Choosing Pickups to Match Your Guitar’s Wood

We’ve discussed choosing pickups according to your style before. We’ve also had a bit of a look at choosing pickups with respect to the wood: what wood works best with which pickup for which style? In this article I want to explore some possible guitar, pickup, style and tone choices. What goes good with what?

The Best Guitar Neck Pickups (Humbucker Edition)

Seymour Duncan has a wide variety of neck pickups to help you find that perfect match. There are many things to consider when you’re looking for a a neck pickup. First up is the wood of the guitar – do you have a bright guitar like alder and want to warm and fatten it up, or do you have a warmer guitar and want to make take it out of the darkness and give it some crunch and bite?

Active and Passive in the Same Guitar – Can It Be Done?

It’s a question we get asked a heck of a lot here at SD, and a question that appears all over the internet – how should I wire up a mixture of active and passive pickups in the  same guitar? The answer, either from us or elsewhere on the internet, is always either “It’s very…

This Sounds Odd: Understanding 9th Chords

Contrary to where modern guitar has gone, it started life as a rhythm instrument, bashing out chords on a large archtop (or larchtop*) in the back of the band. Yes, it is hard to believe that at one time, the idea of sweep picking lydian-dominant arps at 200 bpm was unheard of, and the idea of having a great chord vocabulary (and being able to improvise with those chords) was essential to be considered a great guitarist that could work steadily and support all of those spotlight-stealing brass players. These days, being an amazing rhythm player is downplayed in favor of other aspects of guitar playing, but understanding some small things about chords will only let our solos stand out more, and give us more interesting things to play over. If you haven’t read it yet, I would also suggest reading my article about 7th chords, as this article will build on those concepts.

An Audience With Rob ‘Chappers’ Chapman

One of my personal highlights of the NAMM show back in January was the Chapman Guitars stand. Rob Chapman is very well known in the UK as a guitarist for two reasons: his involvement in various bands – currently the excellent Dorje – and his superb gear demonstrations and reviews on YouTube.

Less Than Or Equal To: The Diminished Chord

As modern guitarists, we are constantly trying to come up with new sounds. We all have heard how Yngwie plays diminished arpeggios at the speed of light and how practicing our diminished scale runs adds some Bach to our rock. Instead of focusing on scales or arpeggios here, I’ve reached back into to time of frilly shirts and harpsichords to check out the harmony which goes hand-in-hand with those shredilicious melodies. If we tire of djentrific root-5th power chords, folky granola-scented open major and minor triads, or murky jazz voicings, we can start by looking at those triads again. This article focuses on the diminished triad, what it sounds like, and how we can use it to break out of patterns where we seem to play the same thing, the same way, all the time.

Dissecting the Augmented Chord

With all of the emphasis on fast soloing online and in guitar magazines, it is easy to forget that working players spend most of their time playing chords. Even the heaviest of metals use more chords and rhythm than anything else, and increasing our chord literacy will help us become better players. This article will focus on one of my favorite types of chords and show us how we might use it to add some unexpected color no matter what genre of music we play. Guitar is generally considered a rhythm instrument, after all.

Chords of the Harmonic Minor Scale

In the last music theory blog article, I introduced you to the odd and sometimes dissonant chords derived from the melodic minor scale. This time we’ll look at the prettier-but-slightly-aloof older sisters of the melodic minor chords: harmonic minor chords. This article will explain how to derive the chords from this dramatic scale, and provide some…

History of Seymour Duncan Products

For 37 years Seymour Duncan has been developing products to help musicians find their voice and get the most out of their instrument. We thought it would be fun to look back at when some of our more notable products came out.

Introducing The Sentient 7/8 String Neck Pickup

The Sentient is a neck pickup which pairs equally well with the Pegasus (for prog rock and modern metal) and the Nazgûl (for aggressive metal). It’s voiced to capture a blend of vintage PAF and modern tones with enough output to deliver harmonically rich distorted lead tones, but subtle enough to give you deep, detailed cleans.

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