Anybody use the middle position? Examples in well known recordings?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MrHamburger, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have four teles, all with single coils (three different brands), and one humbucker-equipped guitar. On the teles, I have 3, 4, and 5-way switches. I find that I spend most of my time in the middle position (both pickups in parallel), whichever guitar I play. And I'm not a pedal guy, so things like fuzz, chorus, delay, etc. don't factor into it for me. I would say my favorite positions in terms of usage are middle, neck and bridge, in that order.
     
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That is just telling you the pickups are reverse wound / reverse polarity (RWRP) — in other words, hum cancelling in the middle position. It could still be either series or parallel, with parallel being the stock option.

    I’m with Chrissie btw — middle position, (optional) light chorus, (nearly) clean: that is a fantastic sound. I use it for a lot of not-terrifyingly-loud music. It is a beautiful ringing tone IMHO, great for arpeggio picking or ‘let it ring’ rhythm parts.
     
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  3. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Meister

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    I generally play in the middle position on my 2-pickup guitars, adjusting volume of each as I see fit...on my Strat and BMG, depends on what I want...the BMG is the oddball with individual switches for each pickup and for phase of each...although if you reverse phase on all three, they're all back in phase ... LOL
     
  4. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

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    Check out David Spinozza's fills in McCartney's Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey especially in the second half in the song:



    And then there's George's fills on Dig A Pony (although he flips to the neck for the solo):

     
  5. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    @AAT65 you are correct,they are in parallel.
    I belive yhe North/South ( front p/up ) is wound clockwise with the polarity of north on top, south on bottom. Opposite applies for the bridge- RWRP making that in parallel.
    Yes Chrissie Hynde and that chorus pedal do sound good.
     
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  6. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

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    There's always the Commander Cody version of Hot Rod Lincoln.
     
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  7. StringSinger

    StringSinger TDPRI Member

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    Regarding Steve Cropper I got curious form all the discussion here and did a little research and found this from a 2008 Guitar Player interview:

    How do you typically set the controls on your guitar?
    I turn the Volume and Tone controls all the way up. I tend to favor the neck pickup on my main guitar, and I’ve always used a combination of both pickups on the others—going back to my Teles in the ’60s. I almost never use the bridge pickup by itself.

    So he must have had some mod work on his old teles back then.
     
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  8. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I rarely use that postion but I do agree it sounds great for certain things.My main tone for a Tele is the bridge position and I'll go to the neck when I need something fatter.
     
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  9. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    I play in that middle position at least 90% of the time. Never have paid attention to, or even care, what anyone else uses.
     
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  10. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 Tele-Meister

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    I mainly play in the middle position. I'll switch to the neck when I get up to about the 10th fret. Very rarely do I use the bridge pickup by itself, but it's usually only with frets 0-5 when I do.
     
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  11. Cicada Nation

    Cicada Nation Tele-Meister

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    I usually use the middle. It's the best of both worlds.
    I know tradition has it that the magic of the tele is the bridge pickup, but to me, on its own, it's a bit harsh for anything but lead. I'm a rock player, maybe that's why.
     
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  12. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I hear middle position on his songs a lot.. the 2 I've learned bits and pieces of are Soul Man and Knock on Wood... Middle position sounds/feels right to me for Soul Man in particular.

    The Tele history book I have implies that a huge # of Teles were being modded pretty quickly to the modern Bridge(1) -> Both(2) -> Neck(3) w/Volume + Tone knobs really early and Fender finally just got rid of the "dark circuit" stuff after realizing that's what the market wanted... so it wouldn't surprise me at all.

    A lot of the Funk stuff with a Tele sounds like the middle to me... e.x. some of Prince's stuff.

    I honestly feel like the more you get used to playing with each of them the more all of the Telecaster positions work great. I don't find the bridge bad for rhythm at all for example... maybe you roll the tone knob off a little but the bridge is so "clear" that even open chords sound super distinct with good separation.. sometimes I think the neck is actually the position that requires the most technique & care for rhythm playing as you can mush up the lower strings so easily.
     
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  13. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    After my last gig, it dawned on me I had played all night on middle position, only adjusting my tone control for different "colors". I'm about to go back to a "middle position" third pickup.....and that changes the whole discussion! ;)
    BTW...when I do, I have a mini-toggle to turn the middle pickup on, leaving the "normal" three-way switch for the neck and bridge.
     
  14. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    I have discovered there is a position in the tone control rotation where switching from bridge to neck to middle makes very little difference. With the tone rolled open there is quite a difference of course.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  15. bluebirdrad

    bluebirdrad Tele-Meister

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    I use the middle position often for a more pop sound -- gives a nice presence without the bite of the bridge pickup -- have to adjust the tone control for the right balance. It's my position for the chorus when I use that effect. Neck for blues or old-style R&B. Bridge for classic country, rockabilly twang or anytime I need to punch up a lead or other part. And many variations depending on the song, the band, or the room -- sometimes the bridge is the only one to cut through the maelstrom. My pickups don't sound out-of-phase -- by that I mean that Strat second or fourth position quack. I never figured out what to do with a middle pickup. Hence the Telecaster.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  16. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    If you can’t find great uses for your middle position, you need to adjust your pup heights.

    Also remember that not all pups are alike, so your combination of hot bridge and not so hot neck doesn’t mean that’s everyone else’s combination too.

    I use middle a ton on my Thinline.
     
  17. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

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    The middle position sits best in almost all ensemble mixes I've been in over the years. Generally, all the bass tones are used up, and all the brighter/more mid-range is being used by the other guitarist or a keyboardist. That middle cuts through without being in the way. It's also a very distinct sound; "just as Tele" as the bridge pickup is in my opinion.
     
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  18. SB Havidson

    SB Havidson TDPRI Member

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    For me, middle position is Marc Robot playing in Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs" album. He played a Telecaster copy back then.
     
  19. MrHamburger

    MrHamburger Tele-Holic

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    I’m not a big Beatles fan but I’m liking ‘Dig a Pony’. The George part you’re referring to is the little double stop slides I’m hearing?
     
  20. MrHamburger

    MrHamburger Tele-Holic

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    Nice reference. I really like Marc Ribot’s guitar style & sound. I have a pretty hard time listening to Tom Waits anymore. Luckily there’s lots of other options.
     
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