Tim Scott, self-confessed pioneer of ‘Guitar Mashing’, was first bitten by the music bug when he started composing at the age of just six. But it wasn’t until he was 14, inspired by Sting’s playing with The Police, that he began pestering his parents for an electric bass guitar,
A year later, blown away by Steve Lukather’s blistering solo in ‘Rosanna’, Tim sold his worldly possessions, invested in a ‘lead’ guitar, and hasn’t looked back since. It proved to be the key to unlocking his true talent and potential at a period in his life dogged by the effects of severe dyslexia.
Despite the out-of-hours help of kind-hearted teachers, Tim’s education authority didn’t recognise his condition as a disability, leaving him with little support and just four GCSE passes for all his efforts. A stint at Salford College of Music proved equally frustrating with Tim’s inability to cope with the written work resulting in him “dropping out before I got kicked out!”.
When holding down ordinary jobs proved impossible too…it was decision time. So Tim picked up his guitar, moved to London, and signed up to study at what is now known as The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. 12 months later, and with a diploma in his pocket, Tim was on his travels again, his dyslexia ruling out any chance of continuing his studies towards a full degree.
He headed to Ibiza during the summer of 2004 and the rest, as they say, is history.
On his first night out, Tim took in a session by the legendary Judge Jules and was immediately struck by the sax player’s ‘jamming’. Thinking he could capture the same distinctive effect on guitar, the idea of ‘Guitar Mashing’ was born. But even Tim couldn’t have imagined that before Christmas arrived he’d be in Judge Jules’ studio, composing Spanish Guitar mixed with Techno for his debut album…followed by a summertime gig with Judge Jules on Radio 1’s Ibiza Weekend.
Mixing genres and challenging the established norms rapidly became Tim’s trademark, Inspired by Jeff Beck, Miles Davis, Van Halen and a star-studded line-up of his other guitar heroes, ‘Bald On The Inside’ emerged as the completed debut album, described by Tim as “a true rock Latin funk fusion experiment!”.
With a spirit of holiday escapism running through his work, a second solo album was eventually released, but not before Tim had spent a long time shifting his focus from “tricks and technical ability”, to a real understanding that melodies and production were what really mattered in bringing cool instrumental guitar to a much wider audience.
The result was the appropriately named ‘Guitar Mashing’ which unleashed track after track of incredible guitar work, matched only by Tim’s astonishing production skills.
“I still have no idea how the things I write and play come together”, says Tim. “I now look back and see my dyslexia as a gift. It has given me extraordinary improvisation, composition and arrangement skills. I don’t worry about scales and keys, or what notes I’m playing. It’s all down to how it feels and if it captures people’s imagination.”
The proof of the ‘mashing’, as the saying almost goes, is in the listening.