About JRS

Jeffrey Ryan Smoots


Guitars/Basses: ESP, PRS, Fender, Kiesel, Dean, Mike Lull

StringsDean Markley Blue Steel

Picks: Dunlop John Petrucci Jazz III

AmpPeavey Triple XXX

Guitar Plugins: Neural DSP, Overloud TH3

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 35 years now.


: What kind of guitars and basses do you play?

A: ESP, PRS, Fender, Kiesel , Dean and Mike Lull.


Q: What strings do you use?

A: Ernie Ball, .010 to .046.


Q: What picks do you use?

A: Dunlop John Petrucci 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 Brainworx Suhr PT100. For mixdown I use Neural DSP and Overloud TH3 plugins.


: What effects and stompboxes do you use?

A: I endorse and use Morley volume and wah pedals, specifically the Little Alligator volume and Bad Horsie Wah. These days I generally record guitar and bass direct, and re-amp in software. Before the guitar or bass hits the sound card though, it goes through ISP Technologies Decimator noise reduction.


Q: What synths and sound libraries do you use?

A: I use Sonivox,  Chris Hein (Best Service), Spectrasonics, EastWest Quantum Leap, Rob Papen, Ample Sound and Native Instruments. I use Toontrack for my drum sounds.


Q: What hardware and software do you use for recording?

A: I use Cakewalk Sonar by Bandlab. To capture audio I use a Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB. I monitor on Mackie H824s in my studio. The rest of the time I use Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, Sony MDR 7506 and Sony MDR V-600 headphones. My computers are custom built by ADK Pro Audio.


: 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?

A: No.


Q: How long have you been playing guitar?

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


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 love to play, so I’m always willing to listen. Email me and we’ll chat.


Q: Who are you musical influences?

A: Mainly Rush, Dream Theater, King’s X and Queensryche. If it’s 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]…Intricate guitar work and finely-crafted progressive rock…” – Gajoob.

“[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