Welcome to the forums!

Jack White and cutting three strings off your guitar

Post your question here and an experienced guitar player or teacher will get back to you.

Moderator: The GN support team


Postby AdrianJMartin » March 22nd, 2012, 6:57 am

I heard that Jack White claimed people learning guitar should cut three strings of their guitar!

What did he mean?

At the moment I can only find magazines quotes, nothing expanding on what he meant.
User avatar
AdrianJMartin
Junior Member
 
Posts: 76
Joined: June 13th, 2008, 3:57 am

Postby danooo » March 22nd, 2012, 7:19 am

I think you could take that 2 different ways. First being he HATES technology; everyone knows he has a simplistic view of guitar i mean the white stripes guitar tone is based off of amps and guitars you could buy from a sears catalog. That quote is from him talking down those guitar hero games that say they can teach you how to play guitar. Jacks influences are those old delta blues men like Son House...they had to learn from whatever they had at their hands. Weather that be a diddly bo, a homemade guitar, or a busted up guitar. Meaning its one thing to get a good sound out of a brand new guitar using video lessons and electronic tuners, but its another thing to make some old busted up guitar say something musically.

The other point i would make is that his music (mostly with the white stripes) could probably be played on the top 3 strings. I learned a ton of white stripes songs when i was just starting and the majority of them are simply power chords, distortion and some simple blues riffs. Basically what im trying to say is Jack White could sound pretty damn good with just the 3 lowest strings on a guitar.
danooo
newbie
 
Posts: 41
Joined: May 25th, 2010, 9:23 pm

Postby MatthiasYoung » March 22nd, 2012, 7:37 am

Watch It Might Get Loud. The intro is Jack White making a homemade 1-string slide electric. One of my favorite documentaries.
MatthiasYoung
newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: December 8th, 2011, 8:25 am

Postby Cat » March 22nd, 2012, 1:14 pm

G'day, Matt...good post. I always play with three strings. My pickup's split into LEFT (EAD) and RIGHT (GBE) where I pan them far to each side. You can really see what's going on 3 by 3...

Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"
Cat
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: July 14th, 2008, 6:16 pm
Location: NSW Northern Rivers

Postby Crow » March 22nd, 2012, 2:14 pm

I'm sure that sounds lovely, Cat, and also sure that it would make Jack White roll his eyes & go, "Jeez, man, could you miss my point any worse?" His point was to think less about your toys.

Just sayin'.

A guy I have always found inspiring is Frank Zappa. He was on the cutting edge of digital progress but was also comfortable going out with nothing but the on-off switch on his amp. He embraced the Synclavier as a compositional tool but was happy writing on staff paper in an airport. The toys didn't matter. (Except for the occasional toy giraffe filled with whipped cream. 8) ) Like someone said about Eric Dolphy, you could sit an elephant on his chest & he'd still find a way to make music.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa
User avatar
Crow
Senior Member
 
Posts: 553
Joined: November 10th, 2009, 5:59 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Postby Chris C » March 22nd, 2012, 5:57 pm

AdrianJMartin wrote:I heard that Jack White claimed people learning guitar should cut three strings of their guitar!

What did he mean?


My guess is that he meant keep it simple and learn the basics of making music first, rather than literally recommending removing any particular three strings.

It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to rush the music journey but if you can't discover the joy of the simple then complicating it further is unlikely to provide a satisfying answer. You can make memorable melodies or riffs on a single string and you only need three notes to make a major or minor chord. If you can't make a simple line come alive and sing then adding more effects, more notes, or fancy harmonies won't replace what you're missing.

Cheers,

Chris
User avatar
Chris C
Guitarnoise Addict
 
Posts: 3528
Joined: July 30th, 2005, 5:33 pm
Location: West Australia

Postby Cat » March 22nd, 2012, 11:16 pm

Crow wrote:I'm sure that sounds lovely, Cat, and also sure that it would make Jack White roll his eyes & go, "Jeez, man, could you miss my point any worse?" His point was to think less about your toy.


Maybe so...but I can play circles, squares, and whatever polygon ya wanna think about...around him. 8)

Just sayin'. Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"
Cat
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: July 14th, 2008, 6:16 pm
Location: NSW Northern Rivers

Postby hbriem » March 23rd, 2012, 3:17 am

Cat wrote:
Crow wrote:I'm sure that sounds lovely, Cat, and also sure that it would make Jack White roll his eyes & go, "Jeez, man, could you miss my point any worse?" His point was to think less about your toy.


Maybe so...but I can play circles, squares, and whatever polygon ya wanna think about...around him. 8)

Just sayin'. Cat


I really, really, really doubt that.
--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com
hbriem
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1257
Joined: June 20th, 2002, 12:40 am
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Postby greybeard » March 23rd, 2012, 3:40 am

Wow, only 3 strings, huh?

Sounds really sensible, to me - I only play 3 bum notes instead of 6.

That's got to be an improvement................
I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN
User avatar
greybeard
Guitari Lama
 
Posts: 7946
Joined: February 19th, 2003, 8:07 am
Location: Beervaria

Postby dogbite » March 23rd, 2012, 6:54 am

I love my one string solos. three strings are too many. :lol:
User avatar
dogbite
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 6337
Joined: July 14th, 2005, 8:06 am
Location: Coulee country, WI

Postby s1120 » March 23rd, 2012, 6:55 am

I reading it as being it doesnt matter what you have, play, or eaven realy play it in a accepted manner....music is music no matter. It all how you play it!!!

I give forth a example of who I look to as a huge inspiration!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1vZ3NIuJ3s
Paul B
User avatar
s1120
Senior Member
 
Posts: 813
Joined: May 19th, 2008, 10:42 am
Location: albany NY area

Postby imalone » March 23rd, 2012, 4:42 pm

Maybe relevant, 6 Music did an interview with Jack White today, not sure if you can get this outside the UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dljzr begins about 1:38:30, 1:41:20 if you're too busy to listen to the track at the start. Of course you'd benefit from listening to the entire show if you have time...

He says he likes to make things difficult for himself, which is maybe a different meaning of
but its another thing to make some old busted up guitar say something musically
than I read it as yesterday.

Be honest, who knew what a saltine was?
imalone
Full Member
 
Posts: 268
Joined: April 15th, 2010, 3:12 am

Postby Cat » March 23rd, 2012, 8:35 pm

Giday, Hbriem...doubt away!

8)

Cat
"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"
Cat
Guitarnoise Denizen
 
Posts: 1223
Joined: July 14th, 2008, 6:16 pm
Location: NSW Northern Rivers

Postby TRGuitar » March 28th, 2012, 7:32 pm

How about this for the concept of less strings!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWRZnQXJkE4&feature=relmfu
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --
User avatar
TRGuitar
Guitarnoise Addict
 
Posts: 3707
Joined: January 2nd, 2007, 10:31 pm
Location: Northern New York