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Scott answers your questions - round 30 - 9/7/06

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StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 278
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:33 am    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 30 - 9/7/06 Reply with quote

Hi Scott!
No question now, but I just would like to thank you sharing your experience and giving us some really good advices .
I hope it's not a wasting time for you .
Thanks a lot!

Happy to do it - I wish some of the guys I looked up to had answered my questions on a message board, but back then most of them were too busy trashing hotel rooms.

Hi Scott!
I transcribed your solos on Giant Steps and the intro-solo on Snake Soda and wote an exam about the soloes and your work.I got an A! I learned so much from doing those transcriptions!!Thank you so much for your beautiful music!


Have you heard about the saxplayer Petter Wettre?Do you like his playing?

Sorry, I've never heard him.

Will you,Victor Wooten and Steve Smith do another VTT album?

Victor and Steve's schedules are really busy, but I know they want to do another one - it's just finding the right time to do it.

Do your dogs do any cool tricks?

Frogger licks his balls every time we have company, Duker plays cool rhythms on the floor when she scratches herself, and P-dog howls. That's her at the end of Hillbilly In The Band.

What do you think of Brent Mason's playing?

He's a bad dude.

Do you record with a buffer? Do you think the buffer significantly alters the sound of the guitar? Does it in any way un-vintage the tone?

Buffers suck, end of story. They're a necessary evil when using a pedals in the drawer rack system - with so much cable the tone would be muddy without a buffer, but it definitely makes the tone colder and harder sounding. I have two rigs, a pedals in the drawer rack, and a very small rig which is just your average pedalboard. The small rig sounds better because there's less cable so no need for a buffer. The cool thing about the rack is that I have random access to all my sounds with one step, and I need that in my trio. But for other gigs I use the small rig, and I'd never record with a buffer. Guitar, short cable, amp - that's the best, and maybe one pedal.

Hi Scott,
Love your playing, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Here are mine:

1) Have you ever tried the Menatone Howie pedal? It is true bypass, transparent and is the warmest distortion/boost pedal I've ever heard.

I'll try it next time I see one in a store.

2) Do you think you will ever sing on one of your records? Jimi also hated his voice and that turned out okay..

Yeah but he had a deep voice even though it wasn't that refined. My voice flat out sucks.

3) Have you ever jammed with Larry Carlton?

Never jammed with him but met him a few times. I really like his playing for Steely Dan and especially on The Nightfly.

Hi Scott !

From previous posts I know you prefer the vintage Fender bridges.
So do I & use a Callaham but with Fender saddles in a Strat clone I built.
Are you getting your Suhrs stock with the Fendr bridge or modding them after the fact?
I See Suhr offers a 6 screw bridge now but it has the pop in arm

EDIT: oops I see the specs on Suhrs site & he installs the Fender bridge
Cool thanks anyway &
Thanks again for all the music!!

Yeah I'm sure you can get a Suhr with a Fender bridge if you want.

Hi, Scott.

My name is Peter, I am 24. I am in musical college. I started learning jazz only two years ago. Although I was playing classical music since I was four, but I did't practice much 'cause I didn't really like it, my parents wanted me to do that. So, the question is: how do you think, is it too late starting to play jazz at my age? I ask you this because I have problems with improvising.. I just don't know what to play... (( I can exactly transcribe complicated solos, or I can compose a solo, but when it's time to improvise... I just can't think that fast... I think that I can play only what I have learned, even when I play accompaniment. Give me please some advice or something. Thank you.

I didn't start learning jazz until I was 22, so don't worry it's not too late. Improvising is just another skill that improves the more you do it, like anything else. It's great to transcribe and learn vocabulary, but you're right, that's not really improvising. Learning to improvise is about attitude. "I just don't know what to play" is a negative statement that will affirm itself in your playing. The fact is that if you play only one note and put it where you want it and get the tone you want, you do know what to play. You might not have that much confidence in your improvising ability now, but if you just keep doing it, sooner than you think you'll play your own stuff that makes you go "hey, that was cool." The more you do it the more you'll have those moments. By the time you're my age you'll think everything you play is cool, which is the way it should be.

Hey Scott -

Man I felt like the straight man in round 29 after reading your answers to the whole Corea thing - it looked like I was feeding you lines and it was all prepared ahead of time - hilarious and sad at the same time...

Anyway, on another topic, I ran across an interview that you and Kinsey did on KLASJAZZ back at the beginning of the year -

A must listen for everyone on the board.

My question has to do with some of the stuff you said about the making of VTT in 10 days, with not enough time to create compositions the way you'd normally do AND your comments on your web site, saying that was your worst tone ever...

Be careful or you'll turn into another Holdsworth!!!

That CD is in my car - along with a few others, but I can't tell you the number of times I've listened to it...

Your tone: to die for. The tunes: excellent and organic. Your playing: all meat and no filler

You are one of the few blues based players which I really dig (your knowledge of jazz and music theory in general doesn't hurt).

Carefully composed records have their place, but putting a record like that together in 10 days with no tunes in hand from the start is WAY COOL!!!


Thanks Pete, I admit that record has a raw quality that I like and I'm happy people are enjoying it. About round 29, no problem, I enjoy ranting on Scientologists. Losing Chef on South Park was very traumatic for me.

Yees, I've got questions !
-Did you try Carl Martin's stompboxes?What's your opinion?

Sorry, never tried them.

-I've read that 250ms of delay time is nice to fit many kind of tempo in differents songs, is that true?

You know the whale is not really a fish - they're mammals like you and me. Is that true papa Homer? Pfffft... no.
So, the answer to that question would be no. If you want the delay to be the same tempo as the song, adjust the delay to the song or use tap tempo.

-I saw you playing with the delay level with the little knob on your footswitching system, is it always the same time of delay or do you adjust it with a tap delay?
Thanks, see you next time for others questions!

Live I use 400ms and it doesn't matter to me if it fits the song. In the studio I've adjusted the delay to fit a few times on funky tunes where I wanted everything to be in the same groove.

Hey Scott!
Really admire your playing and sound;it has been of major least I try!I cannot forget the gig you threw in our country,many thanx,really hope to c u again(..and that could be a question)!

So,it's all about sound this time;Among other's,I own a Fender strat plus for 11 years now(yes,the one with that crapy "lace sensor"..things),it's my first and beloved one;in manners of keeping up with the excitement I decided it's time to do a simple hence vast aesthetic surgery on this beauty.

Here we go then:kinman AVn-69's would do the job,or shall I head for the classic,vintage,Suhr V60's ones?!

You know,I'm not really in for HUGE output..I love flexible bright,funky,cleans / smooth and punchy overdrive(as close to "vintage" as it gets for modern approach) and hate noise.

I can't think of a more valuable advice,as I grew up on your influence,and I'm totally thankful on that!

The V-60's sound better than the Kinmans, but my advice would depend on where you do most of your playing. If you play a lot on the road, go with the Kinmans because you're definitely gonna find yourself in places where single coils are unusable because of the hum problem. If you play mainly in your home town and don't have that much of a hum problem, go with the V-60's.

Though you are critical of it, your tone is pretty damn good on the first VTT. Maybe brighter/more upper middy than some of your others.

-What guitar did you us on the first VTT album?

It was my red Suhr.

-Was it one with buckers?

No, single coils.

Hear you got a new Suhr with a bridge humbucker. Van Halen tribute band?

Yeah if I had any of those kind of chops.

-Which bucker is it? If so what made you go back to buckers?
Keep rockin! Your my generation's (20's) Jeff Beck keep it up!

I didn't really go back to humbuckers, I still play single coils live. I just wanted one for recording because it's another great sound, though I like humbuckers with keyboards so I might bring it to the next Kinsey gig.

Hey Scott!

I am Alex from Germany. I realy like your music like all of us here. It īs a lot uf fun to listen to your playing on the one hand and on the other hand i can realy listen to it like a "musician" would do it. Thats what i like most about your playing its very intuitiv yet one can clarly here your theoretical skills.
my english is as bad as it gets because unfotunatly i only hat frensh latin and spanish at school.

I am 21 years old and began playing when i was 16. So i was pretty old when i started.
When did you start to play guitar. do you think there is hope for me?

Not seriously until I was about 15, so yes there's plenty of hope for you.

I have a few more questions:

One very important one is this:


You told us about seeing the guitar as 6 pianos earlier! I understand what you are trying to tell us. But could you econduct a little more what you mean? Should i realy learn all Chords in all keys? Is there a better way to do this? How could i make this more musical. It would be realy cool if you could us a little more abbout this concept.

It's a pretty simple concept - learn the names of all the notes on your guitar, and learn which notes belong to each chord type in all 12 keys. Easier said than done, I know. But if it was easy everyone would do it.

What like most about the idea is that you get a much better view for the meaning of each note. You arnīt stuck in patterns anymore and if you now most of the skales you now the functions of the notes in each skale over a chord better.

You got it!

but i have no music teacher and its very hard to figure everything out myself. so pleas enlighten us!
2) simple: i want to leanr to read standrat notation flurently . any advice?

I'm not qualified to answer since my reading sucks.

3)right now i am forced to use a tonelab by vox for many things! I like it way petter than a pod!
have you ever tired it? How could it get similar tones like you out of it?

Sorry, never tried it.

You told us about using the POD as a pracicing tool. COuld you do one or two patches and share them with us?
thanks alex

My POD is a really old one - I wouldn't even know how to document one of my patches.


Forgott one:

1)Wich sequencer/ Drum mashine do you like . I want to buy one for praticing and composing. Whats about thos yamaha QY series. Any other? maybe with amp modeler?

The QY-100 seems to be the best one according to everyone at GIT.

Howdy Scott,

You probably don't remember, I asked you about this subject already, and I didn't really think you understood my question. So after some thinking, I've reaches this simple question: when improvising, literally, not playing any licks you knew beforehand, do you really think as fast as you play? Is every note a consequence of pre-thought and planning, or are they just ran into by "accindent"?

Oh yeah, you asked me how much time went by between the thought and the note and I said something like 2.678564 milliseconds. I'm working harder now on my comedy act. Seriously, that's a question for a research scientist. What if I asked you what you did today and you said " I had to work all day but when I got off I took my girlfriend to a movie and then we went out to eat at this new place down the street." So, when you said that, do you really think as fast as you talk? You learned your English vocabulary so well that you can think and talk at the same time, and good musicians do the same with their music vocabulary. But 2.678564 milliseconds is funnier.

I think it's cool when other players give props to their contmeporaries.

Scott, check out what EJ had to sya about you:

"EJ was given the song "Spears" by Scott Henderson to listen to in an article from Guitar For The Practicing Musician in 1987. Here is his take on Henderson:

I've heard Scott a whole bunch. He is a great player who is continuing a type of bop that a lot of other player's aren't. The way he uses horn voicings is kind of like a modern version of old bop. It's pretty original. He uses a lot of heads that are hard to play on guitar. It's not like a song; it's more horn lines. This song was fine. Scott has a thing where he uses his foot to turn up the volume of the compression. He plays at a very sane volume. He can play without a lot of actual dB but still have a powerful sound. He uses a lot of compression but he'll turn up the volume and get an amazing amount of sustain for the volume he plays. For me to try to get that kind of sustain I would have to play 40 times as loud. It's in his hands. I also enjoyed the drummer. He sounded great and his technique was swinging and real smooth. He had tasty things to play. The first tape I heard of Scott's blew me away because he would play all these bop lines and go into a Van Halen thing. I thought, this guy has a lot of bases covered, yet he still uses a jazz vehicle with rock implications. This is a good tune for that."

Eric's a great player - we got to jam a bit way back when I first moved to LA.

I am a huge fan of yours. Thank you, for playing the frets off of your guitar. It's really refreshing to hear something original.

I would LOVE for you to play in Arkansas. Here in Little Rock (State Capitol), I think you would go over really well.
I know that there are a lot of scheduling and expense details to work out. But, Little Rock is right in the middle of a lot of larger markets. It may be very equitable for you, if scheduled properly.

Anyway please email me if you are interested in playing in this area. I know all of the local club owners, etc. I could also arrange for you to do a clinic or two, while you're here. Whatever it takes! Let me know.

I've been doing some research on what it would take to tour the states again, because we have a three week tour coming up in South America and I thought to put a small east coast tour in front of it. After talking with my agent about what venues are offering vs. expenses I decided not to do it. I'll try again next year.

Hello Scott,

More questions.
1.What would be your favorite Tribal Tech album?

Rocket Science.

2. What would be the most challenging part in writing and arranging for a trio? I always thought the idea of performing in a trio to be cool!
Thanks a lot for hanging out with us!

It's hard sometimes to come up with melodies that sound interesting enough when they also need chords under them. Since I've started playing trio I've learned a lot more 2 and 3 note voicings that I can get to quickly.

Hi Scott.
I saw you in Graz last year and you signed on my yellow plastic toy guitar. That was the best concert I've ever seen. Next day I bought all your records and almost tatooed "Scott is the greatest!" on my forehead. But I thought it would be hard to read if looking in a mirror, so I didn't do it.
I have a couple of serious questions.

1. Have you ever thought about doing a Tribal Tech project with big band. Some songs like Slidin' Into Charlisa, Face First, Foreign Affairs etc. are perfect for that.

I'm sure that would be fun but I can hardly afford to pay for a trio. Horn players are serious mercenaries who want cash up front and a huge deli tray.

2. If Kirk Ocvington threw Steve Vai of a stage with one hand, how far would he fly with/without all his jewellery? How far if Steve's fan would blow in the opposite direction?

Kirk could throw just about anyone 10 feet easily, but I don't know, that fan I saw at GIT was pretty big.

3. Is that song Dog Walk based on a true story?

No way! I'm a responsible dog owner and I don't let them poop in other people's yards, and they really want to.

That's all I ever wanted to know. Thanks!

Hi Scott, yet another gear question -

At around 3:50 in Dog Party when it's just the drums and the that a Ring Mod or an Octavia? The CD's been playing on full blast in my car on the 6:30am drive to work - what a way to start the day : )

That's an Octavia, the Roger Mayer one. It's pretty bright - I like Fulltone Octafuzz that I have now more.


First, thanks for all the great music, not to mention all the entertaining and informative answers provided here on the forum.

I've only recently become aware of your music, but I'm having a blast working my way through the back catalog of both your blues trio stuff and the Tribal Tech CDs. Some *really* great stuff--you should be very proud.

And I hope you can find a way to do a live date in the Chicago area sometime soon...

Couple of questions:

1) Any comments on what goes through your mind as you get ready to take a solo -- say over a simple blues form at a live gig? Do you have a concious plan about an emotion, idea, or musical feel you want to convey, or is it more of a "just let it happen" thing?

100% just let it happen.

2) Any tips or tricks for dialing in your guitar sound for live shows, dealing with varying room sizes/acoustics? Anything particular you listen for?

I carry my own monitors on the road so my tone is pretty consistent from night to night. It's mostly about room ambience, if the room is live or dead. We hate big live rooms because they amplify the sound. When Kirk barely hits his snare drum and it's already loud, we know it's gonna be one of those Advil nights. I'd rather play small dead rooms so we can play loud, but it doesn't sound loud. I find it harder to play relaxed at headache volume levels. Also, if we walk into the room and see a drum riser, the first thing we do is get rid of it because it makes the drums twice as loud.

hi scott, what do you think about vintage proco rat pedal? like jeff beck and scofield sounding? greetings from chile...

It (the pedal) sounds OK, but not my favorite.

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