Jim Adkins: Five Things We Learned from His Ernie Ball 'String Theory’ Episode

Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of the latest episode of String Theory, starring Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins. Watch it above!

A web series created by Ernie Ball, String Theory explores the sonic origins of influential and innovative musicians. In the episode, Adkins discusses his beginnings with music and guitar, his love of playing, and his relationship with Ernie Ball.

Below, you can find five facts revealed in the episode.

1. Watching music videos as a kid is what turned Adkins onto guitar (1:00): “What really got me into guitar was probably the birth of MTV-era music videos. Being a little kid and seeing the “Rock You Like a Hurricane” video, you know, “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin.’”

2. He became an Ernie Ball player after trying every other kind of string (2:56): “It’s the honest truth—I went through every string. And Ernie Ball felt like the best. That’s it. I’ve tried them all, and it’s the best, so that’s what I play.”

3. Adkins prefers thicker gauge strings (3:27): “I’ve always thought that heavier strings feel better—not only [because] they’ll stay in tune better if you’re pushing harder—but just sonically, [they feel] better. I borrowed a buddy’s Telecaster, and it had 12s on it. I was like, ‘Ah man, this is amazing!’ As I got more comfortable with playing, I moved up to Power Slinkys, and now I play the medium gauge…13-56.”

4. Having fun and challenging themselves is what drives Jimmy Eat World these days (4:20): “I think what’s kept us going is the sense of trying to keep things fun. You’re playing music—it should be fun. And trying to find new ways to challenge ourselves—new ways you can put yourself in a slightly uncomfortable position to achieve growth.”

5. Adkins is a believer that when it comes to songwriting, being honest is the best bet (9:35): “You have to be honest about what you like, and that means waving a flag pretty high with you—your opinion. Because I think that’s the only way something is really going to translate.”

Of course, these are just five facts pulled from the clip. Be sure to watch the entire episode above.

For the latest on Ernie Ball, visit ernieball.com.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.