Country with humbuckers?

Messages
12,442
Is it possible to get a good country tone with humbuckers? I'm talking about a Brad Paisley/Danny Gatton type sound. More electric guitar based type country.

I know both of the people I mentioned are signature Tele players, but the purchase of a Tele is a year or two away, as I'm saving up for a good amp now. so, for the time being will my PRS Standard 24 be able to handle it? Or should I give up until I can get a Tele?
 

jimfog

Senior Member
Messages
9,478
You can play country and sounds good with 'buckers.

But, no......you can't sound like Paisley or Gatton (when he plays tele) with them.

No way, no how.

Sorry.
 
Messages
12,442
You can play country and sounds good with 'buckers.

But, no......you can't sound like Paisley or Gatton (when he plays tele) with them.

No way, no how.

Sorry.
I suspected that.

I have no idea how I forgot Johnny! One of my favorite country players.
 

cottoneyedjoe

Member
Messages
2,340
You ever see Roy Nichols? He played a LP regularly.

I agree with olectric. It is more about technique than tone.
Now if you are talking about "twang", which is a sound not a music style, then single coil is the way to go...
 

Birddog

Member
Messages
3,118
We just started doing a couple of country songs. They're wedged in a place in the setlist where it's really not feasible to change guitars, so I tried them with my LP and they went over great. As mentioned above, it doesn't sound like a Tele, but with the bridge pickup and played clean, it's more than passable for the crowds we play to.
 

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,061
It really depends on the kind of country that you are doing. Modern country can be done on any guitar in most cases., however, if you want a more traditional country guitar tone then a Tele is almost a must. I've played in two country band and play a partsocaster Tele, EBMM Silhouette Special (SSS), and a Gretsch Pro Jet. I've used a humbucker guitar and it works for a lot of stuff, just not for the real twangy stuff.
 

Tele71

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,316
Can't you split the coils of humbuckers and use just 1 of the 2? Doesn't that effectively make the double coil pick up a single? Wood this be an alternitive?
P
 

c_mac

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,061
Can't you split the coils of humbuckers and use just 1 of the 2? Doesn't that effectively make the double coil pick up a single? Wood this be an alternitive?
P
I have a Tele style guitar with a tune-o-matic bridge and two APC humbuckers. I had very good luck splitting the pickups. If I didn't have a nice Tele or Silhouette Special, I would have had little problem playing some twangy country with that guitar.
 
Messages
12,442
Can't you split the coils of humbuckers and use just 1 of the 2? Doesn't that effectively make the double coil pick up a single? Wood this be an alternitive?
P
Yes, I do have splittable coils on my PRS. I've never even tried them with the HFS, which, to me, at lower gain levels has more twang to it. I'll have to try that.
 

dhdfoster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,083
For the most part, I think you can play any kind of music on any kind of guitar and make it sound good. However, there is a sound that you get with single-coils on the wound strings that you just aren't going to get with humbuckers, IMO.
It'sp a certain "twang" that humbuckers just can't do. Even a Gretsch Filtertron, which is bright and twangy for a humbucker, still doesn't quite get there. You can absolutely play great sounding country guitar w/ humbuckers, just ask Clint Strong, but if you're going for Paisley type tones, I don't think you'll find them in buckers.
 
Messages
12,442
You also have to have a good amp to pull this off.
That might be my biggest problem. I'm saving for a Dr. Z Rx Jr. but that could be late into September or October. Right now I'm using a Valvetronix, it's okay, but it's not inspiring, and doesn't have particularly great cleans.
 

Drowned Rabbit

Black Beauty Beats Burst
Messages
2,642
Back around '92 or so, I was living in Minneapolis.
I went with some friends down to First Avenue
(that's the club where "Purple Rain" was filmed)
to see a local band I'd heard people raving about.

The band was The Jayhawks. This was right
before "Hollywood Town Hall" came out and
pretty much nobody outside of the twin cities
knew who they were. Gary Louris played the
hottest, tastiest country licks on this old
Gibson SG. Now, I'd always associated the SG
with the harder side of rock n' roll. ACDC and
such, you know? But damn if he didn't squeeze
honky-tonk out of those humbuckers! I really
learned something that night.

I saw them quite a few times after that (once
opening for Uncle Tupelo) and sometimes he
played an SG with dog-ears. So, I agree with
the previous poster that it's mostly in the fingers.
 

daphil_1

Member
Messages
506
I wouldnt put anything off whilst waiting to by better gear - just play with what you got and get the style down...you dont even need to amplify the guitar!!!
 

THebert

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,451
I think you can play country with humbuckers, for sure. But the HFS/VB that come on the std. 24 are not the best for that. The HFS sounds more twangy becasue it is closer to the bridge. The split HFS is the best twang that you will get, and I like the HFS split better than the VB when split. If you really like that guitar, you might try dragon II pickups, which will still have plenty of output but will be much 'smoother' sounding than the HFS/VB and the IIs will lend themselves better to country IMHO.
 




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