Billy prefers Ernie Ball Electric Guitar Strings as they have been specifically designed for the chunky rhythms of rock and roll or blues. Billy is in good company as Power Slinkys have long been favored by Slash, Metallica, & Kenny Wayne Shepherd due to the thicker gauge combination providing a slightly more powerful tone.
“Since the 1980s I’ve used Ernie Ball strings exclusively. No one has made a better product and they’re a really good company who understand the needs of working musicians.
I use the ‘Power Slinkys’ live and since 1989 with The Cult we’ve tuned down half a step. This was a trick which we discovered back then, it’s subtle and other bands were doing it. It gives the band a heavier sound but it also gives the singer a little more room to hit the high notes, the ones he can hit easily in the studio, but when he’s on tour and not getting enough sleep and getting beaten up aren’t so easy.
These days Metal and Death Metal bands do it all the time to get a heavier and heavier sound and sometimes they go down three of four steps
We always record in regular tuning for obvious reasons like on an album if you’re trying to record keyboards and strings and various other instruments you need to tune to ‘concert pitch’ . So anyway when I’m recording I use the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky which is the yellow packet and they’re gauged 10-46.
Sometimes in studio situation when I’m playing rhythm guitar only and there’s no bending of the strings I might use an 11-48 which is my live gauge but I use them in regular tuning but it’s a fatter sound for rhythm.”
Billy Duffy – January 2013
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Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky Nickel Round Wound Electric Guitar Strings 3 Pack