There’s a standard way of stringing a Les Paul or other stop tailpiece-equipped axe, and it works perfectly fine. And so it should! The darn things were designed to work that way! But there’s another method that some players swear by, often called ‘top wrapping.’
It isn’t fun to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes you can chase the musical muse down the metaphorical rabbit hole and get wedged in there, unable to back out or to go any deeper. It can feel pretty frustrating, and at a certain point a rut can discourage you from playing altogether. Or maybe you’re not in a rut: maybe you just want to get better, and fast. Either way, the trick to technical transcendence is often found in how you approach the guitar from a philosophical rather than physical point of view. We’ve compiled 25 tricks that will help you to up your skill level, whether you’re stuck in a rut or if you just want to bolt a new dimension or two onto your playing.
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.
Coil splitting is the practice of shutting off (or otherwise fading out) one coil of a humbucker, leaving behind a single coil for a brighter tone. Coil splitting is often confused with coil tapping, in much the same way that the terms ‘vibrato bar’ and ‘tremolo bar’ are considered interchangeable even though only one is technically correct. So what is coil tapping, and how is it different to coil splitting?
If you’re upgrading your guitar’s pickups for the very first time, here’s a tip which will help you maximize your tone and get the most out of your investment: Seymour Duncan offers most humbucker models in two sizes: Humbucker and Trembucker. But what do these mean, and how do you know which is right for…
Grady Champion was Dimebag Darrell’s guitar tech for 13 years, and he was by Dime’s side as he found and continued to refine his tone, from Pantera through to Damageplan, across countless gigs on stages all over the world. Towards the end of his life Dime had been using his signature Seymour Duncan Dimebucker pickup, but Grady tells us that Dime was also a fan of the ’59 Model, using the bridge version of the ’59 in the neck position of his guitars. Grady is currently teching for Incubus, and he took time out to have a chat about how pickups fit into Dime’s tone and what it was like to work with one of the most unforgettable metal guitarists ever.
The original humbucking pickups designed by Seth Lover for Gibson in the 1950s were elegantly simple. By combining two pickup coils instead of simply using one (with pole piece magnets of one coil oriented in the opposite direction to the other), Lover’s design cancelled out the buzz and hum that plagued existing single coil designs, leaving in its place a fuller, rounder tone which changed the future of guitar.
Originally presented as a concept piece on Halloween, the Seymour Duncan Chewbucker is now making it to full production and it’s being joined by two new pickups, the IM-Solo and the SSL-Ren, in the Seymour Duncan SW Set. The Chewbucker is designed to give you a hairy, growly tone, and while it is…
Ever wonder why some guitars just feel ‘right’ while others feel just plain weird? Often it’s down to the radius of the fretboard. This refers to how flat or curved the fretboard the frets are. Different roundnesses provide different playing feels, and some are better suited to particular styles than others are.
If your guitar’s wiring is set up in a way that our wiring instructions do not address (special coil-splitting, or unique switching, etc…), then you may find this pickup wire color-code chart very helpful.