I'm looking to build a guitar for lead work that has real nasty, ear-splitting distortion but with more emphasis on the high-end/treble than on the low-end.... i.e. fingers on the chalkboard as opposed to the low "chunka chunka chunka" bassy stuff. I currently have a Strat with HSS configuration, and I want to upgrade the p'ups... although I may have to get another guitar and possibly get custum-wound p'ups. I would be looking to use passive pickups through a tube amp, of course.
Well, I guess most guitars made for 'metal'... like, thrash type stuff, have really skinny strings and you're supposed to go at it with a soft pick.
I like playing with a thick pick... or sometimes I'll take two medium picks like Dick Dale (the surf guitar god) would do and go at it that way. I have an aluminum "Firecracker" slide that's very biting, brash and abrasive compared to brass, stainless steel, or acrylic. I also like to do fingerstyle... using my index, middle, and ring finger and sometimes the thumb.
I guess I would need thick strings! Whenever I pick up an archtop built for jazz or something, for some reason I can play way better on it than on my Strat when it comes to fingerstyle, which is my absolute favorite way of playing. I guess it is because of the thick strings typical to the archtop type guitar. Also, I've been a bassist for far, far longer than I've been a guitarist... I have a 5-string fretless with narrow string spacing that's meant for aggressively and rapidly working chords and harmonics with three fingers at once instead of just one or two. It's a technique meant for accompanying someone aggressively working a double pedal on a fusion bass drum... not like death metal blast beats so much but more like weird erratic mathematical type beats like you might hear in experimental hardcore/metalcore/noisecore or with certain harder-edged progressive/oddball jazz fusion. Anyways, I digress.
I'm worried that if I put such thick strings on my Strat, that 1) they would foul up the bolt-on neck (I've been told that Zakk Wylde's signature strings are so thick and heavy that they'll destroy anything short of a neck-through guitar if you try to put 'em on), and 2) the tone would get all warm and jazzy/bluesy as opposed to the uber-distorded, ultra-bright, high-end fingernails-on-the-chalkboard sound I am trying to achieve.
Well, I already asked my tone questions in the tone forum... but I guess here I can ask about what happens when you put thick strings on a guitar with a bolt-on neck... what brand of strings might be good or bad, and so forth.
So yeah, this thread... is all about the strings!