Singer-songwriter Lissie[1] is the subject of Ernie Ball’s latest episode of String Theory, a web series exploring the sonic origins of some of music’s most influential and innovative guitar players.

Here are five surprising facts revealed in the episode:

1. She learned guitar so she could write and perform independently (0:25): “I taught myself to play guitar in high school more out of a utility, so that I didn’t have to rely on anyone else to write and perform.”

2. She gives a better vocal performance when she’s playing guitar (0:50): “I sing better when I’m playing the guitar than I do if I’m just standing there. I can put my whole body into it.”

3. It took time for her to be comfortable writing with other people (1:30): “When I started writing with other people, I was nervous and kind of self-conscious at first because I didn’t know if I was any good. It took me a while to get used to the idea of sharing lyric ideas with people without judgment. But once I found a good groove, and good people to work with, I definitely lost that fear.”

4. Using different Ernie Ball string gauges, or writing on acoustic versus electric guitar, has helped to change-up her process (2:46): “It’s fun to switch it up because it changes your approach without even meaning to, and something cool can come from it. Like when I switch between acoustic and electric to write. It’s like it brings a different personality to what I’m doing, so I may end up writing a totally different style song.”

5. Moving to a farm may have actually had an opposite effect on her music (3:18): “A lot of

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