In this episode of Ernie Ball: String Theory artist John Petrucci of Dream Theater dives into his creative process and why he’s always played with Ernie Ball strings. These are the top six things we learned:

1) Being at the right place at the right time. (1:00)

“It was really about being in the right place at the right time and being surrounded by so many musicians in a real vibrant scene with a lot of young players.”

2) Iron Maiden was an influence on him to pursue a career in music. (1:45)

“I was a fan of Iron Maiden. Going to see them play at an arena with 15,000 fans wearing their t-shirts and the band is up on stage with all of the production. Watching a video of them touring the world and meeting their fans. That’s how I knew playing guitar was what I was going to do with my life.”

3) He has always used an Ernie Ball Volume Pedal. (2:20)

“Early on in my career I was really into the volume pedal techniques that somebody like Steve Howe or Alex Lifeson would use…. that effect made me really interested in using a volume pedal and right away I started using the Ernie Ball pedal.”

4) The power of creativity. (2:50)

“The thing that keeps me interested in playing guitar and performing is the creative bug that’s inside me. It’s something that doesn’t really go away. It’s on at all times.”

5) The importance of the creative process. (4:00)

“It’s that desire to want to create. Why do artists draw and why do writers write? Because you have to.”

6) Keep a bigger perspective. (5:00)

“If you open your mind up to the idea that music is a sharing experience it gives you a better mindset as far as creating and puts you in the right place.”

String Theory

String Theory is a web series from Ernie Ball that explores the sonic origins of some of music’s most innovative players, including Robin FinckSteve Vai, Mac DeMarco, Avenged Sevenfold and many other amazing Ernie Ball artists. Watch additional episodes of Ernie Ball: String Theory.

Strings & Volume Pedal

John Petrucci plays Ernie Ball Paradigm Regular Slinkys and uses the Ernie Ball 250K Mono Volume Pedal (for passive electronics).

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