Hello all! Thanks in advance for the input. Here's my situation. I'm primarily a bass player, but have been playing more guitar lately. I've played bass for nearly 20 years, and guitar about 5. I have decent enough gear, and don't really need to upgrade anything (though I will upgrade some pickups soon anyway). But since I'm really trying to develop my guitar skills, I thought I'd go back to basics. REAL basics. Like holding a pick the "right" way. I am also ordering some picks soon, so that I can try different thicknesses and text flexibility, etc. Anyway, I think I've got the pick holding thing figured out, but in doing so, I realized that the strings on my guitars are certainly different gauges, and they felt differently with my pick. I realize that's totally normal and to be expected, but just want to get some advice for which strings to go with on my various guitars. I play almost exclusively metal, with plenty of distortion regardless of the specific sub-genre. My "clean" tone will typically be an OCD-style circuit set to classic rock style breakup (my reference point was to sound good for AC/DC). Often, I play fast riffs on single strings, but then will also throw power chords in those riffs. I want my guitars to be tuned to different tunings for ease of switching and so that intonation etc. is always spot on. On my basses, I like thick strings. I feel like the added tension keeps the string in place so I know where my fingers need to be to hit the string accurately. Is this the same as in guitar? I feel like my 7 strings have much lighter strings than my 6 string, and that as a result, my 7 string takes much less energy to play. However, I find that I often hit the wrong strings and over extend on picking (I realize that much of this is that I'm still tweaking and learning my picking, as well as different string spacing). But my 6 string will be tuned down, so I feel I need a thicker string in general to keep tension. To boil it down, how important is string gauge for ease of picking? Should I increase the gauge on my 7 strings? What gauge would you recommend for a 6 string dropped a half step? A whole step? I'm open to whatever brand, as I'm learning and want to draw upon this collective bank of knowledge here. Thanks again for the input, and apologies for the lengthy post. Specific guitar details to follow. 7 Strings - Ibanez RG7321 and ARZ307 - These both have standard D'Addario XL Regular Light Gauge strings. They seem a bit flimsy, but I have no real complaints. These are my main guitars, and are pretty much the only strings I've ever used, so I don't have any other points of reference. I don't plan on downtuning these, as when I've tried in the past, the string tension is unbearably low for me and it just doesn't sound right. I feel that as much as I love the ARZ307, I am least accurate at picking on it. I think it's due to tighter string spacing, but is something to note. Regardless, it is my favorite in regards to tone, so I'd like to improve that! 6 String - Ibanez RG3EX1 - This is currently tuned down 1/2 step. The strings are noticeably thicker, but seeing as I bought this used a few months ago, I am not sure of the exact strings on it. The ball ends are not colored, so I doubt it's D'Addario (isn't that a thing exclusive to them?). I prefer the tension overall, but am working on picking softer and more accurately in general, which I feel higher tension and thicker gauges will impede. I feel that I am more accurate in picking on this guitar. (At some point, I will likely change the pups to an SD Distortion set, but that's a different discussion.) 6 String - Ibanez RG2EX2 - This one is in the mail as we speak. Not sure what's on it, but it will be tuned down a whole step. Just looking for recommendations on gauges here, as I clearly can't tell you how this one feels. (I'll likely upgrade to SD Invaders at some point, as I believe they will handle the drop tuning far better than the stock pickups.) Thanks again, all! I look forward to learning from you!