Hi jbmacdo3, to be honest it really boils down to what is most comfortable for you. If you play Metal drop C then you will need anything from 11's to 13's just because lighter strings won't cut it but any other Genre it really is up to you. For example Billy Gibbons is famous for his tone and most people would expect him to be playing a heavy gauge. He actually plays 8's!! The tone is in his fingers. Picks again is a very personal experience and I prefer heavy 1.5mm picks but I know some guitar players who like some give from their pick. Ernie Ball 2223 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings 09-42 Super Slinky are the strings I prefer but again I suggest buy a few different brands and see what suits you.