The well-known guitarist Steven Siro Vai was born in Carle Place, New York in 1960. This guitarist has been able to garner millions of fans around the globe, as he changed the foundations of the music scene, eliminating the foundations of rock, which had become self-indulgent in different aspects.
Steve Vai was born to Play the Guitar
At the age of 12, Steve Vai started taking lessons with Joe Satriani. He showed absolute dedication to the guitar, which surprised his talented teenage teacher, who was just 16-years-old but a total expert nonetheless. According to Satriani, Steve already showed incredible self-confidence and naturalness when playing the guitar. Joe has always cited him as one of his best students, despite having other students who were also able to steal the hearts of many later on.
Later, already focused on the study of music and guitar, Steve Vai decided to begin formal studies at the University of Berklee, which is referred to by many as the most important modern music academy in the globe, soaking in the eclectic environment of the school, jazz music and fusion, which influenced Steve Vai’s guitar playing style.
While studying, Steve showed an incredible giftedness in the musical transcription. Steve Vai conducted his work with such magnificence that it impressed Frank Zappa, who considered it incredible that such a young guitarist could transcribe his guitar solos with such great ease, something that he himself found difficult to conduct. For this reason, Zappa asked Steve Vai to join his band as a second guitarist, generating the opportunity for the whole world to know his talent.
Steve Vai’s First Solo Album: Flex-Able
After working in the band of Zappa from 1980 to 1983, Vai released his first solo album, Flex-Able in 1984, a work that caused criticism, raised diverse opinions, and created a love-hate relationship with guitarists around the world. This defined Steve’s career throughout his life. Vai became one of those overwhelming personalities that every musician either hated or loved. His manner of dressing, movements, and when it came time to play . . . almost everything about him became a topic of debate, creating fierce discussions.
Steve Vai’s Band Participation
He participated in several professional bands, like The Classified (1984), 777 (1984), Alcatraz (1984-1986), David Lee Roth (1985-1989), and Whitesnake (1989-1991). The fans adored him, as he gave it his all every time that he performed in any of these bands. Even so, he never forgot about those fans that wanted to see him playing as a solo artist.
The concerts of Vai showcased his maturity. He knew how to play the music business, and he enjoyed it like no other. Along with his amazing mastery as a guitarist, he utilized heart-shaped guitars and rock star behavior that made people want to know more about him throughout the years. He made several magazine headlines, appearing on TV such as The letterman show, Headbangers ball, etc… People loved him . . .
Steve Vai Leaving His Print
Steve participated in the film Crossroads, which was released in 1986, playing as a demonic guitarist who challenges a duel to the talented and kindly young Ralph Macchio.
During this time, Steve is a star, but his final consecration was yet to come. It came from the hand of the album Passion & Warfare, regarded as one of the two best electric guitar records of all time. Passion & Warfare became the best-selling guitar album of all time…
This particular album from Steve Vai was able to break down all the barriers of conventional harmony. With an exquisite use of modal harmony, which turns into something own and non-transferable, Vai made clear that he not only was an exceptional musician but that he was unique in his understanding of music theory and the guitar. He utilized melodies that seem easy, but they were not. No one had conducted them before him.
Steve Vai Still Stands Tall on the Charts
After Passion and Warfare, there was the album Sex and Religion (1993), Fire Garden (1996), Flex-Able Leftovers (1998), The Ultra Zone (1999), Real Illusions: Reflections (2005), The Story of Light (2012), and Modern Primitive (2016). With all of these albums, he has been able to stand tall on the charts, and it doesn’t seem like this is going to change anytime soon.
For the Love of God
One of Steve Vai’s pieces of work is well-known within the world of guitarists is his Guitar instrumental For the Love of God. Just search youtube and you will see many guitarists playing this guitar instrumental well but they all seem to miss the little accents that you hear when Steve Vai plays the guitar phrasing.
So if you are wanting to learn For the Love of God, then it is best to learn it from the master himself. Watch the following video as Steve Vai explains the extra details of his note phrasing for the instrumental.
Steve Vai has been able to manage his career in a brilliant way, with many quality albums under his belt, great concerts, and spectacular staging. He has sold more than 15-million albums as a solo artist around the globe, garnered three Grammy Awards, and has been voted by Guitar World magazine as the 10th Greatest Guitarist of all times. He still tours around the globe, showcasing his talent, as well as sharing it with the younger generations.
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