with Shane Handal of Set and Setting
Name: Shane Handal
Bands: Set and Setting
Websites: facebook.com/setandsetting, setandsetting.bandcamp.com, yoursetandsetting.tumblr.com
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Shane – I got a mini electric guitar when I was super young, but my first guitar that I got when I actually started playing was either a Schecter C1Plus or an Epiphone SG l, can’t remember which came first. I sold it later on to buy a real guitar.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Shane – My guitar is a Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 re-issue from the 90s & I have used that almost my entire life in bands. I recently picked up an American ‘62 re-issue Fender Jazzmaster too, haven’t played it live though yet. As for amps & cabs, I have an Orange Rockerverb 100 MK-2 & Orange 4x12 & 2x12 cabinets. I use a Line-6 M9 stompbox for delay & looping, a Holy Grail Nano for occasional extra reverb, a Boss DD-7 for noise, Orange channel switch, volume pedal, & Boss tuner.
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
They’re all pretty crucial in getting the tone that I shoot for, but I guess the piece that would cause the most noticeable change (if I didn’t have it) would be the amp. If the replacement was similar to a Rockerverb then it’d probably be the effects that would be most noticeable if missing, because I use semi-custom effects depending on the riff & a bunch of looping. Guitar isn’t as super important although it would be awkward with a different one.
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Shane – Orange Rockerverb 100 MK-2 because it’s loud, has awesome reverb built in, & it rules.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Shane – Les Paul Classic 1960 re-issue. Sounds great, but more importantly it’s a guitar I have played a million times & have set up exactly the way I like it. Other guitars just feel weird when I play them.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Shane – It’d probably have some form of a flask on it.
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Shane – A mind-controlled pedal.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Shane – 2 Electrics, 1 nylon string acoustic, 1 bass.
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Shane – They’re either at home or at our practice space.
QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?
Shane – Auto-pilot load-in feature
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Shane – Tone, playability, look.
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Shane – As much as it’s worth.
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Shane – The most I have done is adjust the action & intonation, which is more of a necessity than a customization or upgrade.
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Shane – Reviews, ask friends/borrow from friends, play one in a store.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Shane – Rarely. I’ve had 1 main guitar & only 2 heads (both we’re Orange) for almost 10 years.
QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?
Shane – Lock it in, live in it. Only looking to improve tone & expand, not change the main go to.
QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?
Shane – The stuff I have is pretty accurate to what I lust after. If I could afford to get other stuff, it’d probably be an original Les Paul or Orange from the 60s & 70s, not re-issues like what I have. So expensive though.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Shane – A fretboard with action that’s actually playable. I’ve seen beginner guitars where they are so hard to play, it’s setting you up for frustration.
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Shane – I have my Dad to thank for this so there aren’t too many bad purchases. The worst thing I ever bought was a Peavey bass head, but sold it & didn’t lose too much money.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Shane – Feeling repetitive with saying this but as you can tell, I’m a Gibson & Orange amp fan.
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Shane – Open E through a tuner.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Shane – I was in the 7th or 8th grade before I became committed to learning the instrument legitimately. 12 or 13?
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Shane – I still am learning how to play guitar.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Shane – I can play it better than the other instruments I pretend to play.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Shane – Any instrument is a good first instrument. I feel like piano should be the first instrument learned though.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Shane – I’ve always thought that playing & writing music is a blessing & a curse, but my guitar has always been my ally. Even if I have wanted to smash it a thousand times.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Shane – I don’t know if influence is correct, but Jimmy Page & Tony Iommi inspired me the most to pick up a guitar. They both use either Gibson &/or Orange though too.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Shane – Whatever floats your boat.
QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?
Shane – Thankfully nothing more than a few chunks taken out of the body with drops & what not.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Shane – Learn riffs that are above your skill level & play it until it becomes your skill level.
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Shane – I usually pick up a guitar & play from a few minutes to a long time every day. I always wish that I played more.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Shane – Dunlop nylons. Not sure the exact width, but it’s a medium grey color.
QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?
Shane – .11-50 - Mediums. I strum kind of hard sometimes & would break my lighter gauge strings earlier on.
QRD – How often do you change strings?
Shane – Every few weeks. You can hear when the strings start to dull out, so whenever that happens, I change them.
QRD – How often do you break strings?
Shane – I never usually break new strings anymore (as long as they’re medium gauge), so if I’m on top of changing the strings when they are dull, I’m usually okay.
QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?
Shane – Probably my strumming hand because I used to play in a fast death/thrash metal band, so there was a lot of practice there. I guess that allows me to freely choose different rhythms without hesitation.
QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?
Shane – My Dad sets up my guitar. He knows how to do it, it’s free, & he has always done that since I was a kid.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Shane – Drop-D standard. It’s heavy.
QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?
Shane – Ha, I use the camera on my phone or computer.
QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?
Shane – Low.
QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?
Shane – Everything.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Shane – Any kind of string instrument I assume.
QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?
Shane – When I was younger I always wanted to do sweeps, hah. I still can’t.
QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?
Shane – ^See above.
QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?
Shane – Front-flips.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Shane – E-bows are fun.
QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?
Shane – SWEEPS.
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Shane – I did for a month or two. Mainly chords & stuff that I never use.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Shane – How to not read music.
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Shane – Suck.
QRD – What’s your take on tremolo systems?
Shane – It’s cool for specific things, but I don’t use one.
QRD – How often do you adjust your tone knob?
Shane – Depends on the guitar. With my Les Paul, it’s always at 10.
QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?
Shane – One can sweep & the other can’t. :(
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Shane – Definitely not. Good guitarists may be the least important part of a band ha-ha.
QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?
Shane – Probably John Lennon or Jimmy Page.
QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?
Shane – Hard to say, I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. There’s a bunch of bands that are pushing the limit of sounds & what not though.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Shane – Our new album that’s not out yet.
QRD – Anything else?
Shane – Thanks for reading & listen to Set and Setting.