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In the late 1950s, Ernie Ball opened a music store in Tarzana, California, selling only guitars. During the guitar-based rock revival of the 1960s, he noticed that beginning students were having trouble holding down or bending the G-String of the best-selling medium gauge strings. Ball convinced a string manufacturer to make him custom set with a 24-gauge G-strong, which he sold in his store. This was the beginning of the Ernie Ball brand. In a similar way, Ball saw a demand of lighter gauge string set with a plain third string. Once again, he ordered custom string sets and Ernie Ball Slinky strings were born. By the early 1970s, Ernie Ball took his company global and became the second largest string manufacturer in the country. Today, the Ernie Ball product line includes pedals and switches as well as strings.