Nico's USA would like to welcome on board the incredible guitar virtuoso Scott Gailor!! He is an explosive guitar player with skills that can mold into any style but definitely shines in all out shred metal! Scott has played with Scrooge, Union Jack, Kidd Havok (SunCity Records) and Lauren Krothe. He has opened for everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Dokken, Extreme, and Sebastian Bach. Scott plays with incredible passion and has the talent to play with speeds that rival EVH or Malmsteen. You can find him playing on YouTube as he has videos for tips, tricks and licks, as well as official videos for his music. His current release "Technicolor/Monochrome" absolutely smokes. Check out www.scottgailor.com for more info!!! Welcome to the family Scott!!!
What makes a great tone? How do you get your tone?
Two questions that I get almost daily.
The first one is easy. What sounds good to you? Do you want a scooped mids metal tone? How about a jazzy old solid state clean tone? Maybe the good ole brown sound via Eddie?
That's where you start. I started out wanting to sound like Eddie, Randy and Jimi. I read every issue of Guitar Player, Guitar World, and Guitar For The Practicing Musician. I asked a ton of questions to everyone and anyone who played guitar. I played all my friends gear. Went to every music store and played every amp and pedal I could get my hands on.
Then I was lucky enough to find the core of my tone when I was about 15/16. I got a used 1982 Mesa Boogie Coliseum 300 MKIIB head and a 69 Marshall Bottom.
The chase for tone got kicked up about ten notches. I was hooked. After that I owned every big name amp but alway went back to that boogie.
Hit up a local big box or if you're lucky enough to have a high-quality mom-and-pop go there and check out every amp you can.
Bottom line is if your tone inspires you and makes you feel like you play better because of it then you have your tone. It makes no difference what name plate is on the amp. Or how many pedals you have etc.
Tone lives in between your ears and manifests itself in your finger tips. I think that's why people get so emotional about it. It's the connection to the first time that sound (insert your favorite tone here) moved you.
A big a-ha moment for me was when I saw the video of me at a guitar contest in 2004. I wasn't allowed to use my own amp. I plugged straight into a Line 6 (HD187 I think) and found a usable tone fairly quickly. When I saw the video I sounded like me. When I watch video stuff from NAMM or any of the trade shows, It still sound like me. It's almost kinda of funny. Watch the Keeley Electronics video from the Dallas International guitar Festival. Its borrowed guitar (that I never played before) and I didn't touch a knob on any of the pedals or the amp. Robert dialed it in and it sounded and felt great. And still sounded like me.
For new players or parents of my students. I always recommend buying a Line 6 spider, Roland Cube or Fender Mustang (read the rest before you write me a hate filled pm lol)that way you can get a taste of effects and different tones. Once you spent a good few months with one of the above amps you can then put together a budget based on the tones and effects you like. Then it's off to the races building your dream rig. Plus you will still have a decent bedroom amp for practice.
Guess what the chase for tone never ends. But It's such a Beautiful chase.
Practice vs Playing
How do I make the most of my practice time?
First off there is a huge difference between playing and practicing.
Playing things that you already know is not practicing in my mind. Practice should be about learning something new. Not playing the same ole stock licks.
You need a plan. A simple "practice" plan. Make a list, things you want to improve on, goals, both short term and long term.
Break your routine down into simple small chunks.
Here is a sample.
Scales - 20 minutes
Chords - 15 minutes
Song(s) - 10 minutes a piece
Licks - 10 minutes etc
An egg timer or the alarm on a phone will help you stay on the course.
Remember practice should be just that, practice. Having a practice schedule helps.
Now with all this being said. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just playing! Running though things you know and enjoy. Most of all have fun!
One last thought. You should play at a little everyday, just to keep your hands in shape.
It's funny for me practice is almost zen like, very close to Meditation. I almost guilty if I don't play or practice everyday.
Nothing happens overnight. It takes desire, discipline and dedication to improve as not only a guitar player but a musician.
Ok so I’m sure you have heard by now that I will be teaching Full Time at School Of Rock North/South Palm Beach.Read More
I will be at School Of Rock South Palm Beach from 1pm - 4pm for the open house. Doing some informal clinics and a few songs. Swing by and say Hi!
Summer Namm 2015 ReCap !
So Nashville, Tennesse is always one of my favorite places to go. I love the city, people and of the rich musical history. Everyone is so friendly and nice.
Well lets start with Summer The NAMM Sho
Great layout, same place as last year. Same expensive parking lol
I was demoing at the Dialtone Pickup booth, we had some great traffic and the response was great. It was hard to get the subtle nuances across (between the noise police and other booths bitching).
I stopped by the Von York Strings booth to see my Brothers in arms Jac Harriso and Rosario Panzarell who also do Gear Guy Radio! Well as you know by now I'm part of the VonYork family! Had such a blast with Brian Larki Steve Bell Daddy Shred and Donna Panzarella (thank you for everything!) We even went out and caught a few songs by Daniel Donato at Roberts Western World.
Had to stop by and see one of my favorite Guitar Builder Jon Palir Guitar. He just keeps making the most amazing feeling guitars. The Genesis is beyond amazing and the Shipwrecked finish is killer! Still gonna get a pink Paisley one of these days!
Up next Chase Bliss Audio
Simply put Joel is on some next level shit. He makes some of the most insane, yet musical pedals out there. Digital Brain Analog Heart is more then just a tag line its the truth. Plus he took the time to walk me though all the cool setting! Unreal!
Stop by Decibel Eleve and hung with Laura and crew. Great people and amazing gear. Plus a lil' birdie told me they were working on something really cool!
GJ2 Guitar blew me away. I stopped by the booth to see if Rob Marcell was playing (he wasn't) and Jon Gold put a tele in my hand. Sounded great played great, best part it was an import with a street price of $799.99. If they didn't tell me i would have never know. GJ2 Guitars made in the USA by Grover Jackso still has it!! Can't wait to Winter Namm I will get to see the shop!
Played a combo at the Von York booth and really dug, Jac took me over to the booth and Eric Z showed me some killer settings and amps! Very Vox meets Dumble, plus not to heavy and still looks cool. A must have for me.
BootLeg Guitar and Jon Hill had some killer guitars with him. I was really digging the firbirdish with a Floyd. I didn't have time to plug anything in, but they felt amazing. Plus the clear control covers were a nice touch.
I sold, gaveaway and traded about 200 cds! So thank you to everyone who found me and took a second to say hi etc. You guys always make me feel good about still doing this!!!!!!
Ran into so many people I won't even attempt to tag everyone so feel free to tag your self!
A big shout out and Thank you tp Patrick Buckle for let me focus on being a player during all the craziness.
Last but not least I got to meet and talk with James Burto. Such an incredible guitar player, but a better person. Mt. Burton thank you for taking the time to talk with me!
I'm still sick so I'm sure I have left some stuff out, and there might be a spelling or grammar error. Get over lol!
Love and Respect
Ok a ton of Summer Namm questions
Q: Which booth(s) will you be at?
A: I will be at The DialTone Pickup booth. But I will be swinging by all my friends booths as well!
Q: Can I get a cd?
A: Yes! I'll CDs, picks and some swag.
Q: How can I find you?
A: I'm pretty easy to spot lol, but you can message me on FB.
Q: Will you be doing any lessons while in Nashville, maybe at School of Rock?
A: Haven't spoke to School of Rock yet. But I can do a few lessons at the hotel.
Q: Any show plans?
A: One in the works, but nothing set in stone.
Q: What guitars are you bringing?
A: My new Tele if she is ready, a Strat and my Boulder Creek
Q: Will you have Bias/Jamup Pro with you?
A: Yes can't do Namm without my iPad and Bias!
More updates to come!
Can't wait meet new friends and get caught up with the old ones!
As promised lets talk about two hand tapping. This is the number one thing I am asked about. It is a huge part of my playing style and something that I think should be part of every players arsenal.
First a little history. Finger tapping on the finger board goes as far back as the fifties/sixties with Jazz great George Van Epp and Barney Kessel. In the seventies with Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)and Steve Hackett (Yes). As we all know it changed for rock guitar with Mr. Eddie Van Halen. Eruption influenced every single guitar after that. It made you want to be a shredder and a showman or it made you want to be a different kind of player.
Then of course it grew and expanded, Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) eight finger on a single string tapping. Steve Lynch (Autograph) and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson GIT) all eight fingers on all of the strings in many different combos. Lets not forget about Stanley Jordan and the Godfather of the acoustic tapping craze Michael Hedges.
I started tapping because of Eddie, but really expanded on it because of Steve Lynch, Michael Hedges and Allan Holdsworth. I know Allan is not a big tapper, for me hearing the wide intervals and fluid horn like touch made me want to expand on that approach.
Now the technique, on paper its simple TAP/PULL OFF/HAMMER ON/TAP. Sounds easy right? It came be, the trick is to be even in volume and tone and it must be clean!
Many players use some sort of mute (hair tie,string mute (Jennifer Batten’s website sell em). There is no shame in this Greg Howe and Guthrie Govan slide it back and forth over the nut while they play. I have a Gruvgear (www.gruvgear.com) that I use in the studio.
To master this technique start with the Eddie version (as I like to call it) pick a three note arpeggio (lets use C,E,G) play C and E with you left hand and G with your right. Give it a triplet feel. As always start slow and make it perfect (remember build muscle memory).
Next is multiple fingers on one string. Get a hair tie or something similar to mute the open string noise until you get comfortable with this technique. Start out slow and even hammer on with the left hand (lets us finger pattern 1,2,4 make sure to us your pinkie) then match that same pattern on the same string. You will work the pattern in both directions, make sure to palm mute the other strings and work hard to get even volume and tone.
Next is 6 or 8 finger tapping. I use this for wide intervals and octave displacement type tapping licks (this is a big part of my LIVE guitar solo). You’ll take the same approach as the paragraph above. I call this modal tapping. Knowing your theory can really help you expand your licks here.
Please make this part of your musically vocabulary and not a trick that you crowbar into a song to show.
I’m only scratching the surface of tapping. This will be covered in detail on the video page!
To see still examples of the above technique go to my photo album (on Facebook) title tapping!
Three of my go to touring/gigging tips!
What do Bread clips and grolsch beer gaskets have in common? Well they both can found in bars/clubs an they both will work as a strap lock. Find the bar or stage manager and just ask! Most of em will be happy to help ya. Worst you and the boys can have a few beers at sound check!
Next up colored painters/Electrical tape. You never know what you will run into at a gig. Some lights, no lights, dark lights or my fav the blinding spot light. I have three colors in my bag. Blue, orange and white. For the record I am not a Broncos/Mets/Islanders or a Gators fan. Not even a little lol
I use the tape to outline my pedal board placement on shows that my board and mic have to be moved. I now have three black pedals (wah, roto vibe,volume pedal) two of em look alike at a glance. A single strip of orange tape and Boom! Now I can see it at a glance!
My most recent gigs with Lauren the lighting was low light,candle light and dark mood lighting. I have the original ebow (all black) and even with its red led it is still very hard to see sitting on top of a black amp or music stand. Add a strip of white tape and.........wait for it...... Boom! I can find it!
Now for the last tape tip!
I have always used some sort or rack or pedal board or both. I have always tired to make my rig easy and quick to set up.
It is very important to be at pro even at the club level.
You'll need to buy a multi pack of thin electrical tape (8-10 colors) lay out all you gig cables, hook up your entire rig. Once you are happy with the cable layout you can zip tie them together or wrap them. Now the fun part. This will speed up your set up and break down time. Add a piece of tape around each cable tip and the (this is important ) the same color tape on the input/output of the amp/pedal/rack etc.
So easy toss the cabs/head/board on stage. Set em up. Match the colored ends and boom your ready to go! Your tech will love ya for this!
Lets talk about scales.Read More
"If it's not fun or challenging don't do it.Read More
Let's talk about Visualizing the fret board. This will open up a whole new world for your playing. It is one of the most of the most important part of my personal playing/practice routine, Especially when I'm learning something new.
I like to write out the main scale (of the tune I'm working on) all over the neck. So I can see all the chordal Possibilities, Arpeggios options and Possible modal changes.
A good and cheap way to do this is to make or find a full shot of the neck (tons of great ones on the internet) and have it Laminated so you can write on it with a dry erase marker. Then you can alway scan it and make more notes on it as you go.
Be able to see the fretboard as a whole will open up both your mind and you chops.
Once you have done all this. Then you want to close your eyes (no cheating) and playing though, not over the changes. This was a great tip from The Joe Diorio video tape that I Wore out when I was younger.
When ever I'm in a rut. I stand up close my eyes and press record. Then I just play. I leave it for a few days then I go back and listen to see if there is anything special in there.
I know this one was a little heady but it will really help you grow as a player.
Re-Amping – The Mix – And “Your” Tone!
Some of the questions I get all the time is “How do you record your guitars tracks?” “What amps do you use in the studio?”
So let’s start with my rig. Live I use a Mesa Boogie MKV and a 1982 Mesa Boogie Coliseum 300 MKIIB. My cabs are all Mesa Boogie Rectos, one 412 slant and two 212’s with Celestion Vintage 30’s speakers.
Effects vary from gig to gig but the Hub/control center is a VooDoo Labs Ground Control Pro and 2 GCX Switchers. I always have a wah (Clyde or Dime) a Dunlop RotoVibe and a volume pedal (Ernie Ball or Dunlop) and some sort of OD pedal. Most of the time it’s a VooDoo labs sparkle drive. Last but not least a floor tuner (Poly Tune or Boss). All of the above pedals are placed in front of the amp sans loops.
On the last two cds KIDD HAVOK – Dirty Money (Suncity Records) and my solo cd Technicolor/Monochrome (Malleable Records) we re-amped every guitar related.
Simple it lets me control the sound of my guitar tracks in mix better. Plus it makes it easier to have your “sound” on the track. The Studio I work out of has to make money first and foremost. I record mostly when there is dead time, which means at night. I can’t play wide open that late, not to mention the ear fatigue from playing at live volumes. The best part is you can tailor the tone to fit both the mix and the song. Yet still have it sound like you. Plus you could swap out amp on every track if you wanted to.
The re-amp signal path.
It starts with the guitar I want to use on the track. Then there are two ways we do this. The first way is plug the guitar straight into a Great River lunch box preamp(or any pre of your choice). From there I’ll use a modeling plug in (Line 6, Bias etc) and record the tracks, usually swapping out different guitars on every track or overdub.
The second way involves effects (stomp boxes). If I know I will be using a certain stomp box(s) I’ll run a Radial A/B box and split the guitar into two pre-amps, one having the stomp box chain and one just straight guitar. The reason for this my playing will vary with how I interact with the pedals react.
Now the fun part
The actual re amping, once all the guitar tracks are a done we have a re-amp day. We always do the rhythm guitars first. We run the signal into a Radial DI Re amp box in the Radial A/B box and split the signal into the two heads. I only use 212’s in the studio. They get mic’d with Shure SM57’s and or Sennheiser 421. It will depend on the overall tone we are shooting for. Then ya sit and wait. This part can be a little boring or in the case of the Song Tribal ReDux which I used 8-12 tracks of ebow to build a chord downright painful lol!
A big part of the process is moving “air”. To me that’s the one thing many of the amp sims are lacking. The amps are recorded at or about 100-110 db. This really gets the amp heated up (in a good way) and makes the speakers really push air.
We like to keep the heads in the control room so we can tweak them on the fly and we don’t have to stand in the room while the amps are wide open, it saves your ears big time! For some purist this may seem like overkill or an unnecessary step. For the home studio guy, the pro consumer or a flat out big studio this adds a level of flexibility to every recording. If nothing else I recommend recording a dry signal that can be re amped so if down the line you can’t get the guitar to sit right in the mix you will then have the option of fixing it!
Now to guitar players this word takes on a entirely new meaning. This is the thing that keeps many of us up at night. The search for the perfect overdriven tone, many call the “Brown Sound”. Ask ten guitar players whats the best overdrive pedal, tube amp, tone wood and you will get ten different answers with very passionate explanations on the how and why.
So lots of cd questions today.
Q: Where can I get the actual physical cd?
A: Only one place right now. My site! www.scottgailor.com
Q: How much is it at.......?
A: ITunes $9.90
My site $11.00 shipped and signed
My site DL cards $6 bucks shipped and signed.
Q: Can you shipped Cds internationally?
A: YES! Please send me a PM and I can set it up. It will ship USPS and cost about $17 bucks shipped and signed! It should also be available in all the ITunes markets for download!
Q: When will the guitar picks be back Instock?
A: I'm shooting for end of March
Hope that answers all the questions!
I want to share a guitar "moment" with everyone.
By the time I started taking guitar lessons I had already played piano, violin and trumpet. I really wanted to play guitar from the beginning, but it was not offered in school then.
I had a few different teachers early on (unfortunately I can't remember their names) the 2nd teacher was at a small music shop on Broadway in downtown Saratoga. A little tiny shop upstairs in the center of Broadway that I could walk to from my house with my guitar by myself (image doing that now). I didn't study with him very long, he told my mother that I wouldn't be a guitar player. That I just didn't have the focus etc.
The good part of this story was he turned me on to Dire Straits and the song Sultans Of Swing. It was the first time I heard that semi twang of a Strat and the arpeggio outro. I was fascinated with the tone and the sequence of arpeggios.
For the longest time I would make up my own versions of that type of modal arpeggio type run. I would try it in all different keys and always on the high E and B strings.
Much later I saw Mark Knopfler on TV playing a Suhr guitar with a OFR and EMG pickups. I was finally starting to understand the term that tone is in the fingers.
So tell me about one your guitar "Moments"
I get asked all the time about what are some of my favorite guitar books. so here is a short list
Scales and Modes in the beginning
By Ron Middlebrook
By Ted Greene
21st Century Intervallic Designs
By Joe Diorio
Quartal Harmony and Voicings for Guitar
By Tom Floyd
Guitar Improvising Vol 1 & 2
Jazz Guitar Scales and Modes
By Vincent Bredice
A Modern Method For Guitar Vol 1
Berklee Series Guitar
By William G. Leavitt
Reaching For The Uncommon Chord
By Allan Holdsworth
My suggestion is read everything you can get your hands on. Be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can. There are so many great book,dvds, youtube videos and lesson websites. Plus so much free info on the web!!!!!