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Jack White and cutting three strings off your guitar

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AdrianJMartin
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Topic starter  

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.


   
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danooo
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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.


   
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MatthiasYoung
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Watch It Might Get Loud. The intro is Jack White making a homemade 1-string slide electric. One of my favorite documentaries.


   
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Cat
 Cat
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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!"


   
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Crow
 Crow
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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


   
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Chris C
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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


   
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Cat
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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!"


   
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hbriem
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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.

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Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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greybeard
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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.
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dogbite
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I love my one string solos. three strings are too many. :lol:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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s1120
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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!!

Paul B


   
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imalone
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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?


   
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Cat
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Giday, Hbriem...doubt away!

8)

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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TRGuitar
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How about this for the concept of less strings!

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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