#1
from my experience, (or from what i know) bridge pickups are generally used for rhythmn and neck pickups are generally used for leads.

why then, is the EMG 81 considered a "brilliant lead pickup for use in bridge position"
and the EMG 85 a "rhytmn pickup for use in neck position"????????
#2
that's not a hard and fast rule at all, James Hetfields rhythm tone comes largely from using an 81 in the bridge and a 60 in the neck together.

Likewise, some of the gnarliest solos ever have been played with a bridge pickup.

There's no rule on which pickup to use when, it just all depends on what sort of tone you want
#3
Quote by daryle_goh
from my experience, (or from what i know) bridge pickups are generally used for rhythmn and neck pickups are generally used for leads.

why then, is the EMG 81 considered a "brilliant lead pickup for use in bridge position"
and the EMG 85 a "rhytmn pickup for use in neck position"????????


Bridge is known as lead, neck is known as rhythm.... you were wrong

neck is more bassy and bridge is more treble, so the the bridge pickup is lead while the mellow neck pickup which is bassier is the rhythm pickup
Last edited by Epic_chef at Sep 18, 2008,
#4
Take a look at the switch cover of a les paul and you'll get the meaning
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#5
Quote by Epic_chef
Bridge is known as lead, neck is known as rhythm.... you were wrong

neck is more bassy and bridge is more treble, so the the bridge pickup is lead while the mellow neck pickup which is bassier is the rhythm pickup



it is on certain types of music, but honestly would you use that same mellow neck pickup for the ryhthm on say, a high gain metal track?
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#6
Quote by Epic_chef
Bridge is known as lead, neck is known as rhythm.... you were wrong

neck is more bassy and bridge is more treble, so the the bridge pickup is lead while the mellow neck pickup which is bassier is the rhythm pickup


I don't agree at all.
#7
Quote by Jackolas
I don't agree at all.


Well the neck pickup is more mellow and the bridge pickup is more trebbly right?
#8
Quote by Epic_chef
Well the neck pickup is more mellow and the bridge pickup is more trebbly right?


what does that have to do with lead or rhythm playing though?

given that we aren't just talking about say, clean playing.
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#9
Quote by tommyt
what does that have to do with lead or rhythm playing though?

given that we aren't just talking about say, clean playing.


I always thought that the lead guitar (im talking about rock/metal) is the more treble sounding one (cutting through the mix better), while the rhthym is usally the bassier sound?

I know on all the guitars ive seen the neck pickup is alot further from the strings, and more bassy, while the bridge pickup is right up against the strings and is usally used for leads... :/
#10
Quote by Epic_chef
I always thought that the lead guitar (im talking about rock/metal) is the more treble sounding one (cutting through the mix better), while the rhthym is usally the bassier sound?

I know on all the guitars ive seen the neck pickup is alot further from the strings, and more bassy, while the bridge pickup is right up against the strings and is usally used for leads... :/


See, really i let the track determine pickup use.

I'd never use my 81 for clean playing in the same way that I'd never use the 60 in the neck for playing say Between the Buried and me's Rhythms, it would just muddy the sound up whereas the 81 would keep it crisp and sharp.

I pretty much always use my neck pickup for lead playing, a little bit of a mid boost and cut's through no problem, it also has a much thicker sound so the leads stay smooth.
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#11
it doesnt matter which pickup position you wanna use for rhythm or lead, its just an age-old labelling on les pauls, by which the neck pickup is called "rhythm" and bridge pickup is called "lead"

Its just a labelling thats all.
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#12
Traditionally the neck pickup is used for rhythm with its more bassy mellow sound and the Bridge is used for its higher gain sound and extra treble. Theres a reason you have something like a metal muff with TOP boost that adds treble to your sound for your solos. I agree you can use your pickups anyway you want and its different for different styles but I mean treble is what cuts though the mix for solos most of the time and live if you wanna be heard adding some gain and treble will do wonders. Anyways EMG 85 equals mellow, bassy sound with less gain for cleans and for rhythm playing because when playing rhythm ( for most music IMO) you want to playing the rhythm part that flows and fits in with the rest of your band. EMG 81 equals higher gain and more treble so you stand out more when doing a solo with a band. This is just how I see it working IMO.
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#13
Use what you want. Do not let convention limit your creativity and tone. If people did that, ntohing new would ever be created.

But to add to the list of people using things differently, usually neck pickups are used for sweeping as opposed to bridge pickups, at least from what I've heard. I could be very wrong. But you should still use what you want.

tl;dr Use what you want, when you want.

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#14
Quote by SylKain
Take a look at the switch cover of a les paul and you'll get the meaning


or most other gibson or epiphones, some people may use the neck pickup for soloing, but I think its usually the other way around.
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#15
i use the bridge for rhythm and the neck for solos and lead, reason being the lower strings sound so dirty on my schecter but the higher strings some thick and warm.
#16
Look at it this way, if you follow rules you won't get anywhere. Yes its true most do use the bridge pickup for lead. Just look at how many 1 hum super strats were available in the 80's but its all what kind of tone and feel you're after. Nothing wrong with using your neck pickup for lead as many do it. Depends on the song, the solo itself and what tone you're after of course so don't limit yourself

EDIT:

Just check out this video. Starts off on neck pickup then towards the end switches to bridge, you can clearly see it in the video. Beautiful solo too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuG_316cPMY
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Last edited by DSOTM80 at Sep 18, 2008,
#18
for metal I always go
rhythm (100%)--> 81 (or bridge PU)

lead depends , for cut through guitar scream ear piercing sounds go 81(or bridge PU)
and for smoother sounds or more clarity 85(or neck PU)
I hardly ever play cleans but the 81 can do some, just lower your volume a bit and use picking dynamcs
#21
I'm not too sure on this, but I think it was someone working with Buddy Holly who swapped the neck pickup when he was playing chords and things to the bridge for the solo.

But seriously, it doesn't really matter what you do, some people only use the neck and some, the bridge. It all depends on what you want in terms of tone.
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#22
Quote by daryle_goh
from my experience, (or from what i know) bridge pickups are generally used for rhythmn and neck pickups are generally used for leads.

why then, is the EMG 81 considered a "brilliant lead pickup for use in bridge position"
and the EMG 85 a "rhytmn pickup for use in neck position"????????



because you were wrong.


in general (especially metal which those pickups are designed for) the bridge is used for leads and the neck for rythms
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#23
Legacy of pickup placement, specifically Gibson. Bridge = Lead. So, EMG stuck with this convention in their sales lit.
The guitar police won't arrest anyone for not following this convention. I think slash always solos on the neck? (of course, that ain't no stock gibson pick up either.)
Personally, I can't use the neck p/u when distorted. Tone = mud = ass. Both stock gibsons and EMG's. Mud.
#24
I never use the neck pickup for rhythm, and especially not for leads. The bridge pickup is so much more dynamic, it really responds to your attack and the way you pick. The neck just sounds like the notes are muffled together. I'll only use the neck pickup when my amp is overdriven for sweep picking, but I really never use it, I'll play with the technqiue everyone once in a while to mess around with.

I do always use the neck pickup for cleans though, with the volume rolled down. Theres no rules for using them, use whichever you think sounds good.
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#25
thanks for your input guys. i was just wondering, not really strictly following "rules" or anything. personally, i do prefer the bridge pickup over the neck pickup for just about everything. i only use the neck pu when i need very clean sounds. my bridge pickup.... is a little too loud for clean sounds.

thanks again.
#26
I use the bridge for high gain applications and the neck pickup for clean or low gain applications.
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#27
i always use the bridge pickup, but when i want to do a realy cool video game solo or something i use the neck. and for clean stiuff i use the neck pu. and i use the neck p.u for regular solos and stuff too, i dont use it too much with my riffs and stuff