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Fig.1. Pickup with wire wound around the posts.

-All Electric and some Acoustic guitars have Pickups.

-It is known as a Transducer because it transforms one form of energy (mechanical string vibration) into another (electrical signal).

-The electric guitar’s Pickup transforms the strings vibration into a weak electrical signal by disturbing the magnetic field set up by thin wires wound around permanent magnets.  Fig. 1.  This signal may then be sent to an amplifier for amplification.

-On Electric guitars the Pickup sit directly underneath the strings and there are more then one with each one producing its own unique sound biased on its position.

-The further back toward the bridge it sits the more treble (high frequency harmonics) it will capture.

-There is a selector switch allowing the guitarist to chose which Pickup or combination of pickups he wishes to use.

-On Acoustic guitars the Pickup sits underneath the bridge where it turns pressure differentials into a weak electric signal for
amplification.  It is known as a piezoelectric type Pickup.  The chord plugs into the Strap Button at the bottom of the guitar.

Fig. 2  A Piezoelectric type Pickup.

 -After market Pickups may be added to an acoustic guitar.  These clip into place across the sound hole.

Fig. 3  An aftermarket Pickup may be added later if needed.

-A single row of magnets within an Electric guitar’s Pickup (Single-Coil Pickup) have a tendency to generate a Hum. Fig. 1. Gibson guitars found a way to eliminate this problem with their Hum-bucker Pickup.  It is basically two rows of magnets with the coils winding in opposite directions.  Fig.4



Fig. 4   Hum Bucker Pickup.

 -The more windings a pickup has the “Hotter” it is.  This means it will produce a stronger Hard Rockin’ sound.

-Some Pickups require a battery (active) it is usually a 9V battery which requires replacement about once a year provided you remember to unplug your guitar when you are finished with it.  If not then the Pickup will continue to draw electricity and drain the battery in short order.

–  More info.on Pickups HERE.


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