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Have you ever played an electric guitar that wasn’t plugged into an amplifier? The sound was very soft and didn’t travel far at all. However, once you plug it in you can head it across a sporting field or even at the back of the concert hall. This is all achievable because of a guitar pickup. There are many types of pickups designed for electric guitars, so, if you are looking to upgrade your pickup or trying to find a different tone variation, talk to the experts at Guitars4U.

What is a pickup?

First of all, what actually is a guitar pickup? Well, a guitar pickup is a piece of technology that converts the vibrations of the guitar’s metal strings into electrical signals. The signals that are created are then sent to the amplifier to project louder so people in audiences can hear. In simpler terms, it’s the device that turns the strumming into sound.

The pickups for electric guitars use magnets that are centred under each string to pick up each individual strum. This allows for the power, spacing, and alignment of each string to be picked up and hear. Essentially, the pickup affects the overall volume, tone, and sound that comes out of the amplifier.

The different electric guitar pickups

There are many types of electric guitar pickups. The different types of pickups create different tones suited for different styles of music. Here are some of the different styles of pickups for electric guitar.

Single coil pickups

One of the first invented pickups for an electric guitar and still the most common type of pickups are single coils. A single-coil pickup only has a single coil magnet, hence its name. It is largely used for blues, soul, surf, country, and RnB music worldwide! The single-coil pickup is known for its sharp, biting tone which can be heard much clearer than other pickups.

Humbucker pickups

Humbuckers are a pickup that was revolutionary in the music world! It uses two magnet coils that are opposing each other to cancel out any humming that’s picked up in the signal. The humbucker is an essential pickup for jazz music, rock star guitarist as well as hard rock and metal. This is due to it producing a warmer, thicker output in relation to other electric guitar pickups. A humbucker also has one of the loudest outputs for an electric guitar pickup.

P90 pickups

The P90 pickups are often described as being the middleman between a single-coil and a humbucker pickup. Design-wise, they are very similar to a single-coil pickup as they use a single coil magnet. However, the P90 has larger pickup sizes and wider bobbins which creates a very contrasting tone to humbuckers or single coils. The P90 pickup is much louder than a single-coil but doesn’t compare to a humbucker. It is extremely versatile and can be used for jazz, punk rock, rock, and blues due to it fabricating lots of depth on the amplifier.

The single-coil, humbucker, and P90 pickups can all be used on electric guitars. If you are wanting to experiment with tone and music styles, head over to Guitars4U for all your guitar needs.