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Scott answers your questions - round 22 - 11/09/05

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StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 277
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 22 - 11/09/05 Reply with quote

I'm posting a retraction about what I said in the previous post about Callaham vibrato arms. After only three gigs with one it broke off in my hand, so apparently stainless steel is too brittle for this purpose. I'm going back to the Fender arms.

Hi Scott!

1) I've always had a question for the Voodoo1 - TS9 or SD9 users. When combining these pedals (both pedals on) which one goes first? Also which are your settings on the Voodoo 1?

You can do it either way. If you go into the TS9 first, which is the way I usually did it, you'll get a fat mid but not much bass so you'll have to add more on your amp. The other way will give you more bass and a more scooped mid. I never used the SD-9 with the Voodoo, since the SD-9 sounds great by itself. Voodoo settings are volume full, gain off, tone 12:00.

2) John Suhr now does not offer the Fender 6 screw, it has a new vintage style Wilkinson bridge, any opinions on that one?

I haven't tried it but according to John, the saddles are hardened and the block is the same size as the Fender, so it should sound good. When John told me it has a push-in arm I wasn't interested. Those arms go straight into the block, not at an angle like the Fender bridge, which means you can't close the case without taking the arm off. That means I'm gonna reach for it on stage and it'll be sitting in the case. Sadly, I'm speaking from past experience.

3)Rosewood vs Maple fretboard? How do these two fretboard woods compare to your guitars?

Maple is more aggressive sounding and you can hear the pick more. Rosewood sounds softer, maybe a little more compressed and even sounding. I did one tour with a maple neck and a got lot of comments like "sounds more rock."


Did you hear or test "The Diabolical Gristle Tone Manipulator"? It's a pedal made by Tim Jauernig for Greg Koch.

Haven't heard it - hope it sounds as good as it's name.

Hi scott !!
fist , sorry for my bad english...
I see that you use a mono setup, why no more stereo ? isn't it better for chorus/reverb/delai ,more spacial... do you have any reason not using stereo , is it a sound pb ? ...
.and why not a dry/wet setup , it seems that it's better for tone when one hp only used for dry and the other for wet..., and as you do like very good sound (and you do have one, the best i've ever heard i must say ! !!) i'm curious you don't use a dry/wet setup ..did you use one, and why "only" mono now ?
thanks a lot , and thanks for all the good music and inspiration you bring to all of us

I was stereo in the 80's and back then I thought it was cool. I used an ADA stereo chorus (just the delay taps, not the chorus), which diffused the notes and made the legato thing sound better. After hearing that, mono notes seemed boring, but truthfully back then my mono tone wasn't that good. Stereo delay and chorus were cool - everything was great until I started touring. That's when I learned that every PA system we were using was mono, and the engineers were micing both cabs and summing them together, which sounded like shit. On the very few occasions when we got a stereo PA, the people on the right side heard only my right side, and vice versa. Only the folks in the middle could hear it in stereo. Now I'm mono and life is easy.

The wet dry thing only works for reverb and delay, unless you're prepared to make your wet rig as powerful as the dry rig. I use pitch shifting and other FX where the wet sound has to be as loud as the dry sound - way too much gear to haul around. Besides, John Suhr's FX loop sounds great and doesn't seem to take away from the tone.

Hello Scott,

Which model of Bogner cab did you use ?

thank you !

I use their 4x12 straight cab for recording and 4x12 slant cab on stage, both loaded with 8 ohm Celestion Greenbacks. I also use their open back 4x10 cab for recording, loaded with Kendrick Blackframe speakers.

do you really think "Dolemite" is better than "Disco Godfather"?

It's all good! I love Disco Godfather - the Tribal Tech song "What Has He Had" was named from a scene in that movie.... "where is Bucky?? And what has he had??" Bucky's acid trip is the ultimate in directing - priceless!

i recently purchased an Arion SCH-1 chorus pedal and i found it slightly affects the tone of my guitar,heres my set up guitar - ibanez ts9 - wah - arion chorus - preamp. Does your Arion Chorus affect your tone? Where do you put in the chain when you use the small pedal board? thanks Scott!

It's not a true bypass pedal so if you're going through it while it's off, it does affect the tone a little, but just about all non-true bypass pedals do. If you're using a lot of those, you might want to check out a pedal looper. You've got it in the right place in the chain.

caught you on a few dates at La Ve Lee for the live CD and I still, after all these years, can't believe what I hear. Not to sound morbid, but I hope that when you pass, your music and influence has the weight and longevity of the more mainstream Elvis's & M. Jacksons of the world. In my opinion you've contributed as much to the art of music as either of the two mentioned above, plus.

K, enough of that, here's my question, who wrote Proto Cosmos? I've heard a recording of you doing that tune, which I originally thought was yours. Then I heard Greg Howe play the tune on his new album Extraction and the confusion set it. ( I dig yours better, by the way.)
I'm pretty sure that's a Holdsworth tune, first recorded on Tony Williams "Believe It" album. I don't think it was me that you heard since I don't know that song and I don't remember ever playing it, even in a jam session.

Okay, Scott, my two dogs just put a big ding in my L5 - I've tried taking away their iTunes privileges, but they show no sign of remorse. What next? Dungeons and Dragons? Lassie podcasts? They need to know I mean business. Suggestions?

Frogger peed on my new guitar case, Duker bit the UPS man, and P-dog tore a big chunk of Auralex off the wall and chewed through my speaker cable, so I'm totally unqualified to answer your question.

Who says "looking for trouble?" right before the guitar solo on "elvis at the hop"?


Hi Scott...
I have a warmoth strat with a flat rosewood fingerboard, gotoh 1088 bridge and kinman pickups, the sound of the guitar is great but don't have the real strat sound plugged or unplugged.I have a cheap mexican strat with maple fingerboard and vintage specs(radius, frets and bridge), and this one sounds terrific, like a real strat with the quack and bell tones unplugged. When i plugged sounds great too but the pickups aren't good.
1) What kind of things (Wood, frets, bridge, etc.)are important to you to get a good strat tone?

I've answered this question in other posts. The reason your Warmoth doesn't have the real strat sound is probably because of the 1088, which in my opinion is a good sounding bridge, but not vintage sounding.

2) What kind of mixer do you use for your fx, it does an important function in your setup?
It's made by Bob Bradshaw - I only have one FX box so he made me a small one channel mixer. It's really important in my setup because if I run the dry sound through my FX it ruins the tone. If you use a nice FX like a Lexicon, you might get by without a mixer, but I use a cheap Boss SE-70. The FX in it are OK, but it kills the dry sound.

Hi Scott,

I likes to play LOUD, just like you. But I always have some stupid venueholder or soundguy complaining about my volume, demanding that I "turn the fuck DOWN!!!" My tone is sacred to me but somehow my volume isn't being helpful for me to getting more gigs. I have tried some attenuation gear like Hotplates, Powerbrakes and stuff which, just like you said, basically suck. Maybe you have some suggestions about still having your 100w plexi cranked up but how to lower the volume in a live-situation?


Guitarists play loud for two main reasons - to get gain from the amp, and to hear ourselves over loud drummers like Kirk Covington. If you're turning up a plexi to the sweet spot... yeah, that's loud! There's not much you can do about it - when I do that at home the whole house shakes. I don't have a gain problem on stage since I leave the plexi at home and use my '71 Marshall which has a master volume mod. Of course any amp sounds best when the power tubes are working hard, but I can get a pretty good tone at medium volume.

To hear myself over the band without pissing off sound men, I put some guitar in the monitors. Sometimes that sucks, because guitar can sound harsh coming through horns, especially trashed ones. I got tired of hearing my tone change from night to night depending on the quality of the house monitors, so I bought a pair of EAW SM200ih monitors that I bring with me on the road. They have one 12" speaker and a wave guide plate instead of a horn so the high end is pretty sweet sounding. They're very small, but unfortunately they're heavy and expensive. I use a slant cabinet on stage and that also helps - I like hearing the bulk of the sound from the back while hearing the detail in the monitors.

2)You use your distortion pedals in a kind of cascading way. Is there any way the additional hum caused by cascading yer pedals (with regular single-coils) can be eliminated or at least brought down without the use of a noise-suppresor?
I used to use a combination of a TS-9 and Voodoo 1, but now I use an SD-9 by itself. I don't combine any distortion pedals now unless I want a really over the top gain - it's noisy but that's the point.

I first heard your music quite recently -- maybe a year ago. I had the "how does he come up with those melodies?" reaction, which doesn't happen often listening to guitar players. John Scofield is another one who made me wonder the same thing. Anyway, you're one of the very few guitar players with truly unique voices. And you have the rare combo of technical prowess, compositional skills, and feel!

My question is: what do you consider to be the most important attitude (or approach or outlook, if you will) a musician can have as

1. a performer

see round 4

2. a composer

see round 16

3. business person?

Never answered that one... I guess if you believe in what you're doing you have to be patient and persistent. Looking back, I spent a lot of time on the phone and sending out CD's. It used to piss me off when labels wouldn't give me a yes or no, I just never heard from them. But I kept trying and eventually got some interest from labels and agents.

Thanks for answering these questions!

Who would you pay to see?

That list is a mile long. I don't get out to shows that often but when I do, I don't mind paying to support my fellow musicians.

Hey Scott...
What do you think of Steve Vai? Hes been mentioned here before but I dont think youve gave us your opinion of his music.

see round 5

I heard a rumor about you coming to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and maybe doing a clinic at the University of North Texas. Any truth?
I don't travel just for clinics, but I'm happy to do them if I'm already there on a tour. Unfortunately no plans to play in Dallas since it's only possible for us to tour on the east coast.

hey Scott
when you play do you think of scales, appergios,... or do you just play melodies?

That's not a dumb question, but it's like asking "when you speak, do you think about your ideas, or about vowels and consonants?" We learn scales and arpeggios so we can forget about them and create our own melodies.


You mentioned that you have a small pedalboard that you use when you don't want to use your rack. What's on it?

SD-9, OD-9, RC Booster and Arion Chorus.

couple more...

have you tried out the new Eric Johnson signature strat? if so...thoughts?


thoughts on Jeff Beck?

Wish I could play that good.

thoughts on Dr. Z amps?

Tried them a long time ago, but I remember liking them.

thanks again,

Hey Scott,

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary Willis at a masterclass recently - I found it fascinating that he seems to share a similar sort of approach to many aspects of playing as you do, and he had some very interesting views on why the two of you have had such a long working relationship together, including mentioning "disliking the same things", having contrasting personality types but similar work ethic, and not being such close friends that you were afraid of being objective and honest with each other (but getting along well of course). Do you share this assessment, and would you add anything else?

No, that says it perfectly.

Also, I asked him (of course) about whether there would be another Tribal Tech record, and he mentioned that finding a record label was the main barrier to that happening, as opposed to geographical difficulties as you have mentioned before. Could you shed some light on this? I thought in many cases, bands / artists record the album first and then seek a distributor.

I enjoy your answers to these almost as much as your playing. Cheers!

Well, Willis's, Kinsey's, and my opinions on that subject might differ. I can easily get a deal for another Tribal Tech record, so that's not the issue. We've only had a couple discussions about it, but me and Kinsey definitely don't want to do a record where we have to send files back and forth to work on it. Maybe that type of working doesn't bother Willis as much - he's always decided to live outside of LA. For me, making a band record is producing and making decisions together - it's not the same when everyone's recording alone at home and trading files.

Hi Scott:

I really love the live version of the tune "Rituals" you do with the trio. My question is: how did you go about arranging this tune for a trio?

Thanks, and keep on kicking ass!

It's the same for any of the Tribal Tech music I decide to do in the trio. First I have to find out if I'm able to handle the job on guitar since a lot of that music has some fast moving chords that were played on keyboards. If it'll work on guitar, the main concern is finding voicings for the chords that are interesting, and I try to include as many open strings as I can in the voicings because it helps the chords sound bigger. Then I try to add whatever effects I can, different pedals or delays to make the tune sound unique in the set.

what´s your favourite Stevie Ray Vaughan record and tune?

They're all great, but I've probably listened to Texas Flood the most - can't really think of a favorite tune.

Did you do Boat Gig/Pride and Joy as a medley in TT?

No, but knowing Kirk, I'm sure he forgot the Boat Gig lyrics from time to time and sang lyrics from Pride And Joy. When he drinks, all his vocal tunes are medleys.

What was it like working with Pat O' Brien?

Pat's great - one of the most talented blues musicians I've ever met. Most people know him for his harmonica playing but he's also a great guitar player with awesome tone.

Have you heard Grégorie Maret? (the new harmonica player for Pat Metheny Group)

No but I'm sure he's great if he's playing with Pat.

Hi Scott,
Have you ever been interested in or digging in techno/drum'n'bass/jungle music?
If so, do you have any favorites or names?

Jeff Beck has that covered already so I wouldn't go there. I'm more into using machines for color more than for performance.

Greeting Scott,
I have a Brian Moore (American) with the Wilkinson/Gotoh VS100 bridge, HSH PU's(Duncan, SuhrV60LP, Duncan). I tried the magnet thing and it sticks to the plate and saddles but not the block which is painted black. Is there anything I can do to make it sound more stratty?

You could put a Fender vintage six screw bridge on it, but that might be expensive since holes need to be plugged, drilling, etc., and for that money you could buy a cheap strat which would sound more stratty than your Brian Moore. For sure, your bridge would sound better if it had a steel block, so I'd check to see if the VS300 will fit on your guitar - I think the 300 uses a steel block. If it doesn't fit, you could do what I did before Gotoh made the 1088 with a steel block - take your block to a machine shop and have them duplicate it in steel. That'll cost you around 150 bucks, but it'll improve the tone.

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