Strat's middle pickup

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by guitguy28, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

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    The middle pickup on my Strat sat unused, gathering dust for almost 20 years (!) before I started using it.

    I could understand bridge pickup for bright tone, neck for fat tone, positions 2 and 4 for funky Strat quack... but could never think about the middle pickup.

    And then I joined an originals band and now the middle pickup suddenly made sense... not as bright as bridge nor fat as the neck, but with a bit of the flavour of both... if I want jangle I pick closer to the bridge, fatter tone I pick closer away.

    I use a Fendery- bluesy overdriven tone with it, and sometimes a compressor for extra sustain... what a great, versatile tone!

    Anyone else like the middle pickup a lot? Or have good examples of its use?
     
  2. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I use it literally 99% of the time.

    I could remove the other pickups.
     
  3. wideawake

    wideawake Member

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    I have a blender pot in place of one of the tone pots and the other tone pot is global or whatever the correct word is. That allows me to add the neck pickup to the middle pickup in varying amounts in position 3. I use it probably 30% of the time, Neck by itself about 65%, and the Bridge with some neck added about 5%. I don't ever use position 2 or 4.
     
  4. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I believe Robin Trower was a big user of the middle pickup.

    Who else?

    I like it from time to time but mainly stay in either 2 or 4, since, well it's a Strat and that is what they do best!
     
  5. MORE BARN

    MORE BARN Member

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    Not sure if this counts but I have a Nashville Tele, because I wanted those great 2 & 4 Strat sounds, but what I found was that as soon as I started playing with the band, those 2 & 4 sounds seemed less useful, like they got lost a bit? So this Tele has the Strat middle pickup and it's all I use on this guitar now! It's great for rhythm, slide, anything, and it seems to fit much better with all the other instruments.
     
  6. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    If I had to for some phony imaginary reason only have one pickup in a strat, I would go for the middle, as well.
     
  7. Oakvillain

    Oakvillain Member

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    Neck plus middle. Greatest pup combo in history.
     
  8. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    Yep. Still is, I believe. He says he uses the middle for most rhythm parts and the other two pickups for leads. Makes sense to me. The middle isn't as fat and bass-heavy as the neck, and not as thin and spiky as the bridge, but it still has that Strat sound. It's good for parts that need to mix in well as part of the background.
     
  9. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    Pretty sure Clapton uses the middle pickup most of the time.
     
  10. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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  11. RLD

    RLD Member

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    I use them all plus the in betweens.
    I make sure I get my moneys worth.
     
  12. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    I was in a band with a guy who only used that. Others feel that it's at its best when combined.

    A small part of me thinks that "Sultans of Swing" is middle pickup. I'm not entirely convinced it's bridge/middle.
     
  13. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Member

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    I think the middle is great for rhythm and leads! If you don't like it, change your strings!
     
  14. Stratosphere

    Stratosphere Member

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    I think they kinda, sorta resemble the sound of a bridge pickup humbucker. Or at least a close enough substitute when using a strat. YMMV.
     
  15. ToneKing

    ToneKing Member

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    I use all the pu settings on my strat depending on song and part being played.
     
  16. Rimbaud

    Rimbaud Tarnished Silver Gold Supporting Member

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    Always use the middle Pick up and like the OP, use my dynacomp for extra sustain.
     
  17. 59Bassman

    59Bassman Plank Cranker Silver Supporting Member

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    I've come to really appreciate that middle pickup over the years. It can be over-used (see Jimmie Vaughan), but it's a very useful pickup.
     
  18. kev324

    kev324 Supporting Member

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    I've heard KWS uses the middle quite a bit. I recently started using it more. I have my nashville tele setup so I can have just the middle and bridge and neck. Haven't played much slide with it, will have to give it a shot.
     
  19. StratoCraig

    StratoCraig Member

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    I've heard people say it's the middle, but when I try to play those licks, they only sound right on bridge/middle. There's also an early Dire Straits concert video on YouTube in which, if you freeze it at the right moment, you can clearly see MK's guitar is on bridge/middle in that song.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  20. charliemccarter

    charliemccarter Supporting Member

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    Garcia was a big middle pickup user, as I understand it.
     

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