What strings do you use, Dave Kilminster?

22nd Jun 2011 | 15:12

From the Guitar Techniques archive, we ask a great guitarist all those little questions you really do want the answers to. Here's Roger Waters' trusted axeman Dave Kilminster...

Dave kilminster

Roger Waters and Dave Kilminster performing The Wall live at the Oracle Arena © Jerome Brunet/ZUMA Press/Corbis

From the Guitar Techniques archive, we ask a great guitarist all those little questions you really do want the answers to. Here's Roger Waters' trusted axeman Dave Kilminster...

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

DK: I love my black 2.0mm Dunlop Gator Grips. Dunlop made a load for me with my signature replacing the picture of the alligator, so that I could give them away at concerts. But I really like them, so tend to hang onto them!

I've always used heavy picks for that clarity and fat tone, and these are perfect for pretty much everything I do.

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

DK: I've actually never been into pedals that much, but I'm in love with my Hermida Zendrive. I got it a while ago for the Roger Waters tour. It wasn't really right for that particular gig, but it's totally amazing for everything else I do and I can't stop using it.

I've also been having fun with my T-Rex Replica delay pedal of late - very simple, very cool - and the tap tempo function is fab. And finally I'm really fussy about tuning, so my third pedal would have to be my trusty Boss TU-2 tuner.

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

DK: Actually I played bass on one of the songs on the Roger Waters tour. I also play keyboards, but that reminds me of the famous Groucho Marx quote (paraphrased): "I wouldn't want to play keyboards in any band that would have me as a member". I'd probably be okay in the Human League or Soft Cell, but then of course I'd have to shoot myself...

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

DK: I could probably read the title! Well, chord charts or rhythm charts would be fine, and I can obviously read music (having written countless transcriptions), but not well enough to sight-read. I've not had to, so I've never had the practice (or the inclination).

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

DK: Oh I'm sure they make a little difference, but I'm not going to get too wrapped up in that line of thinking. A lot of folks get far too caught up in the minutiae, that they lose sight of the big picture. The cables I use are Cordials though, distributed by DFD (Damn Fine Distribution), and very high quality stuff.

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

DK: Well, he's going to hate me for saying it, but Guthrie Govan. He picked up my old pink paisley Fender Telecaster about 12 years ago, and made it sound absolutely incredible!

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

DK: I must confess I don't really get too attached to my guitars. But I guess it would probably be the Suhr, the one with the beautiful flower design burnt into the body. It's an irreplaceable one-off.

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

DK: My favourite amp at the moment is the 30W Cornford Roadhouse - the 2x12 combo. It rocks! It's amazing!

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

DK: It has to be low enough for legato playing but high enough for picking, so there's a little compromise there.

GT: What strings do you use?

DK: I use D'Addario strings on everything - electrics, acoustics, classical. They're the best! I did over a hundred shows with Roger Waters and never broke a string. On my electrics I mostly use 10-46 (EXL 110) although occasionally I'll go up to 11-49 if I'm playing a lot in Eb.

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