Watch J Mascis shred on a cardboard Fender Strat

J Mascis plays a cardboard Stratocaster
(Image credit: Signal/YouTube)

Dinosaur Jr. frontman and alt-rock electric guitar titan J Mascis has long been a Fender man.

Mascis is well-known for playing Jazzmasters live, and has relied on a ‘58 Telecaster – a production-line recreation of which became his second Fender signature model in 2021 – for laying down leads in the studio throughout his career with Dinosaur Jr.

He's not, however, normally a Stratocaster guy, let alone a cardboard Strat guy.

Mascis is a man of many talents though, and as such, he recently became the latest high-profile musician (the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (opens in new tab), Reignwolf and Brad Wilk (opens in new tab) have also taken the plunge) to partake in Signal's Cardboard Sessions series. 

In it, after breaking in the paper Strat with a brief rendition of the Dinosaur Jr. classic Feel the Pain, Mascis cuts loose with a hard-rocking instrumental that features him not only taking up six-string duties, but also playing bass guitar and drums as well. You can check it out below.

For the uninitiated, Cardboard Sessions came about a few years back after Signal Snowboards and Ernest Packaging joined forces to find new, unconventional uses for cardboard, with their first collaborative creation being, naturally, a cardboard surfboard.

Their cardboard Strat was first unveiled in 2015, and was made in collaboration with the Fender Custom Shop, with standard Strat parts.

It's impressive enough that if you're listening to Mascis' video without context, you'd probably assume he's playing one of his signature guitars. With his usual, virtuosic ease, he moves from the wailing, deep into-the-red leads he's known for to swirling psychedelic sounds and even – at around the 1:45 mark – some slinky, mostly clean funk licks, giving his pedalboard quite the workout the whole way.

For more Cardboard Sessions videos, visit Signal Snowboards' YouTube channel (opens in new tab).

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.