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 Polyphia‘s Tim Henson about his approach to the guitar as a vehicle for expression and songwriting.

1. Dream Big

TH: “There are so many times where I write beyond my current capability, I shoot way further than I can actually make… If you want to create something good or do something cool, you got to dream big.”

2. Necessary Evolution

TH: “Not sticking to the same sound through each record has definitely helped us grow. And it’s been a lot of finding out who we are as artists and a lot of weeding out the naysayers of the fan base.”

3. Pave Your Own Lane

TH: “I think the most important thing as a young player or musician or composer, producer or anything, creator, is to find your voice, to find your style. And the way that you do that is you learn your favorite things, you learn your favorite styles.”

4. Melting Pot of Influence

TH: “We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to follow or participate in certain trends throughout the years without it feeling like, ‘Oh, we’re just following that trend just like everybody else,’ because our thing is so far detached… And that’s really the thing that you want to do, is find super contrasting influences.”

5. Means To An End

TH: “Guitar playing to me is more of a means to an end, the end being the creation of music. The guitar is a tool to execute my ideas and bring them to life… It’s more of a vehicle than anything, for just the expression.”

6. Breaking Boundaries

TH: “I don’t really care about progressing the instrument or pushing the boundaries of what it’s possible to do. That’s more of a byproduct that happens from me just wanting to make stuff and trying to figure out how it’s going to work and what’s possible.”

Strings

Tim Henson gets his signature sound using Ernesto Palla Clear & Silver Nylon Classical guitar strings and Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Slinky electric guitar strings.

String Theory

Check out similar String Theory films from Ernie Ball like Orianthi, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance, and Daron Malakian from System of a Down.

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