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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

I'm always playing the neck pickup. Should I be concerned??

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by David Meiland, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Dana

    Dana Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Ashland, Ma
    xafinity likes this.
  2. xafinity

    xafinity Friend of Leo's

    Dec 24, 2015
    my Mom's basement
    necks are for chikin pickin
    Richie-string likes this.
  3. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2013
    Essex UK
    Not tread all the replies but, so far as I've got, I'm seemingly not normal! With both Strat and Tele I seldom stray from the bridge PUP, especially for rhythm work. On a three position Tele switch or five position Strat switch I'll some time hit position 2.

    Got me thinking, I've always felt the need for top to cut through, like tfarny says. Could we both be wrong? I'll certainly try something different at my next rehearsal.
    Piggy Stu likes this.
  4. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

    Oct 2, 2017
    Luton UK
  5. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Jun 14, 2010
    mojave desert
    Yep, love the neck pickup. Gives me a depth of sound that the bridge pickup just can't do.
    Richie-string, PhredE and xafinity like this.
  6. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Jun 11, 2009
    I seldom play the bridge by itself on any guitar.
    Richie-string likes this.
  7. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    Neck, middle, bridge...I love them all and am continually going back and forth...twiddling vol & tone knobs too.....
  8. Hastings

    Hastings TDPRI Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    Simcoe, Ontario
    There's a bridge pickup?
  9. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    If you are enjoying what you're doing then don't worry.

    When you get together with a band, likely in a new space as well, you may find the neck pickup doesn't cut through the mix right away. That could force you to experiment a little and maybe you'll find a bridge tone that suits you, sounds like only good things to me.

    Bridge pups can be on the thin side (strats especially so wire it up to one of the tone pots) but remember they don't necessarily need to be used with the same amp settings as the neck tone! Tweak things, try new stuff, and always remember your volume knob is mostly a tone control :)
    Richie-string likes this.
  10. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    You should do what you like, but a good Tele bridge pickup is one of the best sounds created in modern times. So much versatility too, with just a little tweak of the knobs.
  11. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 25, 2016
    When I was a diehard Strat man, I almost never used anything but the neck (or sometimes 2 or 4) position unless I had a humbucker at the bridge. The single coil was always just OK, at best necessary for approximating certain sounds when I absolutely had to have them (twang, surf, brit invasion, cutting through the mix, etc). But even with a decent pickup in the bridge, it was never very inspiring or satisfying to play.

    But ironically, since I turned Tele, I've been really enjoying the bridge. It could be any number of factors, but I'm mainly blaming Bill & Becky Lawrence for giving me a bridge pickup with real depth and sweetness even when totally clean.

    I'm thinking my perfect guitar would have a Strat neck pickup and a Tele bridge (that can magically turn into a high gain humbucker when I feel the urge for metal).
    PhredE likes this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    I was hopelessly hooked on the neck pup for years, and had to go through a program to eliminate my total dependence on it.

    A few others have pointed out that you need to adjust the amp differently to get a great bridge pickup tone.
    Ultimately, this usually make the neck pickup too bassy and muddy, and it can be hard to set up your guitar and amp for great sounds from both or all pickups.
    There are numerous adjustments and parts choices that will get you closer, in addition to developing your ability to mute and pick differently in order to get a warmer sound out of bright gear.

    Your neck pickup needs to be less powerful and brighter than your bridge pup, including setting the neck pup lower, and particularly setting the neck pup lower under the low E than under the high E. Reducing the bass output from the neck pickup will allow you to turn up the bass at the amp so your bridge pickup will have enough bottom end fullness to not sound so thin.

    In addition to the comments about needing a non bass frequency range in a band setting, the bridge pickup can get more clarity and focus at high volume, where the warm wash of neck pickup never really gets as much of clear focused sound.

    But with no other players, a neck pup is so easy to get satisfying sounds from.
    In fact, a $99 guitar into a $99 amp can get great neck pickup sounds.
    You might need to spend more money to get great bridge pup sounds.

    WRT my "problem" being hooked on the neck pup, I've switched to Esquires and have lost the obsession.
  13. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Meister

    Sep 25, 2017
    Suburban PDX, OR
    Yup, +1 for me too.
    Ironically, I have a Squier Vintage Modified '51 (VM51) and it HAS that Strat neck pickup with the humbucking split-coil bridge pickup. Unfortunately, running it in split coil mode doesn't give the classic full twang sound though <- my only real complaint about it.

    I've always thought the Tele neck pickup was maligned more than was deserved. It really can have a good sound -- but it is SO different, really different than the bridge pickup in so many ways.
    I've heard jazz players play on the neck pickup and sound.. well, great. We're lucky the Telecaster is such a versatile instrument.

    Oh, and the bridge+neck position can sound pretty darn good too -- depending on pickups and one's settings (tone, amp, etc)..
    Sollipsist and El Tele Lobo like this.

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 13, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    The switch is there if you need it.
    Play with whatever position you want.
    I use the neck position a lot on all of my guitars, Strat, Tele, LP, SG, T5z, everything except the Mosrite, which is just a different animal altogether.
    Just saying!!!
    Richie-string likes this.
  15. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    No way. You don't have a problem. I love the neck pickup on my Tele, and like you, I also love the "notched position" on my Strat that combines the neck and the middle. The reason you like those is because they're the best. :) I also play through a SF Deluxe Reverb, and it's hard to beat the tones you get in those positions on a Tele and a Strat.
    Richie-string likes this.
  16. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    In a word - No.
    Richie-string likes this.
  17. papa32203

    papa32203 Tele-Holic

    Nov 4, 2011
    Surprise, AZ
    For bridge position, the louder you play, the better it sounds if you roll the tone way back on most guitars (sometimes just shy of that point where it gets dull and muffled), IMO. At lower volumes, the treble seems to need to be there.

    I like to play around w/ the volume and tone knobs on all my guitars. Amp settings are mostly set/forget, while some minor pedal tweaks occur when I switch guitars.....
    Richie-string and El Tele Lobo like this.
  18. murdude

    murdude Tele-Meister

    Jun 16, 2017
    Brantford, Ontario
    I was always a neck person when I was playing my ES-335 in bands..except for solos that needed to cut through. Since I got my Tele' and just playing at home by myself, I am finding that I really like using the middle setting and get the best of both worlds.
    Richie-string and awasson like this.
  19. thegaijin

    thegaijin Tele-Meister

    Oct 2, 2012
    I’m a neckie too.
    waymore and Richie-string like this.
  20. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

    Nov 24, 2016
    Duarte, CA
    This is weird in way. I favor the bridge but from the standpoint of a pickup, capturing and transmitting frequency/input, the neck is superior in that regard. I guess it's whatever you like. Cheers.
    Richie-string likes this.
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