What Strings Do You Use? JAKE E LEE
We ask a great guitarist all those little questions you really do want the answers to. This month: Jake E Lee, guitarist for Red Dragon Cartel and former guitarist on Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums.
GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without? (Make/gauge and why?)
JEL: I use the Dunlop Gel Standard Heavy Red guitar pick, though to be honest I would find it harder to live without my right hand fingernails that I use to fingerpick.
GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be? (And why)
JEL: My home built Octapussy Octave Fuzz because it took me over a week to solder together, my Pete Cornish Linear Boost pedal because it was once owned by Mick Ronson, and my Tychobrahe Pedalflanger because it’s so unique sounding.
GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band? (If so what, and have you ever done it?)
JEL: Bass is a completely different animal from the guitar and needs to be played with a different mindset than that of a guitarist. I did play a couple gigs on bass with Josh Bradford of Revolting Cocks and Karma Cheema of American Headcharge here in Vegas.
GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it?
JEL: I could read it but it might take me a little time, as sightreading was never my forte.
GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? If so, what make are yours?
JEL: They do make a difference. Everything makes a difference. You have to pick the things you feel are worth the time and effort to mess around with. Cables at this point for me are not worth getting my panties in an uproar. Mogami would be my preference.
GT: Is there anyone’s playing (past or present) that you’re slightly jealous of? And why?
JEL: I have always been a little jealous of my friend Warren DeMartini’s melodic sense in his beautifully phrased solos. Hi Warren, your turn!
GT: Your house/studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?
JEL: Even though she’s been in retirement for quite a while, my old white Charvel/Fender since I’ve known her the longest.
GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?
JEL: Right now my favourite amp for live gigs would be the new EVH three-channel head. The settings don’t veer too far off from 12:00 on any of the channels.
GT: What kind of action do you have on your guitars?
JEL: I guess it would be considered a moderate action. Too low and I don’t feel like I’m working with the guitar; too high and it’s too much work!
GT: What strings do you use?
JEL: My strings of choice are Ernie Ball Pure Nickels. They’re warmer than wound nickel, with a 10 on top. Live it’s a skinny top and heavy bottom gauging. In the studio I like the sound of lighter strings. A lot of people think the heavier the string the better the tone but I disagree. Billy Gibbons, Brian May, Tony Iommi, and Jimi Hendrix all used light gauge strings and have recorded some of the most sought after tones of all time. Nuff said! Jake E Lee’s new band, Red Dragon Cartel, release their eponymous debut album in the UK via Frontiers Records on January 27. Visit http://red dragoncartel.com for further information and updates.
Jake E Lee is back with his brand new band!