An acoustic electric guitar has an electric pickup system. Find out how acoustic electric guitars work with the help of a professional guitar instructor in this free video.
Hi. I'm Dave Isaacs from Dave Isaacs Guitar Studio on Music Row in Nashville, and I'm here to demonstrate how an acoustic electric guitar works. Now, an acoustic electric guitar works generally with one or two types of pickup systems. There's what's called a piezoelectric pickup which sits underneath the saddle, which is this piece right here. And the actual vibrations of the strings will touch that piezo element and that converts the vibration into fluctuations and voltage. And this really how any electric guitar works. An electric guitar pickup does the same thing with variations in the magnetic field. You're translating the physical vibration of the string into fluctuations and voltage. In the case of a piezoelectric pickup, this is actually in contact with the other side of the saddle which you can't see, of course. The other element that this guitar and many others have is a small microphone, which you can't really see right now. On some you can. And that is literally inside the sound hole. And this particular guitar has what's called a blender system where I can mix. Here is a slider. I've got it set right now to pick up only the piezo element under the bridge. It says pickup and then if I slide it to the other side, it says mike and that will give me only the microphone. And then by sliding this from one side to the other, I can mix between the two. If I want only the mike sound, I'm on this side. If I want to blend between them, I'm somewhere in the middle. If I want only the pickup, I'm on this side. As a rule, if you're on stage and you have monitor speakers pointing at you, you probably want to be just on the pickup or to have a sound hole cover. Because if you're using the microphone, any sound coming back in the guitar will create feedback because it goes in, comes out your pickup, to the speaker, back at your speaker and that will create sounds that you don't want. So as a rule, if you've got louder stage levels, you stick with the pickup. Microphone works very well for quieter situations. And in a nutshell, that's how an acoustic electric guitar works. My name is Dave Isaacs from Dave Isaacs Guitar Studio on Music Row in Nashville. And I hope that I've helped you understand this better.