Does anyone else play with less than six strings?

Some bands that I have noticed do this - Cake, the B-52's, Presidents of the United States...

Placebo tone their high e string down to b because they "never used that string in solos anyway", and they thought it suited their style more.

A while ago my high e-string snapped, and it was quite a while before I could replace it. However the constant rattling of the machine head really pissed me off, so I took it out and have been playing with five strings ever since.

Of course, whenever I break a string now I'm up **** creek as I have a bassitar, or a gitbass. But something interesting happened the other day when my D string broke, and all I had to use was E, A, G and B.

With only those four strings, when I tried writing music, I found myself challenging my knowledge of the guitar and music to produce something that still sounded good. To my surprised, the way I played changed incredibly, and simple chords transformed into more alternate styles and in the first half hour a had a really great song written. When I restrung, I used what I had learnt and applied it to five strings and what I had sounded even better.

There's an interview with jack white that I found interesting too:

WHITE I guess maybe to just get focused on something that's simple and means something to them. I think kids nowadays get excited about guitar, which is really great, but then they go to Guitar Center and buy as many pedals as they can. They get focused on, ?Look at what cool sounds I can make with this pedal," and I think, Well, you know, you can make a really interesting sound with an acoustic guitar, too, just by, yourself, even if it only has two strings on it.


If you're got a young kid learning guitar, you could go out and buy him a Les Paul, and the thing would stay perfectly in tune and it would have great sustain, but he's not going to have any knowledge of what his instrument is doing. If you give him a Diddley Bow or a Japanese guitar from a pawn shop that only has four strings on it, he's going to come up with something because that's all he has. If you don't have a lot to work with, you're forced to do something with what you have.

So has anyone found the same for themselves, or know of any bands that play with less than six strings?
Absinthe maketh the heart grow fonder
Last edited by Xiang at Jul 14, 2006,
Quote by Wonthefu
That's interesting... I had no high e for a while too, but I've got it back now... I'm gonna try playing with just four strings, and see what I come up with.

Do you have a link to that interview?

Somewhere in here , just search for the text and it should come up
Absinthe maketh the heart grow fonder