Joined: 14 May 2004 Posts: 278 Location: Boulder, CO
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:40 am Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 2 - 6/19/04
I would just like to know how loose is your whammy bar and how is it set up?
My bridge is set up so I can go up a major 3rd on the G string - when I dive bomb and the G string goes sharp, I can usually pull the bar up and knock it back in tune. I shortened my bar by about an inch and a half because it helps my intonation to have to use a little more pressure on the bar, plus I think the tone suffers if I have to pick way up by the neck while holding the bar.
What do you think of other fusion guitar players? Namely...Frank Gambale....is he the real deal in your book or over focused on his own technique? What did you think of Shawn Lane's playing? Real deal...or too avant-guarde-a clue....?
What is your favorite Allan Holdsworth and/or Wayne Shorter albums? What solo of Allan and Wayne's just DO it for you? I mean, where you hear all the things about music and improvisation that you enjoy...what work of theirs' do you hold above the rest? Also, when will you make a CD with another guitarist? And if so, could it possibly be someone like Allan Hinds or Robben Ford.....??
Sorry, I don't want to aquire the role of music critic, so I'll keep my opinions about other players to myself where they belong.
There are lots of Allan and Wayne solos that I like - too hard to pick a favorite!
In the last series of questions/answers Scott was expressing how bad it generally is in the States in terms of "making good" by touring. I have read similar comments from Allan Holdsworth & Frank Gambale. As a fan, it is quite frustrating knowing that you'll probably never get a chance to actually see many artists that you'd really like to because of some of the things Scott expressed earlier. I was curious, if approached and asked to do a G3 tour would Scott do it? The show is about showcasing great guitar playing/music, where each player performs their own 45 minute set and then all 3 guitarists come together at the end and jam on usually 3 classic rock standards in front of an audience averaging about 3750 people. This successful tour has existed since 1996 and has had a wide cross-section of players of many different styles and backgrounds participate thus far.
I'd probably do it if I was asked, but I'd also be very surprised if anyone asked!
Heard a rumor that there was something planed for a new Vital Tech Tones project. Anything going in that direction?
It's difficult to find a time when we're all free at once, but I hope it'll happen.
Ciao ,i've read that Scott is using his Dumble bandmaster to 8 ohms,but old fender works at 4 ohms,so the question is: has all the transformers changed or only the output tranny?has the amp a new switching for the clean and od channels??THANKS BEST REGARDS
The original transformer on the Bandmaster is 8 ohms, and there's no overdrive channel - it needs pedals.
Have you ever had any problems with tendonitus, carpel tunnel, or other RSI's? Or are you a lucky bastard?
Well, I've been lucky - I don't know about the other part..... actually I had tendonitus which was the result of a summer of construction on my house, but it was in my upper right arm and didn't effect my playing. It lasted for almost a year and was really annoying though.
Q: How do you feel about people taping your live shows and trading them (not for sale/profit, of course!)? Considering those of us in the US can very rarely, if ever, get to see you live, I was curious how you felt about trading live material? Just fyi, the vast majority of the stuff that is available on the net is from overseas!
I don't like when people tape shows because I don't know if it's just for them or not. I've seen lots of our videos for trade on the net, but I've seen them for sale too. But if I knew that it's for private use, I wouldn't mind as much.
Any plans to work with Kinsey anytime soon???
I miss playing with Kinsey - he's one of the best musicians I've ever worked with. I hope to do something with Tribal Tech in the future, but Scott and I have a gig together in July at La Ve Lee, just jamming and playing some standards. Haven't decided on bass & drums yet.
What do you think of Adam Stark's Sex Amp?? I loved the one I played in January. (I think Torn has that one now)
I think it sounds great! Adam and I get together a lot and check out gear -he really knows amps and tone, and he's a good player too.
I also wanted to know about your whammy bar technique and setup. I remember reading from Guitar Player interview that you have set your bridge so that you can pull up three semitones and you use only three springs. Are those regular in stiffness? Isn't your vibrato arm also shortened? Doesn´t that much of pull-up strain the strings where they meet the bridge pieces. Did you use this much pull-up also on your previous records (Dog Party, Tore Down House)?
I use 3 springs, set the Van Halen way, and they're normal tension. I've been using the same strat setup forever - I use 11's so the strain on the strings at the bridge isn't a big deal. Well.... maybe it is, but I change strings every gig so they don't break.
I have a problem that when the bar sits tight in the hole and is nice to operate, it doesn't fall down when I don't want to hold in my hand. It just stays up there and is clearly in the way. And if I tighten it so that it falls down when wanted, it isn't tight it enough in the hole and isn't very nice to play with. I hope you understand what trying to explain here.
I once tried a John Suhr Classic model and it had exactly the same problem. Do you have some sort a solution for this or maybe totally different kind of a bridge?
I like the arm to drop when I let it go, and it doesn't bother me that there's some looseness in the feel, though I know it drives some guys crazy. I guess I just got used to it. Sometimes I tighten the bar into the block just a little and when I loosen it, it feels a little tighter but still drops nicely.
SO, what amps / setups do you recommend for the rest of us, to at least approach a decent solo sound and feel, while still being able to manage the volume and also be able ot achieve clean sounds and with effects, etc.? Have any of the modelling amps gotten to the point where you condider them to be acceptable?
I haven't heard a modeling amp I like yet, but some of the new smaller Fender amps sound pretty good. I'm really not much of an amp expert since I've been using the same amps for a long time and don't try new ones that often.
so, is there no viability in even doing a week long stint at catalina's once a year for tribal tech? it seems like whenever there's a big name group playing in there, there's a pretty big draw.
Oh boy, I get to rant!! Words cannot describe my hatred of Catalina's... I wouldn't play there if it was the last club on earth, because I wouldn't rip off my fans by making them listen to the world's worst PA, pay WAY too much to get in, eat crappy food and pay WAY too much for it, and have watered down drinks (two minimum, of course) and pay WAY too much for that too. I've seen legendary piano trios there and couldn't hear the piano - and complained like hell about it to their idiot staff, who did nothing about it. Fuck that place.
I feel so much better - thanks!
I wanted to follow up on what someone else had asked in interview #1.
To me it seems counterintuitive that it'd be cheaper for T. Tech (or anyone else) to tour overseas rather than here in the US. Without going into tons of details, I was wondering if you could clarify why it is that economics prevent you from touring the States.
Don't you (and T. Tech) have a big enough fan base that you could play some select U.S. cities and sell out the house no problem with enough advance notice? LA, Chicago, NY, Atlanta, Dallas...etc. Something like that?
Thanks again, Scott.
To add to Sinnetor's list of possible cities for the tour ---Annapolis,anywhere in the D.C. area.Sorry to be so persistant,but I echo the other sentiments expressed here.(including my own previously stated)
Yeah, I didn't mean to exclude any particular city or anything, I was just trying to think of a few (perhaps?) obvious choices. Boston might have been another one, or D.C., too.
Truth is, I'd be willing to drive a pretty good distance to catch a show or two. I'd like to think that most people here would (time and cash permitting, of course) be willing to make a road trip to the nearest city in which Scott/T.Tech might happen to play.
I realize this is all pure speculation, but it's just such a pisser that the guy can't tour in his own country. But he's hardly alone, I guess. Everytime I check to see where Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, and lots of other players I admire are playing, the vast majority of the time it's in Europe or Japan.
What the hell is wrong with the taste of the average American music "consumer"??! (He asks, rhetorically.) One day history will judge us for the errors of our ways.
Basically it's because most club owners can make more money with a local top 40 band or wet t-shirt night than they can with a national jazz act. There just aren't big audiences here in the states for it, so clubs don't offer enough money per show to cover the costs of plane tickets (expensive!), van rental, hotels (we refuse to share rooms or stay at Motel 6) and gas, food, drugs, hookers (just kidding), etc, etc.... On average, I'd say our audience just about anywhere outside the US is 5 times bigger than it is here, except for maybe at the Bottom Line in NY (but that's gone now). Why is it so lame here??? Probably because people here aren't exposed much to this type of music - and besides, this is the country that won't show tits on network TV, but they'll be happy to show someone getting stabbed or shot. America obviously has a few "cultural flaws".
1) Have you always been cursed with "unfortunate" hair? Just kidding!
Unfortunate is such a nice word for it - thanks!
2) How many dogs do you own, what kind, what are their names, and who takes care of them while you're away?
My wife Sanya is the dogsitter for hounddog Duke, Shepard/Rott Frog, and Husky P-Dog, as well as baby sitter for our new 5-month old baby Angela.
3) What I really would like to know is maybe better answered by your manager/accountant such as:
A) What does someone in your unique position (touring/recording musician) have to factor in to keep a career afloat? i.e. how do you make money, please explain to me the revenue streams involved, does one live off of recording royalties, performance fee's (gate receipts) etc. etc.
Most of us jazz guys make our money from touring, and mechanical (writers) royalties. Also from teaching... does that count?
----------I accidentally deleted the pickup question --------------
I love the V60 LP's - they rule! But live I'm using DiMarzio Virtual Vintage 2.2's to get rid of the hum - it's the next best thing to V60's.
What do you use as an interface to get sound into your computer?
I'm having a hard time getting good sounds at home. I use Performer,
and I have a 24bit converter, a Drawmer 1960 mic pre, and good mics, but there is always something annoying about the high end of the eq spectrum with my converter. Plus I get tons of buzzes and other crap from the power in my 1940 era home. I'm just curious as to what you use. Also, do you work out any of the solos on your recordings, or do you
improvise over the track until you get what you want? Or, are you just a freak who nails everything in one take? Just curious. Thanks again for replying to questions, and for putting out such great albums, and instructional material. You da man!
I use a Studer D19 mic preamp which has it's own converters. I also like the API and Neve preamp when combined with Apogee converters.
I don't work out solo's but I'm not a first take guy either. I usually play a bunch of solos and pick the best one a few days later so I can be a little surprised by it. I'm not one of those jazz purists who doesn't believe in overdubbing because I think making records is a different art form than playing live, so if there's a part of a solo I don't like, I'll go in and fix it.
Scott, I would like to know if you still tune your guitars to Eb nowadays ? Do you feel that you really need to tune like this in order to achieve the sound you are looking for ? What are the advantages of Eb tuning for you ? When you do other projects, like VTT for instance, is it also in Eb ? If yes, how do the others players in those projects ( like Victor Wooten in that case ) accomodate ? Thanks Scott for being here.
All my guitars are Eb except for my purple strat that I use for teaching. It's pretty easy for bass players to just tune down a half step for you - Victor didn't mind. I really like 11's on my guitars and they're too hard for me to bend tuned to E.
I get to ask Scott. Cool. I've only played guitar for two and a half years. Ok, some unusual questions. You don't have to answer them all.
1) What's the best way for you to transcribe? I've been trying to transcribe a some of your music, but most is too fast. I managed to transcribe the fast melody after the chuggah riff in The Big Wave, and a bit of the solo.
You can find digital devices that slow down the music without changing the pitch.
2) How would you say your style have changed through your career?
I think I started out as a blues rocker, got into jazz pretty heavily in the 80's, but then sort of re-discovered my roots in the 90's and found my niche by combining the two in recent years.
3) Are funny faces essensial to become a great feel player?
4) When you're with friends at the campfire, who gets to play the shitty acoustic guitar?
The shitty accoustic guitar is what starts the fire
5) Have you ever walked into a beginner guitar class pretending that you're struggeling with the G chord, but short thereafter just kill them?
No, but I've thought about killing them many times....
As we all well know, your style has continually evolved throughout your career, especially on Rocket Science, VTT3, and Well to the Bone. I was just wondering, did you work on anything "special," i.e., things other than transcribing and such, to achieve your current sound? For instance, your technique with the tremolo bar now--how did you come across that? And a related question--what's been in your CD player lately?
I really love slide guitar, so I've tried to get that sound with the bar since I suck at real slide. I've been using the bar since I was a kid listening to Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore and Jimi Hendrix - those guys were my main influences on the rock side. I can only say that since then I've had countless other influences in lots of styles of music and it's all just blended together to form whatever it is that I do now.
Joined: 18 May 2004 Posts: 20 Location: Myersville,Md.
Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 5:36 pm Post subject: Re: Scott's answers
Congratulations on the baby as well and thanks for the answers.You and I are the same age(on the verge of the big 50) and my wife and I have a 3 year old.Welcome to the "Older Guys with Little Kids Club"--It's amazing isn't?--All my best---
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