Hey, I just recently discovered Steve Vai (I know...I know..)

So if you're still here, I watched his The Audience Is Listening video, and it blew me away. Incredible. I'm sure I'll be back to ask how to play guitar while spinning around your neck later, years later :P But for now my only question is how does Vai do that talking guitar in the beginning? I'm sure it's sliding around from one pitch to the next, but what exactly are the rules of a voice and how they translate to guitar?

One more thing, when did he start playing??
I'm guessing he did the effect with a wah pedal of some sort, he does a similar trick in the intro of David Lee Roth's 'Yankee Rose'
ohai little sig.
Well, a speaking voice always has pitch, and Vai just got very good at mimicing it (surely by spending a lot of time). If you listen to the track "So Happy", you'll hear how much work he put into it:


Between a wah pedal, a floyd rose, and trying to play some speech on your own, you should be able to obtain the same result. Using small intervals (microtones) will also come in handy and make things sound less guitar-ish.
Quote by Freepower
Yeah, it's "just" his incredible ears and incredible control of the guitar.


vocal phrasing is all microtonal, you need to use the wah to match the speech patterns, but you also need to choose notes that mimic the pitch and inflections of human speech. If you analyze speech you'll hear a fair bit of chromaticism and tiny variations in pitch so use small bends or a trem arm to try and mirror that.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.