One of the most popular brands of active pickups is EMG. My band used these when we first tracked some of our guitar solos, but we found there were too many overtones and not enough of a body resonance sound in the tone. Because of this, we swapped out the EMGs for some passive Seymour Duncan pickups.
Early in my career as an electric bassist, I was hired to play in a wedding band. Right off the bat, this meant adding thirty or so tunes from Billboard’s holy list to my existing repertoire in about three days’ time. That first gig went pretty well, and with a few hours of having new material under my belt, I figured I was through the thick of it… but no. The coming months saw a stream of strangers’ special days, each of which came with its very own, personalized collection of “Today’s Hits.” For a while there, I was learning tunes in real time (and thanks to some off-the-setlist song requests, there were definitely times when that was happening in a very literal sense). Unsurprisingly, the experience made my ear more accurate and even enhanced my melodic and harmonic vocabularies.