Have a question for Steve? Here’s your chance to ask! Steve will be doing a Q&A regularly for DeepPurple.org and you get to ask the questions. Email your questions to AskSteve@DeepPurple.org.
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February 25, 2008
Just wanted to ask about what string gauge you use. Some people that I ask on the Ernie Ball forum say this and that, but i thought "Why don't I ask Mr. Steve on the web site?"
For normal tuning, which is what almost every song I play is, it's 10, 13, 16, 26, 32, 42. For a guitar with the low string tuned down to D, I use a 46 or 52. If we were to play everything down one half step, I would probably have to move to 11's. to have some tension on the strings and resistance.
From David in Hungary:
I'm an amateur guitarist from Hungary. I've seen that you have a guitar with a humbucker and a triple pickup. What kind of sound does the triple one have? Does it have such noise as a single coil? Why do you need it?
It's actually my "steve morse' model humbucking (bridge position) and a regular Dimarzio single coil placed as close as possible together. What I get from that is a very nice combination of clarity, and some fat midrange, which is perfect for weird, funky riffs, especially played with the fingers. Most of the time, though, they are used separately. The single coil is pulled back from the strings, which allows me to turn the guitar way down while it's still in a very high gain amp, and still have high end and a clear sound.......then when I switch to the humbucking and turn up, I get the highs back because of the harmonics that are created in the high gain preamp section (as the sound waves are chopped because they can't get any louder....it's just natural tube gain distortion). On my new "Y2D" Musicman guitar, there is one dual pole, 5 way switch that gets all the combinations that I think are essential....at least the 5 sounds that I ALWAYS use. Mathematically, there are more possibilities, but after experimenting, this is the setup for me.
From Paul in Oslo
What is it about the way you hold the pick? Is it better to hold it like that? I hold the pick the more normal way and it is really different to try your way. Can you play faster like that?
I hold the pick with thumb and two fingers, with my heel normally resting on the bridge, which allows me to easily cover any unplayed strings with my extended RH 5th finger, or the heel of my RH. This is not the fastest way, for sure. What it does for me is to give me a lot of control, and the ability to easily jump strings, which I love to do. Fastest, for sure, is the traditional, more whip-like floating right hand pick position. I've noticed that my son, who uses a more traditional position can easily outspeed me, but has a little bit more of a challenge to play some parts of mine, such as the intro to "Tumeni Notes". However, it's interesting to me that since he does some parts that jump strings at an early stage, that it may turn out to be the best of both worlds: speed of traditional, but learning untraditional patterns. Remember, though, that a floating right hand (traditional) will never be able to control and mute as well, but will probably give you more speed and endurance.