i’m very much into arctic monkeys so I play a lot of thatWhat guitarists are you into? What songs are you learning? If you give some examples we can point out when they’re switching pickups (in most cases) to give you a better example of why it’s done.
For distorted rhythms I‘m 100% on the bridge pickup. I only do neck pickup rhythm stuff on a Strat with a clean tone. For leads I switch between the bridge and neck, sometimes in the same solo. Vai/Petrucci are great to watch for how they incorporate both pickups into their playing.
Really useful for beginners to learn how to use guitarYou mean, how to choose which one to use that you already have installed in your guitar? Because if you're new there's no point changing pickups at this point. As a very brief, very simple guide...
To demonstrate the difference that pickup position makes, make sure your guitar is unplugged. Pick the D string very close to the bridge and hear how bright it sounds. Then pick the D string right over the 12th fret and hear how smooth it sounds. That's because the string has more noticeable higher-frequency overtones nearer to the bridge, and when it's near the neck those higher frequencies are less pronounced but the lower ones are more prominent.
So a bridge pickup will be brighter, and a neck pickup will be smoother/rounder, because it picks up the sound of the string at those points. Use the bridge for brighter sounds to cut through, use the neck for smoother sounds. But that's just a very general guide, depends on the pickup, and you can use whatever for anything, and the results may not be as noticeable if you have a beginner setup.
Metal is like 99% bridge humbucker. Jazz is like 99% neck humbucker.