Long story short, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to afford even the cheaper Epi guitar of my choice, and even if I could save up the money, it would have to go towards getting a vehicle, when I turn 16 in 7 months.
After some time on Google reading articles mentioning the good things that can come out of getting rid of the stock pickups on inexpensive guitars, I was set on trying to do this myself. I had never considered it before, I always thought that the insides of guitars were something only an elite group of individuals were allowed to mess with.
I was wrong. After finishing this pickup swap, I learned a ton about my guitar without messing ANYTHING up. And now I have a great sounding guitar, too.
If you're finally becoming good at guitar, or even if you have been playing for a while and want a change, swapping out the pickups is one of the best things you can do without shelling out hundreds for a new guitar.
I think that following this tutorial is pretty simple. You should be able to swap out your pickups with minimum to no hassle, but in case you screw up, don't blame me for it. If you do mess something up, I'll do my best to help you though.
Also, this tutorial is geared towards changing the bridge pickup to a SD Little '59 on a Telecaster, but the same technique should be able to be applied to other guitars as well.
Step 1: Choosing a Pickup
-They're not cheap. Expect to spend $70-130(USD) on a good pickup.
-It'll change the way your guitar sounds. Look for video reviews with good quality audio to help determine what you need. Seymour Duncan also provides audio samples for their pickups. http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/audio-samples/tele_jaguar_and/
Make sure you like the sound before you buy it. Don't go off of text reviews alone(although you should read those too). Everyone's opinion is different.
I chose the Little '59 because I wanted a humbucker(vague, I know...), and there were good reviews on it. Also, I was pleased with the way it sounds.
I recommend you buy your pickup new, and from a place that you trust. I am getting more and more unsatisfied with Musician's Friend(everything I order is backordered...) so after being informed that my pickup was going to be in stock three weeks from when I wanted it, I canceled the order, bought the same pickup at Guitar Center(online) and it came in by the end of the week.
Also, make sure you know where the pickup is supposed to go(not just what type of guitar it is supposed to go in). Don't screw up and buy a neck pickup and try to put it in the bridge.
That is, of course, if your guitar doesn't have interchangeable pickups. Like a Tele.