I've been playing guitar for a while, but I don't have much experience with electronics or amplification. I have an acoustic electric guitar that I believe has an under saddle piezo pickup. I'm looking to get the kind of sound out of the output, so that I can create beats similar to the way that one of my favorite guitarists, Ed Sheeran, does.

Video for reference

I've done a little of research lately, but everything I seem to find is add ons or preamps that contain a microphone. Ed's guitar doesn't seem to have a preamp at all (visibly) and he gets a huge bass sound without much effort or feedback leading me to believe it isn't a mic. Even when I pound my guitar only a slight sound comes out. I'm in the market for a new guitar anyways so any help from anyone knowledgeable on this subject would be greatly appreciated!


Check the battery for your pre-amp it may be low. You should never have to pound, only thump.

Thump your guitar all over see if there is a sweet-spot. The bridge should be loudest.

If you get a new guitar/pickup, make sure the pickup can handle a thump as some can distort easily.

The guitar he uses in the video has a pre-amp, look at 32 seconds in same place as the input for the guitar AND he doubles over the beat to make it louder, although I would recommend against this as it is so difficult to keep perfect timing, even Ed messes this up if you listen carefully

EDIT: Check the pickup has not come away slightly on the inside of your guitar, this would explain why you still get high frequencies but no so much bass.

  • Decided to give you the answer since it's the only info that was a little different from what a basic google search shows. I realized it has been a while since I changed out my preamp battery and sure enough I'm getting a bit more thump. I'll make sure my next axe can handle the hits a bit better, thanks a lot! – Jose Oct 31 '14 at 21:40

You don't need a new guitar. If there's a piezzo inside your guitar, you need a impedance transformer for that piezzo. The hi ohm the piezzos have on a normal mic preamp lead to a low cut filter. That's the problem i think.

  • I've never heard of impedance transformers for guitars, any chance you could link to a good example? (lots pop up on google) – Jose Oct 27 '14 at 22:06

I assume that your string sound comes through just fine on your acoustic so the preamp or impedance isn't the problem.

So take a look inside your guitar to see where your transducer is mounted. If the wire goes into the bridge, then the transducer is probably an undersaddle pickup which means you need to hit the bridge with the tip of your finger or side of your hand or thumb to get the thump.

I use a K&K passive transducer on my guitar, which doesn't require a preamp. I get a very good bass drum thump by hitting the top near the lower bout and a nice rim sound by hitting the side of the lower bout or by hitting the top of the upper bout. Using my left hand and striking the top of the lower bout with my thumb and the side of the guitar with my fingers, I can even imitate a bodhran (Irish frame drum).

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