The Telecaster is without question a classic instrument. It has an instantly identifiable sound – especially in the bridge and middle positions. However, the neck pickup alone is slightly weaker than the bridge position. Not to say that it doesn’t sound good, because it does. In fact Seymour Duncan makes several vintage output Tele neck pickups for those who are after that traditional, sweet Tele neck sound. I have the STR-1 Vintage Rhythm in the neck of one of my Telecasters and it’s silky smooth.
What can I say? I love the Les Paul. The shape itself is sexy as hell. Curved and cut at the right places. The tone is awesome: fat and thundering, tight and singing, it’s really my go-to guitar! But sometimes music demands something else. You can’t eat steak ‘n chips every day, can you?! Sometimes your body craves for a simple, clean tomato salad. And that’s what a Strat is to me. Something to clean the palate, in order to enjoy a Les Paul more.
I put two Classic Stack Plus pickups in the neck and middle positions of my Strat, and a JB Model Trembucker in the bridge. I set up some fancy switching to split the pickups at appropriate times, and to change the volume pot from 250K to 500K when the humbucker was active.
I remember the day I got my first electric guitar – a cheap Status brand Stratocaster copy. It wasn’t exactly the greatest axe in the world, but I loved that damn thing. Put thousands of hours of fingergrease into it. And it only took a few weeks of being an electric guitarist to realise – the middle pickup was where a lot of my favourite sounds were.
Understanding what modes actually are is the first step to using them effectively as an improvising guitarist. It is all part of understanding what we like when we’re listening to or learning a song. For me, I heard all this great music but didn’t understand how the guitarists picked those particular notes to create a solo or chord progression that reached me. Knowing this allowed me to see the ingredients to a song’s recipe.
Seymour Duncan Artist and Their Pickups KATATONIA Katatonia (http://www.myspace.com/katatonia) is a band that defines the new wave of Swedish metal. Their heavy overtones combined with haunting melodic waves of sound are a perfect mix of doom metal and modern rock. Their earlier albums Dance of December Souls and Brave Murder Day have more of a…
“I have finally found the perfect configuration for my guitars to go from a loud, fierce bite to a mellow, warm sparkle in the blink of an eye.”—Katantonia’s Anders Nystrom