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Guitar Strings - Part 1
Author: Michael Tafoya

Getting in tune and staying in tune, are what the job requires, for sure. Iíve been in so many situationís where string breakage and not staying in tune just creates havoc on the band, Audience, and music. Iíve had situations in my youth and now a days to be sure, where Iíve neglected to either change my strings, and a couple of times I like a dumb kid just didnít bother to properly tune my guitar.

I used to work for the Gibson Guitar String and Accessories Division (now called GIBSON GEAR) as a shipping and receiving clerk then moved up to Regional Sales Manager in Elgin, IL. In those capacities I was able to see the Gibson String line from start to finish, as well as learning what alloys the strings were made of. I got to understand how those alloys affected their overall tone feel and playability.

Mind you, Iíve been playing now for over forty years and Iíve used just about every brand of string manufactured. Obviously I havenít tried every string brand sold out there, just most of them. I tend to play very hard when Iím rocking and Iím used to certain brands of guitar strings giving out. I donít pretend to know what the ins and outs to manufacturing strings. I do know what works for me.

Iíve used The Gibson Brand string for decades before I worked there and after I got the job in shipping (working for minimum wage); Iíd buy the strings and turn them on to my guitarist friends. Iíd also give them to some friends who werenít guitarist, just guitar players. My point was to hip my buddyís to these strings that seemed to tune well, not break from a good workout. Besides, Iíd get them on discount.

I know when I was trying to sell these strings to music dealers that Iíd hear ďall strings are the same manĒ! It would seem to make sense, itís not true! There are very good strings, good strings and there are poorly made strings. Yes, itís a subjective call and I am a ĎGibsoní man. That saying doesnít hold water to me at all. Since I stopped working for Gibson Iíve used and abused all types and brands of guitar strings. I know from experience that for the hard core ďsmack downĒ bruise and bloody your fingers guitarist. Gibson is one of the best.

What I do know and can tell you about these strings is the wound strings are smooth, feel tight, bend like a Mo-Fo and donít break after a long set of banging and rocking your balls off!

Give these strings a shot and see what I know works for me.

Next time Iíll give you my take on what and how the different alloys do to the playability and tonal character of your performance.

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Mike uses Gibson Guitars, Gibson Strings, Epiphone, Marshall, and Crate amplifiers, and Dunlop guitar Picks. www.tafoyaslostboyzz.com/Articles/Articles.htm

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