Rocker: Quit Playing Games

Jack White, of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, has advice for new musical artists, and it does not involve playing videogames.

Asked “The three things every new artist starting out today needs” by NME, White responded, “They need to quit playing video games, throw away their Auto-Tune program and cut three strings off their guitar.”

White was also asked “Who or what is the enemy of music right now?” He responded, “The internet. The internet. Your mom, and the internet.”

CVG rightly notes that White has profited off of videogames, from the use of the White Stripes song Blue Orchid in Guitar Hero 5, to a Raconteurs Track Pack in Guitar Hero: World Tour to Dead Weather songs being available in the Rock Band store.

White’s comments appear in the latest issue of NME, which can be viewed online digitally here.

White previously expressed some anti-game sentiment in the White Stripes B-side Hand Springs, in which he sings about smashing a pinball machine.

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  1. Longjocks says:

    Just to make sure I have the story straight, a guy from the White Stripes is giving tips on music? That’d be like me giving tips on how to walk on the moon.

  2. OriginalAdric says:

    I think that people are trying too hard to defend their lifestyles against this perceived attack to really get at the heart at what he’s saying. I don’t think he’s saying "video games and the internet are bad." Looking at his comments as a whole, I think he’s saying "get rid of the extra crap you spend your time on, get rid of the crutches you use to make your stuff look better, and cut down on the things you’re focusing on."

    I’m in the last home stretch of my college career in a hardcore animation program, working on my thesis film, and his comments resonate with the best lessons I’ve learned over the last 6-8 months of production (things I wish I’d learned in the first 3 years of my program):

    1. Video games and internet are great, and I love them, but they’ll eat your time like nothing else.

    2. Relying on technology to hide your lack of skill and experience only damages you in the long run. Let your mistakes show through so your peers can critique you and help you get better.

    3. Don’t try to tackle too much at once. Start simple and learn how to do that well enough. If you do that, you’ll find yourself doing the cool stuff before you realize it.

    I don’t know much about this guy, so I could be way off. He could be a total douchebag who hates new things. Either way, I think that instead of getting defensive for thinking this guy is attacking our chosen pastime, we should try to find the postive side to what he’s saying, and ignore the crap.

  3. Overcast says:

    Glad I’ve never heard of this band, I’ll keep it that way. While I hang on the internet and play video games.

  4. jedidethfreak says:

    TBH, you could cut off five strings and play every piece of The White Stripes, lolz.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  5. Naota10 says:

    I know that, but he’s asking us musicians to cut off 3 strings. Even if I were to cut off three of them I could still play the White Stripes "bass lines" though. 

  6. jedidethfreak says:

    In case you didn’t know, Jack White doesn’t, and there isn’t a bass player in The White Stripes.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  7. Bennett Beeny says:

    Yeah, I was kind of expecting… oh I dunno – someone I’d at least heard of, attached to a band I’d heard of. Maybe this guy’s just in a genre I don’t listen to. Either way, his statement is either ignorant, or it needs a bit more specificity. I’m all for musicians ragging on Guitar Hero as (arguably) not being a great intro to real music, but they really shouldn’t denounce gaming in general.

  8. Aliasalpha says:

    Ah, when the title said "Rocker", I expected someone with musical talent beyond sounding derivative

  9. FlakAttack says:

    I play guitar and am a fan of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Obviously, the help that these games bring is incredibly limited and no one in their right mind would think they are good training. That said, liking guitar and liking Guitar Hero are not mutually exclusive.

  10. Naota10 says:

    That doesn’t hurt Ibanez though, since the majority of them will likely buy their starter kit ’cause it’s what the cool kids play.

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    I figured the game helped in SOME capacity, but it’s still no substitute for real experience.

  12. Father Time says:

    Here’s a comment from the guy who broke the world record guitar hero score on Through the Fire and Flames.

    “Oh, there’s no question Guitar Hero helps,” he said. “Like when you go from Guitar Hero to doing real quick hammer-ons on a real guitar, it’s actually pretty easy.”


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  13. MonkeyPeaches says:

    Why would you smash a perfectly good pinball machine? When I know of a deaf, dumb, blind kid that plays a mean pinball.

  14. hellfire7885 says:

    Especialyl in a song about smashing a pinball machine ,since pinball isn’t exactly a video game.


    The bit about not playing video games might refer to idiots who think they can play guitar with the best after beatign guitar Hero.

  15. lomdr says:

    Very true, Capt.  Playing IIDX and Pop’n got me more interested in the genres they cater to.

  16. hellfire7885 says:

    The only problem are the idiots who give up because they find out they aren’t good at it right off the bat because of the game

  17. captain_cthulhu says:

    i’m a gamer and a musician and I can tell you that music games get people interested in music who otherwise might not. if only a small fraction of those actually stick with it, it’s good for music and musicianship. also, even as listeners, how many young kids hear about and utimately appreciate older music (like 60’s-70’s rock) that they wouldn’t even be exposed to normally – they’d probably be resistant to that music because it’s their parent’s music but when it’s in the game, they feel like they’ve "discovered" it on their own. the only way these games are damaging is if someone who knows how to play guitar (or other instrument) instead plays GH or RB to the exclusion of his "real" talents/skills. this guy is a technophobe and by extension, a ‘tard.

    I say whatever gets you excited and interested in music, is good for music.

  18. hellfire7885 says:

    So he’s a regressionist.

    I’m with him on tossing auto tune though. In some cases it can work, but too often it’s a tool for the lazy.

  19. MrBounce says:

    If you trace back his sound bites and comments from the past, you’ll see a pattern of a rather narrowed minded individual who dislikes technology and really anything new.

    In other words he’s just another "famous" person using his notoriety to spew off stupid comments.

  20. Kojiro says:

    Jack has also said every new band’s first album should be done on a 4-track.  So this doesn’t mean much.  I think he just wants musicians to go back to the basics: walk before you run.

  21. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I wish they would make a tuning device that can connect to a guitar electric or acoustic and make a game out of trying to play the basic tune in about 6 steps. Give it "The real" pre title(yes is trying to elarn to play acoustic guitar).

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people!

  22. SimonBob says:

    One for the bass line and two for the power chords, right Jack?

    I’m not really surprised — this is a guy who produces entire albums with equipment dating back to the 1960s and starred in the segment "Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil" in the movie Coffee And Cigarettes.  Hating modern technology is his M.O.  I do believe he travels by zeppelin on his world tours and refuses to use any telephone that isn’t connected to its base with a curly wire.  It does make me feel safer knowing he’ll never read this comment, of course, since his Commodore 64 probably doesn’t have the graphical capacity to load an entire webpage at once.


  23. Thad says:

    This sounds a lot more like a joke blown out of proportion than news.

    You know, I bet he also didn’t literally mean people should cut three strings off their guitars.

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