Trying to use a bass pickup on guitar is an interesting experiment if you want a fun weekend project.
You are more likely to succeed if you put a guitar pickup on bass because there are a lot more rail or blade-style pickups to choose from.
We’ll probably address that in a different post.
Also, there is no reason to ignore the gamut of guitar-specific pickups and use a bass pickup on the guitar.
It only makes sense if you have a spare pickup lying about and a guitar with a similar size/shape route. Nevertheless, don’t try it on your primary instrument.
Are bass pickups the same as guitar pickups?
Both bass and guitar pickups consist of a magnet with a copper wire coiled around it. When you strike the string, it causes the string to vibrate.
The vibrating string lies within the magnetic field of the magnet in the pickup. The vibrations disturb the magnetic field, causing small voltage fluctuations in the copper coil.
The coil transmits these fluctuations (changes) to the amplifier.
Why is bass pickup split?
A bass pickup is split to create an offset design with two distinct parts for a pair of strings instead of one double-coil that goes under all four strings.
One part of the split pickup handles one pair of strings (lows) and the other part handles another pair (highs).
The split widens the tonal range, resulting in rich lows and bright treble. They are found in P-style bass guitars or P/J pickup sets.
What is the difference between P and J bass pickups?
The P-bass pickup, used in a Fender Precision basses, is a hum-canceling split-coil pickup with staggered pole pieces – one per string. J-bass pickups, used in Fender Jazz basses, are single-coil pickups with two pole pieces per string.
The P-bass pickup sounds scooped with punchy lows and clear highs. The J-bass pickup has more midrange growl, treble, and overall brightness.