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Playing from the Heart with Tim Pierce

The prominent session guitarist lived the dream at the top of the charts, and he can tell you all about it on his YouTube channel.

Zach goes it alone on this episode to interview session guitarist, 6-string storyteller, and prominent YouTuber and online guitar instructor Tim Pierce. As a player, Pierce’s guitar has spent decades at the top of the charts by way of songs by Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Phil Collins, Madonna, Dave Matthews Band, Bob Dylan—whose recent Shadow Kingdom features the guitarist holding down the rhythm—and so many others.

Pierce discusses his biggest influences and favorite guitar sounds, seeing ZZ Top in their early stages “at their finest”—“I was floored”—and tells how he learned how to play rhythm guitar “on the job.” He also shares advice for crafting excellent guitar parts.

These days, Pierce says his session work is mostly for friends and family. Instead, he focuses on his popular YouTube channel, where he posts interviews, tips, and more. It’s a passion for the guitarist, and he and Zach get deep into the nuts and bolts of his YouTube life—from how many thumbnails can he makes for each episode (a whole lot) to how he comes up with his ideas for videos.

“I did one thing for decades,” Pierce says of his life as a guitarist for hire. “That I knew I could do … I just wanted to be a recording guitar player.” About 15 years ago, he says he reevaluated his goals and says he “discovered some people who were doing business online” who inspired him to give YouTube a go. “It just seemed like something, with all my limitations, that I could pull off.” After a decade doing full-time sessions and building his online presence, Pierce eventually switched to becoming a full-time YouTuber.

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