Joined: 14 May 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
|Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 4:32 pm Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.23 - 5/27/11
regarding the ongoing "lack of women in the audience" problem;
I've recently had the pleasure of rehearsing with a group consisting
entirely of girls. This is an enticing prospect for me - always having
somebody nice to look at while I bust my bluesy licks out.
The rehearsal space smells much nicer and there are zero ego problems.
The bassist is shaky but the drummer girl keeps a great groove.
Just throwing it out there - maybe this could be a solution to the appalling
boob/non-boob ratio at fusion gigs.
I'm sure a musician as experienced as you must have a deeper insight
into the advantages and disadvantages of this situation, and I'd be
thankful to hear a word of advice from you.
| The obvious advice is don't sleep with your bandmates! Regarding the low number of women at jazz gigs, most jazz fans are musicians themselves, and there aren't as many women musicians interested in jazz as there are men. Also, guitar trio concerts tend to attract mostly guitarists, and there aren't as many female guitarists as male guitarists either. On the good side, I've seen many women at my gigs really enjoying the music, even though they'd never heard of me and just came with their boyfriends. Also, women outside the US aren't as brainwashed by pop culture and are more open minded to different kinds of music.
A lot of women came to the shows in Asia, except for one gig, and this is kind of a funny story… The club was set up with tables for about five people. We walked out on stage and saw that there wasn't one girl in the place, not even a waitress. Not only that, each table only had one guy sitting there. These poor guys didn't bring their girlfriends, and apparently couldn't even get their friends to go. It was without a doubt the most pathetic looking audience I've ever seen, and we all got quite a laugh from it. It reminded me of that club in Naked Gun where all the depressed guys go to drink their troubles away.
More gear questions.
1. Do you get sick of gear questions?
| Only when I get the same ones over and over. |
2. when you listed your pickup height, did you use those same distances with both 2.2's as well as the kinman's?
3. What is the reason you set your trem to pull up a maj 3rd on the G string?
| It puts the bar in a comfortable position for me, and I like to be able to pull all the way up and have the notes on one string be perfectly in tune. |
4. How far do you wind the string around the locking tuners?
| I just set the tuners so the string is straight when it goes through the hole, then lock them and tune the guitar. |
5. I was told once that tightening the tuning keys will help keep the guitar in tune, do you find this to be true or false?
| I have no idea - it might hurt the stability if the tension is loosened, and make it a pain in the ass to tune if the tension is tightened, so I leave them at the factory adjustment. |
6. What are your Badger 18 settings?
| power 10, drive 8 (that can change depending on what time of night I'm recording, but I always keep the power two numbers above the drive) bass 0, middle 10 (that's with my 4x12 - with my 2x12 I turn the mid down to 7) treble 4, gain 6. |
7. Recording guitar on a tight budget... pre/interface recommendations?
| M-Audio seems to be popular - they make a lot of recording gear in different price ranges. |
8. Have you tried the Suhr 1x12?
9. The other day a guy that solders cables for a living at a local L.A. guitar store told me the guitar signal should run through mogami cable in the direction of the writing on the outside and that this is especially important with speaker cable. Do you have any experience with this?
| Yes - people who say things like that posses super-human hearing which could help mankind. Maybe they could hear earthquakes before they happen, or hear terrorists plotting attacks from miles away. I've tried many of these cables which are supposed to be used in one direction. With several of them, I recorded a track using one direction, and another track using the other direction. I couldn't hear one bit of difference between the tracks, but I don't claim to have super-human hearing like your friend who solders cables for a living.
Some of these wives tales are hilarious, but some are legit. Most distortion pedals sound better with carbon batteries than alkaline. Removing the paint from the block of a Fender vintage bridge improves it's tone. Some of these tips sound like voodoo but are really true, and some are total bullshit like the direction of a cable. By the way, if you loosen the top left screw on the back of a Marshall cabinet by two and a half turns, it gives the cabinet more punch.
10. Is this too many questions?
i check all you Marshall Dsl setting
Presence 6, bass 0, mid 5, treble 0 (on an old Marshall or my Suhr, treble would be around 4 or 5, gain 6, master 6.
So my question are:
1. Which Channel do you use?
2. With those setting, and using pedals for distortion, it's possible to use a Volume pedal in front (after distortion pedals) to set general volume for Rhythm/solo switching ?
| I use the crunch channel. I guess you could use a volume pedal between your distortion pedals and the amp, but if you're using some distortion from the amp, the volume pedal will change your gain. If that's cool, then no problem - just make sure it's a high-impedance pedal. I use the volume on the guitar to control the amount of gain, so I prefer to put the volume control in the FX loop, so I can control my master volume without affecting the gain. |
have you ever tried Vovox cables? Whay do you think about them?
Looking at their web site
seems that Kurt Rosenwinkel and Carl Verheyen have a very good opinion.
Thanks a lot
| I've tried too many "high end" cables and have no desire to hear any more of them. They use silver and other high conductance material which takes all the capacitance out of the cable. For distortion, that's not a good thing. The capacitance in the cable is what gives you that nice midrange and smooths out harshness in the top end. Without it, you might as well use wireless, which is what the high end cables I've heard sound like. You can basically get the same result by turning down the mid on your amp. When you're playing by yourself, you get fooled into thinking the guitar sounds bigger, but when the tone is too scooped, it doesn't cut through the band.
If you use a very short cable from your guitar to your amp or first pedal, you get the clearest and biggest sound from your guitar. My cable is four and a half feet. Also, using a short cable allows you to turn down the volume on the guitar without loosing treble, eliminating the need for un-natural sounding caps and resistors on the volume pot. I haven't tried one cable that sounds as good as my short cable, and I seriously doubt if Vovox is any different.
If you had to choose a wah-pedal other than the one you're using now, what would it be?
All the best.
| It wouldn't make much difference, because I'd take it to Marin Golub at LA Sound Design, and he'd make it sound exactly like the Vox he modded for me. I haven't ever heard a stock wah I like very much, except for the old ones like Hendrix used. Martin can mod any decent wah to sound just like the old ones. |
Thanks so much for taking the time to answere the questions on this forum.
I have been a long time fan--saw tribal tech in boston in '96. You had a sub on drums but it was still great.
seen you several times since and you always play brilliantly and have a great sound.
1. You mentioned that you sometimes do duos with other guitar players in LA. Any chance of posting some of the dates? I would love to hear you in this setting.
| No plans for that in the near future. When La Ve Lee was around, the cover charge was low and I could play there every week in different settings. Now all we have is the Baked Potato, which is much more expensive so I can only play there four or five times a year - any more than that and the money is too low. I mainly limit those gigs to the trio so we can try out new music. |
2. When you play guitar duos do you find that you have to change your vocabulary a bit because you are playing with a clean sound very quietly? what is your duo rig---just guitar and amp?--or other effects?
| My rig is the same, distortion and all - only the volume changes depending on who I'm playing with. I'll use the Deluxe if I'm playing with straight ahead players who like to play really soft. |
3. when you use your hot rod deluxe how do you get your dirty uncompressed blues sound? I know you use your rc but in another response you said that the hot rod does not break up with the rc like your suhr amp does.
| Actually I don't use the RC much with the Deluxe. The crunch and distortion channel suck, so I only use the clean channel, which isn't as dirty as my Suhr. Even turned all the way up, the RC doesn't have enough gain for my style of playing, so I use the SD-9. |
One of the great things about your tone in my opinion is how clear the individual notes sound when you play double stops or 3 or 4 note chords. They never mush together and sometimes they ring out with such separation and clarity that it sounds like it was recorded one note at time.
I have a 335 and play solo guitar a lot. I usually practice unplugged and the guitar sounds just perfect, but whenever I plug in (usually in my HRD that otherwise sounds great) I feel like I lose a lot of dynamics and all the notes get mushed together. I don't have a typical jazz sound, I like the amp to break up and I have a whammy bar on the guitar..My obvious guess is it's the pickups. I have Seymour Duncans 59. I tried Suhr FL for a day but it sounded weird so I switched back right away.
Do you think single coils generally have better "string separation"? What pickups would you recommend I experiment with? I'm thinking about the SD Jazz and their P90's. Should I give the Suhr's one more chance?
| 59's have a lot of mid, which is going to make the chord notes muddier and less separated, but single coils might be too scooped sounding for solo guitar. Two good compromises would be the Suhr SSV, and Seymour Duncan Jazz - both are humbuckers but have less mid and are clearer sounding than '59's. I like P90's too, but they hum even more than single coils. |
What settings do you use on your Plimsoul? Have you ever tried running it at 18volts?
| I like it at 9 volts better. My settings are: Level and Hi-Cut 11 o'clock, Sustain 2 o'clock, Stage 2 all the way down. |
Grad to hear you are safe.
I knew you have a gig in Sendai on March 11, so I was worried.
I live in Tokyo, but this time unfortunately I could'nt go your trio gig in Tokyo on March 10.
Mainly because of price. Sorry but honestly speaking I feel 7350 JPY is expensive in this bad economy compared with price of other countries. Although I guess it is up to local promoter and club...
| This is something I've never been happy about, and I've complained about it many times. It seems to me that 200 people buying drinks on a 30 dollar ticket make more money for the club than 50 people on a 100 dollar ticket, making for terrible bar sales. I don't know why promoters don't get that. It pisses me off because most of my fans are musicians who can't afford ridiculous ticket prices. Unfortunately all I can do is complain - the final decision is up to the promoter. |
Anyway, I have a question.
Do you attach or detach spring cavity cover of your Suhr guitar? Does it affect the sound?
Thank you for your time.
| I don't use a cover, only because it makes it harder to change strings. I've heard people say that a cover isn't good, because it makes a chamber inside the guitar which contributes to pickup howl at high volumes. Not feedback, which is a good thing. Howl is when the pickups make an oooooooo sound like microphone feedback. I've also heard the same thing about chambered guitars - harder to control at higher volumes. |
How much time it's take to you to learn a new lick or phrase you transcribe so to be part of your playing?
i know that it depends of the level of difficulty of the phrase and nowadays you have the chops and experience to adopt much quicker, but back to you learning teen days it would take days, weeks or what?
| My teacher used to say, if you can learn one new idea a week, you're doing great. It's not enough to just learn it, but you should be able to play into it and out of it seamlessly, and also change it's rhythm anyway you want. If the idea comes from a major or melodic minor scale, explore using it in different modes. That way, it doesn't sound anymore like some lick you learned, but becomes a natural part of your vocabulary. |
I would like to buy the suhr badger 18w mainly for recording purpose so I would ask you some questions about that....
I heard the clips of Landau in the suhr website and i like the tone very much..... but i found a little annoying the ground noise....
So, does the badger have that sort of hiss or are those "bad recordings" (I can't believe I say it.... Landau is one of the best!!!)?
How much static noise does it has? Is it usable in all its sounds to you?
And compare to the 100watt model, is it quieter or it's about the same (I mean with approx. the same level of input)?
Any advice about small amp for clean (with little break up) recordings?
Thanks a lot!
| About the noise, I haven't noticed any difference between the Badger and any of my other amps. Mike could be using a pedal on the clips which can add some hiss, but remember those clips are of the guitar by itself - you'd never hear that small amount of noise in the tracks.
I love the Badger, but it has it's limitations. It's a great amp for blues and clean tones, and I think it sounds as good or even better than my 100 watt amps for that. What it doesn't do very well is high gain tones, like with a high gain pedal like the PlimSoul or SD-9. In comparison, the 100 watt amps have a thickness in the mids which the Badger doesn't have.
My favorite Badger tones so far have been with my 2x12 cabinet which has Celestion Heritage 65 speakers. The power scaling works really well - it sounds great at very low volume.
Hey Scott, I think Eminem is real cool, what medication do I need? LOL seriously he's got attitude hasn't he, which is more than can be said about Kenny G!!!
| I haven't heard him, but I haven't heard much of what's popular these days. My friends tell me I'm not missing anything, but I still listen to the radio once in awhile. Every time I do, I'm amazed at how terrible most of the music is. I've heard a couple tunes I liked, but the whole package of quality writing, singing and playing seems to be pretty rare on the radio. I love Beyonce and she's popular, so there must be other talented people out there in the pop world. For me, great pop music is Steely Dan, but that shows you how old I am.
I'm old school, so I don't consider rap to be in the music category, and Eminem is a rapper, right? To me, it's poetry written over loops. There's definitely an art to poetry, and to making loops, but you certainly don't need to be a musician to do either one. That's not saying I haven't heard some rap I like, but I could hear at first listen that there were real musicians involved in creating it, not just guys using Garage Band. Even some of those guys are pretty creative, but I think most people would agree that rap is one of the more formulated styles out there. In my opinion it exists to tell stories about urban culture more than make a musical statement. Most of what I hear on rock radio is lame songs, like the usual A minor to F major shit, with young white musicians singing about how hard their lives are - that music makes me want to throw up. It's either that or metal which doesn't do much for me either. Meshugga is one of the only metal bands that really appeals to me because they're such great musicians. So I've pretty much given up trying to find stuff I like in mainstream music. I'm sure there are some great things I've missed, but they seem to be hidden among a mass of bullshit.
Anyway this is a cool story: I was playing a John Tavener record to my 2 year-old boy (a bit of cultural education so he won't end up like me you know), he said he didn't like it, came up to the CD bag, pulled out the Vital Tech Tone 1 CD, played it, and then said the distortion sounds like a car engine, which is the highest compliment you could get from him because he loves cars.
So he's been asking me to play that CD everytime, which he calls the "car music".
Hi Scott, I am a real big fan of you and your tone, I think you are the most innovative guitarist in the world after Hendrix
Simply number ONE. My sons (15-12) can sing all your solos since they were younger... (ridiculous father, poor boys )
I studied a lot (most by ears) your approach to improvisation and of course your wonderful tone. In fact as you teach, I'm trying to get MY Ideas and MY tone, but I recognize that your tone (of course also ideas) is the best of every time, especially the one: '59 DS + GP1000 + Boogie 290 + EVM12L + Neumann.
My Ideas are similar but not too closed to yours and my tone is pretty nice and covers very well both worlds (to my ears ) Tribal Tech tone and blues vintage full sound tone: It's composed by a involved 'all in one' 4U rack unit with: 'mini remote' loop switch + RC booster(SH) + BB preamp(AT) + Triaxis + Intellifex + Mesa2:90 + 4Greenback 8ohm mono-stereo 4+4. The guitar I use most is a Fender USA + Suhr FL std/'59 DS
(All std. Mesa tubes, best choice for tone)
When I use just one channel 90W in 4x12 8 ohm mono wired as yours I get a real good sound but when I need more clean range on clean solos like Metheny I need to use it stereo 4+4 but the sound changes (as you teach) and gets too dynamic/bright/modern, also greenbacks start breakin' up very quick.
So now that Electro Voice is producing new EVM12L Classic (a reissue of the 80's) I want to try also that way, maybe in one other cabinet 4x12, and finally reach the 'St. Graal' secret of Henderson's Tribal Tech unsurpassed lead tone (together with '59 DS in my opinion )
But here comes some doubts!
Did you use the Mesa Boogie 295/290 in stereo mode in 4 x 16ohm EVM12L wired in 2 parallel 8+8 ohm, or 4 x 8ohm in 4+4 way? I know they made also a 4ohm version so it could be possible 2 series of 4 (more smooth) and so 8+8?!
| I'm happy when I hear that people like my tone back in the Tribal Tech days, but if you listen closely, there's no bass at all in my sound. If you compare my tone from those days to Jeff Beck or Mike Landau, my sound is very small in comparison. The main reason is that the Boogie 290 has no bass whatsoever, and I was using it in stereo with two 2x12 cabs, which had very little bass either. The speakers were 16 ohm, so each cab was 8, which means the power amp was running at 8 ohms per side, which is the correct way. (At least I got one thing right.) |
What's the difference between your setup of 2 cabs 2x12 in the Corea band and the 1960 of the last TT days? EVM12L in stereo mode are better in separate cabs or not?
Should I better go for 2 cabs 1x12 8ohm? Mesa only have 8 and 4 ohms outputs.
Please help me understand, they are so expensive!
Last question: you told us in this forum that you used 'that cab' with EVM for most recordings of TT, did you use the 1960EVM in stereo mode or how did you mike that fantastic lead sound?
Really thanks for your time, I appreciate very much your job here.
Hope to see you again here in Italy with 'Scott Henderson Band' ...
God bless you!
| The main difference is that I was stereo in the Ned Flanders band but mono in the later TT days. Check the Index and you'll see a lot of my posts on stereo rigs vs. mono. I'm not a fan of stereo rigs live, because most PA's are mono. Miking one half of your rig will sound bad, and combining both to mono will sound even worse. If you do happen to find a stereo PA, only the people sitting in the center will hear your sound the right way.
I never used a 1960 cab, with two inputs on the back with a switch. It's the most awful cabinet ever made, by Marshall, or anyone. Using it in stereo sounds terrible because the left and right are too close together. If you want a good stereo sound, the cabs need to have separation, and remember, it's only going to sound good to you, not the audience.
My stereo image in the studio didn't come from milking two cabinets, but from adding stereo delay and chorus during the mix. Check the Index under recording - there are many posts about how to use FX to change your mono track to stereo.
Have you ever tried active pickups ? What's your opinion about them ?
| They can sound great for clean rhythm guar, but I don't like them for distortion tones, especially high gain. They sound similar to using a buffer, creating frequencies which are too high to roll off with the amp. |
Just for curiousity, do you use the SD9 with your Telecaster ? I tried using this pedal with my Tele, and didn't sound that good. On the other hand, the OD9 sounds marvelous, fat and balanced.
| The amp and cabinet also play a big role in the tone, so it could be the combination you don't like. I have 3 or 4 main distortion pedals, all different sounding, and I'm always switching between them when I use a different guitar, amp, or cabinet. |
Any chances coming to Brazil this year?
When recording, do you use eq after the mic pre, before the signal hits the "tape"?
Thanks for your time!
All the best!
| No, I always record flat, and EQ it later if I need to. |
Do you know this Dunlop Fuzz pedal ?
Have you ever tried it and what's your opinion ?
| No I've never tried that one. |
We all know that you played Matshless DC30 with 4x12" V30 Cab on the Dog Party CD, but in which channel ? Was it the channel one (top boost inspired) or the channel two ? What setting ?
Thanx a lot for your sharing.
| Sorry, it's been too long. I didn't even remember that the Matchless had two channels. |
Thanks for answering our questions. If I remember right I think you answered earlier regarding another subject that you had a Suhr tele at home, that even sounded a bit fatter than you're strat (correct me if I'm wrong). So I was wondering, is your Suhr tele set up exactly like your strat? I mean, are the pickups, wood, neck, and such the same? And if you for example use different pickups for the tele, why's that? I'm thinking of getting a Suhr Classic T, would it be insane to use the pickups you use in your strat in a tele for some reason?
| My Tele isn't a traditional one. The shape is, because it doesn't have the modern contours of his other Tele - mine has all the corners, which means more wood. Mine is alder with a rosewood neck - the traditional Tele is ash, which is much brighter. A real Tele has a more twangy sound - with the tone all the way up, it sounds almost as bright as a piano, and that's the traditional country sound. Ted Greene played a traditional Tele but kept the treble and mid very low on the amp - Tele's can sound great for jazz. I chose alder because I'm just used to the way it sounds and I didn't want to have to turn my treble down any more than I already do.
I have a friend who put strat pickups on his Tele, but he didn't like it that much. I can't say since I've never tried it. Mine are John's regular Tele pickups and I think they sound great - my tele definitely sounds bigger than my strats. Listen to Beck's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" and you'll hear a Tele with a humbucker in the bridge position which sounds great too.
It would also be nice to tell you that I'm the first woman that registered in the forum and asked you a gear related question, but I will come clean and tell you that I'm yet another Homer Simpson-ish looking bald, hairy guy with glasses. Sorry for that
Hoping to see you again playing some heavy blues for us in Sweden soon. We need it.
| That's OK, there are no women within a million miles of this forum. I like it when they come to the gigs, but asking them to come here and be bored to death by all this tech talk is asking WAY too much. |
What do you think about Carl Verheyen's way of setting up the bridge, where he puts more tension on the lower strings and he gets 3,2,1 half-steps on the G,B,and E strings, respectively? His springs are like this |||, and you have them like this /|\ correct? Any thoughts?
| I'm not saying it doesn't work, but honestly I don't think the springs matter much if the bridge is tweaked like John Suhr does it. Check the Index under Fender Vintage Bridge for the details. My guitar stays in tune really well, and I go nuts with the bar. |
Hello again Scott. Thanks in advance for yet another round...
I just finished reading the infamous biography on Jaco (Bill Milkowski) and found it to be very entertaining, fascinating, inspiring and heartbreaking. Knowing you are such a Weather Report fan, and being that you are originally from FL, I was curious if you ever played with him or have any "back in the day" stories to share?
combed the index, didn't see anything under "Jaco Pastorius"
| I'm a huge fan of Jaco, and I played with him a few times, but unfortunately by then he wasn't the real Jaco - the drugs had taken their toll and he couldn't play much of anything. I saw him sit in many times with other groups, and he usually had to be stopped in the middle of the song before he broke whoever's instrument he was playing. I'm glad I got to see him play with his Word Of Mouth group a few times when he was playing great, and I have some live Weather Report videos where his playing is unbelievably good. One of my favorite Jaco moments is Dry Cleaner From Des Moines from Joni Mitchell's Shadow and Light album. That's just the greatest bass playing EVER.
I have quite a few personal Jaco stories but the funniest one is when I was playing at this club in West Palm Beach. Peaches Records was right next door, which was south Florida's answer to Tower or Virgin. Jaco went into the store and grabbed every Weather Report album and ran out with them, came over to the club and passed them out to all the people watching us play. The funniest part was the Peaches guys in their uniforms going to each table trying to get the records back, without much success. Jaco did some wild shit which was extremely funny sometimes, but the humor stops when the reality of what happened to him sinks in.
I can't crusade against drugs and alcohol, because a lot of musicians played great while using them, but I know they're not for me, and obviously they weren't for Jaco. It's really sad that he had no idea he wasn't mentally stable enough to use them, but it's possible that his mental illness could have surfaced even without the drugs. I can only imagine the great music guys like Jaco and Jimi would be making if they hadn't lived such short lives.
This is Pedro, from Argentina. I had the pleasure of attending your soundcheck, both your shows and the masterclass that you gave during your last tour. Thanks again for everything, it was -and still is- a huge inspiration.
- I read that you will be using, for records, tracks recorded directly using the Korg Pandora. You always have such an amazing tone on records that I was surprised to hear that the Pandora was up to your standards. Do you use any post-processing (EQ, stereo delay, etc.) for those tracks recorded with the Pandora?
| I'm not using the Pandora for the record, only for the basic tracks because Kinsey didn't have a room in his studio for a real amp. The Pandora sounds good, but not that good. Everything I played on the basic tracks will be replaced - the things I played which I like will have to be learned and played again with my real amps. This is nothing new to me because even when I use my real gear in a basic tracks session, I can always get better tone in my own studio. I keep whatever I can, but if I know I can really improve the tone of something I played in basics, I'll usually do it. |
- Are you still using Fender medium picks, mainly held backwards (using the largest part of the triangle to hit the strings)?
| Yes, but they're Fender heavy picks. |
- Have you ever used the Band In A Box software for practicing? What are your thoughts about it?
| It gets the job done, but the feels are pretty corny sounding. A Yamaha QY-100 has much better grooves, and of course creating your own sequences on a computer would be the best option. |
- How would you compare the sound of your Strat's bridge pickup to your Tele's bridge pickup? Your Suhr Tele has the "Classic T Bridge" stock pickup, right?
| It's impossible to compare because the pickups are on different sounding guitars. You'd have to put the Strat pickup on the Tele and vice versa to do a real test. |
- What do you think about flatwound strings? Did you ever use these kind of strings?
- Have you checked the Zendrive pedal?
| Yes, I didn't like it much. It sounds thin compared to an RC Booster or COT 50. |
Scott, thank you so much for your time! This forum is truly amazing, as it's great to read all of your answers.