My favorite guitarist, not just because of his technical ability, but because his songs bleed with emotional significance and sheer creativity. Steve writes for himself, about whatever he wants, regardless of how it may be interpreted by his audience; luckily, he's skilled enough that if you're not too closed-minded, you can grow to appreciate all his works. He writes most of his music single-handedly, and personally recorded every instrument on half the songs from his latest album, The Ultra Zone, which is an absolute masterpiece. He also puts on a hell of a show if you see him live. I cannot sing his praises enough; listening to Fever Dream, 0000 or anything off Passion and Warfare is enough to restore my optimism and confidence in mankind's ability to produce beautiful things, even in my darkest hours of cynicism after witnessing the all-too-common manifestations of stupidity, hatred and selfishness in those around me.

Steve's albums to date:

Technically the best Guitarist on the planet, Vai has a weird sense of humor which largely seems to be influenced by his previous work with Frank Zappa. His music varies widely from very soulful melodic peices to work with absolutely no melody, which just riff around a central idea. His varied style makes him a wonderful musician to listen to. He has numerous cds including Sex and Religion, Passion and Warfare, The Ultra Zone, Fire Garden, Alien Love Secrets, and more.

Worked on Joe Jackson's Symphony No. 1. Apparently he described Joe as someone who writes incredibly difficult guitar parts. And Joe, when people recommended Vai to him, thought he was just some heavy metal guy, but then he listened to some Steve Vai albums and wanted to work with him. So, yeah, he's pretty darn good, I'd say.

Steve Vai and his mentor, Joe Satriani, created a guitar effect technique known as the Lizard Down the Throat. It can be heard on various Vai albums, and the only way to describe it's sound is; think of what it would sound like as you shove something down a lizard's throat...

Take your guitar, and screw in your whammy, or tremolo, bar. Place your the pick in your fret hand. Grab the whammy bar, and dive down as far as it goes. This means push the bar closer to the body of the guitar. Meanwhile, run the pick from the head of the guitar, down to the bridge. This should create a unique gcgcgcgcgcgcgcgccgggggcc sound...

As far as I can figure, this is basically how it's done. Aslo experiment with a wide range of drive settings. Now maybe if we were all robots like him, we might have a better chance.

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