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hi folks...
ever catch yourself watching a live video or concert and noticing where the guitar player is setting the pickup switch selector.?
Do they change the position for the solo and go back to the original setting?
Do they change the position many times or just leave it on one setting and play the whole song?
Does it surprise you when you compare the settings to what you do?
Do you ever change the pickup selector position because you saw some one else play the song in a different setting?

just a few mindless questions that I find interesting.
G.

This stuff all came up this morning while I was watching Collin James play "Bad Habits" live at the Commodor. He played the rhythm on the neck pickup and the solo on the middle pickup on his Strat.
I found it interesting cause his tone is amazing.
 

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I dont do it very often. The last time I can think of was watching the black dahlia murder with former lead guitarist ryan knight. On the albums, I couldnt tell if he was changing pickups or not. I saw some shows and sure enough he was. I was also fortunate enough to talk music with him before doors at a Toronto gig.
 

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Steve Morse is one of those guys who is all over his switching, all the time- even mid solo. Crazy to watch sometimes and that switching system in his signature model is pretty unique.
 

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This stuff all came up this morning while I was watching Collin James play "Bad Habits" live at the Commodor He played the rhythm on the neck pickup and the solo on the middle pickup on his Strat.
I found it interesting cause his tone is amazing.
The middle pup by itself on a Strat is an often overlooked but very useful tone tool.
 

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I usually notice. What I never notice is guitar players with huge pedalboards on late night talk shows (That really the only bands I watch), I never really hear much of a difference in tone.

I do have a funny story.....I was in a band with this really talented young kid. He was an amazing songwriter and singer. Unfortunately, he had a huge ego and was a beginner on the guitar. I stopped playing with him as he was always telling me what and how to play my guitar.
But, one time we are jamming, and I was playing my Strat, he looks over at me, with a scowl, and says:

"Where's the rythm switch on your guitar???"

He had only played his cheap Epiphone SG with the "Rythm/Treble" switch.
 

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I watch for songs my Cover band is doing, Other than that it kinda goes by too fast a lot of time.

Video editor's don't care much about guitar playing unless it's a big name guy that is known as a flashy player.
 

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Jimmy page has 6 position toggle switches in a guitar or two.
And he uses it...
 

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I don't switch it up very often and if I do, it's pretty much between the bridge and neck selector but for most of the time stays in the bridge position.
 

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I don't know what they do with there pickup selectors. I stick it on the bridge and walk away, but all I do is rock.

I think using your toggles is like using effects pedals. Play around and see what you like!
 

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I was watching Jack deKeyzer play live and was surprised to see he played rhythm with his strat on the bridge pickup and soloed on the neck pickup.
 

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Not that I'd ever play well enough to show up in a video, but if anyone tried to figure out what I was doing by watching my pickup selector, they'd be very confused. I Nashville-ized my Turser Tele and flip the bridge and middle leads on the 5-way switch, to give me: N, N+B, B, B+M, M. So in the very middle position, it looks like I'm using the middle pickup only, but really it's the bridge pickup, and when its in position 2, I'm getting the traditional N+B Tele sound and not the N+M Strat cluck. The moral is: just because you can see the switch position doesn't mean you know what has been selected. And we're not even mentioning push-pull pots here.

FWIW, when I went to see Jeff Beck at Bluesfest years back, I went especially early, so as to position myself as close to the edge of the stage as I could and see what the hell he was doing with his right hand. between the picking, the whammy, the switching, and working the volume control, it was all a blur.
 

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Bridge about 80% of the time on my hum/hum guitar then middle and neck the rest.
On my tele I switch more often. I have a mini hum middle and neck and they sound great.
Love the sound of a neck pickup but when you gig it can get lost.

And yes I do look and most of the time I can hear when a guitarist changes pickups
 

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The middle pup by itself on a Strat is an often overlooked but very useful tone tool.
The EJ strat that I owned a while ago had a killer middle position. Great for solos. I return to it often

@dcole and @krall you are both set it and forget it bridgers eh? I have a few friends like that. Playing Jr's and my melody maker Flying V taught me to expand the horison. Even when it's one pickup. I'm on the vol and tone a bunch.

Strats I really like the neck for solos.
 

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I discovered the usefulness of the middle pup quite by accident many, many, many years ago.
Was playing in a cover band and we wanted to learn up Clapton's Wonderful Tonight so we would have a slow dance number.
I was fooling with a bunch of different things trying to get the sound just right on that familiar repeating guitar melody line.
I was so close but still not quite perfect.
I decided to try a different pickup, just to see.
I had been on the neck and I though I had switched to neck/middle but I went one too far by accident.
It was perfect .... as Johnny Depp would say in Blow.
I use it much more since than I did before.
It's a sound that grows on you.

As an interesting aside, Roger Hodgson's Strat is SHS.
Humbucker in the middle.
 

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With my pickup arrangement, I use the 3 way toggle and all tone and volume quite a bit on my LP. Usually when doing the Blues though.
 

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I'm just focussing on not screwing up the song... Half the time I forget to switch the selector at the required time... and the other half time when i do remember to switch it during solos, I forget to go back when it's over lol.

Forget about hitting pedals in the middle of a song lol!



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