Dhani Harrison (thenewno2, Fistful of Mercy), guitarist and son of George Harrison, recently sat down with us for an episode of our web series, Ernie Ball: String Theory. We love to see and hear each artist’s unique take on music and guitar playing, and Dhani’s perspective is a great one.
Here, we present to you the six biggest things we learned about Dhani, his playing and his background throughout the episode. We’ve provided the timestamp for each segment as well, so you can follow along.
#1 – Dhani doesn’t fancy himself as an “accomplished guitar player” (0:29)
“I’ve always played in my own way, and it’s served me emotionally, I think, as a way of being a person.”
#2 – His father didn’t “practice” guitar (0:59)
Dhani says that his dad played all the time, but wasn’t focused on practicing technique. This led Dhani to progress as a guitar player in a similar way, without a focus on constant practice and “shredding.”
#3 – Dhani had an “accidental” Ernie Ball sponsorship as a child (2:00)
He talks about his father sharing a guitar technician with Eric Clapton, Angus Young and Pete Townshend, which led to boxes and flight cases of Ernie Ball strings being regularly present. Dhani would curiously check out the fluorescent packs of Slinky strings he came across, leading him to use them himself when starting to play guitar.
#4 – His initial experience with Ernie Ball strings was from playing Eric Clapton’s Stratocaster (2:49)
Harrison says that he started exploring the guitar using a Music Man guitar, in addition to a Stratocaster of Eric Clapton’s which was strung with Regular Slinky strings. It took him a while to realize that there were actually other string gauges available.
#5 – He prefers heavy gauge strings (3:19)
Particularly since many of his guitars are set up for slide and subsequently have the action set considerably higher, he leans toward heavier gauges in order to maintain proper tension. Power Slinky is his personal favorite.
#6 – He ranks storytelling as the most important aspect of a song (7:39)
He says that, whether it’s through the lyrics or the guitar playing, you’ve got a beginning, middle and end; you’ve got to get from “there” to “there.” “You’re only as good as your story really. It doesn’t matter how hard you can shred if it’s not really about anything.”
Watch every episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory at our website, featuring such players as Kirk Hammett of Metallica, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., Joe Bonamassa, and more. You can also enjoy some of Dhani’s most popular songs in this Spotify playlist.
Dhani Harrison plays Ernie Ball Power Slinky strings. Do you? Try a set.