how good are the members really at their instruments
Posted on Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:31 am


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just happened to recently chance upon a video of scandal playing a medley between two songs and then they had individual solos. was veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy awesome!



ive heard around that tomomi is a really really good bassist and shes also been described as a prodigy. how does her technique compare with the greats?   Wink 

people have also said that mami has improved and grown a lot over time. just like her axes too haha. true?

how is haruna at rhythm as well? does singing actually hinder her abilities whatsover? it doesnt seem like that for me when i watch her though. 

how complicated are rinas drum fills and how skillful is she too? ive also heard she just got a twin bass pedal and an extra snare. 



last question: how do you think your abilities at your respective instrument compare with theirs?

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HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

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Well i'm no musician so I can't talk about technical stuff but my opinion is that they started instrument very late so I doubt they are genius right now. I doubt they can do what other musicians who started to play when they were like 6-7 years old can do. There is natural talent but also practice and experience and they only started 7 years ago which is not that much if you think about it.

They worked really hard all those years, everyday, so right now it seems clear they are at a very professional level of play but far from being "rock'n'roll gods" like some other artist are called I guess. RINA posted that Runners High is their 100th song, so they mastered a lot of songs over the years too, not just 10-20 played over and over again so it's clear that they are not just "good amateurs" but good professionals.

From what I could see members posting and the general opinion on forums... :
- MAMI has become really good over the years and she does less mistakes than before.
- RINA was bad at the very beginning (almost gave up the band) but is now awesome and started to use a double pedal which is something difficult it seems and that not every drummer can handle. She also won a TV drum contest some months ago so definitely on a very good level.
- TOMOMI has been called a prodigy several times but not sure where this comes from? She is definitely good but not sure if fans are exaggerating or if she has a real natural talent and style. Obviously she is too on a pro level.
- HARUNA it's hard to tell... Basically she "only" plays rhythm guitar but it seems that when you can hear her more (like in a short solo) she is really good, maybe as good as MAMI. But obviously she also has to work on her vocals (Well TIMO and MAMI a bit too of course!) so either she has a bit less time to practice guitar or she really works even harder.

Hopefully you can get some technical answers from musicians Happy


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anchiel

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I think Tomomi being called as a prodigy actually came from the members themselves. They describe her as someone that does things exceptionally well in just a few tries, especially in terms of performing her bass lines and singing her parts.

As for the topic, I can't really say much in such a technical level since I'm no musician, but I'm just learning the basics as of now.

For Mami, well, her guitar skills have definitely improved... A LOT. So it's true. Just compare any song they have played live in the past (like DOLL, Space Ranger, Shunkan Sentimental or Shoujo S) and compare it to their present performance of the same song. You'll get what I mean. After all, Mami's parts are the most noticeable. In comparison to the greats, Mami has still a lot to learn, though. But she has the potential, and I know she's working hard to learn more techniques and improve her guitar playing.

For Rina, she absolutely went from zero to hero. I admire her spirit in continuing to grow as an excellent musician. She started with simple beat patterns and now, she has mastered numerous drum techniques like triplets and rolls, and her drumming is very powerful. And yeah, using double pedal and snare requires some skill, so she's definitely at higher level than before.

For Tomomi, she looks up to Flea (RHCP bassist). That can be a benchmark, though I haven't watched a video for a RHCP live yet.  Sweating But for me, she does complex bass lines in some of their songs (Awanai and Kagen I suppose) really well. And that latest bass solo for their Kagen performance was excellently done.

For Haruna, she's definitely the hardest to determine, as HRMT said, since she's playing the same instrument as Mami, but at a different area. Usually, most guitarists' skills are measured in how well they can perform a guitar solo. Since Haruna plays rhythm guitar, most people don't really notice most of her parts (unless if you are there in their live as some SH members have said, or you have an excellent set of earphones/headphones). Her sound is ambient and easily scatters, in support to Mami's lead parts. But she definitely does her rhythm guitar parts well, which is noticeable in every Awanai (or RnR widow) performance. I think Awanai and 24 Jikan plus are some of the songs that present Haru's skills, both as a rhythm guitarist and vocalist. And yes, singing definitely does not hinder her skills as a guitarist. Let's just say that she is good in fulfilling her role in the band, as with the other members.

This may be off-topic, but sometimes I'm beginning to think that Mami has so much respect for Haruna, in a sense that when Mami sings her solo parts (especially in Kagen live), it's almost like she's imitating Haru... or it's just me. Tongue


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syakmp

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As for the Tomomi being a prodigy thing, yeah it did come from the other members. It was even in SCANDAL IN THE HOUSE when they were describing her Tongue. In an interview though, they were saying how Tomo learns her parts extremely quickly & perfectly but also manages to play them while singing. Scarily, in lives, I've never seen or heard Tomomi make a mistake. Maybe she has and I've missed it because I'm not a bassist; but that means she's also good at covering them up if she does make errors and makes them inaudible to non-bassists (*cough* me *cough*). Timo does amazingly sing while playing complex basslines; much more easier said than done. She really does remind me of Paul McCartney's days in the Beatles as a bassist in that aspect.

Mami has definitely, without a doubt, improved heaps! Like what anchiel said, try watching early vids and you'll see what we mean. Her accuracy has also improved and it seems that she's been more confident in the recent years. She's been immersing herself in the crowd more and dancing and jumping etc... She also has quite a few lead singing parts now like Koe, Kagen no Tsuki and Namida yo Hikare. Although, sometimes Mami still focuses on her hands and her fretting, that's highly understandable seeing as she, like any other performer, wouldn't want to make mistakes in front of a large crowd. But she's definitely improved on that aspect as well. 

Rina is arguably the one who's improved the most. She wanted to quit the band just because she thought she wasn't good enough. Now, she's proclaiming that SCANDAL will be a monster band in the future haha. Well, since we haven't had any broadcasted lives with Rina using her double pedal, we can't exactly measure how good she is with it. But with recent reviews and such of their lives, we know she's highly competent; personally I just can't wait to see what creative stuff she plans on doing with it, whether adding some extra beats to some songs or using it in the next release after RUNNERS HIGH. 

Haruna is a really good rhythm guitarist, actually. She can effortlessly maintain whatever strumming pattern and chord changes while singing which is actually really hard, especially if the chord changes are off-beat and there's a strumming pattern to keep to. So to answer the question whether Haruna playing rhythm and singing at the same time affect each other, the answer is nope. Not having too much with Haruna as a guitarist but her singing technique has improved as well. She used to strain quite a few times but she hardly does it now. Although, like anything, there's always still room to improve on her breathing and diaphragm techniques . Happy

As for comparing them to the greats and pros, honestly that's a little hard to do. The problem is, SCANDAL don't compose many of their songs (which is slowly changing btw) so it's hard to actually see what they can do since most of the time they just play what they're given. The Kagen no Tsuki perf and the Shiro Kuro Uta Gassen was just a *hint* at their true abilities IMO since Rina did say that they made the solos up by themselves. I'm positive that they can still do more, but they're just hiding it somewhere. You can also see how some of the artists they look up to influence them. You can definitely see some Flea in Tomomi and I also see some Entwistle too (minus the overly trebly sound) but that's just probably me as an observer. Rina's not as animalistic as Keith Moon, her idol, but you can also see some similarities as well. 

Wow... lengthy post from me lol. @.@


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thanks for the replies everyone. from what i can gather, scandal is good and still improving! awesome.

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syakmp

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I don't think it's smart to build another thread on what I'm going to ask but it still doesn't exactly go here lol. 

I've got a question on Tomomi's popping style for bass, specifically in the start and end of Shoujo S (live). As an observer of quite a few bassists who pop, I do know that slapping with the thumb normally comes into it and the two techniques go hand in hand... But Tomo doesn't exactly do that. Even the way Tomomi pops isn't exactly normal lol. Her technique and the sound comes out differently as well, not to mention it looks hella fast and doesn't even look like popping in the first place, whatever she's doing looks like a whole other technique... Can any bassist enlighten me? 

Oh, here's a good closeup vid on what I mean at approximately 11:27.
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HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

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Well for the prodigy part in SITH song yeah but it's pretty recent and I already saw people posting about that when I joined in May =P

Well it's nice that it comes directly from the others members then!! Happy A prodigy that thought that a guitar was too difficult because of the number of strings =P I wonder what would have happen if TIMO chose guitar...


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harunaonoofsukyandaru71

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Scandal members are very good at what they do,which is to play their respective instruments, I admire Rina the most because of her amazing drum beats, but they are  not in the same league as the virtuoso players from Megadeth et. al. But i am fine with it because I never get tired of Scandal music.


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waning_moon

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I'm also curious as to what ichiruki asked! I've just started on the bass and I've never really noticed that until now. There hasn't been many up close shots of Tomo when she does that.

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James MacKnight

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Tomomi is a virtuoso bass player.  I think if she was to do a bass guitar solo, a lot of people would be surprised how good she is.

All the members are very good musicians.

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hanautasancho

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On a scale of 1 to 10... These are my rankings for each member based on how good they are with their instruments:

Haruna - 5.5/10
Mami - 6/10
Tomomi - 8/10
Rina - 7.5/10

They've already improved a lot, not only to their instruments but as musicians as well. I compared that Kagen no Tsuki (w/ solos) to this one and I was totally blown away haha

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As for Tomomi being a prodigy, well yeah I agree with that, I've never seen a female bass player played as smoothly and as passionately as Tomomi. That could go as well with Rina, but it maybe due to her hard work and patience.

Mami and Haru could go head-to-head lead guitar playing if they wanted to. They're both good in handling their instruments. But I would like to see more from Mami, she needs to improve more on her speed and accuracy playing the guitar. 

Well, yeah they still have lots to improve, and we'll just see what they'll do on their next releases. I'm pretty much excited on how Rina would perform using the twin pedals.

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James MacKnight

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harunaonoofsukyandaru71 wrote:Scandal members are very good at what they do,which is to play their respective instruments, I admire Rina the most because of her amazing drum beats, but they are  not in the same league as the virtuoso players from Megadeth et. al. But i am fine with it because I never get tired of Scandal music.

Exactly.  Liking the music is more important than who can play the most notes.  All the band members are playing at a very professional level and improving all the time, and the songs they're coming up with are sounding awesome.

Not every guitarist wants to be the next Hizaki Kawamura .

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Erick M

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At around 07:15 Tomomi play the acoustic guitar, I don't think some beginner can play that guitar tricks like that. Tomomi always made everything looks easy and simple but that's only because she is so talented and humble  Onion Love


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Yuffie

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@Erick M
No one said or implied any Scandal members were beginners, of course they are not (and luckily!lol) and sorry to tell you this but that guitar part ain't a big deal in itself, especially when you are playing in a band for so long ^_^"


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Erick M

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Yes Yuffie,
I know that, I just think Tomomi always made her complex skills looks easy and simple because she is so good. And she is just too humble by keep saying she play bass because guitar is too hard and made her frustrated. Although she never said it I personally also believe she can play drums, lead guitar and keyboard/piano  Onion Smile 

But that's just me  Peace Onion


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HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo

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She is not saying guitar is too hard now, that was just at the start when they started the band. At that time she felt it was (or would be) too difficult and chose the bass but surely nowadays she can play some guitar easily.

Not sure about the piano/drums, never read something like that. RINA plays piano/keyboard too and MAMI played drums but not sure about TIMO.


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~SkyDarks

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anchiel wrote:This may be off-topic, but sometimes I'm beginning to think that Mami has so much respect for Haruna, in a sense that when Mami sings her solo parts (especially in Kagen live), it's almost like she's imitating Haru... or it's just me. Tongue
I'm pretty sure, Mami's just her: she's not imitating, I mean maybe not haru... 'cause I never had seen haru shaking the head to the song rythm, every member has their own style when are in a solo part... For e.g. Rina, also shakes the head, but is more like a "lets get crazy!", Haru makes a cooler pose when there is a solo, Tomomi it's always concentrated, so it's dificult to say it... Whatever this is for another topic.

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HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo wrote:She is not saying guitar is too hard now, that was just at the start when they started the band. At that time she felt it was (or would be) too difficult and chose the bass but surely nowadays she can play some guitar easily.

Not sure about the piano/drums, never read something like that. RINA plays piano/keyboard too and MAMI played drums but not sure about TIMO.
Well, if you are now a semi-pro bassist, I think you could play very well basics of guitars, because the basics are almost the same, but make slash or joe perry covers it's something insane for a bassist, remember Bass and Guitar are cousins not the same.

More into the topic,I think that Mami and Rina are most noticeable experienced in the band, why? because is like (Insert here member who said it) said, unfortunately there are things, listeners does not notice, as the bass in some songs (and I'm saying it in general, for every band) but if the bass weren't there, the song might be some kind of weird. All members of the band had improved a lot, the improvement is there, but some people doesn't notice it:

Rina: She can do, and she does more quickly drumbeats, you can notice the diference in Doll: The Doll's drum part in 2009-2010 is not the same Doll's drum part of 2012-2013. Well, i'm not a Drummer, so I can't say if the Drum part it's better, but I liked it so much in latest performances. Also, I don't know hod difficult is playing the double pedal, but it's not easy as the single pedal... I think...

Mami: For Mami, just compare the guitar part of Doll, with the Awanai's guitar part... playing Awanai for a begginer is insane, that's why I said you can notice it more, because you know there is a improve.

Tomomi: She has a very good talent at playing bass, too bad people doesn't notice it... She has to do, a solo for showing her talent, but if you try to hear the bass part in a recently song of scandal you might be impressed, the bass part is so good, it's more energeticaly than the rythmic guitar but it's always in accordance with the song. You can't notice it with a naked... ear, but there is a big improve in her skills.

Haruna: Yes, she had voice problem... so? that's not reason to quit, despite the problems she had, she could get ahead. She had to work a lot her voice in order to recover. So maybe she didn't have time to improve her guitar skill, but she is good, also in earlier songs I thought she was better guitarist than Mami. But I think it's better to focus more on the voice than the guitar if you are the lead vocalist.


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Erick M

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As the vocal part I find SCANDAL is the most unique compare to most other band. They are all vocalist. I think about more 90% of their songs are to be sing it together and alternate switch between members in great harmony and combination. Haruna usually open and close the end part of the song but if we hear it They divided their portions are pretty evenly.
Mami constantly backing the lower part and Tomomi with do the higher backing vocal part.

Tomomi seems a little more "calmer" on the stage these days, The younger Tomomi seems more "free" smiling, laughing , running and jumping around and rarely see her finger when she play she made it looks it's so easy.
Tomomi's funny, silly easy goin sometimes "soft child" alike often made her being underestimated. 
I'm sure Tomomi has works so hard and having many problems like the other but she rarely mention it in publics, she is not looking for sympathy and that shown she is strong and I admire her for that. Yes she cried a lot sometimes but most her cry are being for touched and happy tears

Haruna has the gift of her amazing sweet voice but talking technical Haruna usually sing the same note and the same beat as her guitar while Tomomi is often playing different things while she sing.
Haruna is the leader but once in awhile they should switch their stage formations, Mami and Tomomi should go to the center once in awhile.

I've heard SCANDAL got 550 copy bands this year,  But even among Japan Pro level musician I always wonder who can copy Tomomi Ogawa?  Onion Love


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spacecadet

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hanautasancho wrote:On a scale of 1 to 10... These are my rankings for each member based on how good they are with their instruments:

Haruna - 5.5/10
Mami - 6/10
Tomomi - 8/10
Rina - 7.5/10

I'll go along with that. I'm a guitarist and a bassist (first) and I've played in several bands, both live and in a studio. I think this ranking is just about right.

Haruna doesn't really need to be all that good and she doesn't pretend to be. She plays mostly power chords. But she's totally solid as a rhythm guitarist, and she seems to have caught the bug of wanting to come up with some interesting sounds for her guitar. Not everybody needs to be a shredder.

Mami has definitely improved and she's got a pretty distinct style at this point, which is kind of noisy and imprecise. That's not because she can't play, it's just her style. But she's also not a shredder, nor is she a slow but tasteful melody master like David Gilmour. If she kept practicing really hard, eventually she'd probably end up something like an Alex Lifeson. He's a freakin' chordmaster, and his solos are fast but messy as hell and just all over the place. That's Mami's style too, but she's not nearly as good as he is yet. She's better than she used to be, though; in the beginning, she would have barely even qualified as a lead guitarist in most bands.

I know Mami's favorite guitarist is Takuya from Judy and Mary and I can hear that in her playing. Takuya is kind of Japan's Johnny Marr and I can hear that as well, but she's not close to either of those guys in ability. If you compare Judy and Mary's version of "Daydream" with Scandal's, they play it completely differently. Judy and Mary's is much, much more difficult. I can play Scandal's with my eyes closed but I cannot play Judy and Mary's to save my life. She's gotten better since recording that cover, but I still really doubt she could play Takuya's parts in that song like he does.

Tomomi is a very good bassist. I wouldn't say she ranks with "the greats" but I think she could play in pretty much any rock band this side of Rush or The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. She's fast, she's solid on rhythm, she can play different styles. She's no Paul McCartney or John Paul Jones as far as creativity with her bass lines, but technically she's excellent. I wouldn't argue if someone called her the best instrumentalist in Scandal (though Rina's about tied).

Rina really surprised me with her solo at Budokan - I had no idea she was that good. She's actually amazingly powerful, which is really important in a drummer and it's not always easy to hear on the albums (where the drums end up being buried a lot of the time) or even in YouTube videos. But live, she is just pounding it, and you can physically feel it. And it's effortless. She's also as fast as she needs to be and she can switch time signatures and beat patterns on the fly with ease. I might rate her more of an 8 myself, definitely above average but just not quite on the level of a guy like Neil Peart. I'd put her more on par with someone like Tommy Lee. That's already pretty amazing given how young she is and how little experience she has compared to those guys.

She did make a bunch of mistakes when I saw them last month, so she's not as technically flawless as the best drummers out there. But she's still really good.

I think they're all as good as they need to be for the music they play.

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baymon

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^^Great to hear some technical opinions. I wonder how is Scandal's instrument skill compared to other Japanese all-girls bands like Flip, Aldious, Gacharic Spin, Cyntia, etc?

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Metal Mickey

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I agree with those who see Tomomi is the most talented (All of them are talented).
I always have a feeling that when the time come, Tomomi will be the first member to go solo or a collaboration with other musicians / artists in a side project.

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spacecadet

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baymon wrote:^^Great to hear some technical opinions. I wonder how is Scandal's instrument skill compared to other Japanese all-girls bands like Flip, Aldious, Gacharic Spin, Cyntia, etc?

Of those, the only band I know well is Aldious. In terms of instrumental ability, Yoshi and Toki in Aldious are much better than either Mami or Haruna. That doesn't mean I like their music better, but if you gave each of them a really difficult pattern to play, Yoshi and Toki could do it but Mami and Haruna probably couldn't. Yoshi and Toki are both experienced shredders. (A little side note, but I've had the opportunity to watch Yoshi play from a foot away; that's a sight to see.)

On bass I think it's probably a wash between Tomomi and Sawa. Drums are hard to judge because I actually think Rina's better than she lets on in most Scandal songs. I think it's probably a wash between Rina and Aruto as well, although Aruto does more difficult, more tiring stuff on the albums (and live). But I think Rina probably *could* do the same things these days if you stuck her in that band. I will say that I've heard them both play drum solos and Rina's was more impressive.

Aruto is all muscle, though, if you see her up close. Rina sometimes looks a little muscular these days but nothing like Aruto. Ability-wise I think they're roughly equal but Rina probably wouldn't have the stamina Aruto does when playing speed metal unless she bulked up.

Re:NO is about comparable to Haruna on guitar but I don't think she ever plays in Aldious. I think that's how she writes her music, though.



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wolonggong

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ichiruki! wrote:I don't think it's smart to build another thread on what I'm going to ask but it still doesn't exactly go here lol. 

I've got a question on Tomomi's popping style for bass, specifically in the start and end of Shoujo S (live). As an observer of quite a few bassists who pop, I do know that slapping with the thumb normally comes into it and the two techniques go hand in hand... But Tomo doesn't exactly do that. Even the way Tomomi pops isn't exactly normal lol. Her technique and the sound comes out differently as well, not to mention it looks hella fast and doesn't even look like popping in the first place, whatever she's doing looks like a whole other technique... Can any bassist enlighten me? 

Thought I would go ahead and jump on this since no one else has.

Slapping is hitting the strings with the Thumb, Popping is popping the string with the fingers.

So she isn't just popping, that's slap and pop. Its a funk technique using the thumb mostly but also using one or two fingers on the uptake, moving the hand away from the strings. Here is an example. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

As for my opinion on the band members improving. I don't recall ever coming across a band that had members that did not improve over the years, it just going to happen like in anything else a person does, you grow. I can even say this about musicians I did not like at all or had little talent. The real question, and its one that cant actually be answered is...how good can they get?

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macdyne73

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This is a good topic. Well explained comparisons are good to read.

It's funny that Lifeson and Peart were mentioned, I recently rediscovered Rush myself. Talk about coincidence.

I wonder if the girls know who Rush are and in particular, does Tomomi know of Geddy Lee? There is an immediate superficial similarity between them, they both sing and play bass and they both have high pitched singing voices Tongue

Anyway, I think Geddy Lee can be a good example for her to follow. He's inspired so many great bassists, Steve Harris and Les Claypool among others. There aren't many better role models for bassists out there.

Also, the comparison of styles between Alex Lifeson and Mami is quite apt. With more experience, Mami could in fact end up sounding like him. As mentioned, Lifeson's style is a bit wild and seemingly imprecise, nothing overly technical or self-indulgent like some shredders. Although to be honest, I wouldn't mind shredder Mami either. To watch her sweep and/or multi-hand tap would be something unreal... 

And Gacharic Spin, F Chopper Koga and Tomomi, who is better? I love Timo to bits but my impression is that she still has some ways to go before she could reach Koga's level. She has some crazy skills. although I can't really imagine Timo playing that way, her style is different.

I still think that Timo is the most skilled member of the band but I give Rina bonus points for sheer effort. She's improved the most of all between the four of them and I'm really hoping she incorporates those new twin pedals she's recently added to her kit into their future work.

Speaking of Haru, her playing is adequate for the band's needs currently. She's gotten better, there's a lot of good work on the new album and I do appreciate her experimenting with effects on her guitars. I think she needs her own "thing" to really stand out, clever use of effects could be it. Also, it's not necessary as mentioned before, but it would help her a lot if she learns how to do her own solos. It would be useful, in the future they could have songs where Mami is singing lead vocals and playing rhythm while Haru takes over lead guitar fully.

The band is getting better and better and this is one reason why I look forward to all their future music. The difference between Best SCANDAL and STANDARD are already so big, how far will the girls go?

And btw, here's a clip of Rush for those of you who don't know who they are. I'm not really a fan of progressive rock to be honest, but this is a good song from a legendary band. Try and imagine the girls playing something like this. Check it out boys and girls.

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Oh and in case there are people wondering what the heck is going on with the guy in the chicken suit, look up Rush on Wikipedia. The explanation can be found there Tongue

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~SkyDarks

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macdyne73 wrote:And btw, here's a clip of Rush for those of you who don't know who they are. I'm not really a fan of progressive rock to be honest, but this is a good song from a legendary band. Try and imagine the girls playing something like this. Check it out boys and girls.

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Oh and in case there are people wondering what the heck is going on with the guy in the chicken suit, look up Rush on Wikipedia. The explanation can be found there Tongue
Well, is not so hard imagine Scandal playing a song like this, I mean, they are progressing on the rock (Got it? 'cause is progressive rock... okno) about a 75% of the style of scandal's current songs are similar (Maybe, if this were scandal, the guitar would be different). Standard (the song) has more rock, than most of Best*Scandal, also maybe is more rocker than Baby Action, those I considered as J-Pop. But I think this is also a temporally progression, 'cause scandal is looking for themselves, doing experiments with theirs instruments, so I can't say if Scandal is going for a good way... because I don't know where is Scandal going: when Scandal know who are they, and finally they had found their own style We'll be able say if that was good or not, but for now, Scandal can change the style of the songs, as macdyne, said, Best*Scandal is not the same style than Standard. In a few words, Scandal is in their adolescence.


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"You musn't run away"
I'll keep running
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