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Rhythm and Lead pickup


ics1974

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To give a serious answer;

 

I think dem00n's pretty much on the money.

 

The neck p-up would give a softer sound so the guitar would be used to fill out but not dominate the band mix.

When it came time for the guitarist to take centre-stage the added sparkle of the bridge p-up would ensure his solo stood out from the band.

 

Remember that when these terms were coined (on the selector ring) the guitar amplifier was generally not as 'biting' in the treble dept. as it is nowadays. The amps of the time were primarily used in conjunction with F-hole arch-tops and the general tone was much more mellow.

The C&W guys who were buying Telecasters and Leo Fender's amps changed that. In fact so successful did the far sharper-sounding Fender amps become that Gibson ceased amp production - almost no-one wanted their inherently more mellow tone.

To quote Ted McCarty himself; "...we didn't want to go for that loud, raucous sound. We wanted Gibson amps to have a real soft, genuine tone, not the real loud stuff...but Fender didn't want it that way, and they were selling them, there's no question about it."

 

By 1968 production of Gibson amplifiers had ceased.

 

P.

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To give a serious answer;

 

I think dem00n's pretty much on the money.

 

The neck p-up would give a softer sound so the guitar would be used to fill out but not dominate the band mix.

When it came time for the guitarist to take centre-stage the added sparkle of the bridge p-up would ensure his solo stood out from the band.

 

Remember that when these terms were coined (on the selector ring) the guitar amplifier was generally not as 'biting' in the treble dept. as it is nowadays. The amps of the time were primarily used in conjunction with F-hole arch-tops and the general tone was much more mellow.

The C&W guys who were buying Telecasters and Leo Fender's amps changed that. In fact so successful did the far sharper-sounding Fender amps become that Gibson ceased amp production - almost no-one wanted their inherently more mellow tone.

To quote Ted McCarty himself; "...we didn't want to go for that loud, raucous sound. We wanted Gibson amps to have a real soft, genuine tone, not the real loud stuff...but Fender didn't want it that way, and they were selling them, there's no question about it."

 

By 1968 production of Gibson amplifiers had ceased.

 

P.

 

Thanks Pippy.. I did not know that

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FWIW, I think the labeling on the "poker chip" is archaic, and still used due to tradition (and I'm fine with it). But I think most players more commonly (and correctly) will now use the terms neck pickup and bridge pickup. I know I've used either pickup for either lead or rhythm, depending on mood and other factors. And I've been happy with both.

 

In general though, I think the theory was that the brighter nature of the bridge pickup would tend to "cut through" the mix more than the neck pickup, especially when playing at moderate levels and going from smooth chord strumming to single note leads. Again, going back to jazz and such, as described above.

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