Scott Mishoe: the shredder that impressed Guthrie Govan

Scott Mishoe the shredder that impressed Guthrie Govan.  

From the original interview by

Scott Mishoe is a guitar player that in the mid 90s released  “Omnidirectional”. This album became a must have for the niche Shred guitarists. An album that was an exasperated synthesis of all things that were done in the shred guitar, and in some way also define the top of the extreme Instrumental guitar. The trend at that time was leading towards different musical genre: for instance the Grunge wiped off all guitar stunts, and there wasn’t any interest in “crazy instrumental parts”. In the last few years Mishoe had a great come back after been mentioned in various interviews from the guitar wizards Govan and Broderick, who mentioned his name as one of their inspirations. Now Scott is back in the Guitar Community, he is getting back his musical catalogue, releasing various instructional methods and showing of his brand new guitar endorsement from Italian MOV guitars.  

Gianni Rojatti: Your album “Omnidirectional” is still one of the most extreme instrumental albums in the history of the Shred genre. Tell us a bit of your Music path and how this album has born. 

Scott Mishoe: My musical path has started around 7 years old when my older brother Keith, who was a good guitar player, hooks me up to the guitar. Then my other brother Keith brought me to my first concert which was Van Halen at the Hampton Coliseum in Virgina. At that time Van Halen was at the top of his popularity, and I loved him, I did want to play like him. I did know all their albums and the track “Eruption” which was the instrumental track of their first album just blow my mind. 

So when I saw him playing it live I understood that I wanted to become a Professional guitar player. I started practising from 8 to 10 hours a day and I used to play the music cassettes at half of the speed to learn the solos note by note. Obviously my first track learnt was “Eruption”! After that my brother introduced me to other 3 guitar players that blow my mind, which were Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker and Allan Holdsworth which is still on top of my list. 

Although my young age, studying and listening to these guitar players brought me to work on my own distinctive personal style. All that hard work led me and my first demos to grab the attention of Mr. Mike Varney. Mike was a very important producer that had discovered many guitar players such as Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker and Yngwie Malmsteen among others...His label was the one that between the 80’s and 90’s produced most of the Shred Albums that mess up the guitar world: McAlpine, Kotzen, Becker, Racer X... First Mike spoke about me in his column on the Guitar Player magazine, and then he inserts me on a compilation called “Ominous Guitarist From The Unknown”. 

I was 18 years old and been featured in that compilation has been a turn over for my career. I gained an Endorsement with Fender which gave me a HM Strat and started collaborating with a great bass player, Ray Riendeau. With Ray I started writing lot of material and rehearsing like mad. One of our songs called “Mal-Funk-Shen” grabbed the attention of Mike’s brother Mark Varney. Mark too was in the music business focusing on Shred Guitar but with a more appealing label focusing more on the fusion genre, the Legato Records which released albums for names like Brett Garsed, Frank Gambale and Shawn Lane. 

With them we signed a contract for the release of my first album “Omnidirectional” in 1995 of which I very proud of. Ray and I did put all our passion and energy in the album and even after twenty years is still a reference for many guitar players. After that album, Ray and I still worked together on the next album called “Chronic Insomniac” which showed the rocking side of my soul.  

Gianni Rojatti: After that, you totally disappeared from the music scene. what happened?
Scott Mishoe: Yes is true, from one point to another the situation in the Instrumental guitar music business has drastically changed and affected all aspects of the business. At that stage I did decided to disappear from the scene and keep working really hard on my music. At the end I decided to become a totally independent artist that produce, promote and sell his music on my own. 

Gianni Rojatti: Everyone defines you for your slap technique applied on the guitar. Even Guthrie Govan mentioned you as part of his study and inspiration. Could you tell us how did you developed the technique? 

Scott Mishoe:  I’m a friend of incredible bass player like Victor Wooten, Reggie Wooten and Ray Riendeau. I always love to listen and watch them playing and experiment with that technique. So I decided to try it and experiment it on the guitar. At first, asking bass player for advice, and then checking videos. After a while I decided to stop transposing bass ideas on the guitar and start working on a unique and distinctive approach. So I started writing my own riffs and groove ideas, practising a lot to make them sound round, soft and smooth. I did spend a lot of time on it because I thought it was something really new and unique on the guitar. My main ambition has always been to be as unique and distinctive as possible, creating my own voice on the instrument and also to play as no one else, so the slap technique was the right way. I really think that I'm if not the first one, one of the first one that played with this approach and I'm really glad for been mentioned by Guthrie Govan as an inspiration for his slap technique. 

Gianni Rojatti: Could you give some advice for those who want to study some of your crazy playing... 

Scott Mishoe:  Two simple but really important advices play and study very slowly. Every time you grab your guitar and you start your daily practice routine, start with some exercises at half speed and then slowly, slowly bring your metronome on higher speed. The next advice would be to have some small breaks of 10, 15 minutes especially if you are going to have some very long practice routine. Try always not to over work your muscles!! 

Gianni Rojatti: Do you follow the instrumental music?  

Scott Mishoe:  Of course I follow the instrumental music. There are plenty of good guitar player out there. From those that I'm enjoying listening often there is actually Guthrie Govan, he is phenomenal and a genius. Then I also love listen to sax players and piano players too. Coltrane stays one of my favourite, I am always astonished by the way he plays and improvise over chord changes. I do listen also to classical music and I love the violin players. Hilary Hahn for example is an incredible violinist. Then I can't not mention Shawn Lane who was a real genius, I love him. So I listen to lots of music, and keeping an open mind to various genres is one of the best things to create your own individual style.  

Gianni Rojatti: Scott, at moment, you are endorser of a Italian handmade guitar brand (MOV guitars), how did you discover them?  

Scott Mishoe: I discovered them though some videos of Fabrizio Leo. He is a great guitar player, and beside his great work I was shocked by the sound quality of these instruments. So I start researching what guitars Fabrizio was playing and I discover MOV guitars. I contacted the builder Marco and I found a great person, he is a workaholic that his goal is to create the best instruments possible. I'm extremely happy of the SP 24 Viola model Guitar, a versatile instrument, higher quality level which helps you to give your best! I'm lucky and honoured to play and endorse such a great guitar.  

Gianni Rojatti: What are you working on at the moment?  

Scott Mishoe: I'm spending a lot of energy on the Teaching aspect. I give guitar lessons on Skype and I did release few instructional methods focusing on the tapping technique and also show some of my best chops. Anyone interested can directly contact me at  

Thanks From Gianni Rojatti's interview on, kindly translated by Kevin Serra.