So how's Jeff Beck doing on his next album? "I wish you hadn't asked that," the British guitar legend tells Billboard.com with a laugh, before revealing that he plans to be quite productive during his

So how's Jeff Beck doing on his next album? "I wish you hadn't asked that," the British guitar legend tells Billboard.com with a laugh, before revealing that he plans to be quite productive during his upcoming U.S. concert tour.

"On the road we're gonna have little portable studios and we're going to be writing, hopefully," says Beck, who begins the 20-date tour on Sept. 6 in Tampa, Fla. "That's a good place to do it because you've got hours and hours on the bus where you're a prisoner. You may as well make use of that. With all the laptops and ProTools devices, you can make fantastic demos quite easily now."

"I've got ideas aplenty, and I want to do it with the band so I don't just present them with a finished demo," he continues. "They get artistic input."

Beck says this version of his band -- a five-piece with a vocalist (Beth Hart) for the first time in nearly 20 years -- is having a marked impact on the way he's approaching the album, which will be his first studio set since 2003's "Jeff."

And for the first time since the mid-'70s, when he began experimenting with mostly instrumental jazz fusion and electronica, Beck expects to pursue a more straightforward, rock-oriented direction.

"I'm not worrying about having to be too hip-hop or techno," he explains. "I've always believed; three pieces is adequate -- bass, drums, guitar and keyboard for doing the more melodic stuff." Beck says he'll first hunker down with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta to begin building the new songs.

"He's gonna play the way he plays," Beck says. "Just endless, funky grooves, endless kinds of inventive fills, and I'm gonna take the material away that we do and then work on it. So it'll be guitar- and drums-driven. I think that's the best way to go for me."drums-driven. I think that's the best way to go for me."