Last week we got to the point where we had a guitar with one pickup and no controls. This week we’ll be taking more steps towards a full understanding of guitar wiring.
For many players, a change of pickups is one of the very first steps into modding guitars. It’s reversible, it’s not too hard, and it has an immediate impact on your tone. However, it’s still possible to get yourself into a bit of a mess if you don’t have a basic understanding of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Practice makes perfect. Unless you’re doing it all wrong.
Throughout my performing and teaching life, I’ve had lots of older people coming up to me and telling me that they’ve always wanted to play guitar. This is followed by the usual excuse of wishing they’d started when they were young, or even the very morbid “I don’t have much time left, and it takes years to become a pro.” Well, yeah it does, but learning something like guitar does not always have to be something you start very young. In fact, there is nothing about guitar that specifically states you have to be young to do it. It is true, then, that you are never too old to learn…
By the end of the last article on electric guitar wiring, we had wired a Tele-type guitar for three-way pickup switching using both the standard blade switch, and the Gibson-style toggle switch. We’re going to stick with that toggle switch now, and see how we can have separate volume and tone controls for each pickup….
So far we’ve had one pickup connected to the volume control and then the volume control sends output to the jack. We’ll continue with that setup, except that when we add additional pickups, we’ll control which ones are connected to the volume control.