How to Use the Controls on a Les Paul

Liam

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
5,956
Reaction score
2,427
Never too old to try a new trick, I thought I'd see what happens if I followed this advice... Not millions of miles away from what I usually do, but enough to make a difference. I actually cheated a bit and rolled the tone control off a tiny bit on the neck pickup while I was setting up the amp tone controls.

Splattle, you're a legend! Really getting into the BBRI, Powerbrake and R9 with OTPs, RS Superpots and real bees. Couple of gigs this weekend and had a real killer tone (rhythm intros on the bridge pickup with all the controls up was razor sharp and warm at the same time, but removed the tops of people's heads! Neck pickup just sublime...) More and more into using the controls interactively now, pedals still get used, but not half as much.

If you set your neck so it’s basically clean (~ 50%), and then set the bridge to about 75%, that will give you the sounds-like-the-bridge-pickup-but-fuller tone. As I said before, that’s a good rhythm or lead sound.
Lot's of good stuff to be had around these settings - I'm loving it. Like the switch from bridge for rhythm to both pickups for lead with this. The MXR Dynacomp loves all this stuff, getting different attack and tone without changing the volume too much. Quite like bridge on 50% and neck on 75% too. Mellow and warm with some bite.

Thanks again for the brief tutorial, definitely set this "old dog" in a new direction.

Liam
 

BluesLover

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
327
Reaction score
4
I can't tell you how much this has helped me! Thank you so much! I have a Fender Blues junior and the low end can sound pretty farty and muddy. I eq'ed the amp for the neck pickup and set the tone and volume controls how you said. It improved the tone of my overdrive so much! It went from farty and muddy to creamy and smooth! Now granted it still sounds a little farty because of the small cabinet, but it still sounds WAY better. Thanks so much dude! :thumb:

+5 on stickying this! This thread can help so many people!
 

boycey

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
383
Reaction score
44
Excellent post Splattle.
I must be playing about 15 years now and I dont think I have ever EQ'd for the neck p'up. DOH!!! I look forward to trying this at the weekend when I get rid of the wife and kids for a few hours.
:applause: :applause: :applause:
 

Pink_Floyd

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
621
Reaction score
4
I always thought that people tended to use the neck for Rhythm and the bridge for lead? Obviously it is not a hard and fast rule.
 

siore

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
1,989
Reaction score
127
I always thought that people tended to use the neck for Rhythm and the bridge for lead? Obviously it is not a hard and fast rule.
Why not a woody neck tone for leads? Or creamy rhythm comps from the bridge pickup? :naughty:

Les pauls are so nice. Lots of tones, so little time. :dude:
 

Pink_Floyd

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
621
Reaction score
4
Why not a woody neck tone for leads? Or creamy rhythm comps from the bridge pickup? :naughty:

Les pauls are so nice. Lots of tones, so little time. :dude:
Agreed, sometimes I am guilty of sticking to the manual rather than going with the flow. Time for a change :slash:
 

snaredrum

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
23,057
Reaction score
13,793
i was watching freebird the movie, and i'm sure gary rossington switched to neck for some solos. sounded ace
 

Splattle101

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
8,762
Reaction score
4,438
There are many examples of neck pickup solos. Have a listen to Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I don't care what kind of guitar it was played on, it had a healthy dose of neck pickup involved.

...any number of Cream songs...

...Blackmore with Purple (yes, it was a strat, but still neck a lot of the time)

...what about the intro to Since I've Been Lovin You? And most of the verses...

...what about Gary Moore and Still Got the Blues?!!??!! I mean, really. Neck pickup for rhythm only? I don't think so...

[EDIT]Sorry if this post seems a bit negative or garoul...garrou...gar...argumentative. I just got back from the pub...watching hot young girls bending over and groaning...:naughty:[END EDIT]

[EDIT 2]That'd be the TENNIS, you depraved sods!! Whatever did you think I meant??!![END EDIT 2]
 

snaredrum

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
23,057
Reaction score
13,793
There are many examples of neck pickup solos. Have a listen to Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I don't care what kind of guitar it was played on, it had a healthy dose of neck pickup involved.

...any number of Cream songs...

...Blackmore with Purple (yes, it was a strat, but still neck a lot of the time)

...what about the intro to Since I've Been Lovin You? And most of the verses...

...what about Gary Moore and Still Got the Blues?!!??!! I mean, really. Neck pickup for rhythm only? I don't think so...

[EDIT]Sorry if this post seems a bit negative or garoul...garrou...gar...argumentative. I just got back from the pub...watching hot young girls bending over and groaning...:naughty:[END EDIT]

[EDIT 2]That'd be the TENNIS, you depraved sods!! Whatever did you think I meant??!![END EDIT 2]
lol

what time is it? drinkin late, youth!
 

Jonno_aus

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Man, I'm loving this. I'm using the neck pickup now for all my solo's. Who would've thought!

I'm liking the extra creamy, thicker tone I get on the solo's. Then use the bridge for the rhythm adjusting the tone so it isnt so brittle. Dunno why but I seem to like a trebley kinda rhythm.


Good stuff.
 

mattymel

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
496
Reaction score
23
Splattle's original post is right on the money big +1!
 

MrRhoads

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
3,641
Reaction score
240
You're right, you do have to be quick with your right hand. But you'd be amazed how proficient you become. Have a look at this vid:

YouTube - BB King / Gary Moore - The Thrill is Gone

In this one, Garry Moore's right hand returns to his controls after every lick, as if by reflex. He's riding his volumes all the way home.

Good luck with it, man.

cheers,
Splat
If i´m not mistaken Gary Moore has that famous Peter Green out of phase setup on that guitar making that nasal sound:)
Thanks for a great thread:thumb:
I use my volume and tone knobs a "little" but never thought to use them this much:applause:
Pressing "PRINT" and heading for the amp and guitar;)
 

Fuelish

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
2,747
Reaction score
1,197
I always thought that people tended to use the neck for Rhythm and the bridge for lead? Obviously it is not a hard and fast rule.
I hate the bridge tone on my LP .... I tend to use neck or both, maybe use bridge for rhythm (with the volume and tone knob backed off....) The other 2 positions (middle and neck) sound so sweet, the bridge is just ugly, to me. But I do enjoy spinning the knobs and experimenting - switching from the stock knobs to speeders helps on-the-fly-adjustments, as it can be done with a brush of the finger - the oem Epi knobs seemed to require deliberate grabbing with 2 fingers, at least on mine .... too much like work ;)
 

klextacy

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
13
Reaction score
3
Great thread, guys! I'm a habitual tone/volume fiddler.. it's crucial to obtaining great varied tones on a Les Paul.

And a big +1 to using the neck pup for leads. Listen to John Norum and John Sykes as well. They get some AWESOME smooth lead tones using the neck pickups.
 

latomas

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
48
Reaction score
1
Definately something I would have never thought about, good stuff.
 




Top