Differences Between Neck and Bridge Pickups (With Table)

For several years music is an inseparable part of our lives, it plays an important part in our lives without which everything is becomes faded or meaningless.  Different countries have different tastes of music and have different instruments to play it. When we consider guitars, pickups play an important role because for a sound to emerge, pickups must transfer sound vibrations to an amplifier. Therefore, pickups are extremely important.

Neck vs Bridge Pickups

The main difference between Neck and Bridge Pickups is that Neck pickups give a warm, smooth tone that is normally utilized for solos and melodies. Whereas, with Bridge Pickups, we can get some piercing riffs, piercing lead lines, and some mind-blowing rhythm.  Music can lift and stimulate our emotions; it can also soothe and rest our minds. German composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach is known as the father of music.

The lower resistance and output of the Neck pickup tend to compensate for its flatness. Making it a little more vibrant helps to balance the pickups output and makes it easier to get the exact guitar tone we want. Neck pickups have lower tension, the string vibrates more intensely, and the tone generated by the pickup is more mellow, wide, and round.

The signal from the string vibrations closer to the bridge is picked up by the Bridge pickups, producing the tone “firmer” and “powerful.” When played without distortion, the bridge position gives a “spanky” tone, similar to what you’d hear if you played an acoustic guitar extremely close to the bridge.

Comparison Table Between Neck and Bridge Pickups

Parameters of Comparison

Neck Pickup

Bridge Pickup


Right side of the fretboard

Nearest to the Bridge


Mellow and well-rounded sound

Clear and sharp

Ideal for

Solos, melodies, and lead lines

Tonal Quality

String Tension

Higher tension string

Lower tension string


Best for clean tone

Best for lead playing

What is Neck Pickup?

The Neck pickup, as the name implies, sits nearer to the neck of your guitar. Despite this, it may nevertheless record a greater number of higher and lower tones or music. Neck pickups come in single or double coil configurations, just like bridge pickups. Hotel California by the Eagles, Where the Streets Have No Name by U2, are a few examples of popular songs that feature Neck Pickups.

The tone of a Neck Pickup is warmer and soothing than that of a Bridge Pickup.  Pure styles and softer songs work best with this setting since the chords will sound like they’re coming from an amplifier rather than as individual notes played using a guitar. Neck Pickups are often located in the center of the guitar, near the point where the neck touches the body. The warmer sound of the Neck Pickups is due to their location near the higher tension string.

A Neck Pickup’s construction varies according to the maker and version. It could be a design that is active or passive, with different outputs. Due to its location nearer to high-tension strings on the guitar’s neck, Neck Pickups are more difficult to pull as compared to Bridge pickups. For playing chords without a lot of noticeable single frequencies, a Neck Pickup is the best option.

What is Bridge Pickup?

In addition to sitting around the strings and over the bridge of your guitar, Bridge pickups are larger and sit closer to the rim of the guitar, allowing us to capture more high-frequency harmonics from the guitar sound. This pickup can be a single coil or a double coil.  The tone of the Bridge Pickups is intense. It’s great for lead work, especially when we want a guitar that sounds like it’s shouting at its full frequency.

Bridge pickups are often located near the edge of the guitar’s body, distant from where the neck connects it. Because of the difference in positioning, the Bridge Pickup will sound brilliant because it covers a greater area of the guitar. The high-pitched and upper frequencies are the major focus of Bridge Pickups. A neck pickup’s tone is normally used for soft tones, whereas a bridge pickup’s tone is frequently used for brighter tones.

Despite its structural differences, Bridge Pickups are functional and typically will produce a higher output as compared to other pickups. To avoid encountering resistance when pulling up the strings, bridges have lower-tension strings attached further down the guitar’s body. When you want your guitar tone to sound rough and powerful, use a Bridge Pickup it is made for such tones.

Main Differences Between Neck and Bridge Pickups

1. Neck Pickups sounds are warm and mellow, whereas Bridge Pickups sounds are vibrant and sharp.

2. Neck Pickups are good for clean tone and rhythm guitar. Bridge Pickups are ideal for high gain and lead guitar

3. Compared to the Neck pickup, the Bridge pickup is wound more tightly (more turns).

4. The Neck Pickup is more commonly utilized for lead lines, whereas the Bridge Pickup is employed for rhythm.

5. Neck Pickup has low resistance low output. Whereas Bridge Pickups has high resistance high output.


A pickup is a tool that collects the vibrations of the strings and converts them into a signal for amplification. There are two kinds of signals emitted by pickups – alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).  The electric guitar is frequently employed in pop and rock music for two purposes: firstly as a rhythm guitar, which plays chord sequences riffs, and setting up the beat; and secondly,  as a lead guitar, which gives us the melodious lines, melodic passages, and solos. With all this music around us, it makes us feel cheerful and happy.

Music has been demonstrated in studies to improve our mood and help us avoid depression. It can also enhance blood flow in the same manner that statins do, it decreases stress hormones like cortisol, and relieve pain. Therefore, we can say that music is a sound that enlightened our mind with peace and tranquility and make us feel healthy and happy.


  • https://isma2017.cirmmt.mcgill.ca/proceedings/pdf/ISMA_2017_paper_71.pdf
  • http://www.aes.org/e-lib/online/browse.cfm?elib=16551