Guitar World Acoustic - June/July 2005

Timothy's Comments:

After Don Henley's comments about the challenge of matching the band's previous hits:

Like Henley, Timothy B. Schmit has been working on material for the new album. "I'm still searching for songs that are acceptable for an Eagles record," says Schmit. "The best stuff seems to come out when you're not trying to tailor-make something for a specific purpose. I'm constantly trying to come up with another song like 'I Can't Tell You Why.' On the last sessions we did for the album, I actually got to play acoustic guitar on a couple of tracks. I came up with some ideas on the acoustic guitar, and they wanted me to play them. I was pretty thrilled because people usually only want me to sing or play bass, in that order.

"These days almost all of my songs start off with me playing acoustic guitar and singing along," continues Schmit. "I'll record my ideas in a raw demo state, put them away and re-examine everything later to determine what I want to do with 'em. I started off playing ukulele, banjo and tenor guitar in high school, and I've been playing those instruments again. I was really into folk music when I started playing, and I recently realized that folk music helped make me who I am."

Schmit may enjoy the sound of acoustic instruments when recording, but he's the only Eagles member who doesn't go "unplugged" during the band's acoustic set.

"I play electric bass because I haven't found an acoustic model that sounds good on stage," says Schmit. "The old Ernie Ball Earthwood Bass is the only acoustic bass I've ever played that sounds right to me, but it's really tricky to mic on stage. Acoustic basses made these days lack the proper body size. I want the bass to sound as good in the room as it does when it's amplified, but a small body just can't produce the proper amount of depth. The guitarron, a Mexican instrument used in mariachi music, really has it down. The body is big and round, and only a tiny bit of the neck extends past the body, which is fine because you only need about six frets to play bass, not 12. I'd really like to have a fretted bass that's based on the guitarron, but guitar makers think I'm nuts when I ask them to build me one."

On his acoustic guitars:

Timothy B. Schmit says he has a "large collection" of acoustic guitars. "I have a really great Martin D-28 herringbone and a 000-16 that I gave my wife 12 years ago. It's one of the best-sounding small-body guitars I've ever played."

Schmit also has some special custom acoustics. "Gibson made me a beautiful J-200 with flame maple on the top and back. I play that guitar finger-style. Jamie Kinscherff in Austin made me a jumbo-style guitar with a cutaway featuring an inlay on the headstock that I designed, and I have a wonderful square-neck resonator guitar made by John McGrath in Australia."

You can read the whole article on L&M's Fastlane.

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