As seen in
Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 22 – Winter 2022
After meeting guitarist Liso Lee a few months ago-— and learning that she’s toured with some of the biggest names in modern music-— I had to learn more about what makes the bubbly shredder tick and just how the heck she landed the gigs that most musicians could only dream of. Sharing stages with everyone from CeeLo Green to Gwen Stefani, Lee is fast becoming one of the most coveted female guitarists in the contemporary pop music world.
Firstly, where did you grow up? When did you move to the United States?
I grew up in South Korea. I moved to the U.S. in 2012.
Tell us a bit about your training. Have you been playing since you were a little girl? Did you go to school for music as well?
I started with cello, but I was never interested when I was a little girl! When I was in high school, I had a chance to watch a band, and it changed my life. I went to a music university in Korea and graduated from G.I.T. at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.
What do you do to warm up? Are there any scales or finger exercises you can recommend?
I warm up with the chromatic scale and bend in a very slow tempo.
How many guitars would you say you own at this point? Which ones are some of your go-to’s? It looks like you’re more of a Fender girl, at least from your social media.
In the U.S., I have 17 guitars. My first guitar was a Fender Custom Shop 1956 Relic Stratocaster from my dad. I love my Fender guitars, but after some show-related back injuries, I had to find lighter-weight guitars. My main guitar is a Strandberg NX 6 model, which I use for Gwen Stefani and Willow’s live shows. The Strandberg guitar is very solid. Weirdly, I haven’t broken any strings in the past four years… so far, ha-ha! I am using Jackson Guitars’ Rhoads series for a couple of songs as well during the Willow Smith set.
As you mentioned, you’re currently playing guitar for Gwen Stefani, Willow Smith, and a wealth of other huge artists. How did you score these amazing gigs?
I got the CeeLo Green and Zayn Malik (former One Direction) gigs through big auditions. I got a lot of calls after those auditions. My phone is still ringing! I feel blessed. 🙏🏼