after years of waiting
hoping for better music
Welcome, once again, to my ongoing Strings Saga: Yes, I’ve Gone Back to Elevens (And, “No, We Have No Bananas)! Yes, I know. This is like the 20th time you’ve read a strings review from me or found out that, once again, I had changed my mind about my Favorite Strings Ever. Welp, today is another day, and here’s another dollar: I’m back to .011-.049 strings — and this time — I’m staying! I think.
We’re always searching for The Best, The Ultimate — The Perfect Blues Guitar Rig — and today, I’m going to share with you the center, and the chained core, of my most golden Blues playing experience. It all starts and ends with wood: I’m currently loving on my mahogany Les Paul.
If you’ve been following this Boles Blues blog for any length of time, you’ve seen me do many guitar strings reviews with varying gauges and technologies. In my article — Why Can’t You Pick a Strings Gauge? — I endeavored to explain the madness of setting up my guitars with different strings sets.
After throwing on a set of Gretsch 11-49 strings on my Gretsch G5120, I decided to get my hands on some D’Addario EXL 115 strings for “Blues/Jazz Rock” and at .011, .014, .018, .028, .038 and .049 they’re quite a hefty string gauge and harder to bend than the Super Slinky set o’ nines I’ve been using from Ernie Ball. I bought an EXL115 tenner pack because you get such a greater value buying in bulk and the price drops to around $3.00USD a set.
Spending $3,000.00USD on a guitar — like the Eric Clapton Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster — can bankrupt a family when somebody just wants to start making music, so I set out to find the best electric guitar that cost 10 times less than the Clapton Custom. I happened upon the Ibanez Artcore AG75 — the best guitar for the money at $300.00USD — and I invite you to find out why.
Jeff Beck is a great guitarist and musician. He found his first musical success in The Yardbirds when he replaced Eric Clapton. Beck then brought in Jimmy Page to play bass for the ‘Birds. Jeff Beck didn’t find as much commercial success as Clapton and Page — probably because he didn’t sing or tie himself to a lead singer in a band — yet he still survives and thrives in the music scene as a major force majeure. Jeff Beck’s latest album — “Emotion & Commotion” — was released this week.