Video: ‘How a Set of Guitar Strings Changed Rock ‘n’ Roll: The D’Addario Way’

December 10th, 2013

In this new video posted December 9 by Noisey, Guitar Moves host Matt Sweeney talks with Jim D’Addario, the CEO of D’Addario Strings.

In the clip, we learn that D’Addario comes from a long line of Italian string makers. In fact, the D’Addario family has been in the string business since 1680. We also learn how electric guitar strings are made, and the pivotal role D’Addario strings played in Sixties rock, the British Invasion and the rise of guitar in post-war America, the UK and the world.

For more about D’Addario, visit

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  1. Posted by Mr. Big on December 10th, 2013, 15:50 [Reply]

    What a bunch of self-serving propaganda and lies! Here is the official story as told by John Entwistle in his own words:

    “I bought this Danelectro bass and it had these tiny, thin wirewound strings on. They were so thin, they sounded just like a piano, an unbelievably clear sound. The only thing was that you couldn’t buy these strings. When we recorded ‘My Generation,’ I ended up with three of these Danelectros just for the strings. The last one I had, the string busted before we actually got into the studio to re-record it, so I did it on a Fender Jazz in the end with tape-wound La Bella strings.”

    “I played that solo on a Jazz bass with tapewound strings through a Marshall 50 watt and 4×12. Interestingly, the bass solos on the earlier takes were much more complicated, and played on a Danelectro which had a much more piano-like sound. It was a medium scale bass with a two-octave neck.”

    “The trouble was that the strings were so thin that I kept breaking them. We’d record during the day and, to finance the sessions, we were playing gigs nearly every night, and inevitably I’d break a string. None of the music shops had any replacement strings and no string manufacturers made replacement strings thin enough for Dano basses then, so I had to go down to Marshall’s and buy a new Dano for £60. I ended up with three new Danelectros, all with busted strings! In the end I busted my last string at the third attempt and there weren’t any more in the country. I thought, ‘Fuck it’, and went and bought myself a Fender Jazz bass and a set of La Bella strings, and played the solo with that. But it was a different sound and a simplified, slowed-down version of the solos on previous takes.”

    I guess in their own way Darco/D’Addario inspired a new sound as the Rotosound company started making its own roundwound bass strings in 1966 (to supply players like Entwistle with strings that wouldn’t break so easily and were available as separate replacement sets).

    Also it should be noted that Duane Eddy was using roundwound strings on his guitars during the Fifties, which probably inspired more guitarists than a British bassist several years later.


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