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Scott answers your questions - round 39 - 1/22/08

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StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 278
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Scott answers your questions - round 39 - 1/22/08 Reply with quote

Hey Scott,
Can't wait to see you at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society. I've told all my guitar player and fusion loving friends and I hope the place is packed. That said, does this mean you might try and tour the states or the Bay Area a little more?

I'm working on it. It doesn't make financial sense to hop in the van with our gear and drive around the states like in the old days, but we're going to try some flights to here and there using rented back line and see if that works.

Just curious if you have any fusion-oriented projects/gigs/albums lined up lately?

The next tour is Europe in May and also sometime in summer, Brazil around the first week of August, and hopefully South America in the fall. I'm still writing for a new trio record.

I've always wanted to hear your killer rock tone (and playing) in the context of an electric Salsa, Afro-Cuban, or Brazilian jazz group....any chance?

If a good band of that type asked me to play some solos on their album I'd do it, but nobody's asked.

Just got through reading Tommy Tedesco's autobiography...ever have any run-ins/funny encounters with him at GIT?

The funniest thing I remember about Tommy is when he appeared on The Gong Show wearing a pink tutu. I never studied with him, but we hung out in the teachers lounge a few times - he was a super nice guy and a very generous teacher.

I saw this guitarist ripping the fuck out of Cherokee on youtube, and he mentioned that he tuned the guitar in fourths; that it made things 3X easier. So, I tried it myself...EADGCF. Holy fuck! Now everything lines up!! All the octaves are symmetrical like a piano. Even the timbre of the chords now sounds different and fresh!! My question is...have you ever encountered or thought about this at all? Why don't all guitarists get hip to this? Do you see any drawbacks to tuning this way?
Thanks for being cool about all these questions Scott!!!

When I hear people talk about different tunings, I wonder how they have time to mess around with them. I'm way too busy writing or practicing, and since I only bring one guitar to my gigs, I'm the wrong guy to ask about that.

Do you feel that it is likely that an aspiring musician or student could reach your level of mastery on guitar and praise by the jazz-fusion world without talent, even with hard work dedication, school and lessons?

Absolutely. I honestly believe I don't have any "natural talent". I've seen guys that do, and some of them are just beginners. They effortlessly learn things and learn to use them much faster than I could ever dream of. I just work hard and persist until I finally get it. Dedication and persistence are highly underrated.

I'm glad you don't play Catalina's, cuz if you did, I'd be forced to come listen to you, and consequently, I'd be fuckin broke. Saw the Corea band this week there, and they made us stand in line in the damn rain while they ran a fictitious sound check. Ordered a $13 caesar salad that ran as limp and as tasteless as Andy Dick. The sausage penne pasta for $22 came 1.5 hrs. after I ordered it (no shit), and averaged $ 0.26/noodle. My drinks simply coated the bottom of the glass, thus limiting me to a drop at a time. The service resembled a disorganized chinese fire-drill. Without warning, kicked us out after the first 4 song set, disallowing us from paying a second cover, asking us to wait again outside in the rain. Corea complained numerous times to the sound guy, and played one song not at all able to hear his monitor. Guy next to me had a fuckin hamburger and ordered a bottlle of cheap wine, and the waiter stood there for 2 eternities while he attempted to impress his stiff girlfriend by repetitively sniffing the bouquet, as could only be indiginous to Boone's Farm. This place doesn't even allow yuppies to feel rich. Don't let the musty, starched tablecloths fool ya. Signed, Disturbed.

As I've said in previous posts, words cannot describe what a shitty club that is. Los Angeles's current premier jazz club is equal to Los Angeles's current premier NFL team. I ranted in a previous post about the old Catalina's. Hard to believe, but the new one is even worse. I had heard horror stories about it, but Kurt Rosenwinkel played there and I really wanted to hear him, and he was kind enough to put me and Kinsey on the guest list. He was great as always, but I had to stick my fingers in my ears all night to block out all the horrible room ambience, which is normal for a room with a 40 foot high ceiling and all hard surfaces. Pretty much like a basketball court - I've never heard a worse sounding room. Unlike the old Catalina's, there's actually a sound board there, but I looked back there from time to time and nobody was on it all night! The people who run that place are absolutely clueless about sound. Add all the stuff about the food, drinks and prices and you've got lots of good reasons to never go there. Here's a quote from Kurt's manager after the show - "we'll never play here again".

Hi Scott, I am waiting patiently to see you in Boston, in the mean time I was wondering, what in hell is your set up, effect wise, in your solo on the Gerald Gradwohl CD Jeff Back tune? Just awsome I am sure Jeff is proud of your interpretation of his technique.
Thank You

It's just my Suhr guitar with V60LP pickups, my Suhr amp which is basically a '72 Marshall, and a Maxon SD-9. On that cut I think the dry guitar is mostly on one side and the reverb and delay are mostly on the other side.

Hello Scott,
i wonder if you would have some exercises to practice and internalize timing. Right now I'm having problems in controlling my time. I play to much ahead instead of on top.

I just tell my students to play along with sequences or drum machines, tap their foot to the music, make sure their foot doesn't stray from the beat, and pay close attention to their time. Also to tape themselves doing it and notice what seems wrong when they listen back. Tapping your foot is really important because it locks your body to the time. If you can't play something without your foot leaving the beat, it tells you that you don't fully understand the rhythm you're trying to play.

Also i'd like to ask a question to a specific tune: Face First
If i'm correct the changes to your Solo are:
Ebm/Ab, C#7#9, F#13, B9sus4, E9sus4, A13, Dm9, Dm9/G
What is your theoretical approach on this solo?
Many thanks and greetings from germany!


I'm not Scott (of course) but I think I can help you out with the solo changes.
If I remember correctly, the tempo is not that fast and each chord has a value of 2 bars. This solo kicks ass so there's gotta be some minor pentatonic in there. Here's what I would play:

Ebm/Ab: play minor pentatonic (or treat it as the ii chord of Dbmaj, therefore playing Eb dorian)
C#7(#9): minor pentatonic (ii chord of Bmaj)
F#13: since you're already in Bmaj, just stick with it (v chord/myxolydian)
B9sus: minor pentatonic (you might want to play dorian and the next chord will explain that)
E9sus: treat this as the v chord of Amaj just like you treated B9sus as the ii chord of Amaj (you can also look at this as a typical i, iv blues change in B)
A13 and Dm9: just play A minor pentatnoic (i, iv blues change)
Also, don't hesitate to throw in altered notes or play different minor scales other than dorian. After all, we're playing Tribal Tech fusion.

What he said.

hi Scott,
in your opinion, which is the most appropriate
Albert King record or tune for beginning his music's transcription ?
thanks a lot for your music

They're all great. Just get a "best of" record, or pick one at random. You won't be disappointed.

dear Scott, when you called your first record "spears", were you thinking of "britney spears"?? c'monman , tell us the real truth..

She was only 4 when we did that record. I was invited to her 4th birthday party and I thought she was so cute that I named the record after her. She listened to that record all her life and that's why she's so fucked up now and lost custody of her kids.

hi Scott,
this is alessandro panzani from florence (italy) one of your MI students (1989/90).
all the people who were really lucky to study with you over there will remember your amaising open counselings and back then you were playing the most amaising solos over any jazz tune either old or modern..
i personally remember (and probably you too) when you played with emily remler giant steps and other songs (i have the tape,he,he) and you both sounded different and yet fabulous (poor emily...what a shame) ,or when at a certain point a guy called lior (israel) from the first phase came there and played with you stella in such an amaising way that at the end you told him literally "so...what are you doing here!" (i have the tape too)..
outside of the MI you had tribal tech and the blues band and collaborations with other musicians but i never seen you playing real jazz...(i now you don't like it a lot...but you like to improvise and you like melodies instead of
i loved tribal tech and the blues band and everything you made out there, but i really miss your jazz stile which is really different from many others.
in a way you reminded me of scofield cause he's also a blues guy but with more aggressivness...
i have a lot of tapes with you playing the most amaising solos over any jazz tunes (i could make millions or even billions of dollars releasing them..well probably not and i won't do it anyway..)
hope to see you soon in italy with my american wife rebecca and my 5 months old son alex......maybe with some modern jazz tunes included...
last time in pontassive (italy) with the new drummer you played two of your favourite jazz songs "chelsea bridge and the fuckinggreat fee fi fo fuNNNN!!!!
keep adding!!!
and thank again for being my most honest toughest and best teacher.

Thanks Alessandro, the reason I don't record standards is that the writer's royalties would go to the writers of the tunes, not to me. I guess I could write a record of original swing jazz tunes but.... nah.

Here's my answer to the "by the way" posts - we like to keep our ticket prices low, first of all for the obvious reason that it makes for a larger audience, but also because a lot of our fans are musicians themselves, and not the most wealthy people, especially the ones still studying in school. In my opinion, 25 bucks at the Baked Potato with a two drink minimum is too much, unless it's for Wayne Shorter.

hey scott, merry christmas and happy new year!!!
anyway, another PU question, is yours the Vintage FL or the slightly hotter Standard FL pickup?

The Standard

also, i've tried the flying dragon booster, its really really clean, just like cranking your own amp, in my opinion even better than the BB, it has no characteristic of its should really try it!!
where's your address if I want to send it to you?

The BB isn't really a booster, it's a distortion pedal. The RC Booster is the booster made by the same company, Xotic. I've been using the RC Booster in my live setup for a long time and I really love it. I get a lot of offers to try pedals, but I don't like standing in line at the post office to send them back if I don't like them. So it's up to you, you can mail it to me at Musicians Institute and I'll check it out. Even if I don't like it as much as the RC, but feel that it might have some use in the studio, I'll keep it - and thanks! If I don't find any use for it I'll give it to one of my students.

Hey Scott. I was listening to Susie's dingsbums and i just wanted to know what the hell "dingsbums" means. I tried to look it up but it seemed to be some crazy German word

According to my German friend Susie, it's a German word that means "stuff", which is appropriate for that song. I heard it a couple weeks ago because a student wanted to know something about my solo, which I rushed really badly on. Yuck. Another reason for me to never listen to any of my "stuff" - it just depresses me.

What kind of overdrive /distortion pedal do you currently use now?
I kind of heard that you're using the maxon sd-9 again?

The SD-9 was my live pedal for at least five years, but the only thing I didn't like about it was that the really high notes were a bit thin when using single coils. So I switched to an Xotic BB for awhile - it was fatter sounding on the high notes but missing the low bass frequencies of the SD-9. Now Maxon is making the VOP-9, which for me is the holy grail of distortion pedals. It's got the low bass just like the SD-9, but the mid frequencies are really perfect for single coils. The high notes are extremely fat, but it's not woofy when I switch to the neck pickup and it still has the spank and attack of the SD-9. With a humbucker, the VOP-9 is a little woofy sounding, so if you have a humbucking pickup I'd go with the SD-9. Mike Landau plays a lot with a humbucker in the bridge position and he's been using an SD-9 for as long as I can remember. He's got great tone in his hands and great ears - that's a big part of it, but I'd imagine that anyone who heard one of Mike's records and knew he was using an SD-9 would immediately run out and buy one. I hear a lot of pedals and when you get up to the level of Xotic and Maxon, it's all good depending on taste, but for my style of playing I like the VOP-9 and SD-9 the most. Also, even though I don't use it live anymore (only because my pedalboard has to fit in a suitcase) the Maxon OD-9, which is their version of the Tube Screamer, is the best sounding one out there, and I've compared it to old vintage Ibanez TS-808's and TS-9's, modified and unmodified - no contest. Plus, the Maxon pedals are true bypass.

Just to make this clear - I'm not a guitar star who gets paid to endorse anything. Maxon gave me their pedals and Xotic gave me their RC Booster and I'm grateful, so I'm just happy to say good things about stuff I like.

Geez, what a geeky answer.... so I want to mention that I also like Elizabeth Berkley, Jessica Biel, Terri Hatcher, Vivica Fox, Scarlett Johansson, and the Miami Dolphins even though this was the worst season ever.

And speaking about football, and I get to say anything I want since it's my message board - hey Vic, you wanted to go back to age of the Roman gladiators with those dogs. I hope some big motherfucker goes gladiator on your asshole while you're in there. You're fucking lucky I wasn't the judge.

Hi Scott, I was just wondering why did you make your Arion SCH-1 true bypass?
Still waiting for you in Boston

Because it hurts the tone when running through it without the effect turned on.

Yes, I would have to agree with the above member, Boston and the rest of the East Coast need you!!
1. On the album thick, you said that you used almost entirely amp distortion only. Was this amp the OD-100 Standard? The distortion on this album, and in particular, the latter half of the song, "You May Remember Me", sounds very ballsy and creamy almost like the CAE 3+ or Lee Jackson. Was that tone just amp distortion or a pedals also?

Just OD-100 amp distortion.

2. Have you ever played through an OD-100 SE or SE+ and if so, what did you think of it and wouldn't that amp be more perfectly voiced for Tribal Tech than the other OD-100's due to it's creamy, high-gain boosted channel 2?

I've tried the SE and it's got too much gain for me.

3. What is the effect you used on the intro to "You May Remember Me"? What did you use to get it and if it is in the SE-70, what is the effect called and do you know of another way to achieve it besides using the SE-70, (if that is where it is from) such as a pedal that can do it?

It's a Fulltone Octafuzz and SE-70 delays. There are a lot of multi-FX boxes that can do that long delay sound. The best unit ever made for delays was the Yamaha UD-Stomp but it's discontinued. You can probably find one on Ebay. Allan Holdsworth wrote a lot of the patches on it and they're really good.

4. What is the chorus/vibrato type effect that you use on the very end chord of "Tore Down House" and what pedal did you use to get it?

It's a Black Cat Univibe.

5. I know this is a basic question, but can you give a brief explanation of what you generally use each pickup position for and your reasons for switching from neck to middle or bridge pickups. Also, which pickup position do you normally use for 1. more creamy leads such as "Sub Aqua", "Wasteland", or "Jakarta" 2. the last 30 seconds of "Tore Down House"?

I just try to use the pickup that fits the song the best. My treble pickup is my kind of sax sound so I use it for more fusion type solos, and the neck and middle are more bluesy sounding. Sub Aqua and the solo guitar on the end of Tore Down House are the neck pickup. Wasteland and Jakarta are the bridge pickup.

6. You said that your black Suhr strat with the humbucker in bridge position and single coils in the other two positions is the one that you would use for Tribal Tech, which makes me think that the bridge humbucker is what you use for your "thick", "creamy" lead sound. Is this true? I am looking for a guitar and pickup configuration (humbuckers and single coils) that is able to achieve both the creamy leads and that nice strat tone from "Tore Down House". Do you think this is a good idea or just use two seperate guitars for each tone?
Thank you for your time,

A lot of guys use single coils and a humbucker in the bridge. I've been using a single coil in the bridge for many years now and I think with enough gain it sounds just as fat and creamy as a humbucker when I roll the treble down to around 3. I think a single coil is clearer sounding and has more bass than a humbucker, but I'm glad I have some guitars with humbuckings for recording, just for variety.


Last edited by kirk95 on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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StarShip Captain

Joined: 14 May 2004
Posts: 278
Location: Boulder, CO

PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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