February 19, 2005
In response to this comment:
OK, I just broke the "thinnest" string on my new axe. I would like to buy string sets in bulk. Any suggestions as to brand?
RIR-- that would be the high "E" string on a guitar. That one and the "G" tend to break most often (at least that's been MY experience.).
I buy strings in "bulk" if you call getting a dozen sets at a time a bulk order. Of course, I own a lot of different instrument, too. To me, guitar strings are like toilet paper--- I just don't EVER run out.
Right now, Elixers are my favorite. They are expensive, but they sound great and last a long time. I use the medium lights (.12 gauge on the high "E" string) for my guitars and lights (.10 gauge) for my mandolin and my papoose. I also play Dean Markley, John Pearce, and Martin "Extended Life SP+" now, all in phosphor-bronze. (I have never liked brass or stainless steel strings) For electric, I still like the old Gibson E340L when I can find them; otherwise, I play the Fender "slinky" super-lights (.08 on the high "E."). But I don't play electric that much anymore.
The Elixers cost about twice what the other strings do. ($13.00 for a set of them, versus $5.88 for a set of Dean Markleys. But sometimes, you get what you pay for.) I play medium-lights because I like the sound--- the heavier the gauge the better an old guitar rings--- and my fingers are impervious to pain anymore.
For a beginning guitar player, I recommend the lightest gauge string that sounds good on the guitar (try the lights--- if they "buzz" when you play them, your guitar isn't set up right--- but that is easily fixed. Plus, those strings are less hostile to the fingers, especially when you're first learning to play.).
If you buy them from my friend willy, he will give you a better discount than you'll find at any music store. Buy at least a dozen sets, so that shipping doesn't eat up your discount. Or email me. I'll buy them and send them to you. Ask for a few SINGLE STRINGS--- buy about six extra high "E" strings and three extra "G" strings. Then, when you break one of those, you don't have to waste a whole new set to replace one string.
Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.
My recommendation to a beginner: stick to the good but not expensive strings. Buy John Pearce, Dean Markley and maybe a couple of sets of Martin Marquis. Try different gauges, too. Once you learn to play, shop up to Elixers.
That's MY humble opinion on guitar strings.
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