We owe a lot of kudos for modern rock music to Jack White. In the time when the genre felt like it was missing something, Jack White along with The White Stripes came out with Seven Nation Army and added a new and innovative sound to the scene. Even those who don’t know the frontman’s name will recognize their hit songs.
Another thing that Jack White is known for is his guitar and gear setup. The way he implements this into his sound is very innovative. His rigs are simple but contain some interesting components and one of the more exciting parts of this are the guitars he uses.
In this article we are looking at what kind of guitar does Jack White play with details on each piece. Let’s get started.
Jack White’s Guitars
Jack White is mostly known for playing his 1964 Airline guitar but in recent years he has also used customized Fender Telecasters along with some EVH Wolfgang Custom pieces too. Below we have listed his most notable guitars that he has used as a solo artist, with The White Stripes and with other bands such as The Raconteurs throughout his career.
1964 Airline JB Hutto Montgomery
Years used – 2000s to Present
One of the most important and famous instruments that Jack White used, predominantly during his time with The White Stripes, was the 1964 Airline JB Hutto. It’s an incredibly unique-looking guitar and it was made by Valco who used the Airline brand tagline. What’s interesting about this guitar is that it features a hollow body made of fiberglass that has a maple block running through the center. The original came with two single-coil pickups which people nowadays often mistake to be humbuckers. The one that Jack used came with a Tune-o-Matic bridge and tailpiece but there was no truss rod included.
This is an unusual model that lacked some important features we’re so used to seeing on modern guitars. It also has an odd body shape which suited Jack’s aesthetics and performance style. After Jack White rose to fame with The White Stripes a lot of young guitarists became interested in this specific design. Due to this boost in popularity, Eastwood Guitars then began to produce the model while still being under the Airline brand. However, these differ from the one that White uses, being made from mahogany. They’re still fun to look at and they play pretty well too.
1950 Kay Hollow Body Guitar
Years used – 2001 to Present
Jack White is known for his penchant of using vintage gear so it’s no surprise that he favored a guitar from the 1950s in the Kay hollow body guitar. He got this one from one of his friends and it’s presumed that it is the K6533 Value Leader model. It originally had a sunburst finish but Jack decided to cover it in Kraft paper. It’s not a top-level guitar by any means, but Jack White used it to its full potential, recording Seven Nation Army on it by using a DigiTech whammy pedal. The top is made from spruce with maple back and sides. The bridge is crafted from rosewood and the pickup is a DeArmond one that only has one off and on switch.
In terms of vintage guitars, this one is not really favored. When The White Stripes used it to record their hit song and a few other of their well-known tracks, Kay hollow-bodied guitars saw a rise in popularity. Among collectors, they can get a decent price compared to other guitars that came out of the 1950s.
1915 Gibson L-1
Years used – 2000 to Present
To give you the details on this guitar we have to go all the way back to 1915. The Gibson L-1 is the model of guitar that Robert Johnson used back in his heyday. The model itself is often referred to as the Robert Johnson even now, even though the signature line only came out in the last few years.
This guitar, as you can tell, is pretty old so it really shows how much a fan Jack White is of vintage instruments. The original guitars were produced starting from 1902 and went up to 1937. The body was made from birch and the neck was solid mahogany. This instrument is used in Jack White’s Icky Thump song. An interesting in fact about the guitar is that he actually used a pickup to get the tone similar to what an electric hollow-body guitar would have.
Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird
Years used – 2007 to Present
According to what Jack White said, he decided to paint this guitar when he was working with Alicia Keys. The guitar originally had a red finish but Jack didn’t like that it didn’t fit into his overall aesthetic. During live performances Jack White uses the Billy-Bo to perform Another Way to Die which is a James Bond theme.
This particular model of guitar was also used by the frontman from ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons. The body has been made from laminated mahogany and maple. The shape of the guitar is unique and it actually makes the instrument quite comfortable to play. Along with the body, the neck is made from mahogany and features a 22 fret rosewood fretboard. Once again there is a Tune-o-Matic bridge fitted onto the ebony base and the strings stretch down to the Gretsch original G-Cutout tailpiece.
To finish off the guitar’s features there are two humbucking pickups from TV Jones Power’Tron as well as two controls for volume and a knob control for tone. The original piece was designed by Bo Diddley which you may be able to tell from the name back in the 50s.
Gretsch G6022 Rancher
Years used – 2005 to Present
As far as acoustic guitars and Jack White go, he prefers using stuff from the Gretsch brand. They have some great aesthetic features and the performance quality of their instruments is amazing. The G6022 Rancher is one that White is known for using and it’s probably one of the most famous acoustic models to come from this brand.
The body of the instrument is quite wide which gives it a resonant and loud tone with slightly pronounced high ends added into the mix. The model has a soundhole which is triangular and the cutaway has been specially designed to make for an interesting looking piece. Inside the guitar is a preamp along with a piezo pickup system. Jack White owns a few of these models, one of which is White in his signature style and the other one is orange. Both have been designed especially for him with engravings on the back.
Gibson EDS-1275 Jimmy Page Signature
Years used – 2000s to Present
Jack White didn’t actually use this guitar but the EDS-1275 is definitely in his collection. This is an iconic model of Gibson guitar and is well-known to have been used by both Jimmy Page and John McLaughlin in their day. It was also released as one of the Jimmy Page signature guitars. You will find it has a double-neck with one having six strings and the other one has twelve, all fused into the same guitar.
The EDS-1275 relies on the classic SG design, sporting a light and thin mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fretboard. The inlays are crafted from celluloid and run parallel to one another onto the fretboard and then to the binding which goes the full length of the neck. Installed on the guitar are two Tune-o-Matic bridges along with nickel tailpieces which ensure the guitar gives off a stable performance and a near-perfect sustain. Both sections of the guitar have humbucking pickups made by Gibson and only one set of control. These allow you to switch between the two sections of the guitar so you can choose your sound.
Crestwood Astral II
Years used – 2003 to Present
In terms of guitars, the Crestwood Astral II is a rarity in the music world. Jack used this instrument from the early days of The White Stripes with its semi-hollow body. As well as his airline, this guitar would become one of the most important pieces in his collection. The design of the body reminds us of a Gibson 335 and you can tell that the headstock has been inspired by Fender guitars. This model was made in Japan and uses plywood as the main material. The bridge is another standard Tune-O-Matic although it sits on a wooden base. All of these parts are joined with a tailpiece inspired by Bigsby and the addition of a whammy bar.
Usually Jack White would use the open E tuning on this guitar which had two single-coil pickups and a basic control setup. Because of these settings, White would use this for songs that included the slide guitar playing technique. As with some of his other pieces, this model gained popularity through White’s use of it.
Danelectro Doubleneck Baritone
Years used – 2002 to Present
Danelectro guitars are certainly full of mystery. We know they exist but they only ever seem to crop up in the collections of famous guitarists because they are kind of rare. As far as we know Jack has one Danelectro Doubleneck baritone guitar but he hasn’t used it much throughout his career.
Compared to your standard doubleneck guitar, the one has two necks with six strings. One of the guitars has a standard scale length and the other has a baritone scale length which makes it different. We’re not sure what model this one exactly is, but Jack probably redid it back when he was with The White Stripes.
The two guitar segment each have two sing-coil pickups and a three-way switch. You also get a switch that lets you choose between the two sections. Because the baritone neck has a longer scale it means that White can tune down lower, we presume to B standard. Even though there are single coils in this guitar, the tone is still quite meaty, especially when you couple it with some fuzzy distortion pedals and a tube amp.
Gretsch Anniversary Triple Green Machine
Years used – 2006 to Present
Funnily enough, Jack’s Green Machine is, you guessed it, white. This particular model was built for White by Randy Parsons who happens to be the guitarist’s favorite luthier. Even though Parsons works directly for Gretsch, he collaborated at length with Jack to make this piece.
With the Gretsch Anniversary Triple Green Machine, you get a semi-hollow body and a double-cutaway. Aside from the standard features we would come to expect like the F-shaped soundholes, this instrument has a Shure Green Built built in to. The Triple Green Machine has a Bigsby tremolo system, a mute system that dampens the strings and a theremin integrated into it. You can active the theremin by moving your hand away from the guitar bridge. It’s pretty clear to see White’s creativity poured into this guitar. If all of these features weren’t enough for you, you also get three humbucking pickups and a tonne of tone-shaping controls. There’s no other guitar out there like the Triple Green Machine.
Fender Highway One Telecaster
Years used – 2010 to Present
Fender isn’t a guitar we could imagine White using but he actually has a nice Telecaster as part of his collection. If you have ever watched the music video for Freedom at 21 then you will have seen Jack using this instrument. Much like many of the instruments in Jack’s collection, the Fender Highway One Telecaster has some of his signature modifications. Instead of featuring a standard bridge, it has a Bigsby-style tremolo tailpiece instead which combines with a Tele bridge.
Other than those minor mods the guitar is pretty much what we would think of a Telecaster to be. The body is stylish and has a maple neck and fretboard attached. It comes with two single-coil pickups and some Telecaster standard controls. The finish has been done in light blue and it’s aesthetically pleasing that most of the hardware is done in white which gives it a unique style.
National Style 1 Tricone
Years used – 2014 to Present
A resonator guitar is usually used by a guitarist who wants to achieve a specific sound. Although Jack White doesn’t use his very often, he does own a Nartional Style 1 Tricone acoustic guitar. It’s a high-end instrument that has a body completely made out of brass which means it has a louder output and can cut through the mix easily. When you listen to it you will hear the noticeable accents on both the mid and high-ends which is typical with an instrument like this.
The brass body is finished off with a mahogany neck and the fretboard is made out of ebony. The fretboard itself has ivory binding through its whole length which rounds off the design nicely. You don’t see guitars like this very often and it shows that Jack has a more refined taste when it comes to instrument.
Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent Signature
Years used – 2012 to Unknown
It’s not very often that you see one guitarist using another famous musicians’s signature instrument. However, the Ernie Ball St. Vincent Signature suits Jack well in terms of how it looks and how it plays. This guitar has a unique body shape which is similar to that of Glenn Tipton’s Hamer GT.
The St. Vincent signature model has a maple neck and a mahogany body along with three mini DiMarzio humbucking pickups. Along with the standard tone and volume controls there is also a five way switch which gives the musician more tone-shaping options than other humbucker guitars. The tremolo bridge was custom made and the guitar also featured Shaller locking tuners. It’s a great instrument for shredding but it still fits in with Jack White’s alternative style.
Gibson Firebird Skunk Baxter Signature
Years used – 2017 to Present
Another signature guitar that is part of White’s extensive collection is the Gibson Firebird Skunk Baxter. Firebird guitars are Gibsons more uniue models and this one is probably the weirdest shape they make. The first thing you will notice is that it has a copper metallic finish along with a Lyre vibrato tailipiece. This particular model was made from mahogany along with its neck which also included walnut. The fingerboard was made from rosewood.
In terms of pickups this piece has three ’57 humbuckers. Where things get interesting is with the controls. You have your typical tone and volume controls but there are also additional ones that include pickup switching and coil splitting, giving the player much more versatility.
Fender Custom Shop Acoustasonic Telecaster
Years used – 2019 to Present
Fender have made some amazing models during their time and right when we thought they couldn’t bring anything new to the table, they come out with the Acoustasonic. These guitars copy the solid body that their electric guitars typically have even though they are thin bodied acoustics. They have both magnetic and piezo pickups which means you can use them as an electric or acoustic guitar.
Jack White was the first musician to ever get one of these made for him from the Fender Custom Shop. The model is a Telecaster with a completely hollow body, a mahogany back and sides and a spruce top. The finish has been done in orange and the neck was crafted from mahogany along with an abony fretboard.
For pickups, it has one single-coil magnetic one and a N4 Noiseless model which is in the bridge. There’s also a piezo pickup made by Fishman that sits under the saddle along with an Enhancer Body Sensor which is in the centre of the instrument. It’s an odd combination of specs that have a five way switch and a mod knob which means you can blend the piezo and magnetic tones. The selector switch allows the player to choose between five different sounds as well. Fender outdid themselves with this one and you can’t find guitars like this anywhere else.
Jack White has proved he is both a capable songwriter as well as a great guitar player. While he’s not known as the greatest guitarist in the world, he can certainly hold his own. He was able to put a new twist on the rock genre and make his instruments his own to create that unique sound we know him fo. Remember to take a look at our other guides featured on our website including the best 7 string guitar for further help.
What guitar is used in Seven Nation Army?
Even though it sounds like White is using a bass guitar in Seven Nation Army, it is actually his Kay Hollowbody guitar which is a semi-acoustic, 1950s style instrument. If you are interested in playing this song on bass, take a look at our best bass guitars for beginners guide.