What are electric guitar pickups

One of those elements is the guitar pickups, also often called simply ” pickups “, being the elements that are responsible for collecting the sound of the strings of an electric guitar and then being able to transport it to the amplifier and thus reproduce the sound to a larger volume.

Copper wire bobbin

In itself, a tablet is nothing more than a coil formed by rather thin copper wire or, which is responsible for surrounding bars that are known as magnetic poles.

The process is carried out in a matter of thousandths of a second, but the speed does not indicate that it is something simple or without major challenges for its correct operation. On the contrary, the process begins from the moment a string is touched and vibrates. From these vibrations, a series of alterations occur within the magnetic field of the pastilla.

These alterations produced in the magnetic field of this element are subsequently converted into electrical impulses, which later translates into a sound in the amplifier.

When the cord is not metallic, there is no alteration within the magnetic field of the tablet, so it cannot work. This is why Spanish guitars are amplified with the use of piezoelectric bridges, because otherwise you simply could not hear the amplified sound, or you would have to resort to the classical method of the microphone in front of the guitar to capture the sound in that way.

Different types of electric guitar pickups

There are different types of electric guitar pickups, and each of them has its peculiarities that manage to fit the tastes and needs of each musician individually, but usually, the pickups are classified into two main groups.

First of all, we have the single winding pickups, also known as single coils, offering a bright, defined and clear sound, but they may always have a background hum that some people dislike.

On the other hand, there are double winding pickups, better known as humbuckers, which do not present the problem of humming but make the sound not so bright, making them highly preferred in jazz.

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