What Strings Do You Use? DANNY BRYANT
We ask a top guitarist all those questions you really do want the answers to: this month, Brit blues man extraordinaire, Danny Bryant
GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can’t live without?
DB: I really love the Fender style extra- heavy celluloid ones. I like the attack that they give me and I find if I am using heavy gauge strings, I really need an extraheavy pick because I hate it if the plectrum is flexing under the strain while I’m playing.
GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be?
DB: I’m not overly bothered by effects; my ’ board is very simple so it wouldn’t be too hard for me. On a gig I like to have a wah, a Boss DD- 3 delay which I use quite sparingly on a couple of the slower tempo songs, and a Boss tuner for obvious reasons.
GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to do it in a band – and if so have you ever done it?
DB: No, unfortunately I don’t. If I could play another instrument, I would love it to be piano, but I’m still working on playing the guitar the way that I hear it in my head. I imagine I always will be!
GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it?
DB: No, I can’t read a note of music I am afraid, and I think most blues players would probably say the same thing!
GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? If so, then what make are yours?
DB: I used to think maybe they did, but nowadays I’m not so convinced. I’ve used so many different cables over the years and now it just comes down to quality – basically, how long they last. I can’t often hear the difference from one lead to another. I currently use Elixir cables as I think they’re great quality.
GT: Is there anyone’s playing ( past or present) of which you’re slightly jealous?
DB: Walter Trout! I wouldn’t call it jealousy, though; I love him like a dad. But whenever I jam with him it really makes it hit home how good he is!
GT: Your house or studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?
DB: I guess I had better save my wife and dog first! Then I would probably go back for my prototype Fret- King that Trev Wilkinson built for me. It would be a hard choice between that and my new signature Fret- King. When it was released, they sent me a few. The one that I decided to gig with has worn in so beautifully I couldn’t bear to do a gig without it.
GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?
DB: I use Marshall TS L 100s live
I do prefer my guitar’s action set more on the high side as I believe you get slightly better clarity that way.
and I always set them on the lead channel with the drive around 7 or 8 and the treble, middle and bass set fairly flat with a fair amount reverb. The volume depends on the room. I love the 50- watt TS L for smaller venues. I also have a Fender blackface Super Reverb that I am thinking of taking on the next tour, just to mix things up a bit.
GT: What kind of action do you have on your guitars ( any particular quirks?)
DB: I use what you would call a fairly standard setup I guess, but I do prefer my guitar’s action set more on the high side, as I believe you get a slightly better clarity and cleaner tone that way.
GT: What strings do you use ( make, gauge and why…)?
DB: I use Elixir strings, gauge 11- 49. They feel and sound really good and I’m proud to endorse them. Recently, because we have been doing so many shows, I have one of my Fret- Kings set up with 10- 46s and I use this for a couple of songs each night just to give my fingers a break, and I find that works really well. Danny Bryant’s new album, Temperature Rising, is released by Jazzhaus Records on 1st September. Danny tours the UK from 3rd September. For more information, go to: www. dannybryant. com.
Danny Bryant with his FretKing signature