Paul Stanley, the legendary co-writer, guitarist, and singer of KISS sat down for an episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory to discuss his philosophy on creativity, his approach to guitar playing, and how to deal with criticism. These are the Top 6 Things we learned from Paul:

1: Lead With The Rhythm. (1:37)

“For me being a rhythm player was never a stepping stone to being a lead player. Too often people either forego spending time learning and understanding rhythm playing and think ifs more important to know how to solo. Surprisingly or not so much so I remember there were guys, there were kids, who were very flashy on lead guitar but as soon as you ask them “OK now back ME up” they were lost. I think you can spend a lifetime working on your rhythm.”

2: Go Heavy. (3:01)

“To me to play great rhythm you need stiff strings. Whatever your fingers can handle is the way to go. When you have those wobbly strings I’ve seen how people play [effete hand motion] y’know? and to me that’s not rock n roll. Rock n roll is about the glory of the arm swing. The down push. I want the glory of those big chords.”

3: KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. (4:08)

“If a song can’t be played on a single instrument it’s not a good song. I’ve always believed that you can lengthen and embellish but the core has to be a great song.”

4: Respect the Rules. (4:41)

“People break the rules but you really should know the rules before you break them. And I’ve always been satisfied with the rules so I’ve always stuck to them.”

5: Express Yourself. (5:09)

“[…]whether I’m painting or whether I’m creating a song you’re taking something intangible and making something tangible. You’re imagining something and making it real.”

6: Stay true to the music. (7:28)

“A lot of what people or critics tended to consider credible or valid fell by the wayside and has become DATED. But real rock n roll transcends all that. Real Rock n Roll lasts.”

String Theory

Watch every episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory at our website, featuring such players as Paul Gilbert, Tom Dumont, Ilan Rubin and more. You can also enjoy some of the most popular songs featuring Paul Stanley in this KISS playlist.

Guitar Strings

Paul Stanley plays Ernie Ball Regular Slinky guitar strings. Join the legacy. Try a set.


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