- Learn about the guitar gear of one of the most famous guitarists in rock history
- Discover how different string materials and gauges affect your playing and tone
- Also, check out our guide to what pickups Jimmy Page used!
- And our guide to Jimmy Page’s favorite amps and amp settings.
With his sharp and biting bluesy hard rock tone and unique playing style, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is a great reference point for countless hard rock lovers.
Getting even slightly close to the iconic tones he used in the likes of Stairway To Heaven or Kashmir is a great achievement for anyone who is serious about rock music.
In this article, we take a look at what strings Jimmy Page uses and how they influence his playing style and overall tone. Let’s get into it!
What Strings Does Jimmy Page Use?
Jimmy Page’s Electric Guitar Strings
Jimmy Page likes to use Ernie Ball Super Slinky .009 – .042 or .008 – .038 strings on his electric guitars.
He is a fan of lighter gauge strings and the extra playability he gets from them, thanks to the reduced string tension. With less tension, techniques like bends, vibrato, and tremolo are easier to handle.
Ernie Ball Super Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings are some of the vintage guitar strings that were common back in the 60s and 70s.
They are made from nickel-plated steel wires wrapped around tin-plated hex-shaped steel core wire. They produce a well-balanced tone with their high carbon steel construction. The gauges are .009, .011, .016, .024w, .032, .042
The 2223 Nickel Super Slinky is crafted from nickel-plated, steel wire wrapped around a hex-shaped, steel core wire.
- Consistent performance
Jimmy Page was also fond of the Ernie Ball Extra Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings.
He uses these strings when he needs even more playability when bending. These strings also add extra treble and mid frequencies to his tone. The gauges of the set are .008, .011, .014, .022w, .030, .038.
Another interesting fact is that he likes to experiment with his strings. In the Led Zeppelin days, he replaced his standard G string with a B string to make the bending easier.
He placed the high E string as the second string instead of the B string, and for the high E string, he used the high A string from a tenor banjo!
Jimmy Page’s Acoustic Guitar Strings
The Ernie Ball 2006 Earthwood Extra Light Acoustic Guitar Strings provide a crisp, ringing sound with pleasing overtones.
- Produces amazing overtones
- Well balanced projection
Jimmy Page used Earthwood Extra Light 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings 10 – 50 gauge throughout his career.
The acoustic strings are made from 80% copper and 20% zinc wire wrapped around hex-shaped brass plated steel core wire.
The light gauge strings produce amazing overtones with a crisp and ringing sound.
These strings were released back in 1972, which is the year Page started playing with them. Before, he used bronze over Unobtanium on his acoustic guitars.
Most of the classic Led Zeppelin songs were created with the Earthwood Extra Light 80/20 string set. The gauges of his Earthwood set are .010, .014, .020, .028, .040, .050.
Again with the light gauge strings, Jimmy Page gets a clear, crisp “singing” tone. It’s with this signature sound he recorded most of his iconic riffs, solos, and melodies.
Effects Of Lighter Gauge Strings On Jimmy Page’s Tone
Playability is not the only thing Jimmy Page gets from lighter gauge strings. With lighter strings, he gets a tone more focused on the treble and mid frequencies instead of bass.
So, his overall tone gets crisper and clearer but with less sustain, overall volume, and warmth.
Another drawback of lighter gauge strings is their susceptibility to breaking off.
Techniques like bends, vibratos, and tremolo action force the limits of the string tension, and lighter strings can deal with less overall tension, making them more susceptible to snapping or breaking.
But of course, bending, vibratos, and most guitar techniques are much easier to make with lighter strings. So you get extra playability, which you do not get with heavy gauge strings.
Finally, it must be noted that lighter strings go out of tune easier, again due to the string tension.
Heavy gauge strings are thicker and have more string tension, making them more stable. But lighter strings have less tension and tend to go out of tune more often.
Looking to nail Jimmy’s sound? Check out 3 Essential Pickups Jimmy Page Used To Get His Tone.
Is Stairway to Heaven played on a 12-string?
While recording Stairway To Heaven, Jimmy Page used three main guitars: a Fender Electric XII 12 string, a 1959 Fender Telecaster, and a Harmony Sovereign H1260 acoustic guitar.
On the live performances, he uses a Gibson EDS-1275 Doubleneck, which features a 12-string and a 6-string guitar on the same body.
For the intro part, arpeggios, and riffs, Page uses the Harmony Sovereign H1260 acoustic guitar on the recording.
For the chord progressions, he uses a Fender Electric XII 12 string, and for the overdriven parts in the solo and the climax, he uses the 1959 Fender Telecaster.
Did Jimmy Page use a pick?
Jimmy Page often uses the fingerpicking technique for arpeggios, but switches to a pick when playing solos, riffs, or anything outside of arpeggios.
How do I get the Led Zeppelin guitar tone?
You can get close with a Gibson Les Paul with PAF-style pickups.
Combine this with a cranked 100-watt Marshall amp for a great balance of muddiness and clarity, giving you that perfect bluesy hard rock tone.
(Read about what guitar amps Jimmy Page used here!)
Looking to pick up a set of strings? Check out 9 Best Electric Guitar Strings (2022)