Guitar Build Part III – Adding Electronics To Your Guitar

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Building the sound of your guitar is a major part of your guitar build. Many players have taken pick up purchase as a pasttime.

And it can become just that.

With so many possibilities it gets a bit out of control.

You can choose seymour duncan pickups and put a 59 in the bridge or the favorite, the JB. Or you can try the ever so clean EMG actives. Or the EMG HZ for the passive version, still extremely clean without the battery and super high output.

You can also load your ax up with single coil pickups for the stratocaster sound. Or you can build a combination of humbucker pickups & single coils. You can even throw in a soapbar pickup if you like them. I saw a strat with 2 soapbars and a single coil in the middle just the other day, so anything is possible.

Then you have the switches. You have volume, tone and pickup selectors. Your choice of pickups as well as your choice of pickup configurations will determine the switches needed to control the many options. I’ve seen guitars with so many controls it looks like a space center. However non-practicle that might be, if you can think it, you can create it and use it. It could become the next big sound of guitar. Go for it!

No matter your electronics in your guitar build, it’s a strong suggestion to work with someone who has built guitars or works on guitar electronics. It’s a must if it’s your first time.  Ask a local guitar builder or guitar repair person for a hand and offer to pay him/her full price or more to show you some tips.

Marc Amendola is a guitarist/producer/songwriter in Connecticut. He produces artists, teaches guitar & fronts the rock band Fear The State. Find out more about Marc at

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