Lissie: Five Things We Learned from Her New Ernie Ball ‘String Theory’ Episode

Singer-songwriter Lissie is the subject of Ernie Ball’s latest episode of String Theory, a web series exploring the sonic origins of some of music’s most influential and innovative guitar players.

Here are five surprising facts revealed in the episode:

1. She learned guitar so she could write and perform independently (0:25): “I taught myself to play guitar in high school more out of a utility, so that I didn’t have to rely on anyone else to write and perform.”

2. She gives a better vocal performance when she’s playing guitar (0:50): “I sing better when I’m playing the guitar than I do if I’m just standing there. I can put my whole body into it.”

3. It took time for her to be comfortable writing with other people (1:30): “When I started writing with other people, I was nervous and kind of self-conscious at first because I didn’t know if I was any good. It took me a while to get used to the idea of sharing lyric ideas with people without judgment. But once I found a good groove, and good people to work with, I definitely lost that fear.”

4. Using different Ernie Ball string gauges, or writing on acoustic versus electric guitar, has helped to change-up her process (2:46): “It’s fun to switch it up because it changes your approach without even meaning to, and something cool can come from it. Like when I switch between acoustic and electric to write. It’s like it brings a different personality to what I’m doing, so I may end up writing a totally different style song.”

5. Moving to a farm may have actually had an opposite effect on her music (3:18): “A lot of people wonder, now that I’m living on a farm and I’m back in the Midwest—they’re almost expecting me to start doing some really folky stuff, which, actually, it’s been sort of the opposite. I’m starting to incorporate beats into my music for the first time!”

Of course, these are just five facts pulled from the clip. Be sure to watch the entire episode below.

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