While some guitarists seem to hop endorsements on a regular basis, Steve Vai has been with Ibanez and Carvin, as shown here, for ages. This ad for the Carvin Legacy amp ran in Guitar Player, April 2001 making it the contemporary of Vai’s collection The 7th Song, Enchanting Guitar Melodies (Archives Vol. 1), inset here.

Guitar finery is well and good: Expertly executed arpeggios and impeccable phrasing can set apart a performance in the most genteel way. But sometimes what’s called for is an outburst of racket, the type of squall with which the electric guitar made a name for itself. Premier Guitar‘s article “10 Essential Slides, Scrapes, and Noises” outlines such abrasive tactics as The Revving, The Elephant, and The Strangler. Do you know them? And you have to love this piece of advice:

Note: For dramatic effect, all the following examples land on a low E5 chord. Hey, why would you do a power slide in the first place if it didn’t land on an E5?

Read all of Aurelien Budynek’s tips at PG.
Right here.

And for another classic take on alien cacophony, see Steve Vai’s classic article from 1984, “Weird Noises.”

Right here.

Guitar World is running a new survey of exploratory sounds, “Top 10 Weirdest Guitar Sounds Ever Recorded.” In addition to such expected parties as Adrian Belew and Steve Vai, also represented is Fred Frith:

On his 1974 album Guitar Solos, (Frith) pioneered the concept of “preparing” guitars: tuning them to unorthodox pitches, attaching alligator clips to the strings, and playing them by any means other than picking. This particular track sounds like a drunken ghost talking.

And, of course Tom Morello. Regarding the Rage Against the Machine track “Revolver:”

The intro sounds like R2D2 on a bad trip, while the start of the solo calls to mind a factory treadmill. (Morello) can make all the same noises as a turntablist – and then some.

Check out the entire list with audio and video samples at GW.

Right here.

And speaking of Vai, jump back to 1984 for his Weird Noises guitar lesson.

Right here.

"Good luck with your band"

“Good luck with your band”

Here’s a cool document unearthed by a friend, a handwritten letter from Steve Vai himself. Steve’s comments date the page to the days of the Alcatrazz album Disturbing the Peace. I like to imagine him pausing from working up “Lighter Shade of Green” to jot this note.

Thanks to Chris Ingalls for sharing.

Sy Vy

Sy Vy

Here’s the monumental Steve Vai for Dean Markley Blue Steel strings. This is pulled from Guitar School, February 1997, dating it to the days of G3: Live in Concert joing album with Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson.


Light Without Heat

Here’s Steve Vai at his most Steve-Vai-like, touting the Ibanez Jem 7VWH. Steve was embarking on the Sex & Religion journey at the time this ad appeared in Guitar for the Practicing Musician, September 1993.

The National Guitar Museum, a traveling exhibit waiting to settle on a home, has an illustrious Board of Advisors featuring illustrious guitarists like Liona Boyd, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai, and Steve Howe. Now that group is being joined by Tony Iommi. From the NGM site:

Iommi will add his insight and experience to the museum’s mission to promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar. While he is known worldwide for songs such as ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Paranoid,’ and ‘Heaven And Hell,’ he has also spent much of his career looking for ways to improve guitar technology and make the guitar more playable.

Keep up on the latest with NGM right here.


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