Review: Dean Markley Blue Steels – Electric Guitar

 

Review: Dean Markley Blue Steels

I’ve never been big on hype. I like to test things out for myself, as anyone who reads this blog will have guessed. But I have to admit that I had pretty high expectations of the Dean Markley Blue Steels. Not only because I’ve had good experiences with their other guitar strings [link to previous DM blog post] but also because of the big noise Dean Markley make about their fancy development processes.  A price tag that’s somewhat higher than other similar products also suggested that I would have a higher quality playing experience.

A not so trivial thing

Let me start with something that may seem trivial, but which I think says a lot. While I’ve been playing guitar for years, I’m also a guitar tutor so I’m really aware of the importance of product makers keeping beginners in mind. That’s exactly what I don’t think these strings do. Unlike most strings, which come in colour coded packets, these ones are all bunched together in one. Like I said, this can seem a trivial point – unless you’re a beginner or just starting guitar lessons.

Taking the shine off

While we’re on the subject of packaging, these strings certainly look nice out of the packet. But after rehearsals and guitar lessons, my fingers felt sore. It’s like they almost felt static under my fingers. Not so inspiring when you’re playing or having guitar tuition! The strings also tarnished and discoloured surprisingly quickly.  But there’s more. Despite all the hype about their clever development process, they didn’t seem to last any longer than other strings. I have some feedback for Dean Markley on that score. It doesn’t actually say on the packet exactly what the strings are made of. I wanted to know and went to the trouble of tweeting Dean Markley to ask. I’m still waiting for a response…

Good little performers

But it’s not all bad news.  My guitar tuition students did enjoy playing the Blue Steels. However, I don’t think these strings are really ideal for guitar lessons or new learners. In my view, they’re better as performance strings. Because after 3 or 4 days of consistent playing in guitar tuition, they lost all their slipperiness and felt like they needed changing. I think they would be great for a gig, but not so great when you’re using them for 6 hours a day in different guitar lessons.

Sexy packaging aside

My final thought? Sexy packaging aside, I prefer Dean Markley’s basic product. There you have strings which are clearly marked and which last a decent amount of time, giving you quality with all possible users in mind. Whether you’re giving guitar lessons or not, those things count a lot more than any amount of hype.

Rob Greco

 

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