#1
Hi there,

I use my neck pickup for lead playing almost exclusively. I play with low distortion so I love that driving blues tone it gives out.

I very rarely see professional musicians using the neck pickup for lead playing. I was wondering why.

Last night I had a jam with my band and I was really struggling to hear the nuances of my playing. It sounded like I wasn't cutting through the mix at all. I played with my EQ but it didn't change. I even turned my volume up really high but it just sounded louder, not better.

I was wondering - does this have anything to do with me using the neck pickup? I imagine the bridge pickup may cut through the mix better and I was wondering if this is one of the reasons people use it?

If not, what are the reasons? Surely it's not tone alone... (damn accidental word play!)
#2
Typically your bridge p/u will give you more bite and higher output. It picks up more treble than the neck thats why most people use it for lead but there is nothing stopping you from using the neck p/u for lead if that is the tone you like.If you only use the neck then you will have to play around with your volume and tone more. When playing with your band try setting your guitar volume to 5 or lower. Set up all your amp and everything using that level for your regular playing and then when you jump into a lead just crank the volume to 10 that will help your leads cut thru everyone else just remember to turn it back down to play the rest of the song.
I would suggest that you try playing around with your bridge p/u more though as it will give you more tone options.
S.R.V used his neck p/u for alot of leads so you are not alone.
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#3
why don't you switch to your bridge pup and see what happens for yourself? In my experience, it will cut through much better.
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#4
It's more trebly than the neck-pup, has a brighter, sharper sound to it.



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      #5
      I prefer neck for leads, sounds SO much smoother and loverly.

      SRV - mostly neck leads
      Hendrix - mostly neck/mid fullstop.
      Slash - neck PUP, and tone rolled down for his leads.

      So no sir, you are far from alone.
      Last edited by Hakanku at Nov 6, 2007,
      #6
      use a pedal or something else to increase high frequencies when you need it, i love the warmer and softer sound of neck pickups (compared to the one of bridge pickups) especially in solos.
      #7
      There are other neck pup users like Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) who uses it and only it for leads, Satriani, Vai, Petrucci, and so on.. the neck pickup does have its advantages, I guess. Great for really fluid, soft legato passages..



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          #8
          Quote by Hakanku


          SRV - mostly neck leads
          Hendrix - mostly neck/mid fullstop.
          Slash - neck PUP, and tone rolled down for his leads.

          So no sir, you are far from alone.


          +1
          #9
          I use my Neck pickup for solo's mostly. I think it gives a smoother sound to things.

          But obviously, preference is the key
          #10
          Awesome. Thanks for the replies.

          When I use my bridge pickup it's REALLY trebley. When I attempt to turn the treble down on my amp it just makes it sound really muddy. And when I roll the treble back on my guitar it instantly sounds like I've left my wah on with the pedal rocked to the middle. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I think may be another reason I always use the neck PU...

          I tried the bridge PU for a couple of minutes at the jam place (with another amp) and thought nothing of it. It sounded just as good as my neck PU, but seen as I was used to using the neck all the time I carried on. I'm beginning to think my amp is a little old and tired, even though it's not even a tube amp.
          #11
          Quote by Karmaface
          Awesome. Thanks for the replies.

          When I use my bridge pickup it's REALLY trebley. When I attempt to turn the treble down on my amp it just makes it sound really muddy. And when I roll the treble back on my guitar it instantly sounds like I've left my wah on with the pedal rocked to the middle. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I think may be another reason I always use the neck PU...

          I tried the bridge PU for a couple of minutes at the jam place (with another amp) and thought nothing of it. It sounded just as good as my neck PU, but seen as I was used to using the neck all the time I carried on. I'm beginning to think my amp is a little old and tired, even though it's not even a tube amp.

          Is your bridge pickup close to the strings? Try lowering the height of it on the treble side a little.



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              #12
              Quote by Arndee
              Is your bridge pickup close to the strings? Try lowering the height of it on the treble side a little.


              Yeah it is pretty close. 3mm. I thought that might work too but it just reduces the volume of the high strings and doesn't get rid of the overall treble sound.

              I have an epiphone les paul with gibson 57 classics.
              #13
              Oh by the way I fitted the pickups myself. I'm wasn't very experienced with it and it took me a couple of wiring guesses to get them working. Maybe that could be the problem. I said it sounded fine on the other amp, but maybe that was a placebo or something =)
              #14
              it's hard to bring t3h br00talz with the neck pickup.
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              #15
              i personnally prefer usin the bridge pickup with the guitar tone turned right up for anythin rhythm and then the neck pickup wi the tone turned 1/3 up for most lead, i hate the neck pickup for rhythm cos it sounds too like muffled but for lead its great although pants for harmonics sometimes dependin on what ye need it to sound like, as it has been said before its just personal preference
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              #16
              Personally, I use the bridge for rhythms and most leads that I play on the lower 12 frets, and then I normally switch to the neck when I play on the upper 12 frets. For some reason that 85 mixed with those high notes just sounds like pure sex.
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              #17
              The closest I come to using the bridge is using the middle position of my S-1 Blackjack, but that may just be more a product of me hating the SD JB.



              Quote by Dave_Mc
              it's hard to bring t3h br00talz with the neck pickup.


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              #18
              I never use the bridge pickup for rhythm recording, it catches unwanted sound too much, and i have a pedal board which i use to change tone and volume for leads, so the neck cuts through fine.

              that said, i use the bridge for rhythm live,

              for t3h br00talz
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              this dying soul....
              #19
              I play with low distortion so I love that driving blues tone it gives out.


              ...Are we twins??


              One of the reasons I perfer Les Pauls over Strats, is because of my strumming action I'm forever flicking the selector back onto the bridge pickup.

              I think my dislike for the bridge p-up stems from the fact that my school's most prominant band - an achingly poor pop-punk foursome devoid of any soul and/or stange presence - had their guitars permanently on the bridge.

              Just the sound of a palm-muted power-chord played on an Epiphone Explorer on the bridge pickup brings back painful memories.

              >.<
              #20
              Quote by StrayCatBlues
              ...Are we twins??


              One of the reasons I perfer Les Pauls over Strats, is because of my strumming action I'm forever flicking the selector back onto the bridge pickup.

              I think my dislike for the bridge p-up stems from the fact that my school's most prominant band - an achingly poor pop-punk foursome devoid of any soul and/or stange presence - had their guitars permanently on the bridge.

              Just the sound of a palm-muted power-chord played on an Epiphone Explorer on the bridge pickup brings back painful memories.

              >.<


              Haha... I turned the pickup selector round in my les paul because occasionally when I'm jumping around like an idiot (doesn't happen often) I catch it and switch it to the bridge.

              Anyway one more question...

              Does anybody know why turning the tone control for my bridge pickup makes a sound like I'm rocking a wah backwards and forwards instead of adding and removing treble? If I set it to anything but 10 it sounds like I've got a wah peddle rocked to the middle...
              #21
              Quote by Karmaface
              Anyway one more question...

              Does anybody know why turning the tone control for my bridge pickup makes a sound like I'm rocking a wah backwards and forwards instead of adding and removing treble? If I set it to anything but 10 it sounds like I've got a wah peddle rocked to the middle...


              That's how a wah pedal works. It alters the level of treble in the signal.
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              #22
              pwn
              I want to feel youre body breaking, and shaking, and
              left in the cold,
              I want to feel youre conscience making, a change to fix
              this dying soul....
              #23
              Quote by musicalfish
              That's how a wah pedal works. It alters the level of treble in the signal.


              Hah I should have seen that coming.... None of my other guitars sound like a wah though, only my les paul.

              Besides, it really does sound like I've clicked my wah on as soon as I move the tone control. I imagine it shouldn't...
              #24
              I find it much harder doing pinch harmonics with the neck pickup and is kind of muddy for lead playing, so i use it only for clean. I use the bridge pickup for distorted rhythm and both pickup for lead.
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              #26
              bridge for rhythm and neck for lead, for over 20 years, it's all what you prefer.
              #27
              People that don't like the sound of a bridge pickup, don't have the right bridge pickup.

              The bridge pickup should give you more cut and should have a more focused sound. This is good when you have a lot of instruments playing and you don't want to whole mix to sound muddy. The neck pick is fatter which is good when you are playing rythem or when you need to fill out a mix that doesn't have enough going on.

              People seem to use their bridge much less now than they did in the good ol' days. I suspect that 1 of the reasons for this is that machine wound single coil pickups sound kinda lifeless in the bridge. I also suspect that it has to do with modern amps sounding much sharper. If you use a sharp sounding pickup in a sharp sounding amp then you get something that sounds horrible. If you use a standard bridge pickup in something like a vintage bassman then it can sound very nice. People with modern amps just need to find something that complements their amp. Thats why the 1st question on the "what pickup" threads is typically "what amp do you have".
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              #28
              Damn cracker! In my first post I put bridge instead of neck, I meant neck for smooth, creamy and loverly lead tones. I rarely use the bridge on my strat, sometimes for a clean, but rarely with overdrive, I much prefer the mid or the neck.
              #29
              Quote by CorduroyEW
              People that don't like the sound of a bridge pickup, don't have the right bridge pickup.

              The bridge pickup should give you more cut and should have a more focused sound. This is good when you have a lot of instruments playing and you don't want to whole mix to sound muddy. The neck pick is fatter which is good when you are playing rythem or when you need to fill out a mix that doesn't have enough going on.

              People seem to use their bridge much less now than they did in the good ol' days. I suspect that 1 of the reasons for this is that machine wound single coil pickups sound kinda lifeless in the bridge. I also suspect that it has to do with modern amps sounding much sharper. If you use a sharp sounding pickup in a sharp sounding amp then you get something that sounds horrible. If you use a standard bridge pickup in something like a vintage bassman then it can sound very nice. People with modern amps just need to find something that complements their amp. Thats why the 1st question on the "what pickup" threads is typically "what amp do you have".


              Thanks Corduroy, that's pretty much what I was looking to hear!

              I'll try playing around with my bridge pickup on the different amp at the rehearsal place next time. It's a Marshall AVT and I have a Gibson 57 classic in the bridge. It sounded good with my neck pickup, but as I say it was slightly dull and didn't cut through the mix too well.
              #30
              depends what type of song

              for our stuff, alot of the songs are like fastish punk metal and the solos are better on bridge but for slower softer stuff i use neck cause has a nice tone and that to it. dont really use it for faster stuff.
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              #31
              i mostly use the neck pickup on my wolfgang for soloing
              sounds so smooth!

              but sometimes i use the bridge if i need it to cut through and stuff!
              Top lel.
              #32
              Quote by CorduroyEW
              People that don't like the sound of a bridge pickup, don't have the right bridge pickup.

              The bridge pickup should give you more cut and should have a more focused sound. This is good when you have a lot of instruments playing and you don't want to whole mix to sound muddy. The neck pick is fatter which is good when you are playing rythem or when you need to fill out a mix that doesn't have enough going on.

              People seem to use their bridge much less now than they did in the good ol' days. I suspect that 1 of the reasons for this is that machine wound single coil pickups sound kinda lifeless in the bridge. I also suspect that it has to do with modern amps sounding much sharper. If you use a sharp sounding pickup in a sharp sounding amp then you get something that sounds horrible. If you use a standard bridge pickup in something like a vintage bassman then it can sound very nice. People with modern amps just need to find something that complements their amp. Thats why the 1st question on the "what pickup" threads is typically "what amp do you have".


              I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
              Quote by K33nbl4d3
              I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

              Quote by K33nbl4d3
              Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

              Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
              Et tu, br00tz?
              #33
              I have an 85 in the bridge, I can get a pretty cutty sound from it surprisingly. I mainly use it for rythhms and tighter lead parts. I use the SA in the neck for more legato and melower stuff, I rarely use my middle pickup though.
              #34
              I just whip out my neck pickup and roll the tone knob between the half mark and the treble end. My bridge pickup gives off a higher bassy tone rather than trebly, it doesnt really cut through for me. The neck's my pickup of choice.
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              #35
              I use my bridge p/u exclusively with my band 'cause I think the neck or both together sounds way too muddy and lacks definition with the level of distortion I use in my band. However, I use the neck pickup a lot for cleans and a few things here and there with minimal distortion. It really is just preference. Yes, you will probably cut through better on the bridge pickup, but that's no reason to start using it if you dont like the sound.
              #36
              People dont use neck pickups since it sounds different. It took me a while to hear the difference but it is there. The guitar and amp i have are pure metal but if I want to play stairway I change to neck. when i play the main verse of cemetery gates by pantera with the neck pickup and use the bridge for the chorus and the solo. Neck is more clean IMO and bridge sounds dirtier. I prefer the bridge. Jimmy page changed pickups so often while playing so ask him about what he prefers