Ernie Ball String Theory is a web series that explores the sonic origins of some of music’s most innovative guitar players. In this episode, we speak with Cory Wong about his diverse relationship with music and how he found the guitar as the vehicle that shaped his signature style.  Find out the top six things we learned below…

1. The Most Powerful Tool

CW: “I knew right from the start, music can change the way people feel. Like my emotion, my emotional state, the angst, the calmness, the energy when I need to get hyped up, all of those things I could associate with music and I knew that music was a powerful tool for that.”

2. Home Base

CW: “That’s kind of how I really got started and what got me hooked, was finding that home base with the skateboarder, punk rock, alternative rock thing, and guitar was just kind of wrapped around in that.”

3. Crafting Music

CW: “I’ve always been somebody who’s thought music is so much about the emotion, about the energy, how it helps make somebody else feel, how it makes you feel. But also there’s a craft involved and there’s a respect for that craft.”

4. Slinkys Are Home

CW: “When I play Slinkys, I feel just completely at home. My hands just feel like, “Oh, this is a guitar.” But for my tone, I feel like the M-Steel kind of captures it a little bit more immediately. I tweak things less when I use the M-Steel. But there’s something about the regular Slinky 10’s that just, I know it as home base anytime they’re on a guitar.”

5. A Melting Pot of Genres

CW: “I needed a bunch of these different experiences and a bunch of these different upbringings with the punk, the jazz, the funk, R&B, all of those things to give me enough information to find out about myself as a musician.”

6. Finding His Motor

CW: “What inspired me to find that motor for myself and my own sound was actually some interviews that I read with Hetfield where he talked about his full downstroke motor motion. And I picked that up and started doing that with a lot of double stop, clean tone things, all down string. It’s got a certain percussive attack. So I thought, okay, that’s kind of the head field motor. What’s my motor?”


Cory Wong gets his signature sound using Ernie Ball Regular Slinky electric guitar strings.

String Theory

Check out similar String Theory films from Ernie Ball like Joe Bonamassa, Tyler Bryant, Butch Walker, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and more.

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