Pickup (music)

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A humbucker magnetic pickup (top) on an electric guitar

A pickup is a device that captures mechanical vibrations (usually from stringed instruments like the electric guitar, electric bass guitar or electric violin) and converts them to an electrical signal which can be amplified and recorded.

There are two main types of pickups. Piezo pickups are more common on acoustic guitars, and magnetic pickups on electric guitars. Some guitars have both kinds.

Piezo (short for piezoelectric) pickups contain a crystal that produces an electrical signal when physically vibrated. These work with all types of guitars, because all guitars vibrate when you play them.

Magnetic pickups contain magnets with wire wrapped around them. When a metal string vibrates near the magnet an electrical signal is produced in the wire. Some guitars (like classical guitars) have strings made of nylon or other things that aren't magnetic, and magnetic pickups don't work with these guitars.

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