Guitar Strings

The photographic community has a gear problem. Websites and magazines on the subject are overwhelmingly dedicated to gear. Flip through a copy of Popular Photography and it’s filled with ads and reviews for the latest and greatest gear. It is a rare photo forum indeed that is not at least 75% filled with still more renditions of the everlasting Canon vs. Nikon debate.

There are exceptions. Photographers like David duChemin and Cole Thompson and magazines like LensWork take a different stance. They pointedly stick to topics like creativity. Definitely in this camp, I’m a huge fan of David duChemin’s tag line: “Gear is good, vision is better.”

This actually isn’t a post about photography; this is a post about music. I’m a huge fan of music, and listen daily. I also am completely incapable of playing music- I joke that the only instrument I can play is an iPod. So while I’m sure there are magazines and websites dedicated to playing music, I’m utterly unaware of what they are and what they discuss.

As a fan of music, I watched the movie It Might Get Loud, a guitar documentary starring Jimmy Page, Jack White, and the Edge. I liked the movie enough to watch the deleted scenes. One of them has these three guitar heros debating the merits of guitar strings.

The big question, the burning question that everyone wants to know: “What strings do you use?”

I find this question utterly fascinating, not because I care a whit about guitar strings, but it hints at an underlying debate between musicians. Do guitar players fill their online forums with debates about strings?

Jack talks a bit about nickel strings, before finally concluding

But then after awhile, I stopped caring, you know.

If the rock guitar world is filled with people discussing instruments and strings, is Jack White the David duChemin of the music world- focusing on the music instead of the gear? I like to think so- I like his music.

The clip from the documentary is available on YouTube.