Joined: 14 May 2004 Posts: 278 Location: Boulder, CO
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:55 pm Post subject: Scott answers your questions – round 4 - 8/20/04
Another dumb ii/V question: I am tired of playing sensitive minor ii's while waiting to go to Rod Serling-land over the altered dom. chord. BUT, I know that the contrasting (ii=lovely minor/V=creepy wholetone/I=happy home licks) nature of turnarounds are what make them tick.. what's some good ii idears for us clobberheads?
I like to play diminished over minor - example: ii V in the key of C. Over Dm play D E F G Ab Bb B C#. It's like playing melodic minor but replacing the 5th with the flat and sharp 5th. This same diminished scale works over the V chord as well. Sometimes I just ignore the ii chord and play V altered (Ab melodic minor) through the whole ii V.
Hypothetically, if you were told you had to throw all but one of your pedals away, which would be the one that you would keep? The RC?
The Maxon SD9.
Also, I'm wondering if you've heard a guitarist named Tim Miller. I think he was at school at UNT back in '95 when you came to do that clinic with Gary Willis, so you might have met him. He's teaching at Berklee now...he came to do a clinic here at UNT last year--holy shit, that man can play. Just curious as to what you think of him.
Sorry for my bad memory - I have a hard time with last week... '95 is a stretch.
How do you like the action set on your Suhr? Do you think the height affects your tone?
I like low action but if it's too low it'll mess up the tone and sustain. I set my action at just above 1/16" at the last fret.
I read an interview with you once where you said (i'm paraphrasing):
"Playing guitar is like a big black hole where you're unhappy with your playing, and realize you probably never will be happy with it".
Is this still your opinion? If not, what changed your opinion of your own playing?
I don't think there are very many musicians who are completely satisfied with their own ability, because most of us realize that learning any art form is a lifelong endeavor that never reaches it's goal because of death. But even though there's a lot of room for improvement in my playing, I'm confident about the abilities I have. If you're not confident, playing music isn't fun - it's just stressful. But if you're 100% satisfied with yourself, there's no reason to keep practicing and learning new stuff.
Do you have a favorite solo of your own from the Tribal Tech albums? If not a favorite, are there any you feel completely happy with?
I haven't listened to a Tribal Tech record since we finished Rocket Science four years ago, so I don't remember the solos enough to have a favorite. I don't really enjoy listening to my own records.
Are there any artists/styles of music that you enjoy or have been influenced by that would surprise us? stuff outside the blues/rock/fusion/funk/jazz path?
Nothing too surprising but I like classical music, and country guitar playing. Some of those Nashville guys are amazing. Every once in a while I hear pop songs I like, like "Me, Myself and I" by Beyonce and "More to Life" by Stacie Orraco.
And what funk music do you like? -enquiring minds need to know. Does your funk influence come from a certain era, ie: old school James Brown, the 70s 'everybody in man dresses' era, or the funky end of 70s fusion?
Mainly old school like James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone. I was lucky to play for 3 years in a horn band that played stuff by lots of the 70's funk bands. I learned how to play rhythm guitar in that band.
Finally, has anyone ever approached you about coming to New Zealand to play? -I know, it's a FREAKING long shot...
I don't know any agents or promoters there - hook me up with one of them and I'll be down there!
I have a hard time finding a right mix between nervousness (concentration) and calmness on stage, in both cases my solos aren't as fluid as at rehearsals. How do you manage to calm down and fully concentrate on your solos, even if there are 3 hot girls in the front row... Do you drink beer or something before the gig? Do you find a perfect balance between concentration and calmness?
I don't do anything perfect, but that's a good question. Nervousness is enemy number one while trying to play music, and the first night of our live recording was proof of that... it took me a little time to get into a calm state of mind, and I had to really concentrate on what I learned awhile ago from a great book.
When we're nervous while playing, we're "performing".... I try my best NEVER to perform. When you perform, you split yourself into three people - the guy playing the music, the music critic that evaluates, judges, and maybe even hates the notes as soon as they've been played, and the insecure music student looking to the audience for validation and support.
Rather than perform, I like to participate instead - when you participate in something, you do it simply for the fun of doing it, not to succeed or to impress, or to compete or compare to someone else. If you look at playing music this way, it's easier to relax and have fun - and not worry about having a great night as compared to some other night. This kind of attitude will make you play better and allow you to be the most creative.
Alcohol makes me more relaxed, but it also makes me forget things, which isn't good. I'd rather get relaxed on my own, and I've noticed that some of my most creative nights on the road happen when I haven't had a lot of sleep and I'm too tired to worry about anything. I just try to have fun on stage, and sometimes I remind myself that I'm in show business, not brain surgery - if I don't play my best nobody's gonna die, so I'm not too hard on myself. My philosophy on this subject comes from Theodore Rubin's great book "Compassion and Self Hate", a must read for musicians who walk around saying "I suck".
How much ass did you get on the road with Tribal Tech and what's the nastiest thing you ever saw two chicks do?? HAHAHa...Just kidding....Here's my real question..
Yeah, you must be kidding if you think there are any women at a Tribal Tech show.
Do you have any other interests outside of music? Like how Vai keeps bees and Don Mock works on racing boats...that sort of thing....
Dogs and Macs
Also, if you were to go to a friend's house to jam and used just guitar into amp, how would you set the lows. mids, and highs on the amp's EQ? Do you have a typical setting you use or does it all depend on the room, amp, etc?
It really depends on the amp but usually when I check out an amp I'm not familiar with, I start with the bass and treble on around five and the mids off. When I start adjusting the mids it kind of gives me a rough idea about the character of the amp.
Scott, what for you defines a great guitar solo?
If it holds my interest for the length of the solo, it's good enough for me. I pay the most attention to phrasing and tone - if that's not happening I lose interest real fast.
I have recently started using my pinky in my phrasing, and melodic lines like many I have lifted from your albums, where I can tell that you are using your pinky. But, I do not have clean execution when I use it for fast lines, so I resort to using the fingers that are faster. The same goes for arpeggios. But, I want to use all fingers, and I know that it will extend my reach and phrasing if I do. I just don't want to sound sloppy doing it.
I don't use my pinky that much either because I can't bend strings with it and I like to be ready to do that at all times. I use it more for faster line type playing, and I guess I just practiced using it until it felt comfortable. If you want to use it more, just remember to practice very slowly and gradually build up the tempo - I'm sure the sloppyness will go away.
Also, my copy of Spears came from Russia.
Is this album legal?
I have no idea - that's a question for the Russian mob.
Are the first three Tribal Tech albums still printed in other countries?
I don't think so, because I haven't seen them in any record stores in other countries. I'm pretty happy if they just have the newest one.
hey scott...i was just wondering how you usually record your guitars.Do you just put a 57 in front of the amp or you also run a direct out?Have you tried any cab simulator like the Palmer?Do you like them? Any tips on how to get a big and fat sound in the studio?
Too many questions i know i know...but you've always had such a great sound!I was curious.
For my Marshall cab with Greenbacks, I just put a 57 right in the cone of the speaker, about an inch away from the grille. On the 4x10 cabinets with Kendrick Blackframes, I put the mic on the paper right next to the cone.
To get a fat soloing tone, I get a bright sound from the amp, but roll down the tone quite a bit on the guitar - for other sounds I move the mike around and vari the guitar tone. Putting the mic in the cone will get you the biggest sound, but it's too hairy unless the guitar tone is rolled down. Lots of guys keep the tone up on the guitar, mic the paper and compensate by turning up the bass and treble on the amp with very little mid, and that sounds cool too, but I've been doing it the reverse way for such a long time that it just feels like "my tone".
I've tried the Palmer and other cab simulators and I thought they sounded pretty good, but I got a bigger sound with the real deal.
Is Gotoh the same company which makes Wilkenson trem bridges, and if so, is there a reason you use the one you do as opposed to the V100?
I think Gotoh is making the V100 now but I could be wrong... The V100 sounds very different from the 1088. When I tried it I thought it was more scooped, darker, and had more bass than the 1088. I think the 1088 sounds more like a vintage strat bridge and that's what works best for me.
I'd like to replace the pickups on the Yamaha with the Dimarzio Virtual Vintage 2.2's you recommended, but the Yamaha has a unique pickup configuration with single coils in the neck and middle positions, but in the bridge position, instead of a humbucker, it has 2 single coils in the space of a humbucker cavity - that way when middle and bridge pickups are selected, only one of the bridge single coils are used, so you get an authentic Strat quack. I was over at Dimarzio's web site, and the do in fact have a "dual single coil in a humbucker space" pickup, but they use a couple of their hotter pickups - do you know if one could get two Virtual Vintage 2.2's packaged to fit in a humbucker space? I suppose you're going to tell me to call Dimarzio...
Yeah sorry - that's a DiMarzio question.
How do you approach using 2 humbuckers with Tribal Tech versus single coils - specifically with your lead tones?
I haven't played a gig with Tribal Tech in about three years, so I've really gotten used to playing trio gigs using single coils with 11's tuned to Eb. But I did a couple jazz gigs recently where I needed to be in E so I brought the humbucking guitar - my opinion was that it wasn't as versatile, or as sweet and clear sounding as my single coil strats. It's more horn-like - cool for jazz, but too midrangy for my trio gigs. I prefer single coils these days.
Can you touch on your thoughts on compound radius necks?
I could if I knew what it was.... Is it like a compound fracture??
I don't know anything about synth pedals, but I want to get a good one. I play through a 2-12 Combo. Is there any good small pedal or anything else that I could get, to have that synth sound that sounds great with fusion?
If you mean a guitar synth, I think Roland still makes it, but it's much bigger than a pedal. You have to put a pickup on your guitar to use it, and it should be plugged into a full range PA or keyboard amp, not a guitar amp. If you mean a guitar pedal that sounds like a synth, check out some ZVex pedals or a Moogerfooger Ring Modulator.
Also, Is there any way that you guys could put a DVD out along with the up and coming live cd?? Or even VHS!!! Thanks again!
We don't have the budget for that but I'll get some clips for the message board if someone I know shoots some video.
What can you tell us about the up coming Live CD project?
I haven't listened to it yet and probably won't for at least a couple weeks so I can get some element of surprise back. I think on the last night there were a lot of decent takes.
Do you practice differently to get ready?
No, I just practiced more.
Will there be some new tunes on the Live CD?
Will it be all Blues Trio material or will you give some fusion too?
There's a couple Tribal Tech songs.
Will there be any guest artists?
Only if I hate the guitar tracks so much that I get some better guitarists to replace them.
Anything different gearwise?
How many tracks are you shooting for?
13 and the final gig was on Friday the 13th.
Good luck with the project!
Thanks, I'll need it. I'm really hoping not to become suicidal when I listen to it.
We all can't wait to hear this. Can I order one now? Pre-release?
Mike Varney will be happy to hear that.
Hey scott. Iv read some interview where you say you learned to play by ear and from learning other peoples stuff. Well, Iv been playing for about 4 years and have Iv always used tab to learn stuff. I have a hard time figuring out notes by ear. Did you ever have trouble hearing things? How did you work through it.
I did learn by ear, mainly because I didn't know how to read and I'm still a terrible reader - even tab is difficult for me. I can learn things much faster by ear than off the paper. Developing your hearing is like anything else - the more you do it, the easier it becomes. When I was first starting, I played in a lot of top 40 bands and I always had to learn the songs off the record - after awhile I got pretty good at it and by the time I started to learn jazz solos off records it was easy. It's cool to be able to read, but you might want to consider trying it the other way for awhile.
Also, I just ordered the Perfect Pitch ear training program to help w/ my ears. Do you have any experience w/ this? any good?
I've never tried that guy's Perfect Pitch program, but a friend of mine tried it and said it was bullshit. You can develop great relative pitch, but I think people who are gifted (or cursed) with perfect pitch are able to tap into an area of the brain that most folks don't have access to, and that might be something that can't be taught (yet).
Lastly, are you gonna release another tab book anytime soon. Id kill to have a tab book that covered the entire Well to the Bone album. IMO, its your best work so far.
I've been meaning to call Hal Leonard to see if they'd be interested in a book of the blues stuff, since all they've done with me so far has been Tribal Tech music.
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