STEVE VAI - "These Are The 10 Guitarists That Blew My Mind..."

August 13, 2017, a year ago

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STEVE VAI - "These Are The 10 Guitarists That Blew My Mind..."

Guitar legend Steve Vai recently spoke with Music Radar and revealed the 10 guitarists that made a lasting impression on him. Following is an excerpt from the rundown.

Joe Satriani

Vai: "I started taking lessons from Joe and didn’t really know many other guitar players. He blew my mind; I could not believe how good he was. I think I must have been 12 and he must have been about 15… but he could play the solo to Heartbreaker!

The thing I noticed about Joe is that every time he put his fingers on the instrument, whether it was a scale, exercise or melody… what came out sounded like music. There was elegance in everything he did.  

I remember when I was starting to become more well-known, through my debut solo record and working with David Lee Roth, Frank Zappa et cetera, I wondered how could the world not know about Joe Satriani. There were interviews back then where I would say, ‘There’s a guy nobody knows called Joe Satriani and he’s the best in the world!’

I guess the cream rises to the top and I’m so happy it did! 'Cryin'' (The Extremist, 1992) is one of my favourites of his…"

Eddie Van Halen

Vai: "Everyone was blown away by him. There was a simplicity in what he does, but like Brian May, there was so much personality in there. He hears things differently to everyone else; his tone is a reflection of what’s going on in his head. I know it - because he came to my house once when I was recording, played my guitar through my effects into my amp in my studio… and it sounded exactly like Edward. For me, it was about the simplicity of the songs, the beauty of his rhythm playing - perfectly balanced with attitude, crunch, integrity and badassness!  

If there were two musicians that had the biggest impact on electric guitar, it would be him and Hendrix. They were the kind of gamechangers that come along very rarely, approaching the instrument differently but also accessible, inspired and effective. It penetrates us… and that’s Edward in a nutshell."

Read the complete interview here.

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