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  1. #1

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    Since Gibson began to make two pickup models is there any eveidence that old school players used the bridge pickup?

    It seems like many played double pickup guitars but never really invovled the bridge one.
    I even saw ES-175 with disassempled bridge pickup.

    Why did they do that then? A habit?

    Double pickup-up guitars are heavier. less acousically resonant... what sense does it make?

    PS
    Benson always plays two-pickups guitar.. does he use a bridge one?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Tal Farlow used his bridge pickup for harmonics.

    DG

  4. #3

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    Bridge pickups are useful for solos using harmonics, and for deadening the top vibrations, thus reducing feedback.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Bridge pickups are useful for solos using harmonics, and for deadening the top vibrations, thus reducing feedback.
    Harmonics argument is clear. Though I can't remember so many old school players using them.

    As for feedback... how in practice is it used to achieve an effect on feedback you mention?

    Thank you

  6. #5

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    A teacher of mine a long time ago always had the guitar in the middle position. Since it sounded like the neck to me I asked him about it. He said he blended a bit of the bridge in “for articulation”. Then he proceeded to switch between the neck and the middle. I couldn’t tell the difference but nodded all along and said “makes sense”. Did any of the great old school players ever use bridge pickup on archtops?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    Harmonics argument is clear. Though I can't remember so many old school players using them.

    As for feedback... how in practice is it used to achieve an effect on feedback you mention?

    Thank you
    More stuff stuffed in the top makes the top less resonant, therefore reducing feedback.

    Its "using" the bridge pickup without actually...using it

    Not a super old school guy, but Philip Catherine definitely uses the middle setting on his 175 often.

  8. #7

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    There are photos and clips of Joe Pass using the bridge pickup on his ES-175 IIRC.

  9. #8

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    This is the only clip I have EVER seen of bridge position use lol. It's with an organ trio so that makes sense. The organ takes up hella space and the guitar can cut through that way. I'm sure he was using some tone (or the amp), though since it doesn't sound that bright.


  10. #9

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    That is a dull sound. Never seen that clip before, although obviously, blues in F.

    I don't think I've ever heard a Strat sound so lifeless and muted.

    Nothing against the player, really. Just not a great sounding recording. FTR, that's Quentin Warren on the guitar. Check out his playing throughout the album "Crazy Baby!" and on so many JOS albums. Solid player, and I always dug his lines and his sense of time.

    And, every instrument has his own riser: kind of an odd recording in several ways. JOS does expand a bit beyond his standard "F" bag of tricks, which is nice to hear. Kind of a lesson in showmanship, I suppose. One can see how one might come away thinking that the LH bass was done on the pedals, even for a player with a very light to sometimes nonexistent touch on foot like the Master and orginator himself.

    Quentin Warren: what do you think? Bridge pickup, maybe (true to form, he takes the first solo before Jimmy takes over)?

    It is a similar tone to the TV recording of the blues quoted above.

    I am glad to revisit these recordings again, especially the studio recordings: Quentin comps like a mad genius, just low-key, and almost on every single beat he gets his end in. A bit like Freddie Green with a heavy emphasis on the upbeats.

    Which is fitting, since the organist can't produce chords while the LH is playing the bass and the RH is soloing (aside from the occasional "chuck" effect by dropping the RH to the lower manual, which is better heard on players like Jimmy McGriff or Jack McDuff, although obviously Mr. Smith invented that style as well).

    A little bit more of the lower strings, as well, compared to some of QW's contemporaries, is what I'm hearing.

    I suppose I'll have to do some transcribing of his voicings, so that's a good thing, even if it is a bit difficult to hear every single note in each chord.

    Last edited by jack-e; 07-29-2021 at 05:31 PM.

  11. #10

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    Listen to the solos on I Remember You and Isn’t It Romantic on the Tal at Ed Fuerst disks and you can hear the snap of the switch moving from neck to bridge.

    FYI Tal’s trusty ol ‘ Prototype #2’ Had three pickups. A D’Armond mounted center that went out a stereo cable direct to a Boss Octaver (?) to play basswhile Gary Mazzaroppi soloed on the upright.
    A FarlowCaster?)

  12. #11

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    Don't always trust the pup selector on a Strat: the "bridge" position on mine is wired to the middle pickup bypassing the tone control. I find it more usable that way.

    Couldn't say with certainty which pickup that is in The Sermon. It's very muffled.

    As for using the bridge pickup on my archtop, I'll use mine whenever I see fit. Wait, it doesn't have one... (Reminds me of a certain Monty Python sketch).

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    Bridge pickup, maybe...
    Or maybe the switch has been rotated so that what looks like the bridge position is really the neck pickup. The tone certainly sounds more like the neck pickup than the bridge pickup and I don't think any amount of rolling off treble is going to succeed in changing that. By re-orienting the switch, looking at the way he uses his right hand- which covers an awful lot of the guitar- he won't hit it which might be a problem with the switch was pointing forwards like normal.

  14. #13

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    There are some recordings of Oscar Moore where you can hear it's definitely a bridge pickup.

    Or it might be one of those strange ES-300s with the big diagonal pickup or the smaller pickup near the bridge.

  15. #14

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    Bill Frisell used to use the bridge pickup on his SG all the time. Loved his sound.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack-e
    …the organist can't produce chords while the LH is playing the bass and the RH is soloing (aside from the occasional "chuck" effect by dropping the RH to the lower manual
    You can use a left hand technique similar to stride piano to play bass lines while comping. But Jimmy Smith and most other organists of note often switch from LH bass to the pedals and back. Smith commonly played the bass line with both at once using his feet for the roots, fourths & fifths but his left hand for the more “bass-y” notes in the line. So he often comped with the left while soloing with the right and maintaining a sophisticated bass line with left hand and both feet.

    There’s a switch on the current Hammond XK5 Pro that shifts the bass to the lower manual. When that’s on, you can’t use those keys for anything else because they’re an octave lower - so it’s either bass or comp, as you describe. But the lower manual can be set for a deep enough tone and range to do both with that switch off. I haven’t played a real B3 for years - but as I recall, the bass pedals and lower manual both run into the same input transformer in the preamp and the pedals cannot be triggered by the lower manual.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    More stuff stuffed in the top makes the top less resonant, therefore reducing feedback.

    Its "using" the bridge pickup without actually...using it

    Not a super old school guy, but Philip Catherine definitely uses the middle setting on his 175 often.

    RE Feedback- just a weight screwed to a hole in the top. Could use a lump clay if you wanted.

    I would not be surprised if the bridge was used in conjunction more than most reaslise, just to cope with the room dynamics. More tonal option.
    Given the quality in recording hardware in the 40's & 50's we would probably never know the difference anyway.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Or maybe the switch has been rotated so that what looks like the bridge position is really the neck pickup. The tone certainly sounds more like the neck pickup than the bridge pickup and I don't think any amount of rolling off treble is going to succeed in changing that. By re-orienting the switch, looking at the way he uses his right hand- which covers an awful lot of the guitar- he won't hit it which might be a problem with the switch was pointing forwards like normal.
    You know what, I think you're right, that has to be neck pickup. There's a chimey, jangley top and a length to the note which only the neck really has. Bridge pickup is percussive, clucky, and clanky. I think you're right.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    You can use a left hand technique similar to stride piano to play bass lines while comping. But Jimmy Smith and most other organists of note often switch from LH bass to the pedals and back. Smith commonly played the bass line with both at once using his feet for the roots, fourths & fifths but his left hand for the more “bass-y” notes in the line. So he often comped with the left while soloing with the right and maintaining a sophisticated bass line with left hand and both feet.

    There’s a switch on the current Hammond XK5 Pro that shifts the bass to the lower manual. When that’s on, you can’t use those keys for anything else because they’re an octave lower - so it’s either bass or comp, as you describe. But the lower manual can be set for a deep enough tone and range to do both with that switch off. I haven’t played a real B3 for years - but as I recall, the bass pedals and lower manual both run into the same input transformer in the preamp and the pedals cannot be triggered by the lower manual.
    I was fiddling with the 'bass to lower (manual)' option on my XK-5 rig the other day and I discovered that it allows you to use either the lower manual or the bass pedals to produce the bass note. With the feature selected, it changes the lower manual to having bass notes below middle C, but if you use the pedals, it will automatically sound the bass notes that you play on the pedals and switch the lower manual back to its usual sound. Could be pretty useful. I decided to just convert to foot bass full time and comp with my left hand. But if I were playing with a combo, I might want to use the left hand bass option to play it safe, then I could use pedals once I got into things or at strategic times.

    Jimmy Smith and the gang of prominent organists such as Dr Smith and Joey D didn't play the primary bass line with their feet. The walking, articulated part is all left hand. They play a very simple sub bass line 'pedal part' with their left foot only. Deviating between notes infrequently, and frequently very stepwise to make it easy to play. This fills out the low bass and provides a rhythmic foundation even though it doesn't outline the chords very well. Then on ballads only, they will convert to holding down the entire bassline on the pedals.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I was fiddling with the 'bass to lower (manual)' option on my XK-5 rig the other day and I discovered that it allows you to use either the lower manual or the bass pedals to produce the bass note. With the feature selected, it changes the lower manual to having bass notes below middle C, but if you use the pedals, it will automatically sound the bass notes that you play on the pedals and switch the lower manual back to its usual sound. Could be pretty useful. I decided to just convert to foot bass full time and comp with my left hand. But if I were playing with a combo, I might want to use the left hand bass option to play it safe, then I could use pedals once I got into things or at strategic times.

    Jimmy Smith and the gang of prominent organists such as Dr Smith and Joey D didn't play the primary bass line with their feet. The walking, articulated part is all left hand. They play a very simple sub bass line 'pedal part' with their left foot only. Deviating between notes infrequently, and frequently very stepwise to make it easy to play. This fills out the low bass and provides a rhythmic foundation even though it doesn't outline the chords very well. Then on ballads only, they will convert to holding down the entire bassline on the pedals.
    Agree w most except the last line. Rare that an organist will play the entire bass line on pedals only @ any tempo.

  21. #20

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    Why do you say that? I am an organist and I always play the entire bass line on the pedals only. There's obviously a mix of approaches but it isn't rare for jazz organists to use all foot bass on ballads. Here's a guy smoking a medium tempo tune with only foot bass.



    Here's Jimmy Smith playing only foot bass on the ballads of Days of wine and roses at 6 minutes and My Romance at 1:09.

    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-20-2021 at 12:58 PM.

  22. #21

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    "Why do you say that? "

    Because most of the time they use a mix of left hand bass and pedals. I don't know any that use only foot pedals all the time,except maybe Barbera Dennerlein, [and maybe you ] I'm not an organist but 99% of my gigs the last 30 yrs have been in organ bands and I've almost never seen it except maybe once in a blue moon like JOS in that clip.

  23. #22

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    I never said most organists play foot bass all the time did I? I said it's usually left hand bass with foot tap and on ballads guys will use foot only.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    I never said most organists play foot bass all the time did I? I said it's usually left hand bass with foot tap and on ballads guys will use foot only.
    Please re-read my posts, never said I did my friend but you're wrong about the ballads part. Most use a combo of hand and foot. You said organists use only pedals on ballads. Surprising being an organist you didn't know that they don't.

  25. #24

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    How about you reread my posts.

  26. #25

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    You mean like these?

    "Then on ballads only, they will convert to holding down the entire bassline on the pedals"

    "I am an organist and I always play the entire bass line on the pedals only"

    This is my initial post disagreeing w you

    "Agree w most except the last line. Rare that an organist will play the entire bass line on pedals only @ any tempo"