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complete novice!!

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  • complete novice!!

    ok guys, you all seem to really sound like you know what you're doing when it comes to pickups/mechanics of guitars. i just play em. but i want to know more! when i wandered into these forums, i was looking for advice and the basics on how pickups/electronics of guitars work. never actually got round to asking though! so.
    please can somebody explain to me or show me somewhere where i can learn about "how guitars work"? and im talking extreme BASICS here people. in my terms, i think of pickups as making the guitar sound more screamy or more mellow. im sure theres more to it than that!
    sorry for the extreme noviceness. i am ashamed.
    cheers guys
    Slash.....2 metres in front of me.....

    ~~Gibson 2004 Les Paul standard~~


  • #2
    Re: complete novice!!

    Well, I'll start with the fundamentals.

    A pickup is just a small AC generator. You have the magnet, the coils, and the strings are the armature. Vibrate the armature in the magnetic field, and you generate a voltage.

    The gauge of the wire, the strength of the magnet, and the number of windings, all contribute to how the voltage is "shaped" - thus the "tone" of that particular pickup.

    Then, you use the volume and tone controls as "valves" to control how much of that voltage makes it out to the real world.


    • #3
      Re: complete novice!!

      Yeah what artie said.
      When I first learned about electricity and stuff I liked to compare electricity with water, it always flows down the easiest path and you can use all sorts of dams and ditches to regulate the flow.


      • #4
        Re: complete novice!!

        Have a look at Lindy Fralins site and from there click on any of the menus on the left side. You should then be able to get a basic understanding of what they do.
        Normans Guitars


        • #5
          Re: complete novice!!

          There are more than a few books written for guitar, amp, setupand maintence out there, buy numerous publishers ... mostly they have all the same info. as far as electronics, either take a course ... or pick up some resource books. No offense to anyone answering this post, but that will explain things a lot better than trying to get something off a forum in one concise and simply answer. Every gear parts site around normally has more than a few resource books available for sale,even electronics books tailored to guitar people, hardly concise, but then again, guitar isn't exactly NASA engineered. Have a look see at the books available from
 ... they also have some free downloadable info sheets and try looking up some of the other sites, as well as guitar player magazine, as they normally have a ton listed throughout the magazine.
          ::::To sound reinforcement engineer::::
          ... What? ... ::::snicker:::: ...Yes, ... Right, ...
          Could we please have everything louder than everything else ? ...