I have read a lot of posts where people claim that Joe Satriani is extremely overrated. I totally disagree, or actually I kinda agree if you look at him though the perspective of his biggest hits, such as Surfing with the Alien, Summer Song and Satch Boogie. But if you go deeper into him and his music, and look at him through some different categories such as genres, personality, emotion, song writing, creativity, improvisation and techniques. Then you will see a totally different guy. A guy with a lot of love and feeling in his music. A guy that is really showing feelings through his instrument.. Is he really overrated?
Lets take a deep look at him.
Joe Satriani is one of the most calm down type of person. He is extremely calm all the time. A perfect example is during his interviews. Normally people are a bit nervous and tight. But Joe is so relaxed and ready for every type of question. He just sits in the chair - as you would do during a whole standard everyday conversation. He is relaxed and so what? What about him and his fans?
Joe is a person who really listen to his fans. He creates deep contact with them. He's not just a person who talks with them and forget all about them the next day. He remember his fans and enjoys the conversations with them. You can actually say that he's the same person as before he got famous. Normally when people become famous, their type of person changes. But he isn't caught by the fame like almost all other artists are. He doesn't seek the media and fans. He is also a person who loves to give advice and inspire future guitarists to create new styles of music. He is just doing what he feels best!
He plays almost every type of genre (blues, funk, rock, country, ballads, flamenco, oriental, techno etc.)
He is really mastering most of the genres with his own unique touch. Am I lying? Then take a look at these:
Down Down Down (The whole song)
And many others
And many many others
Asik Veysel (The intro)
Andalusia (The intro)
Baroque (The whole song)
The Power Cosmic 2000 Part II (The whole song)
Most of the tracks on Engines of Creation
And many more
Emotion And Feeling
A lot of people say that Joe Satriani doesn't show that much feeling and emotion in his songs. I just think WOW every time I hear that from a person. People seem to categorise him for his big hits that are crazy and wild, such as Summer song, Surfing with the Alien and Satch boogie. They don't remember the hits that are soulful like Always with me, Always with you.
But when people say Surfing with the Alien, then I actually totally agree with them that he doesn't show that much feeling and emotion. People just seem to define Joe as a heavy metal guitarist that shreds as much as possible. THATS A LIE!!
If you seek into the world of Joe Satriani's music and listen to some whole albums. Then you defiantly will be surprised. He's not just a guitarists that plays fast. He plays with so much emotion and feeling that you can't believe it.
Quote from a comment on Youtube: Satriani doesn't play with his head, his scales or his technical skills. He plays straight from the heart and soul.
Almost everyone of his songs has a story behind it with meaning and emotion. Let's have an example of some of his emotional songs:
This is a song were he really speaks through his guitar. It was wrote right after his dad passed away in 1992. So much love and sadness in that song
Joe originally wrote it on piano as a reflection of 9/11. Coming back to it on the Super Colossal record in 2006, he tried to write ten words for the title - based on the repeated ten note phrase (0:38-0:48) - but found that it was impossible to do, so he left it ambiguous. The link.
You Saved my Life:
Quote from Joe Satriani after I asked him the story behind the song: Railton, it's for my wife and son whose very existence has saved my life, and saves it every day... Joe
Want to hear pure emotion? Then listen
to the part starting at 2:16
Originally featured in his personally recorded and sold Joe Satriani EP in 1984, it was remastered for the public for his 1993 album, "Time Machine". Inspired by fusion jazz virtuoso Alans Holdsworth - who has also inspired Joe's own legato soloing technique - he recorded 16 guitars to create touching swells of chords and a chilling melody in this sparse, emotional ballad. No other instruments that guitars! Amazing song
Very beautiful song with alot of emotions!
What Breaks a heart:
This is a really underrated song of his. Really emotional!
Hills of the Skull:
Very very powerful song. You can almost imagine the story!
The Forgotten (Part 2):
This is a song that combines emotion and fast playing!
Satriani ain't the best sweeper or fast shredder. But that doesn't count. Joe is not a person who wants to show off like other big instrumental guitarists. He is playing what he feel.
Quote from Joe Satriani: I feel the notes, and see a movie in my head as it relates to the story behind the song...joe
But still is Joe mastering the most of the techniques on the guitar such as legato, two-handed tapping, arpeggio tapping, volume swells, harmonics, and extreme whammy bar effects.
He doesn't use the speed-related techniques such as rapid alternate picking and sweep picking very often. But when he does, then he still seem to amaze us. Here's a great example. Listen to the solo starting at 1:51. Crushing Day
This is a skill that Joe Satriani really is mastering. I have one sentence and a few examples of his skills! Joe Satriani can improvise what most of us would take years to compose!
On Friday 6th February 1998, Joe Satriani made a special visit to Guitarist's London studio to record a? unique piece of music, especially for the readers of the magazine.
Jan Cyrka had created a backing track in a style which he knew Joe would feel comfortable with: "The most amazing thing about it was that he'd never heard it before. I just played a few bars so he could get the gist of what the track was all about ... then I ran the tape and he just did it. First take! It was completely amazing
. The link
Improvising in the background of an interview.
There are some really emotional and riffs with a lot of feeling in this interview.
Always with me, Always with you 6 minutes improvisation
This is from the Live 2006 DVD where Joe Satriani is improvising one of the most incredible extension to a song. Improvisation is starting at 04:24
Live Stage Performance
Joe Satriani is really amazing live. He is not the type of person that is overdoing everything like Yngwie Malmsteen. Joe is a calm down person with a lot of energy and he is really into his music when he play. Joe once said in an interview that he gets tortured emotionally on stage
while playing certain songs, because of the experience/emotion behind the song. But he still loves to perform live: Part of the interview
When Joe is performing on stage he reaches out to the audience in a very cool way. He is trying to give his audience an unique and great experience, and that succeeds every time. The songs on his live albums seem to turn out better than the original studio recordings.
Joe Satriani is a true master at performing live
Theory And Teaching Abilities
Joe has an amazing amount of theoretical knowledge despite being self-taught. He is actually a theory expert. Not only on the guitar, but music in general.
Joe Satriani has the incredible gift of teaching. He is one of the most successful guitar teachers throughout the time. Some of his students has even caught a bigger fame and popularity than Joe himself. Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett is two of the most successful persons he has taught.
That must describe some of his abilities
Song Writing And Creativity
This is one of Joe specialities. It is really hard to describe as it is such a big subject, but I will try to explain some.
Satriani is a very all around music composer. He creates unique, unbelievable, beautiful pieces of music. He is really creative and loves to explore different types of music.
Joe Satriani is probably that instrumental guitarist who has explored the most types of music and played them.
Joe is really a perfectionist regarding his sound. He spend a lot of time for getting the perfect sound for each song. And when you hear Satriani play then you know its him. His sound is really unique and amazingly warm. Nobody can reach that sound. I have heard a million covers of his songs on Youtube. Nobody has reached the right sound yet!
Joe has created his very own style of playing with a lot of feelings. Really unique and uncoverable. Many people have tried and still try to cover his songs. But no one can reach the exact same style, sound and emotional playing the way that Joe does. He can't be covered
Joe does not only play electric guitar. He also play a variety of other instrument such as acoustic guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica etc.
The Extremist (1:00-1:21 and 3:18-end)
While playing this song live he actually plays the guitar and harmonica at the same time!
The Extremist Live 2006 DVD (0:59-1:17 and 3:12-3:31)
I Believe (Live on MTV Unplugged 1990)
I Believe is one of Satriani's songs with vocals by himself. Amazing live performance with an incredible acoustic solo.
Tears in the Rain (From the album The Extremist)
Quotes About Joe Satriani From Other Guitarists
Steve Vai: "You can measure skill and practice but not talent."
Marty Friedman All I can say about Joe Satriani is. He's a fabulous guitarist and because of his music had brought a lot of attention to guitar playing in general. That's the good thing. The bad thing is all of us has to get compared to him because he's so good. He raised the bar so high it makes it harder for the rest of us people try to keep playing
Said on Satriani's 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Satriani signature Ibanez models
: Hey Joe. Many congratulations for everything you have achieved and all the things you done to establish a higher standard for all guitar players and having the best tone and having a great feel and more importantly being an amazing guy. Thank you
?Said on Satriani's 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Satriani signature Ibanez models
: Joe Satriani rocks
Said on Satriani's 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Satriani signature Ibanez models
What Has He Done To The Music Industry?
He is a person who revived the guitar instrumental music. Satriani became the most successful rock instrumental guitarist since Jeff Beck. He started a new era of guitar instrumentals. Radios started playing instrumental songs much more often than previous.
How would the world of music be if Joe Satriani didn't play guitar?
This is a really hard question. But 2 things are for sure.
No Joe Satriani = No Metallica with Kirk Hammet
No Joe Satriani = No Steve Vai
Guitar instrumental music wouldn't be this popular as it is now
So lets thank Joe for those things he has done!
(You're) my world (This song hasn't got anything unique or orignallity it, but it is still really underrated)
Circles (The riffs before the solo is really unique and amazing)
Searching (The riff at 2:52-3:17 is really unique and full off energy)
Crowd Chant (Just an amazing song that really communicates and creates connection with the crowd)
A Day at the Beach
(New Rays from an Ancient Sun).
Cool #9 (This blues song has a really jazzy feel to it)
Starry Night (This song is just wonderful to listen to. The piece from 2:40 to 2:45 is just amazingly touching and beautyful)
Sleep Walk (50's music styled)
The Crush of Love (Amazing riff!!!)
Friends (Just an underrated song with feelings!)
And many more
Is This Person Really Overrated?
If he is overrated then explain this to me. Why does some of biggest guitarists consider Joe Satriani as a saint on a guitar?
What is your sight of Joe Satriani after reading this article I wrote?