Author Topic: Pick-up position or type more important?  (Read 1306 times)

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Offline skeldol

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Pick-up position or type more important?
« on: September 29, 2020, 09:45:23 pm »
Hi

I'm trying to re-create the Sweet Child of Mine intro tone.

I hear its played on a Les Paul neck pick-up.  Now I think the Les Paul neck pick-up is a humbucker.

On my Yamaha PAC the neck is a single coil & the bridge a humbucker.

So I am wondering,  will the tone be more influenced by the position and I go for neck or by pick-up type and I go for the humbucker on the bridge?

Thanks

Offline phx1973

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 10:22:01 pm »
A neck humbucker pickup, as played by Slash, is not going to sound much like either of your choices based on your current equipment (neck single coil or bridge humbucker).

Think of neck pickups as more bassy and bridge pickups as more trebly, whether or not they are single coil or humbuckers.

Whereas single coil pickups are a  bit clearer, thinner. Humbuckers grittier but can also get kind of muddy.

Rather than worry about exactly matching the tone, I would focus on really listening to your instrument and trying to find a tone that YOU like. The bridge pickup with the tone rolled off a bit would probably get you a bit closer, to answer your original question. That way you are getting the grittiness of the humbucker, and with the tone rolled off it's a bit bassier, almost like a neck pickup. I hope this helps.
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Offline KasperFauerby

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 10:23:11 pm »
You probably want the neck pickup, but honestly you're probably going to struggle with your single coil. It'll have that "wooden" quality to it, but sound thin compared to the tone on the record. You could also try the bridge humbucker, and roll the tone back a bit and tweak your amp. By default a bridge humbucker will have way too much "bite" for that particular tone. Try both, use your ears and go for what sounds best to you :)

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2020, 08:50:53 am »
I would say to try the neck pickup and roll the tone off a bit plus add some gain on your amp to thicken it up a bit, not to the point of breakup though, it was a fairly clean tone used so be careful with how much gain you use. You will have to play with it until you get something close to that tone. I doubt that you will replicate it precisely but with care you should be able to get something close.
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Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2020, 09:05:18 pm »
Thanks everyone.

Don't spose there is a pedal that would help?  Maybe the "Make it sound like a Les Paul" pedal???

Online close2u

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2020, 09:09:01 pm »
Oh, now you are venturing down a rabbit hole that has no waymarkers nor end.

You need to play it right, then it will sound right.

Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2020, 11:19:48 pm »
More like "make it sound like a guitar that has been heavily processed in a recording studio" pedal?

Oh, and Slash didn't play a Les Paul on SCOM. It was a custom guitar made by Kris Derrig.

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Keith

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Offline CT

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2020, 09:49:31 pm »
The guitar pickup is the least important element in the equation. You should be able to get just about any tone you want or need from that guitar. Your playing technique, amp and signal chain need to come first. Let's hear what you got going.

Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2020, 08:35:11 pm »
Any advice much appreciated!!  To me it sounds like I played it on a 1980s computer.

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Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2020, 09:01:12 pm »
I think it sounds a bit computery because you are playing it quite staccato, i.e. with gaps between the notes.

It does also lack a bit of grit, which is probably because of the pickup type you are using.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 09:02:26 pm »
Don't spose there is a pedal that would help?  Maybe the "Make it sound like a Les Paul" pedal???

Some multifx unit actually do have a setting which is supposed make a single-coil sound more like a humbucker, and vice versa.

I know the Boss FX units have this. I've never used it, so I don't know if it's any good or not.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 09:18:32 pm »
I think it sounds a bit computery because you are playing it quite staccato, i.e. with gaps between the notes.

Cheers,

Keith

I was playing at 125BPM which is what I think it should be played it?  Should I have more sustain so the notes ring out longer?  Not sure how I can add sustain to the notes though.

Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 09:54:49 pm »
I was playing at 125BPM which is what I think it should be played it?  Should I have more sustain so the notes ring out longer?  Not sure how I can add sustain to the notes though.

It's not the tempo. It's your technique and it's going to be practice I'm afraid. The first bar you had it pretty good, and there were no major gaps between the notes, but then it started getting more stacatto-y. I would slow it down to, say, 100 bpm or even less until you can do it without the gaps.

To a degree you actually need to allow the notes to ring into each other a bit.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline CT

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 09:55:00 pm »
Actually, that tone might be kind of fun in a mix. On its own it lacks depth. You have to do some homework:

Shane at In The Blues is getting great single coil tone with the FC20:



The British & Metal voicings are probably where you want to be.

This guy can rock a FC20:




This guy uses single coil and humbuckers with a FC20 on Sweet Child o' Mine:




If you get to where the strings are really noisy and your sound is uncontrollable, you'll have the tone right. Nobody goes from zero to Slash. Which leads us all the way back to my original statement that this style of playing is more about technique and signal chain than pick up selection.
 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 10:13:44 pm by CT »

Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2020, 11:51:21 am »
The first bar you had it pretty good, and there were no major gaps between the notes, but then it started getting more stacatto-y. I would slow it down to, say, 100 bpm or even less until you can do it without the gaps.


Thanks.

How do I get the notes to ring into each other?  The first bar is better because I fret the B, G & D strings together (dont think I'm meant to) but then as I play past these notes I just fret a string at a time.

Justin seems to just fret a string at a time to (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3yol_zrt7g&t=384s). 

I can appreciate that by removing my finger from the string it kills the sound but what do I do to stop it?  All I can think is I need to keep it fretted as I fret the new string & only release the last note as I begin to stike the new note (sounds like very hard timing though)?

Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2020, 11:53:54 am »
Actually, that tone might be kind of fun in a mix. On its own it lacks depth. You have to do some homework:

If you get to where the strings are really noisy and your sound is uncontrollable, you'll have the tone right. Nobody goes from zero to Slash. Which leads us all the way back to my original statement that this style of playing is more about technique and signal chain than pick up selection.

Thanks for posting the links.  I've tried a ton of settings from youtube including the ones advised in one of your links but it doesn't really sound massively different to what I posted which I guess must mean it's mostly down to my playing right now? 

When you say get the strings really noisy you mean so I have to try hard to mute them?  Which settings normally help with this?

What do you mean by signal chain? I need more gadgets?  The guy with the single coil in the link you posted uses GuitarRig5 on his PC, is that something worth looking at?

Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2020, 11:57:29 am »
Thanks.

How do I get the notes to ring into each other?  The first bar is better because I fret the B, G & D strings together (dont think I'm meant to) but then as I play past these notes I just fret a string at a time.

Justin seems to just fret a string at a time to (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3yol_zrt7g&t=384s). 

I can appreciate that by removing my finger from the string it kills the sound but what do I do to stop it?  All I can think is I need to keep it fretted as I fret the new string & only release the last note as I begin to stike the new note (sounds like very hard timing though)?
Basically, yes. Learning to control muting is largely about getting the notes to ring as you want them to.

In this particular piece, you won't be able to get every note to connect seamlessly with the next, but the closer you get the better it will sound.

That's why I suggest slowing it down to start with. Get the technique right then gradually speed it up, making sure the technique is retained.

Cheers,

Keith

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Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2020, 12:00:05 pm »

That's why I suggest slowing it down to start with. Get the technique right then gradually speed it up, making sure the technique is retained.


OK I'm on it! Thanks for the advice.

Offline Rossco01

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2020, 12:41:15 pm »
Also just picking up on your comment about Fretting the strings...don't fret the strings before starting. place your finger on the string, pick it, release the finger and then do the same for the next note and so on (at least that's how I've been taught). I use fingers 1,2,3 for this intro. As you practice and improve you'll learn how long to let your finger remain on the string to get the sustain you want before moving to the next. Anything like this will generally (depending on your experience/competence) will take hours to get right so just stick at it and you'll see gradual improvements.
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Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2020, 03:26:21 pm »
place your finger on the string, pick it, release the finger and then do the same for the next note and so on (at least that's how I've been taught). I use fingers 1,2,3 for this intro. As you practice and improve you'll learn how long to let your finger remain on the string to get the sustain you want before moving to the next. Anything like this will generally (depending on your experience/competence) will take hours to get right so just stick at it and you'll see gradual improvements.

I'm trying to keep the previous note on until i start to playing the next (wife says I'm still not there!!).  I'm noticing this is tiring my fingers and I think this is because I'm finding I need to keep them closer to the fret board like in the flying fingers exercise, did you find this when learning the intro too?

Online close2u

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2020, 04:16:53 pm »
@skeldol ... are you spending frustrating hours trying to learn something that is beyond your current skill level? On top of spending frustrating hours trying to figure out how to copy one sound captured in one moment of time, in one studio, by one player, on one song, on one guitar, through one (renowned and unique) amplifier?

Please, I urge you, invest your learning and practice time more wisely on things within your reach and that you can enjoy more.

:)
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 08:54:48 pm by close2u »

Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2020, 05:19:18 pm »
Please, I urge you, invest your learning and practice time more wisely on things within your reach and that you can enjoy more.

I hear you! 

Isn't there value in spending say 10 mins of my 90 min daily pratice on the first two bars?  Feels like the scale & flying fingers practice I do but more fun & additive so figured it would help!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 08:54:11 pm by close2u »

Offline Majik

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2020, 06:32:08 pm »
Isn't there value in spending say 10 mins of my 90 min daily pratice on the first two bars?  Feels like the scale & flying fingers practice I do but more fun & additive so figured it would help!

I would say as long as you aren't substituting it in for important lessons. Whilst it's probably a useful exercise, it's not the same as scales, as it's not teaching you the scale patterns, and it's not really the same as flying fingers because the nature of that intro and how it's played means you are unlikely to play it with flying fingers in the first place.

So, no, I wouldn't use it instead of either of those two.

Also, as long as you aren't getting too obsessed/frustrated by it. I'm not sure what level you are at but, frankly, that intro is something that normally takes years of playing to play well. To give an indication, the RGT Grading system put their version of SCOM, which is slower, simplified, and shortened (although the intro is basically the same), as one of the Grade 5 pieces.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2020, 07:49:34 pm »
I think that you need to step back and think about where you are on the learning curve, at your level to be able to play the correct notes in time isn’t bad at all, the rest will come with time and experience. Try not to run before you can walk or you might crash and burn. Take the course as laid out as being the best way to learn, the icing on the cake will come from following it.
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Offline skeldol

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Re: Pick-up position or type more important?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2020, 08:08:43 am »
OK  :D

Thanks for the advice everyone

 

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