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Is Actually Recording
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Discussion Starter #1
So, now that I have a Strat with three singlecoils again, well, one I've been playing a lot of blues anyway, but two, I've been listening to a lot more Stevie Ray Vaughan. And, For the longest time I always associated his tone with the neck singlecoil of a Strat, but the more I listen and the more I play, I don;t think that's entirely true.


I'm *pretty sure* he does start off on the neck pickup here... But as soon as he hits the verse you can hear him switch to position 4, middle/bridge, and then while he jumps back to the neck after that, he goes back ands forth a bit, and then starts the solo on the bridge, before switching back and forth between either neck or middle/bridge and bridge a whole bunch, often note by note, it sounds, in the solo.

Honestly, on my Strat, I can cop this vibe a lit better in the in-between middle-bridge position than the neck, much to my surprise. Ditto with Pride and Joy, it wounds like he's there for most of the riffing, and then only switches to the neck pickup right at the end of the solo where it gets really warm and round sounding.

Anyway, SRV is impressive as hell, and part of that was just how adept he was at coaxing sounds out of a Strat. :yesway:
 

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I am Groot
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See, I always thought Stevie evolved into a neck/middle rhythm and middle/bridge lead guy. In Step is pretty much that formula the entire time. I actually always dug Little Wing because it's a rare heavy use of the bridge pickup solo.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Discussion Starter #3
He may have evolved into that, but spend an afternoon with a Strat and then listen to the solo on Texas flood again. He either has the weirdest pick attack known to man (possible), or he;s all over the map, fine-tuning his pickup choice to the phrase he's playing.

Oddly, for years I've favored the neck/middle pickup for rhythm at a blues jam sort of scene - the middle/bridge has a lot more snarl to it and would probably be better in a trio context, but the neck/middle stays out of the way a little better, IMO. And Little Wing, I still would bet most of that lead IS the neck pickup, with a Tube Screamer and a heavy attack.
 

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I am Groot
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Nah, it's basically between neck and and bridge on that song. You can hear him smack the switch on the bar dives before he comes in on The Best Fifteenth Fret B String Bend in The History of Electric Guitar part.
 

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I am Groot
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Still my favorite Stevie instrumental:

 

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He either has the weirdest pick attack known to man (possible)...
With strings as thick as his, and an action as high, it's very likely his picking hand had to put in a LOT of overtime.
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Discussion Starter #7
With strings as thick as his, and an action as high, it's very likely his picking hand had to put in a LOT of overtime.
Oh, no, it's a known fact he picked like a sledgehammer. He also allegedly held his pick backwards, fat side out, but I can't confirm that, I've just read that.

Still, to my ears he's switching pickups a lot.
 

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I believe it. I saw a blues player not long ago (Popa Chubby) and he was switching pups every time he'd switch from rhythm to lead and back, within phrases, up and down the neck... it was crazy :lol:

He had me thinking a lot about really, really using pickup configs. I tend to wire a lot of fancy combinations, but I'll stick to one tone throughout a song, using amp channels and/or pedals to switch things up within the song.

 

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Is Actually Recording
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Discussion Starter #9
I believe it. I saw a blues player not long ago (Popa Chubby) and he was switching pups every time he'd switch from rhythm to lead and back, within phrases, up and down the neck... it was crazy :lol:

He had me thinking a lot about really, really using pickup configs. I tend to wire a lot of fancy combinations, but I'll stick to one tone throughout a song, using amp channels and/or pedals to switch things up within the song.
Bare minimum, I'll switch positions when going from rhythm to lead. I tend to prefer 2 or 4 for rhythm in a jam context since they seem to gel behind another lead a little better. I'll also DEFINITELY ride my volume - at a blues jam, I don't have any footswitchable options so I'll back off the volume to both clean up for rhythm and take the edge off the output, and then open it wide open to take a solo.

While soloing, I'll move around a little bit, but I think I need to spend more time really working on that. It's awesome when done right.
 

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I MG.org salute you.
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My early guitar playing was fed by a steady diet of Eddie VanHalen. I had thought for the first several years that there was no need for anything more than a bridge pickup, let alone a tone knob. Then I recall catching SRV on what I recalled was the Carson show and noticing how his right hand would fire down to the pickup switch like a bullet out of a gun to change pickups in the middle of phrases. It was at that point that I realized the tone, volume and pickup selectors on a guitar actually had some artistic purpose. I started paying more attention after that and started trying to incorporate more pickup choice, and volume knob control, into my own playing (honestly still not a fan of tone knobs :lol: ). I've always regarded these aspects as some that set apart the players from the real musicians. The real artists explorer every nuance and hone their abilities until manipulation of those "extras" becomes second nature.

Oddly enough it was the nuances I'd grown used to in manipulating touch, volume knob and pickup selection that turned me off early modelers. It seemed they were built for "set it an forget it" playing. The early modelers, especially the Line 6 stuff, didn't deal well with the subtle stuff. They've gotten MUCH better.

EDIT: Check out some of SRV's manipulation in the soloing for Couldn't Stand the Weather here (around 16:00, then after the drum and bass solos);
He does it so quickly some times it's hard to notice.
 

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I am Groot
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I believe it. I saw a blues player not long ago (Popa Chubby) and he was switching pups every time he'd switch from rhythm to lead and back, within phrases, up and down the neck... it was crazy :lol:

He had me thinking a lot about really, really using pickup configs. I tend to wire a lot of fancy combinations, but I'll stick to one tone throughout a song, using amp channels and/or pedals to switch things up within the song.

Drew and I were talking about this on chat. Drew said he barely ever switches pickups, and I can instantly relate. To me, blade switches are a pain, and five way blades are damn near impossible to land on anything other than position 1 or 5 on the fly. Especially on Strat, with two knobs in the way of the switch. I'm sure I might get better if I really, really worked at it, but I'm not going to do it.

Conversely, I am constantly switching pickups on my Les Pauls and PRS. The 3-way toggle switch is not only easier to operate (IMHO) than a blade switch, but it's conveniently located on your typical singlecut. I'll switch positions in the middle of solos, sometimes just because the option is there. On my KxK ProtoV and Jackson Rhoads, with the same 3-way toggle, I barely change; the damn Floyd Rose bar is almost always in the way. So, the moral of the story is TOM > * bridges, 3-way toggle > blades , both together > *
 

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I am Groot
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My early guitar playing was fed by a steady diet of Eddie VanHalen. I had thought for the first several years that there was no need for anything more than a bridge pickup, let alone a tone knob. Then I recall catching SRV on what I recalled was the Carson show and noticing how his right hand would fire down to the pickup switch like a bullet out of a gun to change pickups in the middle of phrases. It was at that point that I realized the tone, volume and pickup selectors on a guitar actually had some artistic purpose. I started paying more attention after that and started trying to incorporate more pickup choice, and volume knob control, into my own playing (honestly still not a fan of tone knobs :lol: ). I've always regarded these aspects as some that set apart the players from the real musicians. The real artists explorer every nuance and hone their abilities until manipulation of those "extras" becomes second nature.
While I've always dug the neck pickup, I'm with you on everything else. Multi-channel amps and a plethora of pedals has pretty much killed any chance of me seriously incorporating volume and tone knobs into my playing. I respect guys that do it, but I've never found that I needed to add those to my tonal pallet. Hell, for the longest time, it was all distortion all the time for me. The cover band helped with that; I set gain on ch2/vintage on the Mini Recto at 10:00, and then use a OD to add more gain as needed. Granted, I've never been much of a singlecoil guy, and I've found tone knobs are far less effective with humbuckers.

I've found having that lower gain setting on tap, with no boost--just the Recto sound as it is--is often times a much bigger sound. It's less compression, more full and open, and the low end has this wonderful bloom to it. I really only need that extra gain for sustaining single notes on solos, and the sizzle to cut through the rest of the band on the heavier tunes. On the stuff where the other guitarists are primarily clean, and I don't need lots of sustain, it's fun to lay into it with the right hand to get that attack.
 

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I've been doing more pickup switching lately, as well as volume knob adjustment, and even coil splitting. As far as the latter, I actually wish I had a separate switch for it, or even a spring loaded volume knob switch, so I could press it in and out, instead of having to pull for split.
 

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I am Groot
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I am always switching pickups haha. I purposely have a tone of options because i like to futz while I play. I will switch them much like SRV does or many other guys. I like 2-Hum guitars but much prefer something that has a middle single or a 5 way :lol:
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Discussion Starter #19
I love SRV, but Yngwie is so good at coaxing sounds out of a Strat he once coaxed it into a Flying V.

Joke aside, early Yngwie DID have killer Strat tone.

For me, Dave, a lot of it was never WANTING anything other than the neck, or maybe the neck/middle tone. Going back to SSS after not owning anything with a bridge singlecoil for five years really opened my eyes to how awesome some of those other positions can be.
 

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I am Groot
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For me, Dave, a lot of it was never WANTING anything other than the neck, or maybe the neck/middle tone. Going back to SSS after not owning anything with a bridge singlecoil for five years really opened my eyes to how awesome some of those other positions can be.
For some reason early on, I really gravitated to the abrasive assault of the bridge position. Then I discovered what humbukers are for. :lol: I'll always love position 2 and 4 above all, though, since it is such a unique sound that you don't get from anything else. That short sustaining, overly compressed quack, loaded down with chorus and reverb, is just the best clean sound in the whole world ever. Then there's the whole pushed into dirt sound.

But yeah, humbuckers and too much gain is WAY more fun. :lol:
 
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