Buying a pickup can be as easy as looking at a few videos, hearing a few sound clips, and getting a few recommendations from friends. But with pickup companies like Seymour Duncan making hundreds of different pickups, an educated consumer will be the happiest consumer. Sure, you get the 21 Day Exchange Policy if the pickup doesn’t sound the way you expect. But educating yourself before your purchase can help to get your tonal choices right the first time, so you can get on to the playing part of music rather than the reading about playing part of music. This article can help explain some considerations you might have in narrowing down the pickup choices when Upgrading Your Tone.
There are so many little parts on an electric guitar that when you’re a beginner it can be a daunting task to figure out what each part is for! It never hurts to take a closer look at anything, so why not dive into the anatomy of an electric guitar?
Let’s start at the head and work our way down. Continue reading
I’ve spoken a lot about hybrid humbuckers of the last few years. I talked about how I go about matching coils together, I talked about some of my favorite hybrids, and now I’m gonna give ‘you the keys to the Lamborghini’ by showing you how I make a hybrid! Or rather, how I used to make a hybrid humbucker; since I make so many now, I take a few shortcuts while making them, but I’ll discuss those as I go in the description. If you decide to make your own hybrid keep in mind that you will no longer be able to exchange your new Seymour Duncan pickups after doing this. Continue reading
Posted in The Tone Garage
Tagged Alnico 2 Pro, demon, fullshred, how to make, hybrid, Jazz, JB, pearly, Pearly Gates, screaming, seth, seth lover
Seymour Duncan makes a lot of pickups that are great in vintage designs like Strats, Teles and Les Pauls, but there are plenty of more modern-voiced pickups in the line-up too. Personally I’m a huge Ibanez geek (seriously, I think I have a problem – that problem is not enough space for all my Ibanezezes!), and although I consider it my duty as a guitarist to own a Strat, Tele and Les Paul (and some day an ES-335 please, Santa), I have plenty of experience with all sorts of Ibanez guitars and all sorts of Seymour Duncan pickups. So I thought it might be fun to share some of what I’ve found. Now, a lot of Ibanez guitars are made of Basswood, a generally growly-yet-even-toned wood which is generally felt to be not as warm as Mahogany and not as lively as Alder. There are also some models which feature Basswood bodies with Maple tops, or even Mahogany bodies with Maple tops. And there are plenty of S Series models with thin Mahogany bodies too, Let’s look at some recommendations for each, with particular focus on Basswood since that’s such a common Ibanez tone wood. Basswood Continue reading
Posted in The Tone Garage
Tagged Alnico II Pro Slash, Black Winter, custom, Custom Custom, Duncan Distortion, Full Shred, ibanez, Jason Becker Perpetual Burn, Jazz, JB, Nazgul, parallel axis trembucker, Pearly Gates, Pegasus, Sentient, seth lover, whole lotta humbucker
In the span of my gigging career, I’ve encountered a number of situations that have left me saying, “I really wish I had had that!” Thankfully, those were issues that were easily resolved by procuring said item and sticking it in my bag for next time. With that, let’s discuss ten things that will bail you out of a gig, should any issue arise.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a “top ten” list; it’s just a list. And it’s mine; your circumstances may vary, although I’ve found through the years that this really does it for the bulk of my situations that I’m in, as well as my musician friends out on the road. Feel free to leave post your own lists in the comments or on Facebook. Continue reading
Wait, I am already learning chords and scales… you’re telling me there are also things called Chord Scales? Yes! Chords scales are not only useful when composing, but also in improvisation. When harmonizing a melody we can make our music more rich, have more twists and turns, and break us out of the riff-based power chord rut we have been in for far too long. This article will explain a basic harmonization of the major scale, using movable chord shapes on the four smallest strings of our guitars – all while sounds sophisticated, complex, and completely irresistible to the opposite sex. Continue reading
A ducking delay is one that changes the volume of the actual repeats in response to your playing: While you are playing, the echoes are quieter, and when you stop, they get louder. Loud echoes can sometimes interfere with the live playing, so years ago guitarists made use of a very expensive rack-mounted delay to automatically ‘duck’ the delays when it sensed an input signal. This dynamic use of delay allowed control over the volume of the echoes that didn’t exist outside of a recording studio. Sure, you could run the echoes to a different track and ride the fader throughout the song, but in a live performance it puts too much trust in the soundperson. The Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail Analog Delay goes a step further, and allows you to control the volume of the echoes in real time with a volume pedal via the extra-special, super-terrific, happy-fun Insert jack on the side of the pedal. Continue reading
Custom Shop wall of Fame.
There are so many pickups out there, I want to try them all. P90s, mini humbuckers, all flavors of Fender Single Coils (Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Strat, Tele and many more)… but few pickup designs have been so widely used, duplicated, investigated and reimagined as the humbucker. In this blog we’ve discussed how a humbucker cancels the hum – as Richard Irons explained so eloquently here and here. Richard also talked about the electrical path inside a humbucker here. I want to go a bit further and discuss what’s physically going on inside a humbucker. I’ll be concentrating my attention to regular, full-sized humbuckers, not the single coil-sized or stacked designs. Continue reading
Posted in The Tone Garage
Tagged Alnico 2, Alnico 2 Pro, alnico 3, alnico 4, Alnico 5, Alnico 8, baseplate, Black Winter, bobbin, ceramic, coil, dimebucker, fuglybucker, Full Shred, humbucker, hybrid, insulation, invader, JB, magnet, nickel-silver, Parallel axis, PATB, polepiece, unoriented alnico 5, wire
There’s nothing quite like playing the blues. Every note, phrase and hint of vibrato rings out soul. And there’s nothing like seeing a good blues guitarist in concert like BB King, Robert Cray, Gary Clark. Jr, Joe Bonamassa – the list goes on and on. Most blues players use vintage-style pickups or vintage-style with-a-bit-of-edge for hotter blues. And many use the complete range of their tone; you’ll see them switching between different pickup positions on a pretty regular basis as they take advantage of the character each position has to offer. Here’s a look at some great pickup options for players looking for a predominantly blues tone.