What strings do you use, Buddy Whittington?

The blues guitarist answers the questions no one else will ask

From the Guitar Techniques archive, we ask a great guitarist all those little questions you really do want the answers to. Here's blues maestro Buddy Whittington…

GT: Do you have a type of pick that you can't live without?

BW: D'Addario/Planet Waves mediums. I keep tryin' to put the pick down completely, but I just can't give it up all the way… yet.

GT: If you had to give up all your pedals but three, what would they be?

BW: I only have one, a Boss TU2 tuner... better keep that one!

GT: Do you play another instrument well enough to be in a band?

BW: I tried to play upright bass for a minute in the early '70s, had to tape a Marlboro butt to my index finger to keep it from bleeding! I never WAS any good at it... no frets!

GT: If a music chart were put in front of you, could you read it?

BW: No, but it's a good way to get me to 'turn it down'! I can read a number chart with a gun to my head, but I'm real slow. And tab is too much like math for me.

GT: Do guitar cables really make a difference? What make are yours?

BW: I can hear the difference (with fresh output tubes in my amp) and an Evidence Audio 'Lyric HG' cable, about a 20 footer for onstage, shorter for recording. They pass the 'Big Man In Cowboy Boots' test. I also like a short length of Evidence's 'Siren' speaker cable.

GT: Is there anyone's playing (past or present) that you're slightly jealous of?

BW: Redd Volkaert, and Johnny Hiland. Way more than slightly. It just ain't fair. Also Kirk Fletcher and Kid Ramos. And Junior Brown, but he's not of this earth so it don't count.

GT: Your house/studio is burning down: which guitar do you salvage?

BW: Scott Lentz HSL or my mutt '63 Strat for old times' sake: whichever is closest to the door…

GT: What's your favourite amp and how do you set it?

BW: Dr Z MAZ Senior turned UP! But I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new Dr Z EZG50 with three-knob reverb and 6L6s. I've been waiting on this one for a LONG time.

GT: What kind of action do you have on your guitars?

BW: Not too low, especially on a Strat; you have to jack 'em up a little to get the sustain happenin'. Or I do, anyway. High enough so the slide doesn't rattle too much, but not too high.

GT: What strings do you use?

BW: D'Addario XL115 .011-.049. Just a great, balanced set of strings. Been on 'em for years!

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