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#1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atGBKuCJ-Jc&feature=related
Skip to 1:05 (or just watch the whole video).

Here he says that he only focuced on his strenghts and ignored his weaknesses.
To me this sounds prietty wierd in a way. He has great tecniuce, write great songs, is a great improviser, has a good ear, can sightread, knows theory, has the altitude, is one of the most famous instrumental guitarists today etc... What could be his weaknesses then? Yes, i know that he probably wasn't as god as he is now when he was young, but if you don't practice anything, you wont get so much better at it. So do anybody here know what where/is his weaknesses (and what kind of weaknesses we are talking about). I wish i could ask him this, but got anybody of you an idea?
#2
Steve Vai is extremely overrated. He's just saying that because he sucks. I'm not even trolling either. What technical ability does he have that Satriani, Yngwie, Rhoads, or Schenker didn't/don't? In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life. I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy. Satriani on the other hand... he taught Steve Vai every single thing he knows. The only thing he has going for him is the guitar he designed.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 10, 2011,
#3
i was actually wondering the same thing about that...


maybe he was speaking more generally and not necessarily about guitar?


like, guitar playing was his strength and everything else was his weaknesses...

idk, perhaps he was just trying to keep everyone from practicing so that they didnt get as good as him lol

Quote by fretmaster13
Steve Vai is extremely overrated. He's just saying that because he sucks. I'm not even trolling either. What technical ability does he have that Satriani, Yngwie, Rhoads, or Schenker didn't/don't? In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life. I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy. Satriani on the other hand... he taught Steve Vai every single thing he knows. The only thing he has going for him is the guitar he designed.


first of all, if anyone is overrated, its randy rhoads.

as for everything else, i disagree completely, imo he's one of the most unique guitar players ever.

"He's just saying that because he sucks."

"In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life."



how can he not write songs? listen to lotus feet.
Last edited by rickyj at Sep 10, 2011,
#4
[quote="

idk, perhaps he was just trying to keep everyone from practicing so that they didnt get as good as him[/QUOTE"]
I wouldn't put it past the guy.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#6
Any guitarist who can't play with real emotion and feeling is overrated.
"You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore"
#7
Steve Vai is a great guitarist, better than... .001%? of all guitarists. Comparing him to the few others in that tiny group is pretty dumb, as they're all great in their own ways.

OP- I think what he meant was not letting them drag him down, like most musicians do. Not constantly thinking about not being able to do a great pinch, or alt pick fast enough, and just working through it.
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Men fapping.


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#8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g45NzH4e_WU

This was just appealing imo. I know it can be daunting and incredibly hard to play along with a real life orchestra behind you, being a rock musician and an rock solid improv master (see his zappa work) it wasn't going to be easy. But by god he could've played it safe and well... actually in time, in key and with some god damn respect to the piece besides doing his own wankery the whole damn time.

No soul = overrated.

Vai
Petrucci
Malmsteen.
#9
Quote by Mr.-Bungle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g45NzH4e_WU
But by god he could've played it safe and well... actually in time, in key and with some god damn respect to the piece besides doing his own wankery the whole damn time.


You're kidding right?
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#10
As if transcribing music means you're good technically or musically... Steve Vai is one totally overrated guitarist. He plays a lot of overly processed harmonics, with his little slidey lick, overuse of the whammy bar and a whole crap load of tapping wankery... He even said that he used to watch himself in the mirror to make his playing appear more elegant. The guy's a complete freaking joke.

End of rant

I totally agree with Mr Bungle, but at least Malmsteen can play fast and clean and back in the day had some good songs and had some soul. The other guys can't, so they make up for it by writing the most boring wank fests of all time.

Seriously, of all the 80s rockers, Rhoads, Malmsteen and Schenker stole the show. Here's some damn good Michael Schenker that blew EVH out of the water http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKJBZ4yE9Gs

This is better than anything Steve Vai's ever written.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Sep 10, 2011,
#11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlqiVysF8qM

If this isn't soulful, idk what is. His feel and timing is incredble in this solo, especially the first half (you'll be able to distinguish the 2nd half.... trust me.

(0.19- 0.20 secs), he lays back so much. Like I say, feel.... and this solo was improvised, yet still the note choice and phrasing is like he's talking.

This is from the Zappa plays Zappa tour.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 10, 2011,
#12
Hating on Vai is rather immature. Ok...you might not dig his playing. But as others have said, denying his proficiency, songwriting ability and soul is just plain silly. Music is subjective. But our individual opinions are not the gospel.
Andy
#13
^ That was a very very nice solo. I do not deny his skills and abilities at all. He has had his moments in the past. I was (still am some years later) with that Halo performance he did, even though he recorded it for the game differently with style. The live performance was atrocious and clashing with the accompaniment the entire time so no, I'm not kidding iancmtaylor.

He's just like the rest of us, we all have our good days in the zone and the bad days... But Vai's bad days are pretty damn good still (skill wise).

It's sorta like EVH, I used to loathe him as a teeny (being a Rhoads fan) and hated his style and reinvention of tapping. I used to hate the Beat it solo... But then I grew up and came to admire his quickness. and Yes his style and sound is quirky. Although it's a shame he plateaued so young, he never got better or worse (Some would beg to differ seeing him live of a late and the new album coming probably), I wish he had of kept checking out different styles of playing and such like what Rhoads was going (was doing) to do...

Blarg we can all have our opinions but at the end of the day we'll never be as good as those 8 hour a day players who have 30 years experience on us. I wouldn't want to anyways... All in all I think we call agree that we all love Paul gilbert, Nunu bettencourt and the boys from Protest the Hero. : D
#14
Playing out of key and out of tempo are not opinions. You do realize that right?
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#15
Quote by Usernames sucks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atGBKuCJ-Jc&feature=related
Skip to 1:05 (or just watch the whole video).

Here he says that he only focuced on his strenghts and ignored his weaknesses.
To me this sounds prietty wierd in a way. He has great tecniuce, write great songs, is a great improviser, has a good ear, can sightread, knows theory, has the altitude, is one of the most famous instrumental guitarists today etc... What could be his weaknesses then? Yes, i know that he probably wasn't as god as he is now when he was young, but if you don't practice anything, you wont get so much better at it. So do anybody here know what where/is his weaknesses (and what kind of weaknesses we are talking about). I wish i could ask him this, but got anybody of you an idea?

I think you've misunderstood this.

The 'strength' he's focussing on is music. He channelled all his drive, and resources to improve his musical skills. He didn't put any effort into his golf game. He's probably not very good at golf.

EDIT
TedTalk on 'grit' says the same thing. It's the 10,000 hours thing.
Last edited by another_dave at Sep 10, 2011,
#17
Quote by fretmaster13
What technical ability does he have that Satriani, Yngwie, Rhoads, or Schenker didn't/don't?


Actually, quite a lot. Purely in terms of technique, there's an order of magnitude of difference between Vai and Satriani. Malmsteen (in the early '80s at least) would be the most comparable.

Rhoads and Schenker (both excellent and very musical players), purely speaking in terms of technique, ahve never been in the elite.

Quote by fretmaster13
In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life.


In my opinion he has written some fabulous music and has also written some music that I could barely stand to listen to.

Quote by fretmaster13
Satriani on the other hand... he taught Steve Vai every single thing he knows.


Nonsense. I'd say it's obvious that Zappa was Vai's biggest influence and most important teacher.

In terms of guitar players, Holdsworth and Beck factor into Vai's guitar playing much more than Satriani.

Like him or not, he's hardly overrated. He may well have the best ears of just about any guitarist I can think of (the guy was accurately transcribing some of Zappa most intricate compositions at 18). Within a few years of that he was playing in Zappa's live band (a task that would challenge almost any guitarist, in terms of rhythm, timing, memory and improvistation).

His influence on guitar players in the '80s and early '90s was pretty big too. Passion and Warfare remains the fastest selling instrumental guitar album ever. He was instrumental in developing the modern Superstrat design, expanding on EVH's original idea significantly (deep cutaways, ergonomic neck joints, tremolo routes to allow great pull-up range, the HSH pickup configuration, etc). While 7-string guitars have existed for a long time (usually only as one-off custom instruments), Vai was the first to introduce extended range instruments into rock and metal.

I don't enjoy John McLaughlin's playing at all, but I respect him immensely and would never claim that he was overrated.

Quote by fretmaster13
The only thing he has going for him is the guitar he designed.


JEMs are nice, I own one. UVs too.

I believe what Vai meant about playing to your strengths might be something along these lines. Many studio guitarists can play a bit of everything well (rock, metal, blues, country, rockabilly, jazz, whatever), but are very rarely among the "best" of any particualr style (there are exceptions). Essentially, they're a jack of all trades and a master of none. Vai on the other hand is saying that it's better to really master one thing. If you're passionate about rock and have become a good rock guitarist, and aren't really interested in also playing other styles (like jazz or country), I think Vai would recommend that instead of putting effort into those styles to become a more "complete player," you would be better off putting that effort into becoming a great rock guitarist.

EDIT: I suppose he could mean what another_dave mentioned. I know Guthrie Govan can't drive or ride a bike.
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
Last edited by Prophet of Page at Sep 10, 2011,
#18
Quote by mdc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlqiVysF8qM

If this isn't soulful, idk what is. His feel and timing is incredble in this solo, especially the first half (you'll be able to distinguish the 2nd half.... trust me.

(0.19- 0.20 secs), he lays back so much. Like I say, feel.... and this solo was improvised, yet still the note choice and phrasing is like he's talking.

This is from the Zappa plays Zappa tour.


That was one of the coolest guitar solos ive ever heard :´

And if that "fretmaster" dude dont think this is soulful i don´t know what´s wrong with him, but opinions are opinions..
#22
Fretmaster, did you really just turn up to hate on Vai and derail a thread?

Oh wait, yeah. Please refrain from hate-filled tangents in future.

And it does seem like Vai is talking about "Loving Guitar Playing" as a whole being his strength, not just "scales" or "theory".

Very inspirational stuff from Mr Vai there, thanks for sharing!
#23
To say he doesnt haven't have weakness is quite ignorant really, he has no sense of band mentality and "less is more". Also, he doesnt adapt his tone to styles of music - its nonsense when you're playing some of the zappa stuff to have that tone in there.
If he was so great he'd be a household name in MUSIC, not just guitar. Whereas the guys around him became known in the world of music not just guitar.

And - Just sayin transposing zappa isnt like some godly talent i dont get why that point always gets brought up in a "vai vs x" battle.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
#24
I think he is saying that if you cultivate your strengths, then those strengths will overcome any weaknesses you may have, thus the weaknesses will just fade away and disappear, because the strengths are so prominent.

He then goes on to say, "the only thing that's holding you back, is the way you're thinking". So if you think about what you're good at and focus on it, rather than the opposite, then you'll be successful.

That's how I see it. Everyone's going to perceive this differently though I think.
Last edited by mdc at Sep 10, 2011,
#25
Quote by W4T3V3R
And - Just sayin transposing zappa isnt like some godly talent i dont get why that point always gets brought up in a "vai vs x" battle.

Obviously, you've never actually listened to Zappa's music. I'm not talking about hearing it, I'm talking about listening to it.
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#26
Quote by Freepower
Fretmaster, did you really just turn up to hate on Vai and derail a thread?

Oh wait, yeah. Please refrain from hate-filled tangents in future.

And it does seem like Vai is talking about "Loving Guitar Playing" as a whole being his strength, not just "scales" or "theory".

Very inspirational stuff from Mr Vai there, thanks for sharing!


Yeah, it's a shame the thread, which has some good insight, was disrupted by a pointless person spouting off, then again everyone didn't have to react the way they all did either...ANYWAYS...

A jazz teacher of mine told me about how players SHOULD focus on their strength, and almost forget they even have weaknesses. If something comes naturally to you, or you just love it and you don't know why, then that's the way for you to follow. That's not to say you don't put effort into anything during the training side of it, but when it comes to performing, it should all be effortless. A weakness in this case doesn't necessarily mean something that you aren't good at, it means something that is just so totally foreign to you that you can't even begin to care about it let alone practice it. Something totally outside your realm of thinking.

Basically what Steve Vai is talking about, I think, isn't just playing the guitar, but it's the way he plays guitar, and it's the sound he has, or the style he has. The "Steve Vai sound" is a very distinct thing that many younger players would benefit from trying to learn, but they'd get lost at a certain point because if they just focus on trying to achieve what Steve Vai did best, then they'll never have time to develop their own sound, what THEY do best.

Everyone needs a starting point, Steve Vai's was Frank Zappa, you could say, mine was Steve Vai/Jimi Hendrix (at a certain age), but then you move on from it and focus on the music that YOU really want to make. It's that music that you hear a vague shadow of in the back of your mind, and you know no artist out there is making that same sound because it's YOUR sound, but you might not have any idea on how to bring it to the forefront yet. That's the thing that will be an endless source of inspiration for your entire career/life, getting that sound that is your only real strength when it comes to music, fully realized.

Maybe that's what he meant. MY Jazz teacher explained it a little better, I wish I could say it like he did.
#27
Quote by Four-Sticks
Everyone needs a starting point, Steve Vai's was Frank Zappa, you could say, mine was Steve Vai/Jimi Hendrix (at a certain age), but then you move on from it and focus on the music that YOU really want to make. It's that music that you hear a vague shadow of in the back of your mind, and you know no artist out there is making that same sound because it's YOUR sound, but you might not have any idea on how to bring it to the forefront yet. That's the thing that will be an endless source of inspiration for your entire career/life, getting that sound that is your only real strength when it comes to music, fully realized.


I don't know about music being a 'vague shadow' I can hear full chords playing in my head, and I'm sure Vai can too.

I agree with the rest of your post, I think this is something most players don't think about enough, always trying replicate someone else's style instead of doing what they want to do.
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#28
Quote by mdc
I think he is saying that if you cultivate your strengths, then those strengths will overcome any weaknesses you may have, thus the weaknesses will just fade away and disappear, because the strengths are so prominent.

He then goes on to say, "the only thing that's holding you back, is the way you're thinking". So if you think about what you're good at and focus on it, rather than the opposite, then you'll be successful.

That's how I see it. Everyone's going to perceive this differently though I think.


Well said. and excellent advice IMO.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Sep 10, 2011,
#29
Quote by Mr.-Bungle
All in all I think we call agree that we all love Paul gilbert, Nunu bettencourt and the boys from Protest the Hero. : D
Oh dear.
*PROFILE NOT IN USE*
#30
I find it funny that there are people on here who question vai's ability. Even though Vai's probably forgotten more stuff than they've ever learnt. Show him some respect.
#31
Some just don't know where they stand because they haven't had the privilege of being slapped around by someone better than them XD
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
Quote by DemonicSamurai

Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#32
Quote by fretmaster13
Steve Vai is extremely overrated. He's just saying that because he sucks. I'm not even trolling either. What technical ability does he have that Satriani, Yngwie, Rhoads, or Schenker didn't/don't? In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life. I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy. Satriani on the other hand... he taught Steve Vai every single thing he knows. The only thing he has going for him is the guitar he designed.


never thought id hear that
"its not the destination.... so much as the journey" one once said
#33
Quote by fretmaster13
Steve Vai is extremely overrated. He's just saying that because he sucks. I'm not even trolling either. What technical ability does he have that Satriani, Yngwie, Rhoads, or Schenker didn't/don't? In my opinion he can't write a good song to save his life. I do not understand the hype surrounding this guy. Satriani on the other hand... he taught Steve Vai every single thing he knows. The only thing he has going for him is the guitar he designed.

Omg delete your account.
What has technical ability to do with being good?
If you are so focused on technical abilities, go to the other subforum, guitar techniques.
The "hype" around this guy is his versatility.
He wrote orchestras, and I doubt if Satriani could do that.
He has got a honour dictate from berklee for some reason.
#34
Ow and for the TS.
He does do that, but as he says in the video he ignores his weaknesses.
He shows little attention to those points.
Some weak parts is something you constanyl need to deal with.
#35
Quote by iancmtaylor
I don't know about music being a 'vague shadow' I can hear full chords playing in my head, and I'm sure Vai can too.


Yeah but there's more to music than chords, notes, rhythms, tempo, technique etc. And even if you hear one thing in your head, that doesn't necessarily mean it's what you ultimately want it to be. It's very vague what I'm talking about, but it's there. For me at least...it's the fuel that propels you forward to create music.

Anyway...glad to see people going back to the real point of this thread, which of course is what one random kid posted on the internet about Steve Vai...
#36
On-topic: I believe that in this particular instance, Vai is discussing the development of musical strengths, whether technical, stylistic, or aural, with the understanding that love of the instrument and playing it are prerequisites, for the net betterment of playing. I would be taken aback if Vai disagreed with me in saying that the progression of a musician's musical, technical, and intellectual maturity builds near-completely on itself. What I mean by that is this: as one becomes more skilled on their instrument, fleshes out an individual style, and strengthens the ear, one will be able to express and craft more complex and more developed musical ideas. Shawn Lane mentions his belief that the 'play it slow, then bring it up to speed" mentality is liable to create a mental block on speed (I don't have the link, sorry). In this case, Shawn is pointing more to the ear than to the fingers, such that the block impedes on how fast a musician is able to hear the melodies which they would wish to express. In such a vein, being able to physically play or aurally create ideas that are progressively advanced will feed the physical playing and aural creating of even more advanced ideas.


fretmaster13: Please stop publicly touting your Yngwie/Rhoads fetishism to the detriment of other musicians, music, and discussions. It's really getting to me, as I'm certain it is to many others here.


liampje: Your first post was unnecessarily aggressive.
You might could use some double modals.
Last edited by AETHERA at Sep 11, 2011,
#37
^I've ALWAYS had a problem with the whole "play it really slow at first, then slowly build up to full speed" method. I think you should play it slow at first, but like for a few minutes, while you're working something out, not treating the melody like it's a weight in the gym that you need to take weeks in building up the strength in order to play. You could probably learn most melodies in a few hours, full speed, if you just sat there with it and focused on it.
Technique is a different thing at first, when your hands aren't used to doing the things you need them to do, but once you've achieved a base-line level of technique, then you should have opened up the playing field for endless improvement.
#38
Quote by Four-Sticks
Yeah but there's more to music than chords, notes, rhythms, tempo, technique etc. And even if you hear one thing in your head, that doesn't necessarily mean it's what you ultimately want it to be. It's very vague what I'm talking about, but it's there. For me at least...it's the fuel that propels you forward to create music.

Anyway...glad to see people going back to the real point of this thread, which of course is what one random kid posted on the internet about Steve Vai...


Why wouldn't it be what I want? If there's a drum set bouncing along with a guitar playing a riff and another guitar doing an epic solo over, guided by my thoughts on exactly how I want it to sound, how isn't the way I want it? I'm sure symphonic composers are the same way.

I'm just curious why you think the music people hear in their heads isn't what they want it to be. Are you hinting on not being able to know exactly what's going on, and therefore not be able to transcribe it?
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#39
Let's put it this way, Vai is successful and famous for a reason. It certainly isn't because he sat around moaning about other people not being able to "apparently" write a good song. He focused on what he was good at and enjoyed doing so. He also just happened to be able to make a living from it.

Do what works for you
#40
Quote by Zanon
Let's put it this way, Vai is successful and famous for a reason. It certainly isn't because he sat around moaning about other people not being able to "apparently" write a good song. He focused on what he was good at and enjoyed doing so. He also just happened to be able to make a living from it.

Do what works for you


I've seen some of Steve Vai's talks before on youtube, and he usually comes off like he's full of crap. That's not to say he's a great guitarist though. I'm not the sort of person who will elevate someone's opinion just because they're great at their craft, and I'm not going to start with Mr Vai. His talks come across like those crappy "making of" features on DVDs where all the actors talk about how great each other are.

That said, one thing you can learn from Vai was his incredibly pro-active method of getting into the professional leagues in music. Whilst at Berklee he really liked Zappa, and most of his songs were considered impossible to write out using conventional sheet music. Vai personally took this challenge on, and transcribed some of Zappa's songs to the best he could and mailed them to him. Zappa actually looked at them and he thought "not bad" and Vai got a job as his official transcriber. After around 2-3 years of this he was offered a position in the band.

Basically what you can learn from this is:

1. Opportunities aren't going to just find you, you have to actively seek them out. I can assure you that we wouldn't know who Vai was if he hadn't sent those transcriptions in.

2. There's more than one way to crack into the big time. He didn't start out his career with Zappa as his guitarist, he was just one of the staff.

As for the "focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses", we all know this argument is flawed, unless you are just talking about a self-confidence sort of thing. It's always good to focus on your weak skill areas to bring them up to scratch, but not good to say "I'm crap because I can't sweep".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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