June 28, 2016
Geez, what’s going on around here? Mostly, we here are Pointy Guitar have had our heads buried in Jude Gold’s magnificent podcast “No Guitar is Safe.” The longtime Guitar Player scribe has taken to the net to interview tons of fascinating players including Pointy faves like Guthrie Govan, Frank Gambale, Oz Noy, and Steve Vai.
Maybe you should spend a few months listening this afternoon.
June 7, 2015
Steven Siro Vai
This appropriately mystical Ernie Ball ad comes from Guitar Player, December 2001. Earlier that year Steve Vai and company released the adventurous Alive in an Ultra World.
January 25, 2015
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.
December 19, 2014
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.
And for another classic take on alien cacophony, see Steve Vai’s classic article from 1984, “Weird Noises.”
May 30, 2014
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.
And speaking of Vai, jump back to 1984 for his Weird Noises guitar lesson.
March 13, 2014
“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.
September 29, 2013
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.