Watch Kirk Hammett Attempt to Snap 'BreakResistant' Ernie Ball Guitar Strings: Exclusive
publish date: 2017-04-27
To spread the word about its new Paradigm guitar strings, manufacturer Ernie Ball -- which introduced its Slinky strings in 1962 -- has invited rockers like Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue to attempt to sever the “break-resistant” strings while playing their instruments. According to a press release, Ernie Ball will replace for free any Paradigm strings that rust or break within 90 days of purchase, a guarantee that the company calls “virtually unheard of” in the industry. In videos posted online of their attempts, all of them fail, despite pulling and throttling the strings. (Mr. Big’s Paul Gilbert’s particularly enthusiastic effort includes a drill, but he winds up breaking his whammy bar instead.)
Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is a longtime user of Ernie Ball strings. In a video shot for the company’s “String Theory” series, he recalled how he’s been using them since he was 18. He tells , “Since 1981, I’ve been saying under my breath. ‘Ernie Ball Super Slinky’ because I always like the way it rolls off my tongue. Ernie Balls hold up to my heavy-handed right-hand technique and also sound good however much I sweat on them during live shows. But most importantly, they were always the strings that didn't snap from underneath my fingertips!”
This means that many Metallica songs originated via Ernie Ball strings. “Pretty much most of my riffs start on an electric guitar, and those guitars have always been strung up with yours truly,” says Hammett.