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John Scofield: "Playing with Space"

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Thursday June 28, 2018

From Sweetwater Sound & GearFest 2018
Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar

John Scofield: Why I Can’t Listen to My Early Material
By: Mitch Gallagher

John Scofield: “I can’t listen to my early stuff. And part of that is because there’s no space in it. Now I’m playing with space, it’s really important. And that’s playing with other people. It’s one thing to play solo guitar by yourself – which is impossibly hard – and to be part of a band and really make your part work with the other guys.

“Even when you’re soloing. Just taking a solo doesn’t mean you’re up front doing your thing and the other people are mindless backing musicians. You gotta make your solo fit in with the band.

“It sounds to me so much better in music when it’s a little bit more of a dialogue. Even when the guys are playing just a background part. Just to have that be there for a second, for two bars while you’re not blithering on your solo. It seems to center everything and everybody starts to play together.

“If you leave a little space, then you hear what they’re doing so the next entrance of your music will be really in sync with them. And they are able to take a break from hearing you so that they can center their playing to fit with yours. There’s all this subtle stuff that goes on and that’s what makes the magic for me. And the more I play, the more I enjoy that with all the people.”

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