The wizard's magic wand

By Massimo D'Angelo

“His name is Stevie Vai, and he’s a crazy guy” (Frank Zappa).    

The hyperactive Steve Vai has revolutionized the electric guitar world ever since he graduated cum laude from the University of Frank Zappa. Vai himself is an enthusiastic teacher (for Vai, practicing and teaching go hand-in-hand) who appears all over the world, physically and virtually. He is also an excellent songwriter -when he has time for it-, but apparently his priority is spending more time on stage than on solid ground. It is a life completely dedicated to his favorite instrument, a wonderful 'wizard' with another seat reserved among the legends.

He has a unique approach and unmistakable style. Steve’s use of arpeggios is special and one of his stylistic trademarks is the use of wide intervals…and his tapping madness!  

As he once said, “Whenever I am working on something, I break it down into small pieces and make exercises out of every little piece. When I first started doing that, it didn’t come that easily. What I would do—and what I recommend you do—is musical meditation. That means really focusing on something until it sounds exactly like what you are hoping for.”

It is not coincidence that Steve talks about meditation: his music comes from a spiritual place. A place where his shadow has the shape of an iconic image in the world of guitar: the Ibanez Jem, the legendary 6-string he developed 30 years ago with the Japanese brand.  

Find your way to Steve Vai Sound!