Justin Lee Schultz is a fifteen year old, multi-instrumentalist who has been working with D’Angelico Guitars for the last three years. As a young player in the industry, he’s already amassed 548,000 followers on Instagram and has played with industry legends like Quincy Jones and Cory Henry. He recently filmed a video piece with us showing off our all new Deluxe SS and we caught up with him on his latest endeavors.
Justin talked about his writing process and how the gear he uses influences his creative process, mentioning that the feel of his D’Angelico guitars makes him want to play differently. “I had a blast playing with the new Deluxe SS, I loved the round and warm tone. When I’m playing some clean stuff, the D’Angelico’s warm tone really helps. I don’t need any extra effects.” When asked about making the new Deluxe SS video Justin said, “It was such a great experience shooting the video, getting to work with all the good people at D’Angelico was so much fun and I’m super happy with the final result!”.
Justin gave us a rundown of his rig, including his D’Angelico Deluxe Brandon Niederauer Atlantic, Excel SS, and Deluxe Bedford SH, his HeadRush pedalboard, Pigtronix pedals, and Supro boost pedal. “I’m excited about everything that I play. I’m such a gearhead”. I asked Justin about how the pandemic affected him as a musician to which he replied, “It was tough not being able to play live for 18 months, but it did allow me to tap into recording, arranging, and writing, which I didn’t really have much experience before I did my debut album. So that was a good thing that came out of the pandemic. I also took my guitar playing really seriously, because before the pandemic, I was just playing around. But during the pandemic, I really started to study and explore what I wanted to do and what I wanted to accomplish”. He continued to say that his newfound free time was a good impetus to buckle down, practice, and work hard on his music, mentioning that he wouldn’t have otherwise had the time to record his debut album.
In addition to taking his guitar playing more seriously than ever before, the isolation of the pandemic provided an opportunity to use social media in new, constructive ways. “Instagram, Facebook and YouTube helped me reach a way wider audience that I would’ve without them”, allowing Justin to “promote my music, and engage with the people that follow me”.
As someone that found success as a guitarist quite early on in his life, Justin’s advice for other young musicians hoping to break into the industry is to “have fun at what you’re doing and be consistent. Put in the time, practice, and work hard at your craft. Make sure you’re having fun as well, because that’s the most important thing”.
Favorite Guitar: D’Angelico Deluxe Atlantic
Favorite Amp: Fender Twin Reverb, Supro Black Magick
Top 3 Pedal Picks: Headrush Pedalboard, MXR Talkbox, Electro-Harmonix Micro POG Octave Pedal
Favorite guitarist: George Benson, Robben Ford, John Mayer, Eric Johnson, Julius Schultz, Chuck Loeb, Paul Jackson Jr., etc.
Favorite record: Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life/Talking Book/Innervisions
Best concert/show you’ve been to: Silk Sonic