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Thread started 09/10/21 10:43am

ElectricKGod

Prince's Guitar String Of Choice

Hey I wanted to ask here because I'm sure someone in here will know about the guitar strings that Prince, but also his guitar players preferred. I've read a few things saying he favored DR Hi Beams 9-42, but there is conflicting info out there as well. Anyone know what the man used?

I also would like to know what Levi, Sonny, Wendy & Miko preferred as well. I'm trying to find the right strings for myself, and while I know it's al about preference and experience, its also important to understand what the OG's prefer and why.

Thank You
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Reply #1 posted 09/10/21 1:45pm

alexanderalm

Hmm i am also curious about this. I read somewhere that he had the strings, and perhaps also the neck of the guitar, "greased up" with something for better performance... cool

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Reply #2 posted 09/10/21 2:18pm

FrankieCoco1

This article suggests what strings were used and lubricant, but check the comments that one person casts doubt on the strings without elaborating:

https://www.uberproaudio....-equipment
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Reply #3 posted 09/10/21 2:52pm

FrankieCoco1

These “Guitar Player” interviews don’t mention strings but talk about set ups and gear, which you should find interesting.

https://www.guitarplayer....s-in-depth

But as Prince says at the end, “...I don’t like to talk about gear. People will go out and buy that stuff thinking it’s going to make them sound like me, and that’s not where it’s at. Go get your own stuff and come up with your own sounds. If you need a path to follow, a good place to start is by listening to Ike Turner—he was as tight as they come—or James Brown, who is all about rhythm. Put any colors you’ve learned from Joni Mitchell on top of that, and then you’ve got something!”
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Reply #4 posted 09/12/21 6:26am

JudasLChrist

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FrankieCoco1 said:

These “Guitar Player” interviews don’t mention strings but talk about set ups and gear, which you should find interesting. https://www.guitarplayer....s-in-depth But as Prince says at the end, “...I don’t like to talk about gear. People will go out and buy that stuff thinking it’s going to make them sound like me, and that’s not where it’s at. Go get your own stuff and come up with your own sounds. If you need a path to follow, a good place to start is by listening to Ike Turner—he was as tight as they come—or James Brown, who is all about rhythm. Put any colors you’ve learned from Joni Mitchell on top of that, and then you’ve got something!”


When I was a kid I learned, probably from Musician magazine, that he used heavy gage strings. 11s, I think... and they were GHS Boomers. Which, when I think about it, makes sense because those are they strings they'd try to sell you at Knut Koupee in Minneapolis, which is where I'm from, and Prince had his guitars made there.

Because I learned this, I ended up putting heavy strings on my guitars for decades. There were reasons other than Prince, but Prince was what started it.

Just this last year I've been flirting with doing a Slayer cover band. I did some research in to Jeff Hanneman's gear and found he used much lighter gage strings. I bought a Jackson guitar, and put some light strings on it (his brand), and lo and behold suddenly I can get that 'shred' sound that I've never been able to get. I laughed so hard. All these years I just thought I was fumbly. Strings/gear matter. your hands matter the most, but they are not the only thing.

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Reply #5 posted 09/12/21 6:31am

SPYZFAN1

I never liked GHS Boomers...My nickname for them was "GHS Bricks". They were so uncomfortable to play..even their 009 gauge strings.

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