How to Play the Electric Guitar
Pickups for different purposes
Use a selector to switch between pickups
A selector is used to select which pickup to play on guitars equipped with two or more pickups.
Pickups function even without power so each pickup on a guitar will pick sound up. However, only the sound from the pickup selected with the selector will be sent to the amplifier. This is because the selector actually changes the path of the electricity. The concept is similar to three people singing into microphones when only one microphone is turned on.
Which pickup to choose?
If there are three pickups installed in a guitar, they are referred to as the front, center, and rear pickups (starting with the pickup closest to the neck). The front pickup has a more rounded sound, while the rear pickup delivers a bright sound with a lot of treble. The center pickup has a sound somewhere in between the two. Guitars with three pickups will allow the rear and center pickups, and the front and center pickups, to be combined for a total of five pickup options. Selectors also allow you to switch pickups to generate a certain timbre-even in the middle of a song.