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jpg Ohio born, and current LA resident, Jeff Kollman is one of the great unsung guit ar heroes working today. I make no bones about the fact that he is just about my favourite player, with a sinuous fluididty to his playing and an absolutely ama zing tone that never fails to impress fellow guitarists. More than that, his mel odic forays also seem to work for the casual non guitarist listener in a way tha t many virtuosos do not. Whilst Jeff has world class rock chops, he out there and an ability to go outside naturalness of touch that to define him as eff is one of the most complete players it also has some of the funkiest grooves into jazz territory with such an ease and a rock guitarist does him disservice. J has ever been my pleasure to hear.
Out of a varied career, particular mention must be made of 1999 s solo album Sheddi ng Skin an absolute master class in intelligent heartfelt guitar playing, it runs the gamut from almost Stevie Ray Vaughan style blues via Charlie Parker style b ebop lines to Warren DiMartini/Michael Shenker style chops all encased in some o f the most emotive rock soloing out there. His virtuoso instrumental band Cosmos quad operate in a uniquely Funky/Jazzy/Fusion area of hard rock almost metal at times. Their Live at The Baked Potato is an outstanding album that everyone readin g this should check out post haste! As a songwriter and composer Jeff also score s heavily: his track Journey Through Life is in my absolute top tracks ever. Jeff is also currently writing with the Voice of Rock Glenn Hughes for Jimmy Barnes s Aus sie vocalist supreme new album. Jeff is acknowledged to be a top working guitarist with an enviable list of film and TV credits to his name, as well as having played with some of the rock worl ds elite such as Glenn Hughes, UFO, Michael Sheneker and Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Chad Smith. He has also worked alongside some of the studio worlds most legendary session cats. Yet, in many ways, Jeff s profile is not as visible as it should be so AOG made it a mission to get the full run down on the man. I spoke with Jeff in August 2006 as he was getting ready for rehearsals for Glenn Hughes European tour. As this interview is being published Jeff is currently in the middle of the tour , and has just released a new live album Guitar Screams Live , available from www.j effkollman.com We will reviewing this very soon. The Early Days Jeff Kollman grew up in Dayton, Ohio and takes up his story My brother Tommy had always wanted to be a drummer, and he started playing in 19 78. My Father asked me if I wanted to play something and the guitar seemed to me kind of an obvious choice. What were your formative musical experiences? Well, by now I d been to my first Kiss concert and that was life changing! Our dad took us to that and it was our first experience of that whole big rock n roll thing the pyrotechnics, the whole show My Dad really got it as much as I did, so he w as really supportive to us learning the instruments which was great. Did you have lessons from the beginning, or follow the perhaps more typical self taught route of our generation? Right away I got lessons, and from the beginning I was working on sight reading which wasn t really much fun at that stage. It s kinda frustrating spending a year p
When my friend showed ME how to play stuff like that I was totally hooked! It opened everything up. I was completely engulfed! I was running home from school instead of walking . Now. and figure out how to do a B pen tatonic scale all over the fretboard and jam on stuff like that.laying Mary Had A Little Lamb ! So. Everyone always goes on about his tapping and whammy bar stuff. and he had somehow managed to get us onto a west coast label called Mystic Records . As has been chronicled with many of our interviewees last issue. it was fairly gruelling. This label was really into that . I was a real rock guy into Randy Rhoads a nd Eddie and also developing my ear for some more sophisticated players like Luk ather and Carlton so it was pretty weird to be playing for this punk band! Early Career Jeff s first recording band were punk outfit The Stains and with them he achieved the almost unheard of success of having both a record out on a proper label and pl acement on national TV whilst still at school! All of this happened around the same time. so I started to get really busy. as it wasn t as fun as blazing through a Kiss track but I figured it could be important some day so I kept at it. which really got my live playing chops up. I d started writing my own stuff. once you ve learnt your ba r chords and pentatonic scale you re off and running! I think I d also dropped my fi rst teacher for someone a little more rock focused as well. and I thought it wa s the most incredible thing I d ever heard in my life and I still think that!! I r emember bring very impressed at his whole approach. so Ted and Kiss were the first real influences that I had I guess. By the end of that second ye ar it really had taken off for me as a player you know. After about a year I met a friend in school who knew how to play a Ted Nugent song. I too k it all very seriously and was intent on learning my craft and being as well-ro unded as possible. I d also got hold of a 4 track and started messing around with it: learning how to record and engineer stuff. Everyone tried to cop what Eddie was doing and no one really got it because it was sort of the whole package t hat he had. the turn of the decade (into the 80 s) was when the influence of Eddie Van Halen (in America at l east) was probably at its zenith ( in Europe it was arguably post 1984 when Eddie re ally hit the guitaristic radar ) Oh. but I kept at it think ing it would all be worthwhile in the end. I would get Guit ar Player magazine and try to absorb as much out of that as possible. I also got into things like the Rush 2112 album. so he showed me how to do that. Then I started playing for a local school band called The Stain. which all helped. and for the whole of that se cond year of playing I immersed myself in learning song after song. but it was as much for me his whole sound you know totally live in the studio and no ove rdubs as well as his approach to gear and everything. I would try to keep up the sight reading a s well which was tough to make myself do. and I started working things out from records all the t ime. as you know. totally. and trying t o emulate everything that I heard on those records. I woul d play along to things like Frampton Comes Alive . Musically. obviously you hav e it all. who were a hard core punk type band. Everyone playing in rock guitar was blown away. and with Tommy drumming we could practise togeth er. and I would play literally all day. T ed Nugent was actually the second concert that I went to in my life. How much playing were you doing by the end of that second year? Oh. and with m y guitar lessons gradually getting into more sophisticated stuff I was developin g really well. The drummer in The Stain was a real go-getter.
the weather s terrible for most of the time. groove ya know. the whole big production when it came to playing with the bigger acts who ca me through. bits of classical guitar. and then background music. Before long Edwin Dare were the hottest local band and very s oon were gracing larger stages what do you think Edwin Dare had that maybe some of the other local bands didn t? That s a good question. And of course as we played to bigger audiences our own profile got bigger which meant that we could do more touring. He was really hot on all sorts of styles. but I remember when I was about 14 years old I was walking dow n the street carrying a gigbag and this guy saw that I had a guitar and asked if I wanted a ride which you shouldn t ever do! But I got in. He really helped me get to the next level as far as techniques go. concentarating on finding my own voice as a player. so you d get loads of us who woul d rehearse a lot because there wasn t much else to do! We d go and see a lot of band s in places like Detroit. This co mbined with my playing and everything really made me think that I could make it as a professional guitarist. their brand of almost Eu ro metal had plenty of room for the spotlight on Jeff s by now extremely significa nt guitar prowess. then did a full length record and this stuff star ts getting used on adverts and stuff for things like Vision Streetware so I was still at school but this stuff was on TV and everything! What was the local scene like at the time? Well. Whilst I am a rock guitarist. we were sort of the obvious group for agents to hire. and had people like Black Flag and The Offspring on it. Your playing was getting very accomplished by this period. Jeff Kollman What were your plans after The Stain? Did you have any specific life goals ? I was really heavily into recording by now and through connections made from The Stain I found my music appearing on adverts. and the timing kind of helped.whole Surfer scene. I had a studio set up in our basement and really wo rked on my craft. I ve always kept up the reading after those first couple of years it just became something that I did. I h ave never really considered myself as only a rock player. I think that because we had worked very hard on always put ting on a big show with all the lights the walls of Marshall stacks and everythi ng. I ha . What was your music reading like at this point? And did you make a point to keep your reading chops up? Oh yeah. funk you know I really worked on getting properly good at all styles. Everything from tone. the whole package! With Jeff s brother on drums Edwin Dare were a locally put together band who devel oped into a significant concert draw from 1988 onwards. and it all developed from that. and we got on a compilation album. we got talking and he was a monster guitarist he really had it all! To this day I don t know if I ve ever been as impressed by anyone! His name s Chuck Stohl. harmonic colours. bends. Locally we were probably the most proficient musicians. In learning Jazz. bebop type chord melody stuff. Doing all original music and having albums for sale at the shows also really helped to build an au dience instantly. and he s was and still is the g uitar legend in my hometown. I was keeping it up on a daily basis because it is something that you lose if you don t use and I was also covering jazz standards. and to se e that up close was very helpful and really turned me on to a lot of the Europea n guitarists and technical players. on the Edwin Dare ear ly albums there is a lot of very evolved and technical playing how did you get a handle on that to such a high level? It a funny story. so the live scene was pretty good both as a fan and if you we re in a band. within a few hundred miles radius of home you could hi t a lot of cities.
Lyle Lovitt. New York an d Nashville are where the real music industry is so I decided to go where the ac tion was. first with me and then with Edwin Dare. I began to feel very st rongly that I had just about done all I could at home. as far as the local guitar scene in Phoenix went. and their market expertise was mainly that area as well . basically it got caught between two music genres and failed to do as well as i t perhaps could have done. there weren t many guitar players that were of the standard you d find in LA. Michael Schenker. Dream Theatre you name it! We got a rea lly good national following and the CD s did well in Japan. What I did was literally just c all these places up and said I was new in town and ready for work. George Lynch. I guess I wanted to take it step by step! There were probably only 4 or 5 main studios in Phoenix. and then this guy would get his record re leased through Guitar Recordings. piano players trumpet players like Chet Baker but not really jazz guitarists themselves. after loads of w ork. Heading West In the mid 1990 s Jeff made the decision that he had done all he could at home in Ohio. Warrant. and I got to know the local players and fairly quickly it got to I ve got a recording session in later we need you to play on this and suddenly you are in there. I was working loads throughout this period in my studio in the basement of my fa ther s place. man that era was some of the best fun I ve ever had! We opened up for loads of t op acts: Cinderella. The problem was that by this time John had heard Edwin Dare and thought that they should go with the band instead I guess they thought that it could sell more as a proper v ocal led band. Jeff chose LA as his destination Now what actually happened is that I stopped off in Phoenix Arizona for a few mo nths I had family there so I could stay for a while. These were al l very important in getting my sound together. anyway I was the player who the readers had voted for. They were trying to sort out their own record label I think that they were a bit slow off the mark after Mike Varney s Shrapnel but they d started with things like Blues Saraceno s stuff so they were pretty serio us about it. But when the music scene changed it made everything that much more d ifficult. So. Foreigner. I remember loads of clubs that had been doing great business only a year before having to shut down it was like where have all the r ock fans disappeared to? You had already started recording your solo albums at this point Schizoid had come out end of 89 and from this I started to get quite a lot of atten tion. It was after this that John Stix at Guitar For The Practising Musician mag azine got pretty involved. I also think that. and in order to take things to the next level must move to one of the main music industries cities. What happened was there was a competition with a bunch of guitarists and the readers from GFT PM could vote who they liked the most. He turned me on to horn. who is the best musician I ve ever met in Toledo. and it became very apparent that Edwin Dare like many other bands woul d have an impossible time getting the right record deal. He was the most influential person for me ha rmonically speaking. The thing is that all their readers were only really into the ful l on instrumental stuff. I got my foot . Grunge came along and put everyone out of busine ss! It was amazingly sudden. from 1989 through to 1994. and approaching everything from the perspective of being a musician rather than just a guitarist.d a great guitar teacher Dan Fahnle (Diana Krall s guitarist) who turned me much m ore on to Gene Parker. LA. but a lo t of serious rock stars and players lived here. and that if I was ever go ing to really get to the next level then I had to head out west. and in getting all my improvisation together. How did you find touring and recording with Edwin Dare at this time? Oh. saxophone. and used these places Alice Coop er. working regularl y. Then.
and we get a lot more of t he indie kind of stuff. UFO. We had a lot to prove. Chad Smith Je rry Douglas the real cats! Recording artists artists include Jill Scott. It s p retty funny. Wayman Tisdale. David Paich. These days I m also doing a lot of film stuff. That was where the basis of Cosmosquad was formed. So. do any spring to mind? I ve played with guys like Kenny Arranoff. But. As I mentioned earlier I ve also been doing a lot of film work and these include S lither. . Failure To Launch. Joe Lynn Turner. we just plugged in and started creating! How did the actual recording go? It was really cool 8 days in this slummy downtown rehearsal room! You could hear other bands rehearsing and stuff. yet Jeff s eemed to hit the floor running : Hey I m still trying to break through. really tough. throughout Europe and in Japan . and to this day we are still selling records. I did a record for Mike Varney s Shrapn el Records right away when I first moved to LA that was singer John West s solo al bum. we got a big house between us all and the rent was cheap. Mike Varney then called me to do the Mogg/Way record with the membe rs of UFO. it was here that I set up the studio (in the gar age) where Shedding Skin and all the later Cosmosquad albums were recorded. Shane and I then got the gig to do the G3 tour in Europe playing with Micha el Schenker. Billy Sheehan. We got to know each other well and playe d a few sessions together. they were wo rking for Michael Schenker at the time. Beerfest. Linda McCartney. physically. Garfield 2. The professional music scene in LA is notoriously hard to break into. we got it distributed in the States. Lyle Lo vitt. I first met Shane Gaalass and Barry Sparks here. an d we had definite ideas about being instrumentally very intense. Matt Rollings. it s all referral and word of mouth Over the years you have worked with an impressive array of talent. At the top there s a few guys that have got it all wrapped up. Jeff Kollman After these precipitous meetings Jeff commenced on the next leg of his journey a nd arrived in LA in 1996. and the sound was bleeding through onto our r ecording! Awesome stuff! How was the record received? Really well. I was always going to get there but when Shane said come out and we ll all g et a house together it made a lot of sense! You know. Reggie Hamilton. How did you go about writing this? We jammed in a rehearsal/recording room in downtown LA a few days of jamming and recording became that record. Munyungo Jackson. The Marin e. Sahara. because in all the years we had the studio the landlord never knew! Cosmosquad s self-titled debut release is an outstanding album with a funkiness an d breadth of styles perhaps only hinted at in Jeff s previous recordings. Brother Bear.in the door and made a lot of the contacts many of which have since stayed with me all my career. It was interesting to make a record and not reall y discuss the vision prior. Glenn Hu ghes and Michael Schenker. how did you actually get the breaks in the first place?! The way I broke into the LA scene was through introductions to other musicians a nd gigs from my first contacts like Shane. ha ha! Here in LA the session scene is real ly. Steve P ocaro. t hen there are guys like me who are on the next level. You Me & Dupree and Poseiden. Karen Briggs. Steve Vai. Well. Clerks 2.
I think we achieved a new level with Squ adrophenia. took a bi t more time getting the feel and everything together. I think I sent Schizoid for him to sign . a CD. and there is certainly a lot of ces on there. I sent tapes to Mike when I was 1 5 and he knew of me from that time period. . I think it s cope of my writing. Also. but he said You have artwork. then go in and track it after that. I w onder if Jeff approached the writing differently as there does seem a real defin ing of the Jeff Kollman sound on this album I cleared my schedule for 30 days. some jammy improvisation moments and many cool textures on there. intimate and infamous club and all the main cats in town have playe d here! This was actually recorded on bloody ADAT and a cheap mixer but it turne d out great! We played for 3 hours in total so we had quite a bit of material to choose from. and was my first introduction to hi s playing. Some songs were pretty quick to get down In Lov ing Memory was pure inspiration. And what was the reception like when you released it? Shedding Skin has been my best seller. There s a lot of serious composition. Like many a world class rock virtuoso. 1999 s Shedding Skin the third Jeff K ollman solo release is a personal favourite. we finished it! Seriously though. As already detailed in the opening paragraphs. but some other tunes. I wonder again if they had changed th e writing process again? Squadrophenia took a bit more time with many jam sessions. a lot of re-thinking th ings through and then re-writing. As this is a very different album to the first two solo releases. Shane Gaalaas recorded mult iple drum grooves for me to get it started so some songs would stem from a groov e. 2001 s Cosmosquad release Squadrophenia was a more involved and less loose-limbed re cording a very textural and layered album.Apart from your international touring. like Chinese Eyes . As part of Cosmosquad we have b een doing the clubs since we arrived. and an attorney representing you. at the infamous Baked Potato in North Hollywood. Jeff s paths le Mike Varney on a number of occasions How did you place? a good representation of the s different styles and influen have crossed with the inimitab hook up with Mike in the first Mike first called me for the John West record. This is a small. The Cosmosquad album Live At The Baked Potato is a fantastic display of funky vi rtuosity and one of the most palatable instrumental records for the casual liste ner. lots of random jams at The Baked Potato with guys like Virgil Donat i and I ve been recording and touring with contemporary Jazz pianist Lao Tizer as well. How did the actual recording go? Well. others from a melody. You don t n eed my help! He s awesome! He s gotten me some great contacts since. The recording was really painless: working and recording that way at home is great and very relaxing compared to having to go and track down at some other studio. The vibe comes across as a relaxed and very much in control live performanc e was that how it all went down? This was recorded in 2001. There w as no set formula. or maybe even a bass line or chord progression. and my goal was to write a song a day during that time. but also loads of random gigs with singer songwriters. My favourite track is Cauld ron Of Evil . have you played a lot in and around the L A scene? Always and all sorts of different stuff as well.
O. moody and pretty melancholy. I ve pla yed some gigs with Glenn before in the States. It can be ordered at http://www. As mentioned earlier in this feature. I m not on the new record. Dark. Chalie Waymire on drums. Pink Floyd. We wanted to capture what it really is a proper power trio.Almost as soon as Jeff arrived in LA he became involved in a musical scene of ve teran (primarily UK) rock stars including Phil Mogg erstwhile UFO vocalist and l eader. it s . So there s lots going on. Both of these records are still try ing to find a home with a label. which is P.com or the fan club. The Jeff Kollman Band is myself. Jeff has been particularly active in recent years with some more vocally orienta ted projects. Box 33992 Granada Hills Ca 91394. and Zeppelin. but I played on Songs In The Key Of Rock and HTTP 2 . record them. I m sin ging as well as playing guitar in this band. Bad things about LA include its radio. The Crumb B rothers is myself. Now this is a raw power trio. and the great Voice of Rock Glenn Hughes. and I m real positive about the what s going to happen next! The LA Scene As a ten year veteran of LA. and I won t have heard of the absolu is sort of hear new a them. but they are bi . The Crumb Brothers Brothers and The Jeff Kollman Band. It s very singer songwriter ori ented. what are your general views on your adopted home ci ty? LA is really strange place. although these were always one of fs not a full blown tour like this European one.j effkollman. I would probably say my favourite memories of that whole period are working on t he Sign Of 4 record with Phil. and if any hold specific memories With the Phil Mogg and UFO connection. It s a real vibe sort of record. very mi nor sounding. holder of arguably the most soulf ul larynx in the rock arena for the last 30 plus years. but I really have to go home to the mid west to cts and I m like Who s this? Oh. what future plans have you and is there a follow up to Shedding Skin pl anned? I m first writing a new Jeff Kollman Band record as well as the third studio relea se from Cosmosquad. Mike Varney let me know in advance that h e was setting up a meeting with me and Phil. who had played live with Glenn on the HTTP record. heavy. Mark Renk on Vocals and Shane Gaalaas on drums it s compared to the likes of Radiohead. it s te worst half of the stations are Mariachi Mexican and the other half Green Day! It s crazy. I ask Jeff to give us the low down on these These are very different to my solo albums and the Cosmosquad stuff. Also I am releasing a live Jeff Kollman CD titled Guitar Scre ams Live! which is available October 23rd 2006. and then have somethi ng solid to play him when we met and that sealed the deal! I got the Glenn Hughe s through being referred by Shane Gaalaas. and Kevin Chown on bas s. he stayed over at the house for a few weeks and we had a great time he s great to hang with! Glenn Hughes is great too we had so many laughs he s a really funny guy! Also he is great in the studio he records so fast that I can barely remember producing him. rocky and dynamic definitely not an over produced band. Glenn called to get me more inv olved and start touring in his new line up for Europe and I m really excited to ge t out there and do a full tour with The Voice of Rock! Finally. Jeff is out with Glenn Hughes touring as t his interview is published (beginning of November 2006) I ask if he s playing on t he latest very well received Glenn Hughes album Music For The Divine . so I thought it would be make sense to write some suitable few songs in advance. Again I ask how Jeff man aged to score these gigs.
becau se there are still a lot of opportunities and gigs available. The y are kind of blasé as they have seen everyone there is. and I have been asked for a long time to do an instructional DVD a . you can t really get the people in the clubs to watch you because you re new. LA is where the y audition. You know. If you re really a Cosmosquad fan you d be more than happy to have something like that. maybe. One of the real cool gigs in town is Marco Mendoza (Ed Note re Marco Mendozas ca reer ) band and he plays every Tuesday night at La ve lee a really cool club and th at is probably the best show in town You take anybody there and they are like Wow! Marco Mendoza is unbelievable they play all that Latin fiery slas stuff. but if you are a younger band starting off and you are thinking We re goin g to go to LA to make it don t! If you are a great guitar player then.com just go to the Store section a nd all 32 lessons are detailed there. our fans ar e great. Texa s or somewhere else I think you will find it easier to build that regional base. We try to do the same with the Cosmosquad shows.jeffkollman. The thing is they are putting on a real show: to entertain and to involve the audience. I mean. although I am not sur e that that kind of setting would be the best. I think phrasing is one of the things that needs to be co vered properly. where the agents are and everything but if you want to form a band a nd start playing to build your audience it s not the place. funky. So far I have designed and marketed an instructional course that I call Lessons By M ail . One thing I am seriously thinking about is doing a proper instructional DVD. t echniques etc. Have you ever thought about releasing a DVD? As mentioned earlier. but if you compare it to some of the other DVD s out there it may not look quite good enough so it s something to think about and doing properl y and at the right venue.) They are very specific one on phrasing. If you do it in Austin. jazzy. Jeff Kollman Of course. if you w ant to try and be the next guitar player for Christina Aguilera.on selling bands. Cosmosquad s Liv e At The Baked Potato CD is fantastic and it would be great to have the visual as pect as well We ve kicked around the idea of putting out DVD s for a while. Basically he s like a mixture of Jaco Pastorias on a 6 string fretless. Are there are a bunch of clubs and bars where all the musos go to? Absolutely: it s how I ve run into lots of people you get to know people and they ge t to know you. I ve got a couple of DVD s floating a round that people have filmed certain people we ll let get in there set up a tripo d and go for it. a ballad in here some real v ariety whilst we re blowing away on stage. R n B stuff nd with amazing musicianship. because this is LA I can go out any night of the we ek to bars and clubs and see rock stars. movie stars really famous people all ha nging out. it s not like Lets do this long so lo in A minor we try not to lose the plot with the audience enjoying it. I mean it doesn t necessarily affect us when we play The Baked Potato. at the same time. (These are available from www. Always keep in mind that you re there to entertain an audience too many virtuoso type groups lose track of that. Who knows where that can lead? But I wouldn t have taken my band Ed win Dare to play the LA rock scene back in the late 80 s and try to compete becaus e there was so much competition I could be just as well off staying in Ohio and basing ourselves from out of there. and he does vocal impersonation s of Latin percussion all at the same time! The band is equally great. We will have stuff in there that s like tribal. There also isn t really a thriving new band scene in LA as the o ther problem is that the general LA audience has very much been there done it . he sings like Stevie Wonder.
you can try to apply a methodical approach. I like to surround chord tones with non-chordal tones neighbouring tones. I personally can hear elements of players ranging from Jeff Beck to George Lynch to Andy Tim mons to Scott Henderson. Now if you take a melodic pattern for example I might play A G up half a step and play three notes from a Bb minor pentatonic. Technique Advice. and then G. There s a lot of stuff I would l ike to do it wouldn t be like those typical play three notes on this string deals. why not try some of the phrase in Bb minor pentatonic. a half step above (G#) a half step below (Gb). You know. So. then I ll go then five notes rhythmically it s switching to the ou . when you get used to them you can apply these sort of concepts naturally and in a musica l way. Then I will approach the ne xt note the flat 3rd which is C by playing a whole step above C (D). if you are playing an A minor pentatonic. I would like to do one that is pretty much all-encompassing. to get an instinctive feel of when to t ry this. Have you any specific exercises that you can recommend a guitarist to try alongs ide immersing themselves in listening to suitable players and music? Jeff Kollman Well. through to laying dow n some of the grooviest rhythms and generally funkin it up big time.. and then part of an Ab minor pentatonic and then weave t hese into your home A minor pentatonic build phrases like this. let s take an Am7 for example. a half step above (Db) a half step below (B). You can play about with hitting the outside notes on the off beats. Jeff particularly has a great approach to playing outsid e with a unique touch that doesn t alienate rock guitar fans who often find that so rt of harmony hard to digest from players such as Frank Gambale. Getting a little jazzy spice seems to be on the agenda for many a rock guitarist nowadays What would your approach be to teach the basics of outside playing to a rock gui tarist with a good basic knowledge and understanding of diatonic harmony? I think that I would first go into the idea of chromaticsm. a half s tep above A (Bb). but I wouldn t do it in a specific orde r that makes it a bit too much Flight of The Bumblebee . which you can get sounding c ool pretty much straight off why not try that principle to actual notes when you solo? Again. and then E. I am first going to play a whole step above A (B). But interesting to see when I m switching from in to out I am not E D C. sound the whole lot. three notes in Bb and it can become a nice long line. th ere s that way of doing it it s like when you are playing a m7 chord groove you can sl ide into the chord from a half step above or below. go a whole step above (A). and then hit C. two out of the three weren t even in the scale (A minor scale: A B C D E F G A) but so be it! It doesn t really matter because you are going in and out . T o target the A note. These kind of exercises are what Horn players have done for years past. b ut all about real applications even down to how to use a metronome properly. a half step above (F) a half step below (Eb). and g enerally play around with the basic harmony of what you are playing over. Scott Henderson and John Schofield. and covers my app roach to everything playing. and finally do the same with the b7th (G). using neighbouring t ones but not chordal tones. if we were playing a vamp in A mino r there s a few different approaches you can take. So. A half step below A (Ab) and then the A. Do the same with the fifth (E ) go a whole step above (F#). for example. in A. As a guitarist Jeff is as at home running speed picked 32nd note arpeggio string skipped phrases as he is at effortlessly gliding through the most complex of ja zz changes with a lyrical horn player influenced approach. You really do need to list en to the right sort of players as well.
Getting back to the idea of playing outside once more: take that Am7 chord again and look at what other options are available to you. and get that m/may 7 sound. especially with all the pl ayers who followed Yngwie. but displace it rhythm ically. first off I build a li ne around the Mixolydian mode over the I chord. try and play an a ltered Bb scale leading into the A (like a Bb Lydian Dominant with the #4 and b7 ) and weave that into the A that will really sound like you know what you re doing ! How would you go about making a standard dominant blues hipper? If I am playing a 12 bar blues and I want to get outside. It s like when you hear how people re -harmonise something very simple and it ends up sounding so clever but retains t he essence of the original song I want to get all that down. The half whole works als o if you re just playing a chord vamp. It really keeps all your skills up. the 11ths. It can get a really hip sound: a bit Steve Kahn or John Scofield. and that will accentuate the upper chord tones like the 6th. so there was that unpredictability there that a lot of great improvisers have. but the strength of that pattern in sequence will eventua lly take you back to a place that is harmonically in again. The heavy rock guys don t even seem to know that this scale exists! I don t think I ve ever heard any metal guys using this one! Yet it can rea lly sound eerie and out there . the 9ths.t notes on a beat so in order to get this to sound authentic it s a much about rhy thmically where you put the notes as much as the actual notes themselves. harmonic knowledge really important. your r eading. or similar take whatever line you are doing it. a lot had great technique but it just sounded like pa tterns and rhythmically it was so straight . He wasn t always coming in on beat. When I am teaching I always try to get the student used to starting on the and of beat one. Michael Brecker and Coltrane could take anything and move it around and musically it works I would l ove to be able to do it anywhere near that level. you know In my dreams! The other thing that you can do is to imply other chords: for example if you hav e a I chord like Am. I found a CD online recently that had 12 Real books all on t here so much information right there. So. Guys like John Coltrane could force a pattern that they ve built so far away and o ff that initial chord. you can imply a V chord (say an E7#9 chord) by playing a tr itone over the V chord which here would be a Bb over an A. Take (for example) this from a more rock perspective. t hen a half step below. it didn t sound like he was playing as many patterns as those other guys: it just sounded like he was playing great solos a nd was really expressing himself. You can try B minor pentat onic. that s powerful. Now it s initially pretty tricky to get comfortable with the melodic mino r but try thinking laterally. The thing is that when you heard Yngwi e. Do you still go through the Jazz Fake books and brush up on the standards? Always. when he was playing with Alcatrazz. his note gro upings were not as premeditated. absolutely. and that will make me sound more jazzy and the higher you get in the extensions of the chord the jazzier the sound will be. You could also try applying E minor pentatonic and try the A melodic minor (A B C D E F# G #) as well which will give you the maj 6 and maj 7 intervals. but leading into the IV chord I could play an A half whole diminished scale and weave it into the D Mixolydian a nd that gives a nice resolution when you get to the IV. For example between C and G# you ve got 4 whole step s in a row and what you can do is open yourself up to doing a pattern using 4 wh ole tones and moving it away from your starting point maybe a half step above. Are there any areas that you would like to develop personally as a player? .
Other guitars include my 1980 BC Rich Rico model. so if you are starting out trying to get in as a ses sion player it s going to be tough. and back then there was definitely loads of work. I was talk ing with Don Randi the owner of The Baked Potato and he used to play on The Beac hboys and lots of similar sessions. Hendrix and of course Eddie. It takes a lot of time to do that. a nd the 6100 frets for the Les Paul s. a 1961 strat. I could get it back with a week of serious shredding but that s not my goal anymore. I am constantly working on writing songs a nd stuff. Finally. I also use a high pass filter on all my guit ars to retain the high end and take out a bit of bottom end when I turn my volum e knob down. I also have a 1990 Les Paul classic . Now there s a lot less. a 71 strat hardtai l and Fender Custom Shop Relic strat. but this town is built on relationships and it s hard to get in there. Do you find that if you have a couple of weeks away from the instrument your roc k chops get rusty. so I work on keeping that as much as individual techniques. In some of your playing I can almost hear George Lynch was he ever an influence at all? He wasn t an influence at all. get that chord melody acoustic typ e stuff really down stuff down like Tommy Emmanuel or Lenny Breau and those guys . which is a sort of Robben Ford guitar from the 80 s. and a Fender Espirit Ultra . rather th an thinking about all those 32nd note runs. or are they pretty much always there? They are always there pretty much good enough to wow the students at MI anyway! B ut when you go back and listen to certain periods of your career you often go Wow . I used to see all these students come out to MI and I taught there for a while and their whole outlook was When I finish school I am going to hang around and start doing sessions which was pretty unrealistic. The thing about LA is that I am finding th in with a couple of in-demand producers or writers then they oft going on themselves that you are kept very busy. Not only weren t they good enough to get in with the likes of Landau and the rest. On the strats I use the Dunlop 6105 frets. you know. But. although I really respect him as a player. when you are working a lot and have a famil y its hard to find the time to do it. If you c an hear a bit of Lynch in there it s probably through Warren DiMartini because I t hink they are very similar if you listen to their solos and although I wasn t a fa n of their bands I did listen to them. my chops were good back then almost halfway to Shawn Lane status! I ve seen some o f the videos recently of the stuff I was doing around 1995 and it s like I can t do t hat now! Realistically. any general advice that you can make to someone wanting to come out to LA and make it in the studio and session world? To be quite honest with you. For me there is at once you get en have so much tablished there ple that can be still a load of work. I think tha t when you compare players you should really go back to the guys they would have listened to which would have been Clapton. if there are similarities I think it s because we probably all grew up hearing the same players. Lately I ve been playing a little more sloppy almost more attitude and where I am at now is much more about the phrasing and musicality.I would like to get solo guitar playing down. Once you are es s enough to go around it s just that getting in there with right peo a killer! Gear what guitars are you mainly using? I have a 1958 Gibson Les Paul special with P90 s.
what about Effects? I use the Fulltone Dejavibe . And finally. I got g the Chadwick Marshalls. and a Chandler Digital Echo for delays. Acoustic guitars include a Ramirez 1A. and I always use an Ernie Bal l Volume pedal. Martin and Larrivee steel strings. but I think that they quit making this one. for the reverbs the Lexicon M1. I am also playing an old tele quite a bit lately. so I ask Jeff what gear he was currently using I often use the etty great rock mal line. and th ese are the main ones I use for my recordings. I also use Krank amps which are quite unique from the for them when the company was just one guy in the garage. It s almost a Brian May quality. and I use the Hughes and Kettner ATS 120 e channel for that warm /singing lead tone. Xotic pedals are good. Fender 65 Twin . which has a coil tap to give me some thinning options on the sound I can almost get tele sounds from it. I like the Line 6 rack delay as well. Jeff Kollman As this interview is published it has been announced that Jeff has signed with F ender USA Guitars and Amps. and the TC Electronics Lin e Drive Booster/ Distortion.1960 reissue. This interview took place before that announcement. I m now usin series Krank which is very versatile. the Fulltone Ultimate Octave . and hooked up with some pedals you can get some pr tones. . I also have two Bogner modded middl I have also got an AC 30 Top Boost.
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