use the bridge, it's a pretty common thing to do, as bridge pickups (HB or singles) emphasise the treble and that's what generates distortion more easily. Tone controls can back off the intensity.

A lot of lead rock is done with high vol and distortion on the bridge, but it really depends what the tune calls for. Gary Moore's Still got the Blues leads are played on his LP, neck, with a fair bit of gain. Not to create distortion, but to get a lot of sustain from the notes. The neck pu provides a fuller sound.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 06:47:57 pm »
Generally speaking middle somewhat, neck a lot, bridge when you want to cut through and get everyone's attention.

Not to say, you can't do totally different but that's kind of how you see most people playing.

The neck pickup is heavily used.
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Offline Dr Winterbourne

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 03:33:57 pm »
Best thing to do is to experiment. Play your songs, and listen to how they sound on the different pickups. To my ears, the neck sounds warmer, rounder, but lacks bite and definition. It's good for strumming when I want to blend into the background. Neck and middle adds a bit of Stratocaster quack to that sound, the centre has bite, but sounds thin. Middle and bridge tames the bridge a bit, and bridge is for maximum bite, maximum aggression, maximum articulation of all notes - for legato or tapping or pinch harmonics or punk or whatever.

Experiment, and maybe even make notes. I have an old piece of paper from my first: guitar - a hsh superstrat. I remember neck says 'BB King' , middle says 'Thin' etc.

Sometimes you want to break rules, too. Clapton's 'woman tone' for example, mixing neck and bridge, but backing off the tone on the bridge. Oh, that's another thing: each pickup with various tone knob settings.

For my live set, I know exactly which pickup I want at each bit, and have practice flicking the switch fast enough, so that I can launch into the solo on the bridge, coming out of the quieter bit where I am in between.

An hss strat is probably the most versatile of all guitars, so experiment. What sounds good for powerchords? For blues - what is more soulful? What is more biting? What artists do different settings remind you of? Have fun. Get to know your strat.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 03:16:12 pm by Dr Winterbourne »
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Offline Doctorhillbilly

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 09:03:07 pm »
There is a quite famous guitar shop called Normans Rare Guitars (just down the street from me). Everyday on Facebook or Youtube they do a Guitar of the day.
The relenant part, is the store manager gives a deme on each pup position, and is great about matching the guitar and position to the original song. This had been a great learning tool for me

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Offline Doctorhillbilly

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 09:32:08 pm »
Fender Tele Plus v2 with Eight (yes Eight) positions

https://youtu.be/ZGO2eBqhbeM

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Offline Doctorhillbilly

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Re: Pickup selector for which tone?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:35:31 pm »
Dr Winterbourne has lot of good advice, dont he? I was going to mention ole Clap's Woman Tone. That's the one that taught me you *don'tj have to max the eq knob and ride the tail pup all the time!

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