What Strings Do You Use? We ask a great guitarist all those little questions you really do want the answers to. This month: One of rock’s giant soloists and musician extraordinaire, Marty Friedman
GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without?
MF: Could not care less. Does anyone?
GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be? (And why)
MF: I don’t even have three. I have a Boss Chorus and a Maxon Auto Filter. I love them but have no qualms at all about playing without any pedals. If you rely on pedals, you’ll be screwed without them. Pedals are fantastic when you want to give that little extra sugar or hot sauce on top of something, as a contrast to the already good sound you have from playing into your amp.
GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band? (If so what, and have you ever done it?)
MF: I played bass in bands when I first started playing guitar because it was much easier to get a professional gig that way.
GT: If a music chart was put in front of you, could you read it?
GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? If so, what make are yours?
MF: Sure. I’m not deep enough to tell any tonal difference, but a good cable will never short out, let you down, and never slip out of its intended hole (insert innuendo here). I use Analysis Plus.
GT: Is there anyone’s playing (past or present) that you’re slightly jealous of?
MF: Who has time for that? Millions of musicians can do things I could never dream of. If I was jealous about that, I’d never get anywhere. If anything I get inspired by great artists rather than jealous.
GT: Your house or studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?
MF: The last thing I would think about is a guitar if that were to happen!
GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?
MF: The EN GL Steve Morse amp is amazing. My tech will be making some tweaks to it over the next year or so to create a Marty Friedman signature amp, but it is so good I can’t even think of a single thing I would want to change on it yet. But I’ve no idea how to set it!
GT: What kind of action do you have on your guitars? (Any particular quirks etc?)
MF: I like it higher than most it seems. Whenever I pick up someone else’s guitar it feels like their action is very low. I like to really grip the strings so a bit of resistance is what I like.
GT: What strings do you use?
MF: 10-46 D’Addarios. They sound great and, most importantly, they never break.
GT: And what are you up to at the moment?
MF: I’m on the Guitar Universe tour, co-headlining with Gus G. There are two dates in the UK on 21st and 22nd May. My own new album, Inferno, is out now!
A good cable will never short out, let you down, or slip out of its intended hole.
Marty Friedman: “If you rely on pedals you’ll be screwed without them.”