Mick Mars: 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 Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars. Watch it below.

A web series created by Ernie Ball, String Theory explores the sonic origins of influential and innovative musicians. In the episode, Mars discusses early inspirations, his creative process, how he gets his signature tone with Ernie Ball strings, and much more. 

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

1. He started playing guitar at age seven (0:20): “I started playing guitar when I was seven years old. One of those little wind-up Mickey Mouse guitars. I learned how to tune it and started picking out whatever was popular at the time—Frankie Avalon and Elvis Presley."

2. The Kinks were a huge inspiration (1:05): "Kinks changed my life quite a bit. They introduced me to raspy, gnarly guitar."

3. He's experimented with many string gauges over the years (4:49): "I used to use 10-48 for quite a while. And then I decided to go up to 11-50. When I drop tune, I use 52 or 54. [They] give just the right amount of that ballsy sound." 

4. Mars joined Mötley Crüe through a newspaper ad (5:16): "Mötley started in L.A. Nikki and Tommy were already playing together. I put an ad in a paper. They were looking for a guitar player and they found my ad. I actually auditioned them, they don't know it. But anyway, we went over there and it clicked."

5. He wants to keep evolving as a musician (5:54): "When I come out with my solo project, my first record will give me a key to that door I need to open. I'm definitely going to lose some fans because it doesn't sound like my old band. If it does well, then I know I can go another further, another further, another further, and keep reinventing. I want to keep evolving, keep moving, keep that motivation going. When you stop learning, might as well just put your guitar down." 

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

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.