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Why are Les Pauls everpresently in the treble/lead position?

saneff

Member
Messages
3,384
It seems that every time I see a Les Paul played on TV or a music video or live whatever, the switch is in the treble position. I have 3 Les Pauls (and I'm pretty much a beginner so thus the question) and I prefer the switch in the middle. I realize that the treble is the lead position but I just don't ever see it in any other psoition regardless of the player or the situation. Just curious.
 
Messages
17,699
Music videos are NOT the place to analyze gear set up...LOL...they are posing and probably dont really care if the pup switch is in thr right position

Lots of people think the neck pup is muddy...I set up my rig to sound good with neck position humbuckers, and adjust the bridge tone to compensate...

If you set your rig to sound good on the bridge pup, the neck will be muddy

That said, LOTS of players (Jimmy Page, Neil Schon, Slash...") use the neck pup alot...
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
Two words: Woman Tone

I almost always hate the middle position, blah sounding. Neck pickup can be muddy for chords or notes in lower register, unless playing high, or going for the wimmin's tone. LP's need some clarity sometimes.

Just put that switch in treble and play it, I guess that's "man tone". C'mon all the cool kids are doing it!
 
Last edited:

440gtx6pak

Member
Messages
1,858
Some of the best LP tones are from the middle position especially if you experiment with combinations of lowering/raising pickups, using the volume and tone controls creatively and not going overboard with too much distortion. The neck pu alone can be great too with the right settings especially on a Non-Master-Volume amp.

"this guy", when he does use an LP will not only use the bridge pu as you can see here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1_Ltf9-zmk&feature=related
 

weshunter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,265
"everpresently" -- that's a funny way to say "always"

i'm about 90% on the bridge pup myself - never thought to setup my rig to sound good on the neck pup and adjust bridge tone. that's a good idea.

i never use the middle position.
 

travisvwright

Member
Messages
11,879
I've had an LP style guitar for nearly a year and just fixed the switch yesterday so that I could use anything but the neck pickup. Neck is all I ever want, fixed the switch just cause.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,467
Think of a classic rock riff from the 60-70s that isn't Jimi Hendrix. Chances are good that it's a LP or some other solidboy HB guitar with the bridge pickup on.

It is the sound of ROCK!!
 
Messages
11,600
the pickup selector is 4th on a list of tonal variants rock guitarists generally ignore. first is realizing their volume control can go below 10. then the realization that the tone knob also goes below 10, and how you can pick in different places along the string.
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,309
That said, LOTS of players (Jimmy Page, Neil Schon, Slash...") use the neck pup alot...
Yup. Schon has an interesting neck pickup (I've blatantly copied his guitar, so I have the same) -- it's a DiMarzio Fast Track II. That's a stacked single-coil size humbucker with a LOT of output (18Kohm), originally designed for the bridge position of a strat. It's very much louder than the slightly hot-rodded '57 he uses in the bridge, and it's completely different in sound and texture from the usual LP pickup. It shares the neck pickup ring with a sustainer driver here...

 

Pat Healy

Senior Member
Messages
10,952
My own observations are different....I see LP's in the neck position on TV all the time.

All three LP pickup positions are very usable, and I use 'em all for everything. I have no hesitation about using the bridge pickup for leads, the neck pickup for rhythm (as long as the amp isn't flubby) or the middle position for lots of things. As always, whatever sounds good wins.
 

MGT

Member
Messages
1,965
Completely depends on the music...with my rock band, I pretty much always use the bridge pickup for chords/rhythm but often flip back & forth between neck/bridge for solos. For blues stuff, I tend to move between all three positions...I often use the middle setting with more of clean tone (or light overdrive). I'm also one of those strange people who plays with the tone controls!
 

19181911

Senior Member
Messages
841
It's all part of the learning curve specific to electric guitar.

I play a tele and when I first switched from acoustic to electric, I played predominantly on the neck pup, as I learned more plectrum technique, I began to use the neck pup more and more... now all my teles have been "Esquired".

Oh yeah, somewhere along the way, I started using the volume and tone controls. :)
 

roknfnrol

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,599
I am a Les Paul and Telecaster guy. I stay on the bridge pickup. I think that is where these guitars really shine. Otherwise I might be a strat guy.
 

Crowbar

Member
Messages
565
I seldom use the bridge position.
On my axe the middle position sounds near like the neck, just a little thinner. Best part about the middle spot is now I can do volume swells. On the neck pickup the volume knob works pretty evenly, usefull for most situations but making a quick swell difficult. Middle spot the volume is almost like an on/off switch, great for swells.
 

whiteop

Senior Member
Messages
2,987
the pickup selector is 4th on a list of tonal variants rock guitarists generally ignore. first is realizing their volume control can go below 10. then the realization that the tone knob also goes below 10, and how you can pick in different places along the string.
^only comes with experience. Took me awhile to get this through my thick skull...;)
 




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