About Jeffrey Ryan Smoots (JRS)
Strings: Dean Markley Blue Steel
Picks: Jim Dunlop Jazz III
Amps: Peavey Triple XXX
I've released 6 albums and appeared on several compilation albums. I've been featured in Guitar for the Practicing Musician's Spotlight column and Guitar One Magazine's Fretbuzz column. I've written guest columns for Guitar 9 Records, Insane Guitar, and Sounduser.com, and album reviews for Prog4You.com. I've been playing guitar for nearly 25 years now.
A: I play and endorse Dean Musical Instruments.
Q: What strings do you use?
A: I endorse Dean Markley. I use Dean Markley Blue Steel LT .010 to .046.
Q: What picks do you use?
A: Dunlop Jazz III for guitar, and my own heavy JRS picks for bass.
Q: What amplification do you use?
A: I use Peavey gear, specifically the Peavey Triple XXX. For recording I use TH2 from Overloud, Amp Farm and Pod HD 500 from Line 6.
Q: What effects and stompboxes do you use?
A: I endorse and use Morley volume and wah pedals, specifically the Little Aligator volume and Bad Horsie Wah. These days I generally record guitar and bass direct, and reamp in software. Before the guitar or bass hits the sound card though, it goes through ISP Technologies Decimator noise reduction pedal and Keeley's GC-2 Limiting Amplifier pedal. I also occasionally use Digitech's Bad Monkey overdrive pedal.
Q: What synths and sound libraries do you use?
A: I endorse and use Sonivox MI sounds. I also use sound libraries and synth plugins from Chris Hein (Best Service), Spectrasonics, EastWest Quantum Leap, Rob Papen, Ample Sound and Native Instruments. I use Toontrack and Steven Slate sampled kits for my drum sounds.
Q: What hardware and software do you use for recording?
A: I use Sonar Platinum. The sound card on my main Digital Audio Workstation is an RME Multiface (IMO the best sound card available). For my laptop DAW, I use an Echo Audio Indigo IO cardbus. My secondary DAW uses a Focusrite Scarlett sound card. I monitor on Mackie H824s in my studio. The rest of the time I use Sony MDR 7506 and Sony MDR V-600s. My computers are custom built by ADK Pro Audio.
Q: I've never heard of you. Are you famous or something?
A: Well, if you haven't heard of me, I guess I'm not famous enough!
Q: Have you ever been interviewed / reviewed / written about?
A: I've received press exposure in Guitar FPM magazine and Guitar One Magazine. I've received reviews from a multitude of websites (check out my album pages for details and excerpts).
Q: Are you a full-time musician?
Q: What band are you in?
A: I am a part of the the melodic hard rock band Continuous Audio Transmission. I also write, perform, record and release my own solo material.
A: I started noodling around in about 1984. By 1988 I was shutting out the outside world, practicing every available minute of the day and night.
Q: Where can I listen to and buy your albums?
A: Lots of places! You can download my music from ITunes, Amazon.com and CD Baby. If you're old school and want an actual CD, you can get all my releases from CD Baby.
Q: Will you answer questions about music, guitar, etc.?
A: Certainly. I do my best to answer all the mail I receive. If you're starting out on guitar, check out my free online guitar lessons here.
Q: How many guitars do you own?
A: Many. And they are protected by dogs, a home security system, and my itchy, twitchy trigger finger on a Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun. Click here to see pictures of some of my gear
Q: You say you're a multi-instrumentalist. What instruments do you play?
A: I play guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. That order also describes my technical ability. I also sing lead (when I must) and background vocals.
Q: Will you play on my song / album?
A: Anything's possible. I'm a shameless self-marketing whore, so I'm always willing to listen. Email me and we'll chat.
Q: Can you help me with MIDI drum programming?
A: Yes, though I charge for that For some free help, click here to read an article I wrote about drum sequencing.
Q: Who are you musical influences?
A: Mainly Rush, Dream Theater, King's X and Queensryche. If its progressive, melodic rock or melodic metal, I probably like it. I also LOVE shred guitar: Racer X being the finest example.
“As the imaginary walls that separate different styles of music continue to fall, players who embrace both the energetic voice of punk and the players' attitude of modern guitar herores are sure to be heralded. Jeffrey Smoots may well be among them. Good show!” – John Stix, Guitar for the Practicing Musician.
“Shred fiends will find a decent amount of guitar-centric indulgence on Loss for Words. But Smoots doesn't go overboard; he seems content to course his big-bottomed riffs with memorable, Satriani-esque melodies.” – Chris O'Byrne, Guitar One Magazine.
“This [JRS – Loss for Words] is a great album. A collection of tracks that are concise, chock-full of hooks and melody. And best of all, they ROCK. You’ll get a sample of every style, from metal to heavy southern rock, but always featuring excellent, memorable solos.” – Prog4You.com.
"…[Reviewing Wings of Gold] Great songwriting, great guitar work, and fantastic vocals…" – James Bickers, Progression Magazine.
“JRS is an extremely accomplished all around musician / guitarist. [He] melds insanely complex orchestrations together like a tight woven fabric to produce intelligent, complex music that is never pretentious. A new type of shredder with a unique vision” – Guitar Mania.
“…Fret melting abounds, from the swept arpeggios of "Double Star" to the lithe, lyrical "Stadium Dreams." And that's the magic of Loss for Words. For every pinwheeling guitar passage, there lurk three catchy riffs. It's a winning ratio for musicians and casual listeners alike. Loss for Words is an impressive testament to a man entrusting musicianship not to machines, but to his own fingers. Smoots learned drums, keyboards and bass, determined to preserve an organic feel. It worked.” – Electric Basement.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold]…Jeffrey's tunes leave your imagination running wild. Which is exactly what instrumental music is supposed to do right?" - Flash Forward.
“[Reviewing Loss for Words] From the hard rock, multi-tracked onslaught on ‘Mr Negativity’, to the proto-grunge of ‘Zeta Principle’ to the harmonized melodies on ‘King Lerxst’, this album [Loss for Words] has a lot for any discerning fan of the electric guitar. What is more, it is highly original material to boot. Sure, the influences are apparent in places, but just as you think that a track is settling down into, for instance, a southern rock groove, it veers off at an unexpected tangent.” – Dutch Progressive Rock Page.
"…Jeffrey Ryan Smoots knows the difference between virtuosity and feeling in his progressive rock…The music is full of feeling, with refrains very well built; see pearls like 'Homeland' and 'Never Never Land'…Wings of Gold is an extraordinary album…" – Krepsukulum Underzine Online – Brazil.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold]…High class instrumental progressive melodic rock. Every guitar freak should check out this awesome CD. (Points: 8 out of 10)." – Strutter'zine.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold]…There is no question that there is significant talent on this CD…" – Heady Metal.
"[Reviewing Loss for Words]…solid rock guitar that borders on metal -- all written, performed, recorded and produced by a classy player with few (if any) pretensions…Smoots lets his guitar do the singing more beautifully than most humans probably could. This guy should be a household name." – TMichael Popke, Progression Magazine.
"…[Wings of Gold is] a very good album that won't leave you disappointed…" – Through Different Eyes.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold]…This is a good record. Smoots conveys an infectious energy that elevates…Influenced by such luminaries as Alex Lifeson, Eric Johnson and Yngwie Malmsteen, his guitar playing is spectacular, and his commanding tenor would bring down the house on Broadway." – Jim Santo's Demo Universe.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold]…The guitar playing is quite a thrill without been over-the-top…The musicianship of Jeffrey Smoots, cannot be in question; he as the ability to play a wide number of instruments. " – Martin Jones Acid Attack Music.
"[Reviewing Wings of Gold] The disc features a total of twelve tracks of melodic, guitar-driven hard rock with progressive and neo-classical influences. The album also features the powerhouse drumming of David Beardsley. In addition to the extraordinary guitar playing by Smoots throughout the record, each composition displays an attention to song structure and instrumental dynamics, making for some highly listenable tracks. Instrumental fans will love the ambitious, neo-classical opening tune, The Introduction. " – Dan McAvinchey, Guitar Nine Records.
South Park JRS character created using South Park Studio 2.1