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  1. #1

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    Hi !

    Most of people say the neck pickup has to be used for jazz, that's the common idea but I tried the other pickups and it sounds good to me.
    I've got only one guitar (solid body) but this one has got 10 positions so ten sounds.

    And the best sounds to my ear for jazz were (I use flatwounds) :

    Neck (double)
    Neck (double) +Bridge (double)
    Neck (single) + Middle (single)
    Middle (single)
    Middle (single) + Bridge (double) !!!

    The other positions can work too.

    So I'm wondering if people really explore their guitars.

    If a lot of jazz guitars have got a bridge pickup, I think it's for something.

    I suppose that on a jazz box (it's the term you use) when bridge and neck pickups are combined it can emulate a kind of acoustic sound.

    I've got in my ear the sound of a telecaster played on the bridge pickup and to me it sounds acoustic and bright.

    I think if an ES175 has got two pickups it's to give it a chance to emulate the sound of an L5 with a floating pickup.
    It's what I suppose, it's my opinion.

    Maybe it can be explored with a stratocaster too, why not ?

    I used to have a cheap one but I sold it before knowing how it worked.

    I've got other thoughts but I keep them for me because I hate being insulted.
    Last edited by Lionelsax; 08-15-2020 at 03:50 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    More often than not I like to mix both pickups - lots of tonal shades available there .

  4. #3

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    I use the middle position on my ES 175 as well to reduce the bass from the lower strings and get a more balanced and sweet output. If I'm playing through a smaller speaker (8 or 6 inch) then I might just use the neck pickup.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 08-15-2020 at 06:26 PM.

  5. #4

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    I have six options on my L6-S: neck, bridge, both in series (in phase and out), both parallel (in phase and out). The two in series options produce jazzy tones, with the amp at low volume. The neck alone sounds acoustic, and the parallel options sound jangly and psychedelic respectively. I use them all.

    Two Nighthawks are now for sale in New Zealand, one with two pickups, the other with three. Would having all those additional choices make a difference to my life? Which would I choose? Questions, Questions.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    I have six options on my L6-S: neck, bridge, both in series (in phase and out), both parallel (in phase and out). The two in series options produce jazzy tones, with the amp at low volume. The neck alone sounds acoustic, and the parallel options sound jangly and psychedelic respectively. I use them all.

    Two Nighthawks are now for sale in New Zealand, one with two pickups, the other with three. Would having all those additional choices make a difference to my life? Which would I choose? Questions, Questions.
    Are they reissue or original ?
    The two pickups don't have a lot of combinations, less than your L6.
    I think it makes a big difference.

  7. #6

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    I have a super 400ces and I do know the bridge pickup works. I just wanted to make sure when I got the guitar it did, however I never, never, never use it playing.

  8. #7

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    This is all a matter of personal taste. Use whatever pickup combination you like. Me, I prefer one pickup as close to the neck as I can get it, and never use anything else. I have zero use for a bridge pickup. But that's just my preference, and applies only to me.

  9. #8

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    Almost always played 2 pickup archtops when I first started, beginning w an ES-175, then an L-5 and Super 400. Never used the bridge pickup until I started gigging regularly and also mixing in some R&B tunes or funk tunes in a band setting (although there were a number of gigs as a single and duo where I used a carved top w floater) But playing in a band setting combined w different rooms/venues had me experimenting w blending the two pickups. There are some rooms that just can't handle a big box w heavy strings on the neck pickup alone, just too boomy especially when comping, and blending both tames that problem. I've never used the bridge pickup exclusively, just too thin and jangly sounding for my needs.

    Playing at home is always the neck pickup alone but when gigging or playing in a group situation it's not always practical.

  10. #9

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    What Winter said. Also depends on the type of jazz. In the fusion days a lot of my rhythm playing was 2 split humbucks out of phase. Solos would be mostly neck. Sometimes a blend. Mostly a basement player now. I don't own anything that has more than one pickup.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lionelsax
    Hi !

    Most of people say the neck pickup has to be used for jazz, that's the common idea but I tried the other pickups and it sounds good to me.
    I've got only one guitar (solid body) but this one has got 10 positions so ten sounds.

    And the best sounds to my ear for jazz were (I use flatwounds) :

    Neck (double)
    Neck (double) +Bridge (double)
    Neck (single) + Middle (single)
    Middle (single)
    Middle (single) + Bridge (double) !!!

    The other positions can work too.

    So I'm wondering if people really explore their guitars.

    If a lot of jazz guitars have got a bridge pickup, I think it's for something.

    I suppose that on a jazz box (it's the term you use) when bridge and neck pickups are combined it can emulate a kind of acoustic sound.

    I've got in my ear the sound of a telecaster played on the bridge pickup and to me it sounds acoustic and bright.

    I think if an ES175 has got two pickups it's to give it a chance to emulate the sound of an L5 with a floating pickup.
    It's what I suppose, it's my opinion.

    Maybe it can be explored with a stratocaster too, why not ?

    I used to have a cheap one but I sold it before knowing how it worked.

    I've got other thoughts but I keep them for me because I hate being insulted.
    Indeed, excellent observations that don't get as much discussion as they should on a jazz forum because of the ubiquitous neck pickup hegemony. On almost all other instruments, musical variations in tone are achieved through variations in technique. While this is fundamentally true for guitar as well, with pickup selection this variation in tone quality is considerably increased even before applying variations in technique.

    Neck pickups produce harmonic frequencies of lower order and amplitude, they sound more similar as a group because it is the high frequency harmonics that distinguish tone, and they tend to sound more "well behaved" when there are fewer high harmonics because a lot of micro-errors in execution of fingering and picking are largely suppressed. That is to suggest that using the neck pickup is the usual selection most likely to "sound good" in most situations on most guitars with most players. Middle and even more so bridge pickups produce higher order harmonic frequencies of greater amplitude and their group variation is greater, and their subsequent influence on the resulting tone is more varied (including some potentially not so good tones). You may need to play better to keep these pickups sounding good.

    But, judgement of tone includes not only "what you sound like" but also "what are you trying to sound like?" The traditional jazz guitar tone of archtops using their neck pickups is often produced best on a solid body guitar by using the middle pickup; the low end frequency response of solid bodies is often too much using just the neck pickup alone. Furthermore, you may not always want to sound like a guitar so much as like a trumpet, or at least mimic the characteristic articulation and phrasing of a trumpet, or sax, flute, clarinet... where the pickup selection provides the tone to support the desired sound. This potential may offer a refreshing change when performing for a few hours in a trio.

    Another practical angle of tone adjustment by pickup selection comes from finding and locating your tone placement in the unoccupied ranges within the overall sound of playing with others. Additionally, along those lines it may be useful to change pickup selection when making large position shifts on the finger board in order to retain your tonal balance in the overall sound space.

    For the last few years I have been using the bridge pickup on my Strat more and finding I often like it a lot, even preferring it for many things probably because most of the things I have been discovering , developing, and integrating into my playing now have been coming from trumpet players!

  12. #11

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    For a traditional hollowbody, I wouldn't buy one with two pickups. Tele, Strat, 335, les paul, types I use all combination of the two (or three) pickups. My favorite on a strat is the second position quack.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Indeed, excellent observations that don't get as much discussion as they should on a jazz forum because of the ubiquitous neck pickup hegemony. On almost all other instruments, musical variations in tone are achieved through variations in technique. While this is fundamentally true for guitar as well, with pickup selection this variation in tone quality is considerably increased even before applying variations in technique.

    Neck pickups produce harmonic frequencies of lower order and amplitude, they sound more similar as a group because it is the high frequency harmonics that distinguish tone, and they tend to sound more "well behaved" when there are fewer high harmonics because a lot of micro-errors in execution of fingering and picking are largely suppressed. That is to suggest that using the neck pickup is the usual selection most likely to "sound good" in most situations on most guitars with most players. Middle and even more so bridge pickups produce higher order harmonic frequencies of greater amplitude and their group variation is greater, and their subsequent influence on the resulting tone is more varied (including some potentially not so good tones). You may need to play better to keep these pickups sounding good.

    But, judgement of tone includes not only "what you sound like" but also "what are you trying to sound like?" The traditional jazz guitar tone of archtops using their neck pickups is often produced best on a solid body guitar by using the middle pickup; the low end frequency response of solid bodies is often too much using just the neck pickup alone. Furthermore, you may not always want to sound like a guitar so much as like a trumpet, or at least mimic the characteristic articulation and phrasing of a trumpet, or sax, flute, clarinet... where the pickup selection provides the tone to support the desired sound. This potential may offer a refreshing change when performing for a few hours in a trio.

    Another practical angle of tone adjustment by pickup selection comes from finding and locating your tone placement in the unoccupied ranges within the overall sound of playing with others. Additionally, along those lines it may be useful to change pickup selection when making large position shifts on the finger board in order to retain your tonal balance in the overall sound space.

    For the last few years I have been using the bridge pickup on my Strat more and finding I often like it a lot, even preferring it for many things probably because most of the things I have been discovering , developing, and integrating into my playing now have been coming from trumpet players!
    Thanks, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one to figure it out.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    More often than not I like to mix both pickups - lots of tonal shades available there .
    I'm with TOMMO. When I'm playing jazz, I mix both pups to get a sound I'm happy with in the room I'm playing in. Actual settings will vary, but tend to reside in the 4-6 range for v and t, depending on the room and its contents.

  15. #14

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    I use my pickups and tone controls for a sweet spot for using them in any position with out a big change in volume and tone, any drastic change in volume or tone is because I dont practice the song enough to get the technique down correctly.

  16. #15

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    Every now and then I try it, but I can't remember the last time I actually used it for more than a few notes.

    I occasionally use the middle pickup on a Strat copy. It's a single coil, so I sometimes use it to get a funk rhythm part to sound right, well, closer.
    The neck pu on that guitar is a Lil 59, HB. I never use them together. Neck only sounds better.

    I do use the coil split option on my Comins. It sounds better to me on the neck pickup, though.