Five Jack White Riffs

Jack White’s debut album is coming out soon so it’s obviously time to do a career retrospective with a Jack White edition of the Guitar Riffs for Ukulele series. I’ve already covered his most famous riff – Seven Nation Army – but there’s plenty more where that came from.

White Stripes – Hardest Button to Button


I’ve arranged this one in the key of C as it doesn’t fit too well on a standard ukulele in the original key. You can, however, play it on a low-G like this:

The Raconteurs – Salute Your Solution


Two great riffs in this tune. The main chord riff above and the single note riff below (which you need to play a lot higher than the original to stay in the same key). When you play the A chord in the riff make sure you do it with your middle and ring fingers so you can bring your index finger under it to slide into the B chord.

Riff 2

White Stripes – Icky Thump


This is a version of the riff that crops up at the 47 second mark in the video. It’s not in the original key.

Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother


Isn’t Alison Mosshart just fantastic? Anyway, I played this one bass guitar picking style. But it’s a good excuse for using a pick too.

Tom Jones – Evil


Third Man Records – Jack White’s record label – have put out so much great stuff. Often with Jack providing some wild guitar accompaniment to the artist’s usual sound. My favourite of these is the one he did with the Secret Sisters but this new one with Tom Jones comes very close.

This riff kicks in at 40 seconds.

View Comments


  1. James March 23rd, 2012 5:59 pm

    Thanks for this great stuff from Jack White. How about tackling the amazing riff at the beginning of the White Stripes version of the old Son House classic “Death Letter Blues” from the De Stijl album?

  2. Woodshed March 24th, 2012 11:03 am

    James: Thanks. I’ll keep it in mind.

  3. laipaz March 24th, 2012 12:12 pm

    Death Letter…PLEASSSSSSSSE :D

  4. Woodshed March 24th, 2012 4:44 pm

    laipaz: Duly noted!

  5. cardboardfrog March 24th, 2012 11:23 pm

    excellent stuff woodshed, if you ever get a chance to listen to his stuff with the upholsterers the EP ‘makers of high grade suites’ it’s great.

  6. Ciaran March 25th, 2012 3:53 am

    I think the ending of the Icky Thump Riff should be:

    1 — 3 — 1 – 3 -|
    1 — 3 — 1 – 3 -|

    Everything else is great though!

  7. Woodshed March 25th, 2012 12:28 pm

    cbf: I was actually thinking about including Pain.

  8. Leo April 5th, 2012 3:03 am

    I’ve been browsing this site since before I played uke (about 2 years ago) I’ve been a huge fan for all that time but I’ve never never commented until now. I comment as you introduced me to Tom Jones AND Jack White. Thank you! Also I found this site as my first (and only) uke was a gift and it was the flying V. The worst uke ever as you called it. How sad was I? Very :P Plan on spending around 100 on my next one. Any tips?

  9. Woodshed April 6th, 2012 8:21 am

    Leo: Thanks! A Lanikai LU-21 is always a good bet in that price range.

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