Joined: 14 May 2004 Posts: 277 Location: Boulder, CO
Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:56 pm Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2.9 - 6/25/10
Just wonder if you have played a Metropoulos 12000 series amp
No, I've never heard of that one.
What speaker cones "Celestion" do you prefer 6402, 1777 or maybe the old pulsonic 003 cones?
I use 90's Greenbacks made in England, but sorry I don't know what cones are in them. That's a good question to ask on the Gear Page http://www.thegearpage.net/board/ Rick Skillman from Celestion answers questions there sometimes.
Do you have any Mustard caps in your Suhr SH100 amp?
No, they're Mallory 150's. John likes the way they sound and I have to say after comparing the SH-100 to my '71 Marshall (many times), I like the tone of the Suhr more. Maybe the caps are a factor, but the main difference is the transformer. John says Heyboer's plexi transformer clones are as good if not better than the originals. Also, John's layout spaces the components further away from each other and his method of grounding is far superior to Marshall's. I'm sure all of this affects the tone. Anyway, I have no idea if I'd be able to hear the difference between Mustard & Mallory. Sandwich or law firm?
Any chance you are coming to the south of Sweden Malmo or Lund for a gig in the near future?
It's been a long long time since the last time
Keep making that GREAT music
Fasching is the club in Stockholm which paid really well and made it possible to come to Sweden, but I've heard the club is no longer sponsored by the government and they're not offering enough money to make it happen. I'll talk to my agent about it, because I'd love to play in Sweden again.
what a nice surprise your You Tube channel, is always great to see you playing new stuff. Who are those guys at Nomad Trio? Killer band. Are you going
to record your own material?
No, its just a band to play around LA for fun. Andy Sanesi on drums and Rufus Philpot on bass. Andy books the band and we just jam, play standards and a few fusion tunes we all know.
What's the feel of playing in such different musical situacion, the Nomad Trio and SH Trio. I really miss the interplaying in the SH Trio.
Thanks a lot
My trio is mostly original music and that's where my main focus is. The music in my trio is more of a challenge since I always seem to write things that are too hard for me to play.
1) Would you use the same effects chain if you had to play with humbuckers?
Yes, the pedals I use live sound fine with either single coils or humbuckers.
2) How do you feel about the combination of having family and a life style that involves long tours, night gigs, etc.?
I don't like long tours - the last one was seven weeks, which was hard. Usually I go out for two to three weeks at a time - that's nothing compared to actors and rock stars who spend a lot more time away from home. Now with Skype things are easier - I can see my six year old every day and she can ask about the toys I'm buying for her.
3) Although I really like to deal with different effects; when I listen to those old school guys (e.g. B.B. King), connected directly to their amps and producing this great sound, I keep asking myself... how much of a good sound resides in the fingers...? Are we overestimating the importance of pickups, speakers, boutique effects...? Do we tend to mix between versatile sound and a good sound...? how come the hot girl from the office near me never says good morning...?
Thanks for you time and see you in Israel.
I think quality gear helps, but most of it is from the fingers. I've heard Mike Landau play so many different guitars and amps, but it always sounds like Mike. I was at Suhr's a couple weeks ago and heard John on the phone with one of his dealers. The dealer asked what the Riot pedal sounded like and John said "I don't know, I guess it sounds like whoever's playing it". I laughed and thought to myself yeah John, great salesmanship! But he's totally right - the best set of tools in the world won't help someone who doesn't know how to use them.
The hot girl never talks to you because you like jazz fusion.
Hi Scott, I was wondering if you can show us your music room.
Sorry, too many personal items in there...
Hi, can someone serve too many masters musically? i'm interested in getting better and better at: straight ahead jazz, fusion, country, blues/southern rock slide, rockabilly, surf etc. Is that too much?
That's something you have to decide for yourself. For me, variety is the spice of life - I play whatever makes me happy. I learned at a very early age that I'd be bored playing only one kind of music. I started out playing Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple with my high school buddies, and I'd probably still be a straight ahead rock guitarist if a friend hadn't turned me on to my first steady gig with black musicians who played James Brown, Ohio Players, Kool & The Gang, etc. Being yanked out of my world and thrust into one where I didn't know what the hell I was doing was the best thing that ever happened to me. Eventually I got my funk chops together, and it didn't change my love for rock n' roll, it just made me realize that I could be equally attracted to two different types of music. That open minded attitude led me to classical rock bands like Yes and Gentle Giant, fusion groups like Weather Report and Mahavishnu, and eventually to straight ahead jazz and blues. I played all this music with the same enthusiasm, and desire to learn as much as I could about each style. That's why I don't like to be labeled as a jazz musician - I'm not, I'm just a musician who's influenced by jazz, along with rock, blues, funk, classical, country, and whatever else I hear that I like. Right now Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me?" and "All The Single Ladies" are on the top of my playlist. Video included of course! The synth work on All The Single Ladies is awesome - great players and production on that track.
Just because I've chosen to play different kinds of music, it doesn't mean that I don't respect the purists. They live in more of a one dimensional world, but they're extremely dedicated to their particular style of music. If it wasn't for them, people like me wouldn't have so many great musicians to draw inspiration from. I listen to purists all the time, I just don't want to be one, especially a snob who thinks no other kind of music is worth listening to. Believe it or not, I've actually met a few jazz snobs who can't even comprehend the genius of Led Zeppelin! They just don't get it - and it shows because even though they can improvise well, their writing sucks. As composers they're not qualified to shine Jimmy Page's shoes. Of course there are snobs in every field of music - even if they're good at what they do, in my opinion they're still narrow minded idiots. Fortunately they're in the minority - most purists who can really play appreciate all kinds of music even though they choose to play only one style. Steve Tavaglione, one of the best jazz saxophone players in the world, is who turned me on to Meshuggah! One of the best things about GIT is that students get to see great concerts that they probably wouldn't have attended otherwise. When they get their first taste of a type of music they're unfamiliar with, most of them are like holy shit, what have I been missing? I remember when Tower Of Power played at GIT - I can tell you, a lot of metal dudes got a major awakening.
An interviewer asked me one time how it feels to be a jack of all trades and master of none. I told him it feels great. There are guitar players who play better than me in every pure style, but I couldn't care less. I've had an amazing time playing all this different music, and that ability has landed me in a niche of the record industry that lets me play anything I want, with any tone I want, without some producer telling me what to do. So, that's my perspective - you can still develop your own voice no matter how many types of music you decide to play.
Also what do you recommend for for jumping to the next level from a rock/blues/country pentatonic, licks type player. I have some basic/intermediate theory knowledge but much further to go. I'm a cover band guy. Can cop solos off records well but can't hang w/ you that's for sure. With all the info out there, how do I start plugging holes in my knowledge and ability? thanks
I started out as a cover band guy too. I had a good ear for transcribing from records, but didn't know enough jazz theory to fully understand what I was doing. Going to GIT helped me a lot, but it was a jazz school back then. If you've already been playing for awhile, I'd suggest a good private teacher who can fill in the theory gaps, and also get you to practice on what he thinks your weak points are. Try to find a teacher who's playing you really like, because then your lessons will be inspiring as well as informative. If you can't find a great player for a teacher, at least get someone who knows enough jazz theory to help you make sense of the stuff you're transcribing from great players on records.
Hey Scott, love your music, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I think you are among the top 5 best guitar players out there right now. Curious your thoughts on Metheny's new orchestration thing...I just don't get it. Where's the human interaction? I'd rather see him with some live musicians. I know that you play with backing tracks sometimes but that would be more for a seminar thing I would imagine. I whole tour of Metheny playing with a bunch of machines just doesn't appeal to me, and I LOVE the guy and his playing. I don't want to start a pissing contest but curious on YOUR thoughts...
I'm a Pat fan too but I haven't heard that record so I can't comment. I'm curious about it so I'll buy it sooner or later.
Please tell us your thoughts on the Baked Potato 40th anniversary concert. Do you have any info on a DVD release of the show?
I'm sure it was a success but it was a stressful day for me. I had to wake up at 8:30 to pick up Alan from the airport and go to the festival to set up our gear. The bands before us took too long, so we didn't get a sound check. I forgot my headphones so I couldn't practice the music before the show, and I started getting really sleepy right before we went on so I made the mistake of drinking too much coffee, which woke me up but made me feel awful. The gig was outdoors and it was cold - my hands were freezing but there was no hot water or heaters. I hate going on stage with cold hands! After our set all I can remember is being totally embarrassed and disappointed with my playing. After our last tune, I had to immediately pack my gear and take Alan back to the airport - I got home, went to sleep and tried to forget about the whole thing. If they do release a DVD, I doubt if I'll let them put my lame ass on it. Still, even though my viewpoint is critical, we did get a standing ovation so apparently people liked the show. It was probably OK for the most part but I was just feeling crappy. I do remember making a couple really funny mistakes in the tunes, so at least I provided some comedy for my band mates.
Also, how is the new Tribal Tech project coming along?
thanks for everything!
Much better than my set at the concert. We had a great time jamming like we always do. I think we came up with a lot of very cool stuff which we'll have to go through in the next couple weeks to decide what we'll use for the record.
I own your Suhr model, the white one and it's great. I thought with 16" i'd be really comfortable and pretty fast.
But still i find the string tension quite high, really thought to bend and the neck has a very vintage feel as if the radius was much rounded.
I tune to E, put 9 to 42 strings and just fatten up the two high strings (10 instead of 9 and 13 instead of 11) to have more consistency in picking the different string, and to fatten up the high register of the guitar...
Do you think the swapping of those 2 strings is the problem ? tremolo adjustments ?
The string tension is determined by the height of the bridge saddles. The higher the saddles, the easier it is to bend the strings. It has to do with the angle of the string as it's bent over the saddle, and the downward tension on the bridge. Unfortunately, this adjustment can only be made by tilting the neck. If you want the saddles higher, the neck slot on the guitar has to be sanded down a little at the top, so that the neck tilts back slightly more and you can raise the saddles. I'd recommend sending the guitar to John for this adjustment - I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it. If the saddle screws are sticking out, the saddles are too low - I have mine set so that the screw tops are approximately flush with the top of the saddles.
If there's not enough downward tension, when you bend a string it can move on the saddle, and the extra wear can cause the string to break more often. Also the bridge doesn't stay in tune as well when using the bar. I think more downward tension on the saddles makes the guitar sound better, sustain better, and stay in tune better too. If you raise the saddles, don't forget to raise your pickups so they're the same distance from the strings as they were.
Also what about the Lovepedal COT 50, don't u mind the lack of tone(or other) knobs ?
thanks a lot !
No, the pedal doesn't seem overly bright so I don't think it needs a tone knob.
Hi Scott, it's Diego from Barcelona,Spain. First of all thanks a lot for sharing your time and information with us, it's really nice to have a musician of your caliber doing what you're doing with this forum and all of our questions.
I'm a big fan of yours and i really love yor aproach to the guitar, i think you do something unique in jazz-rock fusion and that's my main goal in the guitar, so thanks again for your music as well.
I could ask you 100 questions but i'll do an effort and ask you just a couple of them, se here it goes:
Every musician has to have a good tempo, that's a fact, but do you think is something you can achieve with time and effort? or do you think is something you are born with or not? and if you don't have it,do you think you could study with a metronome all your life but never really get it right?. Do you ever study with a metronome? any tips for the rhythmic and tempo stuff??
Some people are born with great time - I wasn't one of them. At some point I must have realized that my time sucked - in fact I remember people being on my case about it. Being yelled at was good inspiration to fix the problem, so I had to pay special attention to my time for awhile until it eventually got better. I've seen a lot of my students overcome time problems because I make them pay attention to it, tap their foot when they play, and make sure their foot never strays from the beat. If you can't tap your foot in time while playing a rhythm, you don't understand the rhythm. Slow it down until you can do it right. I don't recommend metronomes - they're annoying and don't represent the real world - drum machines are much better. Sequencing software for your computer and stand alone sequencers like the Yamaha QY-100 are great practice tools. I've practiced with sequencers for so many years that now my time is pretty good.
My second question is about yor rig, something i don't get is why you use all your gain pedals with the volume knob all the way up, aren't the volume diferrences HUGE between the amp channel by itself and the amp with a pedal on with it's volume at max?? how do you manage those huge volume diferences live? what about the wah??? isn't the same with the volume diferences because you have it at the end of the fx chain??
I use a one channel amp, set on crunch. I don't use the amp by itself - one of the pedals is always on. For my clean sound I use my RC Booster and turn my guitar volume down to about 5. It's not totally clean like a clean channel but it's good enough for me. I use the wah mostly with the RC Booster, because the SD-9 has too much gain and makes it feed back (not in a good way).
Finally, i study in the school where Willis teaches here in Barcelona, do you think is there any chance to have a masterclass here if you tour with TT on Europe after the new album is done?? If there's anything i can help, ill be more than pleased to do it, give it a thought!
We're not touring with Tribal Tech, but it's possible that I'll play in Barcelona with my trio next spring. My agent's contact info is on my website and he's the one who sets up workshops.
by the way, do you like sharpeis? do you think they're violents??
I love Sharpeis and I've never heard anything bad about them.
What has been your experience playing guitars by Tyler, Sadowsky and Tom Anderson? Have you played any of their "classic" Strat or Tele style guitars?
I've never played any of them. I've only lifted a few Anderson's and they were really heavy. I know Mike Landau has a few Tylers that he likes, but I don't know anything about Sadowsky.
Also, if you had to use a humbucker in the bridge, what would your current choice be for a strat-style guitar? I read Landau uses a Suhr SSV.
That's what I use too. I have it in one of my Suhrs and used it on Well To The Bone, not for my main sound, but for layering. The SSV is great in Fender style guitars since the bobbins are spaced correctly for Fender string spacing. I still use the Seymour Duncan '59 in my Gibsons, and I thought it sounded fine in my Suhr as well until I heard the SSV. The SSV doesn't have the honky midrange sound of a '59 or other Gibson style humbucker - it's more like a fatter sounding single coil pickup. I love the SSV but single coils are still my favorite because they have more bass than any humbucker.
Have you looked at the "vulcanized neck" process that Suhr is doing on their maple necks? It is supposed to help humidity from penetrating the neck.
Thanks for the great music man!
Sorry I don't know about it - I'm sure John could answer that question for you.
1).How is it going with the new Tribal Tech recording?
I also remember you mentioned earlier that there won´t be no touring with TT. WHY?
I mean, I love the bluesband or any setting you play in, but IMO, TT had that extra something or dimension. And DAMN what fun we used to have on the shows, never knowing what to expect...TT tunes followed by brutal hardcore versions of Earth Wind & Fire, to a gentle "There is no greater love" and everything in between. No to mention the many "stand up comedy" moments...or Kirk doing anything from Elvis via rap to Death metal growling
Which other band had all this paired with the intensity of playing that one almost needed safetybelts not to fall out of the chairs I miss those days...
I miss those days too, we had a lot of fun. There are many reasons why Tribal Tech won't tour anymore, some too personal to mention, and also there are members of the band who just don't want to tour anymore period. Another reason is the economy - its hard enough out there with a trio - a quartet makes it even more difficult. From my viewpoint as a guitarist, even though I still play with Kinsey on the road in his band, which reminds me very much of playing with Tribal Tech, my focus is on my trio because I get to play a more chordal style and be more in control of the harmony. I've played with keyboard players my whole career, and been the "sax player", which is kind of a one dimensional role for a guy with six strings.
2) Please, some more Zawinul stories !!!
If you write a book with these, I´ll be your first customer
There isn't a day in my life when I don't think about Joe - his music is forever etched in my brain. Yesterday I transcribed the song 8:30. Playing that harmony on my guitar and realizing that he just improvised it on the spot, like everything he wrote. He was probably the most gifted musician ever born on this earth - that is if he was from here.
But the comedy shit was great too. When Kirk Covington did the gig, this is how Joe announced him at the Blue Note in New York. "On drums we have Kirk Covington - he's only been in the band for two weeks, but he sounds like he's been in the band... for three weeks!"
3) Dammit, come back to Nefertiti SOON in any setting !!!
(I know it´s not up to you, or even Patrizio)
I'll definitely have a talk with Uncle Pat about it. It's been way too long since we've played at Nefertiti - we miss you guys too! I have a lot of friends there, including the great guitarist Ulf Wakenius and his son Eric, who I taught for a year at GIT, and it's always a blast to hang with those guys. There's a Mongolian BBQ right next to the hotel in Gothenburg - I want to be there right now.
Thanks a lot for your time! You are helping a lot of guitarists in the world with this!
Could you please tell what gear where you using in the song Well to the bone in the minute 3:04 (studio version) and in the live CD in the same part of the song?. It should be registered as one if the greatest guitar sounds ever.
Thanks! It's an S.H. model Suhr guitar with V60LP pickups and a Fender Vintage bridge into a Dumble modded Fender Bandmaster. The pedal is an Ibanez Tube Screamer with Analog Man's silver mod. The cabinet is an open back 4x10 with Kendrick Blackframe speakers. I should add that the cabinet had very little bass - at the mix, Mike Landau added 8db (!!!) of low bass so that the track would sound as big as my other tracks using my 4X12 cab. Well To The Bone is the only song on the record where I used the 4x10 cab.
Also, do you hit the strings with the nails of the right hand to qet that "shwuy" sound when playing with the neck pickup?
The only thing I can think of that I do with my right hand - ha ha, this could be a funny answer. Anyway, I pull up on the string with my pick as far as I can and then let go, which slaps the string down and makes a pretty cool sound. If that's not the sound you mean, on the part of the song you mentioned I'm actually hitting all the strings with my pick but muting them except for the strings I want to sound. Stevie Ray did that a lot.
Hi Scott! I want to know your opinion about Jeff Beck. Lately I've been listening to him a lot (blow to blow blew my head) and it's interesting how unpredictable he is.
I think he's one of the world's best guitarists. Probably the best when it comes to phrasing and sheer creativity. I've been listening to him since I was a kid.
A couple of personnal questions:
Is there any goal that as a musician you still have to achieve?
Just about all of them.
What do you feel when you are consider the best guitar player of the world? I think that you, doing what you do, are simply the best. How does it feel to know this?
I can't wait for the new TT cd and your Southamerican tour!
Thanks for the compliment, but I don't see myself that way. I have some good qualities as a musician, but I need improvement in a lot of areas.
I'm happy when people enjoy my music but if I thought I was the best, I'd be listening to my own music all the time, which I don't. I listen to the musicians who I think are the best. That list is too long to write, but Weather Report is among my favorites.
Scott, I was disappointed at not seeing you on the 2003 "Rewired" Jeff Beck tribute album. Were you invited to contribute on that one??
If that's the one produced by Jeff Richman, I think he asked me to play on it - I don't remember why it didn't happen. There's another Beck tribute album released by ESC records which has Tribal Tech's "Song Holy Hall" on it.
Hi Scott, it was awesome seeing you live in Mumbai - I was the guy that Tyrone introduced as coming all the way from New Zealand (truth is I was down for a gig myself, the timing coincided spectacularly). At that point my playing really needed a kick in the ass and seeing you live did just that. Thanks! I hope you enjoyed your tour of India - it's a crazy place, isn't it? What was your favourite thing you ate on the tour? Did you get to witness Floyd shredding? *grin*
I loved my visit to India! The food was so amazing it would be hard to pick a favorite. And yes I got to hear Floyd for a minute - what a great player!
Tech question - I have a late 70's Marshall JMP 100-watt sitting at John Suhr's shop for an FX loop and some of his preamp tweaks. Is the difference between your SH100 handwired and the ML100 (Mike Landau's version) pretty much the same as the OD100 Classic and Classic+ (mentioned in previous posts)?
Yes, the SH100 is channel two of the classic, and the ML100 is channel two of the classic+.
scott, thanks again for making yourself accessible this way.
couple of non-gear/technique/geek questions for you...
1. what's your FAVORITE part of being on the road?
(i can guess the parts you HATE would make a much longer list, so just the favorites)
That's easy - getting to play music every night.
2. what's the scariest situation you've been in, on the road?
We've been in some South American cities where there don't seem to be any traffic laws. Car lanes don't exist, and people drive like death race 2000. On some of the drives to and from the airport or gig, I can remember thinking for sure I was going to die. In Budapest as I was being driven to an amp repair shop (that's the time when airport monkeys dropped my amp out of a truck), a guy ran a red light going about 60 mph and missed us by inches. Travel of any kind would be at the top of my hate list - I like it when we get there, on the way I'm not so happy.
Hey Scotty, if you could choose to be one musician in the past (Paganini, Mozart, Robert Johnson, etc) who would that be?
Eubie Blake because he lived to be 100 years old. If I had to pick a guitar player, Hendrix had a short life but he sure kicked ass while he was here. Mentioning Paganini in the same sentence as Mozart is like mentioning Mr. T. in the same sentence as De Niro.
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