Ernie Ball artist Jade Puget has been playing guitar in AFI for nearly 20 years at this point, in addition to his work in projects such as Blaqk Audio and XTRMST. As the band’s sound has evolved from the self-described “East Bay Hardcore” to more of a straightforward melodic rock sound, Jade’s playing has evolved in turn while still retaining his signature sound.

Jade recently sat down with us to talk about his influences, what playing guitar means to him and more on an episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory. Here are the top six things we learned during the episode, along with a timestamp for each segment so you can follow along.

#1 – He realized that he could write songs from a very early point. (0:24)

Though he wasn’t able to write music or play fluently from the beginning, Jade quickly realized that through writing his own songs he could essentially play whatever he wanted to.

#2 – He initially learned how to play on a guitar with only two strings. (1:02)

At a particular “punk house” that Jade and his friends frequently hung out at during the ’80s, there was a derelict guitar with just two strings. He taught himself to play songs like Blister In The Sun by the Violent Femmes.

#3 – A viral illness resulted in significant skill development. (1:15)

Jade contracted mononucleosis while in high school, leading to his being quarantined at home for a month and a half. He used the time to practice his guitar skills, resulting in marked improvement.

#4 – Being in a single-guitar band shaped his playing style. (2:29)

As the only guitarist in AFI for nearly two decades, Jade found that the most effective way to create a richer, more full sound was to always play full barre chords when chording as opposed to simple power chords. This has become a major component of his signature sound.

#5 – He writes music every day. (3:51)

He finds that writing, composing, scoring, etc. has become his favorite aspect of making music in general.

#6 – Early on, he felt pigeonholed to a specific playing style. (4:55)

When he was just getting started with playing guitar during the ’80s, there was a major schism between the attitudes and aesthetics of punks and metalheadsHe was actually hesitant to develop his ability to play leads and solos, as it was looked upon within the punk scene that he identified with as the antithesis of what they were about.

String Theory

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

Guitar Strings

Jade Puget plays Ernie Ball Regular and Power Slinky guitar strings. Do you? Try a set.

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