A relatively new and young player, but man has he demonstrated he can play the blues with feel and passion. He bring interesting flavors to the table with jazz-inspired scales and chords in the style of Robben Ford. His plays smart and smooth Chicago-style grooves with lots of space for the hammond organ and his strat to shine through. We are looking forward to many years together with Matt’s musical performances.
Matt Schofield has used a blackface Super Reverb in studio and he tours with newer tube amps such as the Two Rock Custom Reverb. His tone is cranked, full and bright without sacrificing any clarity or touch sensitivity. You can clearly hear that a quacky and bright sparkling strat is doing the work. Matt is particurlarly good with pick dymanics and we love when he delivers those stone cold Ice Man-inspired single notes (Albert Collins).
To get Matt Schofield’s tone you could pick one of the larger 10″ blackface amps such as a Super Reverb or Vibrolux, and crank them up. A Pro Reverb 2×12″ is also a nice amp since it will deliver pretty fat and overdriven tones when pushed. The Twin Reverb is not ideal since it is very clean. The most important is to pick an amp that fits the stage size. Matt plays big venues and therefore he needs big amps and speaker cabinets, like his regular 4×10″ cabinet loaded with Eminence Ragin Cajun. You really need to crank the amp to get Matt’s tone with the bright switch enabled. A bright stratocaster is also recommended. If you cannot turn the amp volume beyond 5-6 (with stock Fender blackface/silverface amps) you will need a transparent boost pedal. The more the amp is cranked, the less gain you need from the pedal. On the amp side we recommend the pull V1 and tremolo disconnect mod to increase the amp’s preamp gain. If you need to lower the sweet spot and breakup volume, use a 12AX7 as PI tube V6.
We have managed to get good Matt Schofield tones with smaller amps too. A good example is a silverface Princeton Reverb that is heavily cranked around 6-7 on the volume knob, treble around 7, bass 3 and reverb on 3.
Matt’s tone is quite trebly and distorted – yet, his clean playing style and nice touch makes it all sound “Fender strat clean”. You will need speakers that sound sparkling but more importantly, they need to handle 6L6 distortion without beeing to sharp and edgy. This is often achieved with powerful speakers that have a meaty tone and lots of punch in the lower registry that compensates for the trebly highs. Depending on the brightness of your guitar and pedals, we would recommend more powerful speakers than the typical vintage Oxford, Jensen P10r, P10q/C10q. These traditional Jensens are great for clean tones, but we find them a little to weak at high volumes, especially when aiming for the funky Matt notes. We can get a decent Matt Schofield tone with the following speakers; Celestion Greenback 12, Celestion Century Vintage 30, newer Jensen C12n, Weber 10A125, Jensen Jet Series Tornado, new Jensen C10q.
A slight touch of delay and reverb is also a part of Matt’s tone. A trick with delay pedals is to use them carefully. We like it when you cannot hear the repeated tones clearly and distinct, but more of a mixed blend with the initial tone and the reverb. Try it yourself.