The Secret Behind The Magic Of A Single Pickup Guitar

single pickup guitar
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Guitar pickups are used by many guitarists because of their ability to produce distinctive sounds. In addition to single pickup guitars, artists also use two guitar pickups and three guitar pickups. However, it seems that the guitar single pickup has some sort of magical power that makes it the most welcomed by many famous artists. Many people attribute their miracles to their pure, direct sound. So, what is the secret of this single pickup guitar? What are its pros and cons? Let’s find out all in this article!

Single pickup guitar is used by many famous guitarist

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These artists all have a special love for guitar single pickup

Most famous guitarists have a special love for guitar single pickup. They claim that guitars with only one pickup set them apart, making them sound more magical than other guitars.

Some other guitarists choose a single pickup guitar because of its simplicity and practicality. For them just using the bridge pickup is enough to create the tone and sound they want.

Famous names in the guitarist world who love single pickups are Keith Richards, Marty Friedman, Allan Holdsworth, Billy F. Gibbons, Eddie Van Halen, Phil-X, Billie Joe Armstrong, Jared James Nichols, Joan Jett, Johnny Thunders, etc. These artists all have a special love for guitar single pickup and that seems to have created their personal style.

Single pickup guitar is simple

One of the biggest draws of a guitar single pickup is its simplicity. It is not only simple in the way of playing but even the sound and melody contain secrets of attraction.

Most guitars that use a single pickup simply plug it into the amp and start playing. You don’t need a preamble or any other supporting tools. It is that simplicity that makes players feel more emotional, especially when playing Fender Esquire, Gibson Les Paul Junior or Gibson Melody Maker.

Some heavy music styles like Glam Rock, Punk Rock or Hard Rock of the 80s used almost exclusively bridge pickups. Therefore, when there is a single guitar pickup, it becomes especially attractive and attractive.

Single pickup guitar sound better

Sound is an important part of deciding whether to buy this guitar or not. It may be hard to believe, but guitar single pickup is loved by many guitarists because it sounds better. Many people find it difficult to make this assessment, but there have been scientific explanations to explain it.

Two or three pickup guitars will also produce different sounds. This difference comes mainly from the structure of the pickup. It is made of magnets and is capable of generating a magnetic field all the time, it is this magnetic field that affects the vibration of the wire. Since then, single guitar pickups or two or three pickups all have varying degrees of effect on string vibrations.

In addition, the absence of a retractable hole in the neck or in the body of the guitar reduces the force exerted on the strings. As a result, your guitar has better stability, without much adjustment, and still has better resonance. Phil-X is very fond of guitar single pickup and did some experiments and he came to the conclusion that: Without the neck, the guitar would have more harmonics and overall timbre. From there, the sound of a guitar single pickup is like magic that can make listeners feel excited.

This has been demonstrated with the sixth string of the Strat. It has a tone overtone but when one moves the pickups of the strings there is no more out of tune. The main reason is that Single Coils have stronger magnets and affect the vibration of the strings more, causing the sound to distort.

Through examples and scientific reasoning, you can already say that the number of pickups has a great influence on the sound of a guitar. A single guitar pickup with less vibration will give a cleaner and more engaging sound. That is the reason why many guitarists love this guitar.

It has a simple circuit

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The single-loop circuit of a guitar single pickup also affects the tone

Not only the number of pickups, a single pickup guitar also has a much simpler circuit. All of these guitars have fewer strings, not even a lead selector. The minimalism in the circuit reduces the risk of errors, lot and noise while it is operating.

Many people think that the single-loop circuit of a guitar single pickup also affects the tone. However this is completely unfounded, a long and complex circuit affects only the degree of signal attenuation but not the timbre.

You can do a few experiments to confirm this. The difference in tone between a 3 meter cable and a 6 meter cable. You only notice the difference every time you change the lead length up to 300 cm. We can’t tell the difference in timbre when changing a few centimeters.

Perhaps the timbre change is due to the receiver rather than the simple circuit of the guitar single pickup.

Pros and Cons

Although loved by many artists, it is difficult to find single guitar pickups. This guitar pickup also has a lot of different advantages and disadvantages. Let’s find out more through the analysis below:

Pros of single pickup guitar

  • The design of a pickup in the bridge position makes the guitar sound brighter
  • Less wiring and routing, simple circuit design with less chance of errors or failures
  • There’s more room to strum in so you want on the strings
  • The guitar single pickup is simple and easy to use, without much fuss and noise
  • It helps cut production costs without compromising on tone

Cons of single guitar pickup

  • Really limited flexibility when it comes to choosing a case
  • Can’t switch between pickup positions to brighten and soften the sound
  • A tone control or amplifier must be used if the sound is to be adjusted

Why guitarist use single pickup guitar to sound better?

one pickup guitar
Guitarists can make the sound of a guitar single pickup sound better and more special

Guitarists love to use guitar single pickups because it seems that in their hands, single pickup guitars can produce particularly appealing sounds.

In fact, a guitar single pickup can produce more harmonics and sustain, it is also causing the strings to vibrate a lot more freely. If you have a less delicate ear then it will be difficult for you to perceive that gentle vibration.

In addition, guitarists can make the sound of a guitar single pickup sound better and more special because they can perceive different sounds. They know how to take advantage of the timbre and volume control of a guitar single pickup to create different sounds dynamically.

Playing a guitar single pickup also requires a player with a rich technical resource and the ability to create tunes. Players can develop a dynamic touch for music and creativity to the fullest extent. Challenging yourself with different strings can reach a whole new level, achieving sounds and tones like never before.

Therefore, guitarists are perfectly suited to use single pickup guitars. They can use their pre-existing knowledge, experience and techniques to help this guitar produce a more engaging magical sound.


The single pickup guitar is not only loved by guitarists because of its special magical sound, the simplicity of its construction and playing style also creates attraction. Although it is not easy to find a single pickup guitar nowadays, its appeal is undeniable.

Guitars using a pickup still have some drawbacks, but its great sound makes it acceptable to players. If you feel like trying out the guitar with a simple new experience, single pickup guitar is not a bad choice.

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