Everybody knows the importance of a great guitar. The importance of your instrument being set up properly.
Often over looked is the correct set of strings for certain guitars.
I recently decided to try a little string experiment. I have been using, exclusively, the Daniel Mari #200ph Mari Professional Classical Guitar Strings in hard tension from OstrieMusicSupplies.com on my guitars. I wanted to see, and feel, what a different set of strings can do do the same guitars tone, feeling, and how I played.
I used each set, same guitar, the same number of gigs each week.
Each week had the same type of gigs consisting of one gig of solo flamenco guitar, two gigs of Rumba Flamenco with a Violinist (http://www.vincentandvedant.com), and one wedding gig.
The Setup : Use each set for one week on the same guitar – the same amount of gigs.
The Guitar : Jose Luis Diaz Reyes Flamenco Blanca. Cedar top with Cypress Back & Sides. Picked this guitar because the cedar top adds a bit of warmth to the Cypress back and sides. Works well with intimate playing, as well as percussive, aggressive styles.
The #900b Mari Artist Series Classical Guitar Strings
The first week was strung with the #900b Mari Artist Series Classical Guitar Strings.
These strings are described as : High tension Phosphor bronze wound bass strings produce the rich resonance and singing quality of a bass. Black nylon trebles sound bright and crisp, with less twang than clear nylon. A beautiful tone for classical or jazz, or for guitar ensemble where distinctions between guitars are important. On a flamenco guitar, this set gives something of the flavor and richness of a negra. Designated hard tension, but very comfortable to play, only slightly harder feeling than medium tension.
What sparked my interest was the “ flavor and richness of a negra“.
What I immediately noticed was that the strings to me had a much warmer,rounder tone to them. I loved the look of the black trebles but these strings do not, on my guitar, have that snap that I was used to with the #200′s. I found that they did darken the tone a bit, and found the #900′s to be best suited for a more intimate setting. Classical guitarist would absolutely love these strings as they really project, and although designated high tension, they were quite comfortable to play. These strings were perfect for my wedding gig that required a softer touch. I performed Bossa Novas and a few classical pieces and the strings felt right at home in this setting. I struggled a bit with the Rumba gigs as my playing requires more of a percussive touch, and the warmer, rounder tone seemed to conflict with that playing style.
Rating : Overall, a great set of strings if you are looking for a darker, rounder tone with less snap.
The #300b Mari Flamenco Guitar Strings
As stated earlier, I have been using the #200′s exclusively on all my guitars. I decided to stir it up with the #300 Flamenco Strings and boy am I glad I did.
Described as : Expressly developed for the flamenco style of playing to give that unique brilliance and vibrancy of the Andalusian music. These strings were also used by Mario Escudero. Excellent balance across the strings. Strong projection with relatively easy action. Great strings for your flamenco guitar.
Same guitar, same gigs.
I was amazed to find that these strings are just fantastic. Very snappy in feeling with just the right amount of tension. I cant believe I havent been using these all along. Projection was excellent, and these strings worked, with my playing, on all gigs. Very bright, with crisp, clear bass, and fast response.
Rating : Perfect strings for Flamenco & percussive playing. Tension is medium/hard and the response is very fast. Anyone looking for a brighter sound would appreciate these strings.
Note : In addition to the experiment above, one should know that all The Daniel Mari strings that I have used have an extremely long life to them. I don’t know how he does it, but the basses stay clear and crisp for quite awhile before needing a change. If your like me, and don’t enjoy changing strings, the Mari strings are a hit.
I urge anyone looking to try a new set of strings to check out Daniel Mari strings. They can be purchased from Bill ( he is awesome!) at OstrieMusicSupplies.com.
Vincent Zorn is a Santa Barbara, California Flamenco guitarist available to perform in Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Montecito, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties and beyond for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and receptions, anniversaries, corporate and private events, fund raisers, wine tastings, or any special occasion.
Call Vincent at 805-679-3154 or email at : email@example.com