Am I Wrongly Ignoring My Bridge Pickup?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Larmo63, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,188
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Location:
    Timbuktu, Earth
    I never use my bridge pickup by itself. I almost never have on any Telecaster I've ever owned. Is it that they always seem too prickly and treble-ish to me?

    Am I playing my Fender Tele the wrong way? I usually play with both pickups or just the neck pickup because I'm more of a rhythm/chord player.

    Do I need to explore the sounds of that poor un-loved and neglected black pickup near the brass saddles?

    Anyone?
     
    Andy Summers, bcorig, BB and 2 others like this.
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    2,599
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    Yes! You need to explore the bridge sounds!
    That’s what makes a good tele in my opinion
    I started out thinking the bridge position had a little too much treble but now other guitars just sound too bassy to me
    Maybe I’ve just adapted but I usually stick to bridge and middle and rarely use the neck pickup by itself

    Although as you say for a rhythm player you’re probably using your tele right unless you want to do a lot of tone rolling
     
    AlbertaGriff, voskarp and Dan R like this.
  3. westofthesun

    westofthesun TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Location:
    Michigan
    I haven't used my bridge pickup in 15 years. Tele neck pickup 4ever!!!
     
  4. maggieo

    maggieo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    861
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Turn your tone knob down and go to town!
     
  5. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    575
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    Yes. Just don’t use it to strum chords in church. Use it to cut a killer lead with face melting bends. Hit a very long and nasty super high bend on the high E 21st fret, and go home like a winner. Even the girls will be able to see the sheer light of power involving you, and dudes be like - we have another pair of furry balls in the alley, watch out for this cat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  6. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    760
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2019
    Location:
    Arizona
    I only use the bridge pickup. It's the only one that sounds normal to me.
     
    Howard VA and jman72 like this.
  7. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    373
    Joined:
    May 30, 2019
    Location:
    PNW
    Steve Cropper said he always used both pickups. On my Tele that has blend wiring, I nearly always have some amount of neck rolled in. Do what works for you. You may want to experiment with the tone knob on that bridge PU, or not.
     
  8. thatkeithmorris

    thatkeithmorris TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    90
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Carlisle, UK
    I’ve been the same for years with my teles. Recently discovered on my clean channel that I need to dial the treble really low on the amp, reduce the mids a bit, too, and boost the bass till it sounds nice and rich. The settings look scarily extreme but all pickup selections now sound good and I wish I’d discovered it sooner.

    The amp is a Peavey Envoy, solid state with a 10” speaker so other amps may differ.

    I find these settings work even better if I turn up the amp and reduce the volume on the guitar for rhythm work.
     
  9. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,595
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Left of the Left Coast
    I'm no help. I use the bridge pickup so much that I built a neck-pickup-only guitar just to teach myself a lesson.
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,593
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Yep, the Tele bridge tone is what they really are famous for. But many of us, myself included, find it too bright. It's an art of using the tone control more than us neck pickup players do.
    But those that get it make great sound. Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Robben Ford... etc..
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  11. TelePlank

    TelePlank TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    83
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    Well I've owned and love Esquires so I guess you know where I sit on this one. Why not explore it? It can only add to your playing options.
     
  12. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,266
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'Ve got a similar story about the tone control. I usually just check to see that it's still on 10. When I realized that I only ever turn the tone down with the bridge ONLY, I wired it that way. Tone on bridge only. Now I explore what the bridge has to offer.
     
    edvard, theprofessor and Nelg like this.
  13. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    2,599
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I was always curious about this statement, did he rewire his guitars or did he just figure middle position was both
    I heard him talking about his older recordings when teles weren’t wired to have both pickups active and have wondered about this
     
    Vibrolux59 likes this.
  14. darkwaters

    darkwaters Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,688
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    At home, practicing, I tend to stick with the neck and middle. When jamming with the guys, it's middle and bridge. It sits better in the mix that way, I find. Still the neck is my favorite. I always set up the neck pickup on my guitars to get it just right. Then I adjust the bridge until it's balanced with the neck. Needless to say, bridge pickup only guitars, like the Esquire, have never held any attraction for me.
     
    NewKid likes this.
  15. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,866
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    White Mountains
    Wes Montgomery, Herb Ellis and many others had NO bridge pickup.
    A bridge pickup and cymbals are like shark repellent to audiences with sophisticated ears - which is why Brushes came into existence for drummers - to keep drinkers in a better mood the day after. Waitstaff universally hate when loud treble based bands make noise that You still hear in Your heads at 5am before first light.
    It’s true Man. That’s why Miles Davis played muted 80% of the time. He wanted to keep his audiences returning.
     
    Vibrolux59 likes this.
  16. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    704
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Location:
    England
    A lot of it is about setting your amp up I think.... if you set your amp to sound 'right' with the neck pickup the bridge will sound bright, if you set your amp up to sound 'right' with the bridge pickup then the neck will sound dark.

    Try and set your amp so it's neither too bright on the bridge nor too dark on the neck, somewhere in the middle, the use the tone control on your guitar for fine adjustments.
     
    RYAN1987M, Frontier9 and Steve 78 like this.
  17. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,195
    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    I take it you don't like Esquires then?
     
  18. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    2,533
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    Philly
    Your missing out. Roll back your tone knob.
     
  19. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    10,616
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    For twenty-plus years I almost NEVER used my bridge p/up....always neck or neck/bridge. Then, I got a Bootstrap Pickups Pretzel Tele set. The bridge p/up in that set is the most "P-90"-like Tele bridge p/up I've ever heard. I now switch between bridge and bridge/neck for most gigs. Now....I'm a believer! ;)
     
    Pat D likes this.
  20. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    624
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2019
    Location:
    Oregon
    IMG_3766.JPG
    I only use the neck pickup on this one, I did put the Eldred mod in it though.
     
    Jim622 likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.