Do Guitar Pickups Really Matter & How Important Are They?

You have an electric guitar equipped with pickups, but do you know the importance of these pickups?

Let’s discuss this.

Do guitar pickups really matter?

Yes.  A guitarist’s choice of pickup is a significant factor in determining the sound produced. If the guitar’s pickups have a good level of output quality, they’re going to produce a great sound. In general, the guitar pickups are designed to pick up certain frequencies and amplify them even more before leading into an audio amplifier that is connected into your amp.

How important are guitar pickups?

Very important to your guitar tone.  Without a guitar pickup installed in your electric guitar, you will not be able to hear the sound produced by the instrument, no matter how good it is.  They are very responsible for the sound and tone of your electric guitar.  Sounds important to me!

Check out – Best Cheap Guitar Pickups in 2021


To understand why pickups matter and why they are important, we need to dig a little deeper.  There’s a huge difference in sound between no pickups and some installed in your guitar body.

What is a guitar pickup?

A guitar pickup is a device that converts the mechanical vibrations from a string into an electrical signal that can be recorded or amplified. The most common type of pickups, electromagnetic pickups, use magnets to produce this signal and are found in the vast majority of electric guitars.

Magnetic pickups come in two forms: single-coil and humbucking. Single-coils became popular during the 1960s when they were developed to make it easier for guitarists to cut through other instruments on stage.

Humbuckers became popular with jazz musicians because their design reduces feedback from other instruments during performances.

Why do guitar pickups matter?

A guitar pickup will have a significant effect on your overall tone. With a top-notch pickup, your sound will be louder and brighter with a professional quality. Additionally, the quality of the sound produced by pickups has a big impact on your playing experience.

The right guitar pickups can provide you with more control over the tone of your instrument. For example, if you use a good quality pickup when playing live, you’ll be able to hear the difference when they’re in and out of your amplifier and hear how and why they’re an integral part in the sound of your guitar.

What type of pickups should I get?

This is almost subjective. People have their preferences for this reason. We recommend that you experiment with different types and see what works for you best.

It is also going to depend on the electric guitar you have.  Some are routed out for single coils and others for humbuckers.  So you will need to check out your guitar to see what kind of pickup it has installed.

When you are playing, you will also notice differences in guitar sound depending on the position of the pickup. The neck pickup sounds more warm then the bridge pickup, for example.  The difference in sound can be done using your pickup selector switch.

There are also active pickups vs passive pickups that come in both humbucker and single coil configurations.  Active pickups require a 9 volt battery to power them.

If you are not sure, it is best to talk to some experienced guitar players about this before getting serious with spending money on new pickups.

Are more pickups on a guitar better?

Yes and no, but in general, the more pickups your guitar has, the better chances you’ll have for producing and toning down different sounds. If you’re picking up a new electric guitar and want to do a lot of different things with it, we recommend having at least two pickup selector buttons to choose from.

You might also consider three pickups if you want to get more options. In the end, it’s all about your needs and preferences.


The greater the quality of the pickups, the better you will be able to hear a noticeable difference in the sounds produced by your electric guitar.  So whether you’re a beginner musician or an aspiring musician, ask yourself, do guitar pickups really matter? The answer is yes they do.