From the Gibson Les Paul, the double necked SG, to the Harmony Sovereign H-1260 acoustic guitar, Jimmy Page has used a variety of guitars throughout his career. Although the strings often stayed the same on his electric guitars. So what strings did Jimmy Page use?
Jimmy Page used Ernie Ball’s Super Slinky Nickel Wound guitar strings. The gauge on Jimmy Page’s strings were .009, .011, .016, .024w .032, and .042. Jimmy used these strings on all of his electric guitars including the double necked Gibson SG and early Telecaster.
Continue reading to learn more about the strings that Jimmy Page used and where you can get them.
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What Gauge Strings Did Jimmy Page Use?
Jimmy Page used the following string gauges for the majority of his career:
String gauges affect tone more than people think. Anyone who has switched string gauges before will tell you there is a definite difference between playability, feel and most definitely the tone of a string.
If you listen to any live Led Zeppelin shows, you will quickly see his affection for bending strings. Jimmy had a deep interest in lighter gauge strings. In fact, Jimmy Page was asked in an interview what the best way was to improve your guitar. His response was “use lighter strings”. He noted how they were much easier to bend and overall more comfortable to play.
In the early days, Jimmy remarks how strings were quite tough to bend due to the lack of light strings available. Afterwards, he came to use a banjo string on the first and destringing the others. A banjo string was the skinniest string you could get. Destringing meant the original first string would become the second, second would become the third, and so on. The low E / sixth string would be thrown out and replaced with the fifth string. This created a lighter set of strings that were not currently available. This lasted until 1969.
In 1969, Jimmy started to use Ernie Ball’s Super Slinky .009’s to achieve the above string gauge but with commercially produced and quality strings.
What Strings Did Jimmy Page Use?
Jimmy Page used Ernie Ball’s Super Slinky strings on all of his electric guitars from 1969 to present day.
Jimmy Page and the Gibson Les Paul are synonymous. Although, he did not start recording with this guitar until the second Led Zeppelin album. In 1969, the first Led Zeppelin album was recorded with his Fender Telecaster. Though his guitars changed, his strings did not. Each electric guitar he had was equipped with Ernie Ball’s Super Slinky Strings.
Find Out How Jimmy Page Learned Guitar Today!
In the interview style movie It Might Get Loud, also mentioned above, Jimmy Page remarks how guitarists who wanted light strings had to use banjo strings for the high E to accommodate. Jimmy used this banjo string all the way until 1969, until he discovered Super Slinky’s which became his number one string setup. All of the Led Zeppelin recordings were with these strings.
The Slinky strings of the late 60’s and early 70’s were pure nickel variety. The nickel plated Slinkys were released in the early to mid 70’s.These are the most popular today and are widely used by guitarists of multiple genres.
Where Can You Get Jimmy Page’s Strings?
Unlike many legendary classic rock guitarists string setups, Jimmy Page’s string setup is widely available and is one of the top selling string sets in the world. Ernie Ball is a highly recognized brand among guitarists and have been selling high quality strings for decades.
Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings are also inexpensive. You can purchase them on Amazon for $16.99. In that price you get a three pack of strings. Each set coming to $5.66 each. You can purchase them on Amazon here.
A variety of different purchasing options can also be found on the Ernie Ball website. There they give seven different sources to buy them from. Although, I price checked all of them and the Amazon source (linked above) is notably the cheapest option. I recommend checking your local, non-Guitar Center, guitar shop first to support them.
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Strings Review
I personally purchased these strings to give them a test ride and compare them to my heavier gauged strings. Typically, I use heavy gauge strings because that’s what has felt the best for my playing style. I would also be lying if I said SRV’s use of heavy gauged strings did not affect my decision.
So to summarize before I get started, I have used heavy gauge my entire guitar career and switched to the Super Slinky’s for the purpose of this review.
After playing the lighter gauged Super Slinky’s (9’s) for a week, I noticed quite a dramatic difference to my ear. First thing was the clarity. The 9’s sounds much more clear and capable of cutting through the noise of my pedal setup. The low end on the 9’s were much tighter and direct. This was especially the case when I was using reverb and delay.
The biggest difference was the comfortability. I felt much more comfortable playing the lighter gauged strings than I did with my higher gauged strings. This surprised me. The guitar felt easier to play and gave me more confidence because of this. Bends became easier to hit, vibrato felt easier, and it simply felt simpler to fret chords. They required less effort to play resulting in less fatigue. With heavy gauges, it can sometimes feel like you are battling the guitar, especially after a couple of hours.
In the end, I really enjoyed the feel of the lighter gauged Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings. It feels easier to play and is more engaging. I was more comfortable overall, allowing my playing to flourish. These will likely be my new go to strings, especially at such a low price point.
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