“I narrowed it down to the bare essentials and found that three strings were all I needed”: 10 guitarists who played with missing strings on purpose… and the weird reasons why

Henri Cash of Starcrawler performs on day 3 of Festival d'été de Québec on July 08, 2023 in Quebec City, Quebec.
(Image credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty Images)

We’ve all been there. The string break. The dreaded string break. That dawning realisation that you’ll have to nip down to Guitar Center or, most likely, order a whole new set of strings from Amazon. The pain. The upheaval. The admin. But what if it didn’t have to be this way? 

No, this is not an article about unbreakable strings – but instead about the world of guitarists who play with missing strings on purpose. These luminaries from the worlds of grunge, reggae, metal, new wave and beyond show us that the odd snapped string need not be an obstacle, but an opportunity.

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