Bridge vs Neck Pickup (for Guitars)

BB King

People take their musical instruments very seriously, and you don’t want to be someone who doesn’t know what you are talking about when it comes to the equipment that you need to use. This is why so many people are asking questions about bridge and neck pickups when it comes to their guitars. We want to explore the various things that make bridges and neck pickups similar to one another, different from one another, and why you need to know a little something about each if you are going to get the value that you need out of them.

Bridge Features

The bridge and neck pickup positions are different from one another, and this has an impact on the sounds that they make as well. Many people find that they need to use both types of sounds to make the songs that they want to make. Thus, it is important to have bridge features and neck pickup as well.

The bridge pickup produces a brighter sound that has a lot more heart behind it than some other types of guitars on the market. Interestingly, it also requires less output in order to generate the same kind of sound volume that other types of guitars require as well. No matter what kind of style or kind of music you like to play, it is going to be relevant for you to know that the bridge guitar features may help you produce the sounds that you need.

Neck Pickup

You might have imagined that the neck pickup will be designed to pick up more sound around the neck of the guitar. This makes sense given the name, and that is exactly what it does. The tension on this type of guitar is not as strong as it is with some other types, and that allows the sound to flow in a more mellow and even way. People who use the neck pickup are often founds of a less sharp sound when it comes to how they play their guitar. They just want to produce something that sounds great to the ear, and they want a more mellow sound to it all.

People say that this type of guitar is great for producing music in the blues or jazz genres because it has tones that are more similar to the sounds that one might hear in either of those types of music. It is possible that this is the kind of thing that may help people get the kind of melodies that they need from their guitars.

Some people use the word “tender” to describe the kind of sounds that come from a neck pickup guitar. They believe that it flies in the face of what many people think of when they talk about guitar music. Instead of being in your face and over-the-top with how it sounds, this guitar just makes the kind of gentle music that people need from time to time.

Differences Between Bridge and Neck Pickup Guitars

Let us talk about some of the main differences that one may notice between a bridge guitar and a neck pickup one. Just knowing a little about how these different types of guitars work may help one decide which option is right for them.


  • More Output for Bridge – Generally speaking, a bridge guitar will have more output than a neck pickup guitar. This is all because of the way that they are designed, but it is very important to note that it is often the case that neck pickup guitars won’t produce what you can get from the bridge guitar.
  • Bridge Guitars are Punchier – The sounds that you can get from bridge guitars are often punchier, brighter, and with more attack to them than what you get from neck pickup guitars. Once again, the neck pickup guitar will produce the calmer and more mellow tones that are often associated with jazz or blues music. Thus, people who are looking to get a more traditional rock-n-roll sound are likely going to want to go with the bridge guitar.
  • A More Sustained Tone – Bridge guitars are often able to produce a more sustained tone than neck pickup guitars because they don’t require as much output to get them to work, and yet that also offer a more stable and lengthy tone when they are played properly. That is pretty important for those who want to create the type of music that holds up to the test of time.
  • Bridge is Better for Rock-N-Roll, Neck Pickup is Better for Jazz – You will notice that the Bridge guitar is more ideal if you are going to play rock-n-roll or metal music. However, the neck pickup is a better choice for the more mellow sounds of jazz or the blues. You just need to know which types of music you intend to play before you pick out the guitar that is right for you. If this takes some time to figure out, don’t fret. Everyone is working out which kinds of music are right for them all the time.

These are some of the critical differences between the two. It gives you an idea of what you might expect from either one that you purchase.

Bridge Guitar: How Most People Learn

Most people who decide that they want to take up the electric guitar as a hobby are going to start with the bridge guitar. This is because society has made it clear that the bridge guitar and the types of sounds that it can create are what they most often associate with playing a guitar in the first place. Put another way, many people end up learning on the bridge guitar because they are conditioned to believe that this is the best, and perhaps only, way to learn how to play a guitar in the first place. Therefore, it is relevant that some people would feel the need to start there and then try to figure out the rest as time goes on.

The way that the strings are set up on a bridge guitar make it more likely to produce a sound that is related to metal and rock-n-roll music in the minds of most people. They hear the riffs that this type of guitar makes, and they are enamored with the sound almost from the start. There is a certain type of appeal with this guitar that is challenging to explain. We simply know that it is the kind of guitar that we want to have in our lives, and that is enough for most people to accept that this is the way that they need to go about things.

Best Use for a Neck Pickup Guitar

There is a warmth and beauty to the sounds that come out of a neck pickup guitar. You can play this thing when you are gathering around with your friends and enjoying the sweet rhythms of the music. You won’t put anyone off with any loud or sharp sounds that may come out of this one, and you can certainly use it to refine the kinds of music that you may play when you decide to. Make sure you give that some far consideration when it comes down to it. You never know how much the neck pickup guitar could make a difference in your life as far as changing your entire outlook on the types of music that can be played and enjoyed from a neck pickup guitar.

Price Differences

There are some price differences between a bridge guitar and a pickup neck guitar. The precise amount that one will spend will depend on the style and quality of the guitar as well as any parts or accessories that they may throw into the mix as well. For the most part, people are going to fork over approximately double the price for a bridge guitar as compared to what they might pay for a pickup neck guitar. This is just the nature of the differences between the two.

You really can’t get away with pay less for a bridge guitar in most cases unless you purchase something that simply won’t work for you as you had hoped. Who would want to put themselves in that position? You should focus your energy on finding the type of guitar that will work best for you, and then look at how much you are going to have to pay for it. If you do things this way, you should end up what you are really looking for.

Built Differently

The different types of sounds that are produced by various guitars are not produced by accident. Rather, manufacturers work tirelessly to make sure they are creating something that has the sounds and volume that guitar players are looking for. They will reposition critical elements of the guitar until they are able to get things just right to make the perfect sounds and pitches based on what guitar players have told them they want to hear. It is always a matter of making sure that all users have the opportunity to create something that is amazing for every user.

You should get very deep into the mechanics of how the guitars that you are looking at are built. There is no reason for you not to know exactly what goes into each one and why that makes them special. Indeed, this may be one of the best ways for you to sort out which kinds of guitars are appropriate for your use. Remember, it is all about getting the right combination so that you are don’t have to second guess yourself when it comes to knowing if you happened to get the right guitar for your needs or not.

Everyone should be able to answer this question for themselves, and that means that they shouldn’t have any questions at all about if they managed to get the kind of guitar that they need to produce the music that they want to hear. They will know before they buy it, and this will lead them to make wiser purchasing decisions than they might have otherwise. It is all about asking the right questions from the start. After that, everyone can enjoy the experience of getting the exact type of guitar that they need.

Which One Should I Start With?

If you want to go the traditional route, then you would probably start with a bridge guitar. There is nothing wrong with doing that per se, but you may want to mix things up a little and try going at it from another perspective. What if you were to go with the neck pickup guitar instead?  If that was what you wanted to do, then you could potentially get a less expensive guitar under your belt that produces a type of sound that people aren’t as readily familiar with.

This approach could help you to set yourself apart from others who have tried to learn how to play the guitar before. You may be capable of putting yourself on a podium that others cannot bring you down from. You can leave a unique impression on people when you start to play the neck pickup guitar as compared to everyone else who is using the bridge guitar. That is the ideal way to look at things, and you may discover that you are able to set yourself apart from so many others who have tried to do things like this before.

Get yourself into a place where you are creating something different from others, and you may just find the niche that you need to turn yourself into a bigger star than you ever could have imagined. It might seem like a far-fetched thing, but people are doing it every day. Make sure you don’t let this one slide away. You have the power and the ability to push your star power to the next level. Are you going to go for it or are you going to let it slip away?

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