Scott Henderson Discussion :: View topic - Scott answers your questions - round 10 - 1/4/05
Scott Henderson Discussion Forum Index

Scott Henderson Discussion
The Official Scott Henderson Discussion Forum

 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Chat Users Currently Chatting

Scott answers your questions - round 10 - 1/4/05

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Scott Henderson Discussion Forum Index -> Scott Answers Your Questions Archive
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 277
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 10 - 1/4/05 Reply with quote

So, how did the Kinmans go? I've been very interested to hear what you thought of them. Oh, and it would be great to see you in Australia in early 2005.

I finally heard them and I think they sound really great - very clear and natural sounding. I'm really amazed how close they sound to John Suhr's V60's. Great job Chris!

BTW, I heard someone posted a letter calling me a gear whore and that I'll endorse anything that I get for free, so I'd like to respond since we talk about gear a lot here. While it may be true that I'll be happy to try gear anyone gives me, (who wouldn't) I don't endorse it unless I really dig it. Most of the time I don't, and I end up giving the gear back. If I was a gear whore I could get a lot more support for my career by endorsing bigger guitar and amp companies who do ads with me and pay big royalties. I've chosen to endorse John Suhr because I dig his guitars, and I've been using the OD-100 on tour for many years now and it's still my favorite amp for the stage. Both Steve Blutcher of DiMarzio and Chris Kinman were kind enough to give me hum-free pickups and neither one asked me not to use anything else, but only to give my opinion of them to my friends and anyone who asked. It would be ridiculous for me to tell people I like something when I don't just so I can keep something I don't like. But when it comes to really well made, good sounding gear, it's also ridiculous to say one thing is globally better than another. I'm always experimenting with my tone and although I've endorsed stuff I don't use anymore, it doesn't mean I didn't believe it was great at the time. OK that's it - had to stand up for my integrity for a minute.

Hi scott, I just Love all your music !!!
i have some question for you..
Who is saying "But they eat there root food dont they" is it on a movie?

I don't know who he is - it's from a tape of crank phone calls made somewhere in Tennessee. Some guy calling himself Squire Ashburn is calling people asking them if they like to eat roots. After they say yes he tells them he has a long one for them. Total high-school humor ala Jerky Boys only with a southern accent.

Could i have your autograf on a photo? with "The Blues Band" / "TT" or alone! It would mean so much to me! Big Guitar Hero! I can pay whatever the shiping cost !! i live in sweden.


We'll be playing at Fasching soon so we'll do that in person!

Hi Scott, I see that whenever you use a distortion or OD pedal you like to set it with the volume all the way up, and with the gain past 12 o'clock, which should result in a big volume boost from the pedal. When you run them through the clean channel of your amp (which I recall your mentioning has lots of headroom) how do you cope with that volume increase vs the straight the clean sound with no pedal? Thanks a lot!

I use the RC Booster for my clean sound and it's level is set to match the level of my dist pedals - I never use the clean channel without a pedal. The way my gear is set up, I don't have a true clean sound with lots of headroom - with the RC Booster I have to turn my guitar down to about 5 to get it really super clean, and then it's not as loud.

Hi Scott,

Could you please share with us your OD-100 settings for each channel ?
Thanks a lot for the great music you're offering to us.

The good news is - no problem, here they are.

Channel 1: boost on, gain 8, bass 3, mid 1, treble 7, level 5
This channel is set up for pedals, mainly the Maxon OD9 and the OD9/Voodoo-1 combination.

Channel 2: boost on, gain 7, bass 1, mid 5, treble 4, presence 10, level 7
I should mention that I have a volume knob in the FX loop that's usually set around one 'clock which is equivalent to lowering the levels a notch or two.

The bad news - the pots in the new OD-100's have a different sweep than the older pots in my amp, so my settings won't apply accurately.

Hey Scott,

Have you heard anything by Chris Potter, hes an incredible sax player in the modern jazz vein.

No I haven't heard him.

How did you break into a session career?

Well, I don't really have a session career. People don't call that often asking me to play on their records, but I keep busy doing my own stuff. I got started when bassist Jeff Berlin asked me to play on his first record "Champion". The guys at Jeff's label liked my playing and told me they'd be interested in my own music which resulted in the first Tribal Tech album.

What plans do you have the future in terms of recording/touring?

I'm writing now for a new record and we have a Europen tour coming in February - the dates are posted at

Whats your thoughts on the current state of Jazz Education and its role in preserving the traditions of improvised music?

I heard an ad on the radio for the Playboy jazz festival with this killer sax player burning through fast changes in the background. The announcer said this saxophonist would be playing at the festival with one of the high school big bands - he's 14. So I guess the state of Jazz Education is fine.

Hey Scott. I have a few questions (with some follow ups) so forgive me. It's not often that one gets this kind of chance. Here are my questions:

1 & 2 What do you think of the direction John Scofield has taken in his last few CD's (starting with A Go Go with Medeski, Martin And Wood)? Music aside, he has broadened his "fan base" by getting in front of the Jamband (ie Phish et all) crowd. You mentioned that you have a hard time touring in the US. Have you pursued getting on some of those "Jamband" festivals? I personally think that you would be a great fit and no doubt it would make it easier to tour in the US. So instead of the audience being filled with guitarist, listening with folded arms, there might be some dancing groovy hippie-chicks in the audience too.

Wow hippie chicks! Who do I call to get on these festivals? I like those Scofield records - they groove hard.

3 Could you tell us a little more about your Mac set up?

Not much to tell really - I use Digital Performer with a 2048 MK III interface. The only really sweet piece of gear I have is the Studer D19 mic preamp which has it's own A/D converters.

4 have you thought of doing a blues organ trio CD?

Not really - it's a territory well covered by lots of jazz guitarists.

5 This question has been asked but I'd like to expand on it a little bit. A lot of bands are now recording their shows and making them available for purchase online (some are doing this in house and others are turning to third parties). I know that you have issues with the lossy mp3 compression scheme, but how about making them available via shorten, FLAC or some other lossless format. I know the people on this board would buy them.

Live recording is something I'd like to get into more, especially after doing this last live record. I'll spare you from my complaining about my playing on the record, but it's human nature that when you do something all the time, it becomes no big deal and you do your best. I'd like to record every night we play so we can eventually capture some of those rare magic performances that happen from time to time. The question has always been how to do it on tour with a minimum setup time and best quality. Sometimes on the road we barely have time for a short soundcheck and dinner. Anyway, we're working on it.

6 Also, any thoughts on Tuck Andress and/or Medeski, Martin And Wood?

I think Tuck is an amazing guitarist. I've only heard Medeski, Martin And Wood on that one Scofield album but they sound great on it.

I recently read somewhere Scofield answering the classic "how to solo outside the harmony" and he said, like you say, that there are no rules to follow, and you shoud take riscs and find out what sounds good.

My question is: there is a very fine line between sounding stupid and like a genius.

Isn't that a quote from Spinal Tap? Yeah I made a whole career trying to get from stupid to genius but unfortunately I never made it.

You are very close to that line, but never cross, you always sound genius, amazingly great. How do you do, you take all riscs at rehearsal, you get to cross the line and sound bad, how do you find the sweet spot, whitout making your band member think you're lost???

It's taken some time to train them, but now my band members are quite used to me being lost. Anyway it's true that playing wrong notes can sound hip, or just bad. Phrasing is such a huge part of making wrong notes sound good, and also the way you resolve them. As always, I suggest transcribing to learn the way to do it.

Second, you said the good way to learn is transcribing sax players. Do you transcribe piano players too, or the dynamics of the sax are better for guitar players? What do you think of Keith Jarret and his musical aproach? I'd give a kidney to see him playing with you on an album...

And he'd give a kidney not to have to do it, because from what I've heard about him he hates anything that sounds remotely like what I do. He's an incredible pianist but the only thing that bugs me about him is his "singing". You'd think someone on that musical level could break himself of such a bad and annoying habit. I love hearing people sing along with their playing but if I couldn't do it in tune ala George Benson, I wouldn't subject my fans to it. My favorite keyboard players are Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Jan Hammer, McCoy Tyner, Kenny Werner, and of course Scott Kinsey. But to answer your first question, great ideas are great ideas and the instrument doesn't matter in the least. I like checking out the wide interval ideas of keyboard players and sometimes those kind of ideas lay nicely on guitar if you get used to skipping strings.

Why have you decided to release a live album now? Is it because you're really happy & confident with the sound of the trio or is it more a matter of timing/record label interest? Will it feature any new compositions?

Just one new tune. To be honest I didn't want to do a live record because I thought I'd probably be nervous about it and not play as well, but the guys in the band really wanted to do it and lots of people have been hounding me to do it for a long time so I guess I just gave in. I was nervous the first couple nights, but on the last night we got some decent takes - it's not my best playing but it's not my worst either so I can live with it.

Also, I remember reading somewhere that Well To The Bone was going to be an 'off the cuff' session but wound up being more about the layering of tones. Is that where you want to go with your next studio effort or can we expect something completely different?

I had a lot of fun doing Well To The Bone, so if my new tunes lend themselves toward that direction it's OK by me - I've got lots of pedals I haven't used yet.

What is a setting that you would like to play in that you have not yet done?

Well some years ago my friend Steve Trovato got to play in the band at the erotic film awards. He said he had a great time and told me it's a setting that I would like very much.

Hi, scott!!
It's very nice that we all have opportunities to communicate to you. Your site is the best one compared to other fusion guitar players.

My questions are:
1)Did you try an IBANEZ TUBE KING pedal. If so, what it sounds like.

I tried it and had the same opinion as with the Tone Bone pedals - see #8

2)What do you think about McLaughlin's update shakhti project and his new godin guitar.

I don't know anything about the guitar, but I dig the Shakhti stuff. He's one seriously bad dude.

P.S. We still wait and hope to see Tribal Tech in Moscow. We truly love you guys -))

P.S.2 According to the latest information Scott Henderson is the most popular guitar player among Moscow guitarists.

Thanks! I always look forward to playing in Moscow!

Hi Scott!

I know you use the TS-9/808/Silver pedal BUT, the SD-9...Is it a SD-9/808/Silver or something else?(Mod. by Analogman)

No, it's just a stock SD9 by Maxon.

Do you use the RC Booster with the overdrive pedals?

No - the only 2 pedal distortion combination I use is the Tube Screamer into the Voodoo 1, which I like even better than the SD9 by itself.

Have you tried VoodooLabs Sparkledrive?
Have you tried the pickups Fat 50s by Fender?


Hey Scott.

I'm from Australia, and I just went to LA with my school big band, man what a place. I just cant get over the size of it, its so different to Australia it was a real eye opener to visit. Im just wondering what part of LA do you live in? If you dont want to share this info i understand, but im just curious, coz maybe i passed that area. What do you like about living in LA? Have you been to Ameoba Music in Hollywood? If only there was music shop that big in australia.

I live close to Pasadena - I moved to LA in 1980 and never regretted it. It a fun place to live with lots of music happening and great weather. Last year I saw Los Lobos play at Ameoba to promote their new album.

I also saw a absolutely INCREDIBLE pianist at Steamers Jazz Cafe, his name was Shelly Berg. Im wondering if youve heard of him or Steamers Jazz Cafe, and what do you think of it. I know these are pretty odd quetions, but im on a bit of a LA high right now.


I've heard his name but I haven't heard him play and I'm not familiar with that club.

Hey Scott:

Thank you soooo much for taking the time and answering our questions. I (we) have really learned alot about your approach to music which in turn helps OUR approach to OUR music. I have been experimenting with direct recording but also using a 57 on a live speaker too, but damn if the speaker emulator on my Marshall jmp-1 is still much better than the the mic'd cab. Here's my question: When recording, is it pretty important to have a fairly decent volume blasting out of the cabinet? I am also curious as to the eq'ing that you might do POST recording. Between 600 and 800 K seem to be pretty important and I was curious if you notch certain frequencies out or add any.

It's not so much about the volume, but more about turning up the amp enough for the power tubes to work hard and do their thing. If it's a 100 watt head, then yeah it's gonna be loud, but you can get great tone with a 20 watt head too. There are more elements involved with micing cabinets - a bad cabinet is a sure way to ruin the tone. There's a huge difference in tone between an old Marshall cab and the rather crappy ones that Marshall makes now with that pressboard back, ultra cheap wiring and 75 watt speakers. (I know because I have to rent them sometimes on the road). Bogner and Custom Audio make 4x12 cabs that are like the old ones, and Custom Audio is making a 2x12 that sounds great. My favorite speakers are Celestion Greenbacks. Also, if you're micing the cab in a bad room, it won't matter how great the cab is. Bare walls and bouncing frequencies can do awful things to the sound, so an investment in Aurelex or some other kind of damping material can really help. Also in my opinion amps sound better at 8 ohms than 4 or 16.

I don't like to EQ guitar but sometimes it's necessary to make it sit right in the track, and the EQ is always different depending on the situation. But in general, I'll sometimes add a couple db of 200 to make it bigger in the low end, 100 if I want it mega-low, around 600 to 1k to make it fatter (if I'm micing right I won't need to do that). I don't like the 3k frequency very much and sometimes distortion pedals add some of it so I might notch that down a db, and if I need more treble, boosting around 5k will make it brighter without adding that hairy distortion that you can get by boosting too high, around 8k and up.

I was wondering why you prefer single coils with a trio and humbuckers with Tribal Tech. I would have thought you would want it the other way around. More of a full signal with humbuckers in a band that DOESN'T have keys and single coils with a band that does. Anyways, I LOVE your freakin albums, you are one of the few guitarists that keep putting out better and better albums!!! Well to the Bone just slays!!! Killer tone, killer writing, vocals rock, you suck!!! Cheers!

Thanks! I just prefer single coils in general, and they sound very full with big strings (11's tuned to Eb). I only use the humbucker guitar for gigs where I need to be in E and use 10's.

Hi !
I'm Mateo, from Poland .
first , thanks for all great stuff, especially for tunes as Thick ,Elvis At The hop, your solo on Giant Steps from VTT and Caribbean (it impressed me how beauty phrases can be made on such hard changes - Transcribing it was 'Big fun' for me )

My question is : What stuff (amp , distortion, most important and universal things) things would you buy with maybe about 1000$ in a pocket to play in home , concerts in a small clubs and some jams. My guitar is Ibanez GRX . I've got Line6 Spider 50 W amp , but it's only home used.

That's a hard question because I don't really know what's out there. I like some of the Fender amps that are for sale in stores but I don't know the prices. The Maxon SD9 and OD9 are good distortion pedals that aren't too expensive.

p.s. Any chance to see you live in Poland ?

No gigs in Poland in March but there are three shows in Czech Republic and one in Berlin.

On your site, you say that you used a 35 watt matchless on "Dog Party", while on this site you say it was a DC30... which was it? Have you tried a Clubman 35?

It was a DC30. I've tried all the Matchless amps but they don't fit my style very well. Nothing against Matchless because they make quality amps, but class A amps usually have a sparkle on the top end that never goes away when you turn down the treble. They're great amps for cleaner blues but not great for high gain sounds.

Also, do you feel that if an alder strat is too light, it will have poor acoustical properties?

Yes, in fact the only guitar that I've ever returned to John Suhr had kind of a weird midrangy tone and didn't have much bass. It was extremely light for a strat, even lighter than the old ones I've played. We think the weight had to be the problem since all the hardware was exactly the same.

Have you ever played in Norway? If you're not coming to Norway next year, I might travel to either Denmark or Sweden to see you play. Watching great playes inspires me to practice a lot.

There was a great club in Oslo that I used to play with Tribal Tech but it's gone now and I haven't been to Norway in about 4 years.

Are there any guitarrelated websites or forums you visit frequently?

I go to Harmony Central sometimes.

Have you heard anything by the "newer" (90's ->) progressive rock bands like Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation (their latest album, BE, is amazing) or Spock's Beard?

I've heard some Dream Theatre but not the other two - my students probably have some of their CD's they can play for me.

The thing you play along to in the Melodig Phrasing video seems quite useful. What is it and is it easy to use? Do you still use it? Love the Gm -> Bbm bass line, the hip hop groove, etc.

I was playing along to sequences in my computer and using a Korg M-1 as the sound source. I use the computer for practicing, composing, recording, writing charts, and just about anything else I can get it to do for me.

You mentioned in the second Q/A round that you didn't like the tone of the amp modellers. Have you tried the Vox ToneLab? I own one of those, it got a tube, and sounds great. Have you tried them?


What did you get for christmas?

Rocks, coal, and sticks

Did you ever practice to the metronome?

No. Thank goodness by the time I learned that I should practice with a steady groove, drum machines were around.

Songs like Well To The Bone, Who Knew?, Smelly Ol' Dog Blues gives me chills. Thanks for your beautiful music, Scott.


I had plenty of questions but they were all asked in earlier rounds and you answered them all. I have a simple question:
Why don't you ever play in Turkey, Istanbul with the Blues Trio or Tribal Tech?

Is it a question of organization or your personal choice?I really
wonder that because lots of monster musicians come and play here such
as Vital Information, John Mc Laughlin, Al di Meola, Chick Corea etc...
If it is all about organization, I will try to find an organizer. There is really
a big audience here. And also I've heard that you were working with a Turkish manager in the past days. Is that true?

By the way, a big thank you for all this great music and inspiration you have given to the world. You are incomparable.
With my best wishes

Thanks Murat - I don't have a Turkish manager but my agent is always trying to get me gigs everywhere in the world. It's possible that he hasn't had an offer from Turkey, or one that paid enough. I think I remember a couple of years ago there was a possible gig there but it was cancelled for some reason. Anyway, if you know any promoters there, please have them contact my agent - his info is on my website.

How does Scott feel towards trading of bootlegs?
Does he discourage or forbid such?

I hate bootlegs. When I see people trading my stuff it makes me uncomfortable because just like everybody else, I've played some really shitty gigs that I'm not proud of and some asshole taped them. But at least the traders aren't trying to profit from it, so I don't get all pissed off about it like I do when I see bootlegs for sale.

Does he record or distribute his own live performance or demo?

Live album release date February 1st.

Was the opening tune on the first VTT record indtended to be a tribute to Tony Williams' "Believe It" record?

If not, it's pretty amazing - Steve has so many of Tony's bits in that tune. And your playing, while not a rip off of Holdsworth, does have a bit of that flava.

That first VTT record continues to amaze me - it is one of the few "guitar trio" records I enjoy, because the jazz elements are not totally over-shadowed by the blues and the rock playing. It sounds like equal parts of all three.

Thanks Pete - Steve Smith came up with the groove for that tune and I remember him saying it was a Tony style groove. We all love that Believe It record and that tune definitely reminded me of it. I don't intentionally try to play like Allan but listening to him (and other great players) over the years has certainly influenced my own playing.


Just wondering if you've ever done any recording in Nashville, TN over your career? If so, any opinions.

I've never recorded there but I have a great respect for those awesome session guitarists who live there.

Also, do you prefer recording at home or in a larger studio?

I like recording at home more - I have my tone dialed in better at home.

One more quick one: do you find the Suhr V60 Low-peak pickups play a large role in your overall tone? I know your rig is very complex but I'm thinking of investing in a set of the V60's. Just wondering.

The V60 is still my favorite strat pickup, and it's an important element in my tone. If you don't have a hum problem in your area, you can't get a better pickup. I live in LA, land of a million radio stations, and I've also had serious hum problems while touring so I use hum-free pickups in the guitars I use live.

I would like to add that I absolutely love your lyrics!
The first person "dog" experiences just crack me up!
How do you go about writing lyrics?
Do you do it yourself?

I like to write lyrics on the road in the van cause there's nothing better to do. I don't know how I do it - like everybody else I guess. Actually I have more fun writing music than lyrics - it's kind of a chore.

How about applying your pungent sense of humour to variuos other themes on your next record?

Yeah they stink all right

When will we see a new studio release of yours? I think that's enough for now.

All the very best,

I just starting writing again - I've been rather lazy about doing that. Hopefully by the summer I'll have enough tunes for a new record.

Undertanding that this might be a east coast/west coast thing I was curious if you had any thoughts on either David Fiuczynki (Screaming Headless Torsos, Kif, and other solo work) or Wayne Krantz. In my opinion, both are mavericks in the art of advancing the electric guitar to new heights (right next to you!).

Both of them are really good players - Wayne and I always send each other our new records. I've seen Wayne play live a few times - he burns! Dave and I jammed together a long time ago in a small club in Italy - we had a lot of fun playing together.

I know that John Suhr has been working with Wayne on a signature model (alder standard with one piece maple neck) and David really liked my Suhr Carve Top (mahogany back, maple top, mahogany neck with brazillian rosewood fingerboard) when I studied with him. Curious if you've ever discussed these guys with John while eating tacos at his shop?

John was telling me one time about the guitar he was building for Wayne - I guess he got it but I never found out what he thought of it.

One other qustion.......what do you think about Jimmy Herring? I know he studied with you back at GIT and that he speaks very fondly of his time there with you. Thanks for the music and the tone!

Jimmy was a great player even back then and he just kept improving after that. I'm glad he's playing a lot and making records.

Do you have any specific routine on how to learn to solo on a new tune?

I start out playing it really slow so I can get the harmony in my ears. That's about it really - I don't like to put too much emphasis on if the chords are diatonically related to each other because I like to just look at each chord individually. The main thing is to play it slow for awhile and gradually increase the tempo.


Last edited by kirk95 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:02 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Joined: 24 Jun 2004
Posts: 47
Location: earth

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:06 am    Post subject: Krantz and his Suhr Reply with quote

Just as a follow up to the question about Wayne Krantz and his Suhr:

I am a former student of Wayne's, and the last time i saw him live (about a year ago) he told me that he had gotten the Suhr but couldn't get used to the rosewood fingerboard, so he sent it back to John to have a maple one put in. (or was it the other way around?- i can't remember at this point)
Anyway, i haven't heard anything about it since, and there hasn't been a gear update on Wayne's website in a long time. I'm hoping to go see him play soon, if i do i'll write about it in the "open discussion" forum.
"We'll just pretend there aint no strings"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Matt Gordon

Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 29
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Scott! Always a pleasure and a learning experience when reading your comments. We all benefit so much from it, and we deeply appreciate your time. Can't wait until the next CD. Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Kristiansand, Norway

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't think of any other guitarist that is so cool and answers dozens of questions for the fans that often.
Ed really had sex with his girlfriend
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Scott Henderson Discussion Forum Index -> Scott Answers Your Questions Archive All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB 2001, 2002 phpBB Group