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Single-pickup guitar tricks

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by SixStringSlinger, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    Single-pickup guitars have a certain something about them. They force you to find ways to do more with less. They have fewer pickups pulling on the strings at all times. They have a certain stripped-down cool.

    But another thing I like about single-pickup guitars is that they often have a trick or two up their sleeves. Take an Esquire, which has no business having a pickup selector switch. But flip it to one side and you have have warmed, filtered goodness. Flip it to the other and you may have a direct, unfiltered sound that out-Esquires itself.

    What hidden tricks do you have/like in a single-pickup guitar? I want to hear it all. Coil tapping, different caps, kill switches, afterburners, the works.
     
  2. edvard

    edvard Tele-Afflicted

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    Series/Parallel switch if you're running humbuckers. If the song calls for a little less grit, a little more clarity, I'll keep the switch in Parallel, then flick it to Series for the kicker or a solo. It goes the other way 'round too; keep the main riff hot in Series, then flick it to Parallel to cool off with some open chords. The difference is subtle, but noticeable.
     
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Use. The. Tone. Knob.

    And also work on picking/strumming in different places (near the bridge, near the end of the neck, and everywhere in between).

    I have a few Esquires and Les Paul Juniors, and despite having just one pickup, these guitars have bucketloads of different tones in them.
     
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  4. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    My current project is a '78 Frankenstrat. Single humbucker and single volume knob. No tricks available, other than using the volume to clean it up.
     
  5. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I love series/parallel switches for humbuckers. About 40,000 times more useful than a coil tap or phase switch. Every guitar should come with them.
     
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  6. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    everything less than max on the tone knob on just about every guitar i've ever played is just mud.
     
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  7. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Friend of Leo's

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    You need to play a few more guitars then...:p

    Seriously, different caps, EQ on amp and a dab of tone adjustment, as well as volume adjustment is the key to unlocking seriously great tone. It’s not all about running everything “dimed”...
     
  8. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Holic

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    Nah, not really.

    upload_2020-11-23_17-30-51.png

    I'm not really looking for "more" when I do this to a guitar, I'm after the one thing and this setup just gives it to me.

    Or if I want something a little different.

    upload_2020-11-23_17-38-37.png
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    2CF0DDA5-6224-4272-8039-6E1F5FA25453.jpeg B38A262E-BC8F-49FD-BFD7-73B32520C2B1.jpeg No tricks!
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    AD2007B0-7266-4984-82F1-54D88A33DB6E.jpeg Tricks are for kids!
     
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  11. AviA

    AviA Tele-Meister

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    I enjoyed reading this post because that's exactly how I feel since I purchased my Squire Esquire in March 2019.
    I'm playing it exclusively since then and it indeed taught me a lesson or two.

    1. I am able to play all the covers playlist that my band is usually playing (Pink Floyd, Beatles, Clapton, Police, Stones, Zeppelin and more).

    2. you always hear from real professional on how to utilize the knobs on the guitar.
    Well, it is true. I am playing with the volume and tone knobs like I never did before.


    BTW, I am so happy with it that it made me buy the Fender 70th anniversary Esquire as soon as I saw it (should be here tomorrow:) )
     
  12. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Holic

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    There's something very satisfying about having a empty route on a guitar body. Like when after having a tooth pulled and you can't resist placing your tongue where the tooth used to be.
     
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  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    And. The. Volume. Knob.
     
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  14. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    With 50s wiring, with the guitar’s volume down, you get actually more clarity when rolling down the tone knob slightly.
    I almost never have volume and tone at 100% on my guitars: I pretty much dime the amp and use the sonic palette of the guitar knobs to taste.
     
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  15. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    single neck pickup and a bass cut gives you a cool pipa-ish type of sound picking by the bridge
     
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  16. Ghostdriver

    Ghostdriver Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Gotta echo everything on here about the Esquire, I too built one this year with 50’s wiring and man what a versatile guitar......I play in a goth doom metal type of band and although it’s Vintage White and has the ‘wrong’ look for want of a better term, it is a gnarly rocking guitar through an overdrive and the big muff.......
     
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  17. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    No need of a Tone knob.

    Use the Vol knob!

    Haha.... U extol the virtues of simplicity, then ask..... How have u complicated the wiring, switch, knobs, etc.??
    .
     
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  18. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I think part of the problem is many players leave their guitar dimed and adjust their amp to that. My knobs tend to live around "7" or so, and I adjust my amp to that. This gives me plenty of room in either direction for times I need my tone to be a little more this way or that way.

    You monster! :eek:

    I found an old Squier Tele with a Bigsby on Craigslist for cheap, and decided to Esquire it since I already had a Tele. It's its own kind of fun :cool:

    Rock n' roll is to stranger to hypocrisies both real and imagined ;)
     
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  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    While this discussion includes hardware tricks associated with the single pickup guitar, it's worth mentioning that the most famous single pickup guitar player simply had developed enough style to only require a single pickup and a volume knob.
     
  20. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeppers. Tone knobs are pretty much useless. I’ve even removed them from a lot of my guitars. I never use them on the ones that still have them. Way back in the 80’s before I learned how to wire stuff, I had a strat. The tone knob would somehow always turn itself down. I was about to sell the guitar when an older picker offered to drop a dab of solder where the shaft meets the pot and just lock it wide open. That was my first guitar mod.

    I’ve had some guitars that weren’t useable without a tone pot. Those guitars needed pickups. Or different value volume pots. Generally the only knob I want on a guitar is a single volume pot. And that should be full out 100% of the time unless I’m doing volume swells. I will do two volumes on a Les Paul. I can find uses for that. A volume and a pan pot on a tele can be fun.

    A tone pot can get you tonal variations, but they all suck IMO. I get far more variety, and keep all my clarity and definition, by varying my pick attack and switching between pick and fingers. It’s about a hundred times more useful than anything a tone pot can do.
     
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