After close to 60 years in business, Ernie Ball has grown into one of electric guitar’s most ubiquitous brands – thanks in no small part to an army of players, from learners to pros, utterly devoted to Slinky guitar strings.
With Ernie Ball Music Man handling the instrument making side of things, it boasts one of the most impressive and diverse artist rosters in the industry – spanning the likes of St. Vincent to Steve Lukather. We were proud to host the iconic brand’s very own virtual booth at the first Guitar.com Live. If you haven’t yet slunk over to the booth yet, these were some of our favourite parts.
The Slinky Wall
By the early 60s, the world of rock was ready for an evolutionary step – but what stood in its way? electric guitar string sets with a really stiff, unbendable third string. Roland Sherwood “Ernie” Ball, who ran a music store, was quick to notice aspiring guitarists struggling to get a decent bend off a wound .028 third string.
After customising his own set of gauges, news got around quickly and musicians the likes of the Beach Boys and The Venture began lauding Slinkys. The rest is history. Today, Slinkys come in more varieties than ever, but remain as much a cornerstone of electric guitar playing as they were at their introduction.
Check it out here.
Artists Playback Room
Ernie Ball’s artist roster spans all corners of the genre landscape – with signature models for the likes of rock powerhouses Steve Morse, Steve Lukather and John Petrucci; country masters like Albert Lee, art rock hero St. Vincent and many more.
At the Artist Playback room, you get to hear from the artists themselves discuss what it’s like to develop a signature instrument with Ernie Ball.
Check it out here.
VPJR Tuner – simple but brilliant
The VPJR Tuner proves the greatest inventions don’t have to reinvent the wheel – sometimes, combining a volume pedal and a tuner is all you need to make thousands wonder, “Well, why didn’t I think of that?”
We get the feeling we’re about to see this on the ‘boards of players, both onstage and at home, for years to come. For now, take a gander at the VPJR in its 3D splendour at Ernie Ball’s virtual booth.
If you’ve a craving for some six-string eye-candy – fret not, the Ernie Ball Vault has you covered. Hanging off this virtual wall are a selection of some of the brand’s top shelf guitar and bass models. These highlight some of Ernie Ball’s innovations when it comes to modern instrument design.
Learn all about them at The Vault in Ernie Ball’s virtual booth.
Cliff Williams signature Stingray Bass
Right in time for the launch of AC/DC’s latest studio album, PWR/UP, Ernie Ball unveiled a signature bass model for bassist Cliff Williams – faithfully based on the rhythm master’s very own vintage StringRay bass. A section of Ernie Ball’s virtual booth was dedicated to showing off the signature model, where you can hear Cliff discuss about the instrument himself.
Check it out at the Ernie Ball virtual booth.