Ernie Ball String Theory is an original web series that dives into the sonic origins of some of the world’s most innovative guitar players. In this episode, Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger of Halestorm sat down to discuss their journey from being young aspiring guitarists, to becoming Grammy winning recording artists and playing around the globe. Find out the top six thing we learned –

1) Guitar playing is the North Star. (0:35)

“Guitar playing is so much more than a career choice. It’s a vehicle to do something outside of yourself… I cite guitar playing and I cite this band with pushing me forward and giving me that North Star… it’s a feeling, it’s a thing that you carry with you, it’s a fire.” – Lzzy Hale

 2) An encouraging environment promoted Lzzy’s empowerment. (4:40)

“I think it’s important for everyone to find that thing. Nowadays, I think that girls are more encouraged to do what they want to do and what they desire to do. I grew up in a household where we didn’t even really talk about the whole glass ceiling thing. It was just like if you want to be a mechanic or a doctor or a rockstar… you can do it.” – Lzzy Hale

3) 10-52s feel right. (7:40)

“There’s nothing like fresh strings on a guitar and I like that low, thick low end. We do 10-52s, so lighter on top, heavier on the bottom. Those little millimeter differences… that’s home, that’s where it feels right, and 10-52 feels right.” – Joe Hottinger

4) The initial moment matters. (8:40)

“To me, it’s the initial moment that matters. It’s what I put into my voice memo on the phone. Sometimes it comes quick, sometimes you fight for months, wrestling this riff and this piece of music and what comes next.” – Joe Hottinger

5) Halestorm had to create a musical language together. (9:10)

“What we ended up incorporating into our live shows is this element of improv. So we have this musical language together, and when we get into a certain section where we don’t really know how we’re going to end it, but we all have to listen to each other and make those moments together. So trying to capture that, those elements in a recording and in a new song, and write songs for those moments, has been something that we’ve been obsessed with.” – Lzzy Hale

6) You never run out of dreams. (10:10)

“One thing you learn is you never really run out of dreams. We won a Grammy, we’ve played music all around the world, which was kind of the big idea when I was a kid. But now I want to do it more, but I want to do it better too. How do you write better songs? How do you play better? So much I haven’t unlocked yet.” – Joe Hottinger


Halestorm uses Ernie Ball Paradigm Skinny Top Heavy, Medium Nickel Wound 13-56 with Wound G, Super Slinky Bass, Power Slinky Bass, Power Slinky 5 Bass, and Paradigm Medium Light Phosphor Bronze Acoustic strings to produce the sounds that have earned them three Grammy nominations, including one at the upcoming 61st Grammy Awards.

String Theory

Check out similar String Theory films from Ernie Ball featuring artists such as Daron Malakian of System of a Down, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Of Mice and Men, Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction, Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails, and many other amazing Ernie Ball artists. Watch now.

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