Learn to Play: Riffs in the Key of John Scofield

John "Sco" Scofield has played and collaborated with everyone from Miles Davis to Mavis Staples to Jaco Pastorius to John Mayer. The well-respected and prolific guitarist spans multiple genres, including jazz, blues, bebop, and rock.

Sco came into his own in the '80s, defining his sound by its slightly overdriven, chorusy jazz quality that he achieved playing Ibanez hollowbodies through a Fender Twin or Vox AC30. Relative to most jazz players, he also uses more effects to sculpt his bluesy style.

In the video above, Joe plays through the solo of "Drop and Roll" from Sco's 2000 album, Bump. Joe also breaks down some tips for improvising in the style of Scofield himself.

In the next video, Joe explores the arpeggio solo in "What You See is What You Get" from 2003's Up All Night. Joe is using a 1964 Gibson ES-175D through a Fender Vibrolux, but if you want to get the true Scofield sound, you can pick up an Ibanez hollowbody.

Scofield also has two rad signature guitars with Ibanez — the JSM10-VYS and JSM100-VT — that are worth picking up if you're looking into zero in on his bluesy, bridge-pickup-heavy tone.


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