I've had a Gretsch Electromatic (hollow body) electric guitar for about a year now. It still has the factory strings (I have no clue what they are). A friend of mine whose played electric guitar for a long time felt that the factory strings on it were way too heavy with too much action and rather hard to bend. His preference is for Fender 150LR strings which he finds very easy to bend with much lower action. So, my question is what would you recommend and what are the advantages and disadvantages of different string types, including material, e.g. stainless vs. nickel etc.? Incidentally, I'm primarily a classical guitarist so I finger pic, which could make a difference in the type of strings I would use on my Gretsch.

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Well, it really depends on the type of music you play. I play death metal and tune down to drop A, so I use .13's which are really heavy. But for most genre's of music(especially if your starting out) you probably just need to go for some .10's and something bright like stainless steel. I would suggest d'arddario(there the only one that makes really heavy baritone strings) or ernie ball's, since they are both pretty bright and hassle free. As for classical guitar on an electric, I'm really not sure. If your used to playing on acoustics, then you might stick with some heavier strings like .11's, but if you are seriously a beginner go for the .10's. The only thing is that if you play jazz, that might really change things, since most jazz players use heavy gauge flatwounds for that unique tone. But really experimentation is the best thing.
Don't worry,I don't plan on playing anything classical on my electric (I have a legitimate classical guitar for that)! But I just wanted to note that I will finger pic on the electric and not switch to a pic (too much time and effort put into to my picking technique). Thanks!
stainless steel 12s on any hollow body, I have an ESP
you get the brightness which you can control without nickel stains on your fingers
12s will settle very nicely and keep very good tune

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