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Scott answers your questions - round 2.13 - 10/5/10

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StarShip Captain

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

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:36 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.13 - 10/5/10 Reply with quote

THANX A LOT scott, you reply extreme fast answer i want to continue ask few more

1.did you spesificly practice beat placement,i mean like,"these
week/month i want to practise only behind the beat with my idea
I practiced my timing when I was a beginner, because it sucked. At that time I wasn't aware of different time feels, I was just trying to play in time, period. Whatever I've developed now just comes from listening to my favorite players. you have prefer beat placement (like in slow blues,i'm gonna play
behind the beat, fast swing tunes i'm gonna play top or middle of the

  When the tempo is slow, like a blues or jazz ballad, I mainly float over the time. In jazz or funk, I'm playing as relaxed as possible, which sometimes makes the notes a little behind the beat. I've noticed that when playing something difficult I have a tendency to rush, so I'm always trying to correct that because it sounds nervous. 

Hi Scott! Have you watched "Jazz" documental by Ken Burns? Any opinion about it?
Can't wait to see you in South America!

I haven't seen it.

Hi Scott!
How do you deal with the inspiration thing? i know that maybe all improvisers have bad and good days of playing, when they can't express their emotions, do not find the right notes etc

We all have playing days which are better than others, but I don't believe in letting inspiration take the credit. That being said, I know what it feels like to be inspired and then do good work, but I've also written some of my best tunes when I felt more like watching TV - I went to work anyway and ended up being happy that I did. I've had stupidly long travel days complete with bad food, fighting with airline people, and other depressing personal stuff, and surprised myself by playing my ass off that night. I've also had inspirational days or events, followed by below average gigs. It's common knowledge that art doesn't always imitate life.

We've all tried to center in on specific reasons why we had a bad playing experience. Sometimes they're valid reasons, so it was beneficial to pay attention and fix the problems. But sometimes there isn't a reason you can pinpoint - there are too many factors involved, mental and physical. You could blame it on anything, from lack of inspiration to something you ate. So as the book "Effortless Mastery" teaches us, don't get caught up in comparing one day to another, just relax and enjoy yourself every time you play.  

What is good music for you ? I mean, which aspect of the song really gets you when you hear it ?

There are a lot of things which appeal to me - good tones, memorable melodies, cool harmony, soulful phrasing, creative and interesting solos and grooves - the same things most music lovers listen for. I tend to like music that's more quirky than perfect. I like music that appeals to my body as well as my mind. I can't dance, but the first time I heard Sly Stone's "In Time", I sure tried. Some of my favorite music floored me the first time I heard it, like the Weather Report album Tale Spinnin', and some didn't appeal to me on the first listen, but grew on me. When I first heard Mahavishnu, I didn't like it much, but Birds Of Fire became one of my favorite records. Style isn't a big factor for me, since I listen to so many different kinds of music - even some happy jazz. I heard a David Sanborn tune that I loved immediately, whereas I don't think I've ever heard a Kenny G tune that didn't make me want to throw up. He's a perfect example of someone who has none of the above mentioned qualities in his music. Well, except for a few melodies which I remember in the same way I remember Chucky Cheese's pizza. 

Scott, why do 100w amps sounds bassier than 50w ? I didn't get the idea.

Bass is the hardest thing to amplify - that's why bass amps require much more wattage than guitar amps. A 100 watt amp's transformer simply has more headroom to amplify the bass frequencies. 

What your thoughts about the Celestion G12T-75 ? Is it a good match for Marshalls, when playing rock'n'roll ?


That's definitely a rock n' roll speaker. Very scooped sounding and ready for AC/DC. It doesn't have much midrange, so it's not the best speaker for jazz or fusion.

Hi Scott,

Have you ever considered using bassist Doug Lunn in your trio?


I've already asked Travis Carlton, but Doug was recommended to me by several of my friends - I'm sure he's a good player. Travis has heard the trio and seems to be into what we're doing so I have no doubt that he'll do a great job. 

Hi Scott, i want to ask some questions :

1. i've notice when you soloing on your tune Hole Diggin', unlike the other incredible solo of you, on this song your solo it's almost the same on the original recording version and on few live version (video and audio clips), do you mean to play pre-written solo in this track?
  When I recorded the original version on Dog party, I had a lot of worked out ideas for the solo section, and when we played it live, I didn't come up with many new ideas which were any better than the ones on the record, so I decided to make it a "same solo every night" tune. That's the reason we don't play it much, and only as an encore.

2. it's "Chelsea Bridge", is one of your most favourite tune in jazz Standard reportoire, i ask you this because i've recording of you teaching at GIT, soloing on this song (in 12/8)with your student (i've got the recording from my teacher who was your former student of you in GIT), and your solo is very-very melodic, soulful,Deep, GREATER more than your soloing on the other standard song(which is GREAT too)

There's a section in this recording (which i'll remember forever until i die), when you gonna give bad example, and you tell your student "Don't play like this, this is bad and sound like a hit because the note is right, but it's note good hasn't any kind of motif in it, and i change the idea in every chord changes " and then you play the example, and Boom..what a GREAT,Soulful,very melodic phrasing you play in your bad example,i mean how can you say "Don't play like this" but then your example is soooooooo Greeaaattt

Maybe the idea was good, but if you have a different good idea on each chord, after awhile the solo begins to ramble and get hard to listen to. It's like reading text with no periods, question marks, paragraphs, etc. After awhile it's tiring on the eyes, and a solo without any space or melodic development is tiring on the ears. 2.13 you explain that Melodic Improv mean " It simply means the melodies aren't fast like in most fusion music, but played more like a singer would sing", it is the melodic improv have the same meaning with "Lyrical Playing"? i've often hear this term in many jazz book

  Yes, lyrical playing is another way to say it. 

4. It's Thelonius Monk is the most favourite composer of Joe Zawinul because i know he covering Monk tunes (Little rootie tootie, and monk's mood) even in recording of mood there's a man voice that say "there'a a saxophone said "thelonius monk playing is incorrect" Incorrect?, if that's incorrect, i guess some folks saying more in few incorrect moment than most people saying in whole correct lives..."

Joe loved and respected Monk very much. When Joe played solo acoustic piano, I could definitely hear Monk's influence. I said earlier that I like music which is more quirky than perfect - Monk's style of playing fits that description. There are lots of mistakes and missed notes, but changing one thing he played would be a crime.  

5.Do you know who is the saxophone player thay that Joe means?

  No, I think it's probably just a fictional person. 

6. in round 2.12 you said " Some of my favorite things I've transcribed are from Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter - I'd put those more in the inspirational category, because the material is so melodic and played for the moment, it doesn't often work when trying to stick it somewhere else"
it is mean the solo you transcribe from joe and wayne it's the kind of transcription you use for what you said in 2.10 "It's also important to develop a good vocabulary of rhythmic ideas, and the best way to do that is to memorize solos by great improvisers. I've been doing that since I first started playing"?

  Yes, memorizing solos by great players like Joe and Wayne would be a good idea. Both those guys are masters of phrasing, and aren't lick oriented players - much more melody oriented, like the great harmonica player Toots Thielemans.

7. Consider your super incredible improvising ability, when you improvising or transcribing do you hear purely in relative pitch or you have perfect pitch or at least a litlle sense of it, like on same song if it's played in Bm sound more darker Am. Because i just can't believe many incredible player like mike brecker and metheny said that they only have pretty good relative pitch
I have pretty good relative pitch, not perfect. Zawinul had perfect pitch, and so does Steve Tavaglione, one of the world's greatest sax players in my opinion. I loved playing duets with Joe, because I could play any harmony I wanted and he could immediately improvise over it - sometimes the jams would sound very composed. 

8. It's Joe Zawinul catholic?, i've seen video clips in youtube "Joe Zawinul & Wayne Shorter last duet" Joe make a cross sign when wayne hug joe

  Not to my knowledge. He didn't seem to have much use for organized religion. 

Sorry for my bad english

i Scott.
The other day I played on stage not really well and after the show was over i was really mad with my perfomance and one of my teachers say to me "you didn't like the way you play? you are becoming a musician then".
Is that common among musicians not being happy with their perfomances in general?

  That question reminds me of a funny Zawinul story. I was overdubbing a solo in his studio. I played a phrase and then stopped and said "no, I didn't like that". He asked "well why the fuck did you play it then?"
I guess an improviser could get to the level where he thinks that everything he plays is perfect and can't even understand the concept of playing something he doesn't like. Me, I'm not there yet, and aside from Joe, I don't know any other musicians that are either. There's more on this subject in 2.10. 

No question here, just an article I you'll probably enjoy:

  Awesome! This guy really understands why people love Dolemite! I love the shot with the boom mic in it. 

Hi Scott!

I know you don't have caps in your volume pot. I would like to check out how that sounds on my guitar. Can I just remove the cap from my voulume pot or are there any other modifications involved?

  No, just remove the cap. 

Is it possible to use a longer cable without the cap?

  Yes, but the tone will change when you turn down your guitar volume, and the longer the cable, the worse it gets. That drives me crazy, so it's why I use such a short cable from my guitar to my first pedal.  

Does the cable length from the mic to the preamp in a recording situation have any effect on tone? What mic cable do you use and how long is it?

Many thanks!

Looking forward to the TT album!!!!!
  I use Mogami Gold mic cable. My mic pre is close to my my amps, so the mic cables are about the same length as the speaker cable, around 25 feet. I'm sure the quality and length of mic cables can affect the tone - my general rule is to keep all cables as short as possible.  

Hi Scott
Would you ever accept a well-paid Beyonce gig?

I wish! Right now she has all young, hot, female musicians in her band. But maybe she'll do a jazz musician tour someday like Sting or Joni Mitchell did. I'll wait by the phone.  

Hey Scott! I played your song Dolemite for my audition at the Guitar Conservatory. And with succes  I'm attending it now! Thanks for being an inspiration oh and btw here is the youtube link!

Good job! Thanks for playing my tune!

Hi Scott,

In previous posts, you've mentioned a few times that from sound perspective, guitars shouldn't be heavy.
Is that also applicable for les-paulsŠ? I'm asking because of this old belief that les-paul's unique sound comes from its heavy body .

That's an old belief which isn't true. First of all, old Les Paul's are worth so much money that most people can't even get their hands on them to feel how light they are. I've played a few of them at the vintage department at Guitar Center - some of them are very light, and they sound amazing. The new Les Paul's are also light, but it's because Gibson drills out big holes in the body under the maple top, so they're actually chambered guitars. I have one and I love the way it sounds. I don't know why the wood used to make Les Paul's is heavier now than it was in the old days - that's a good question for John Suhr.


Hi Scott,

i've seen that on saturday oct 30 you'll be playing at the baked potato with Philpot in what seems to be a new i wrong?

So, what tunes/style are you gonna play? Since i'm back in town from Italy (i was one of your student at Git, can't forget that time when you spent couple hours discussing how great Hancock is on the Actual proof solo) i won't miss you for sure!!!

Can't wait to hear next TT album!

I've been doing gigs with Rufus and Andy Sanesi on drums for about a year now. We jam and play standards and some fusion tunes. There's some clips on my YouTube channel of us playing Actual Proof and Equinox.

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