Electric Guitars

Electric Guitars

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Not sure what electric is best for you? This guide should point you in the right direction. When choosing an electric guitar, it's best to buy the guitar that suits what your musical style is, as well as your skill level. You can use any electric in any music, but the best results will be had if you follow these examples

Firstly, there are three main types of pickups, Single Coils, P-90’s, and humbuckers. There are also three different main types of body, Solid body, Hollow body, and semi hollow body.

Hollow Bodies usually have humbuckers or P-90’s, and they were designed for orchestral and jazz use. Hollow bodies have a louder sound than solid bodies when unplugged, but are more susceptible to feedback when used in high gain (loud distorted amplifiers) situations. 

Semi-Hollow bodies are similar to hollow bodies in that they produce more noise than a solid body when unplugged, however, they don't produce quite as much due to a sound deadening block in the centre of the body. This block is to allow much better feedback control whilst allowing this type of guitar to be used in higher gain applications. semi hollows are probably better suited to Jazz and blues, however, these types can still be commonly found in lots of rock music, notably being played by Chris Cheney from The Living End, and Dave grohl of Foo fighters/ Nirvana. 

Solid Bodies are the most common type of guitar and are useful for any situation. You can tell the difference between a solid body and hollow body electric guitar by seeing if the guitar has an F-hole on it. if it doesn't have one, you have a solid body. 

All pickups are made similarly, with different sounds being the biggest difference. Pickups are made by winding copper wire or “coil” around a plastic holder, with a magnet at the base, and pole pieces in between. This magnet “picks-up” the sound produced by the strings and converts it to an analog electrical signal, which is then sent through the guitar cable to the amplifier. 

Firstly, There are humbuckers.These pickups are made of two plastic bars, instead of one, and are characterised by Being the least noisy of the three pickup types. This is due to it using two pickups out of phase of each other, to avoid ground hums, in the same way balanced Microphone cables cancel out extra noise. 

Humbuckers are known for not being as bright as single coils or p90’s, but being the best pickup types for high gain situations, as any noise in the pickups are amplified and much more obvious in high gain situations. 

Next, there are single coil pickups. These use no balancing and are susceptible to hum, however they are known for having a brighter and tighter sound than humbuckers, and are really great for blues music. You likely wouldn't use single coils in heavy gain genres like metal, but they are excellent in indie and pop music as well as blues. Single coil pickups were made a go to by classic players like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmore, Eric Clapton and many more.

Lastly, there are P90’s. These are characterised by their appearance, as they look like a bar of soap. These pickups are a single coil design, but due to the difference in winding and bobbin height, these pickups output a darker tone than single coils, sometimes characterised as thicker and dirtier. These pickups are a good bridge between single coil and humbuckers, although just like single coils they are susceptible to hum as well.