G3 Blues

Here is a good article from TotalGuitar.co.uk website. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson are G3 and here we bring you some of their tastiest licks.

Ultimate Guitar
Back in 1996, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Steve Vai teamed up for a six week tour of America under the title of G3. Rather than a shredding contest, each displayed their own unique style in the three jam tunes, Goin' Down by Freddie King, Frank Zappa's My Guitar's Gonna Kill Your Mamma and Hendrix's Red House. We're focusing on how each player used blues and pentatonic ideas in these songs, using their own individual techniques. As these three examples show Eric, Steve and Joe favour certain speed techniques - especially telling in the G3 'jam' scenario where solos were spontaneous. Eric is a smooth economy picker as he blitzes the fretboard with pentatonic shapes, often within the same lick! Steve uses hammer-ons/pull-offs or tapping for a legato effect rather than picking (he's no slouch here, though). Joe, like Steve, favours the legato fretting hand technique and is almost exclusively centred around 3-note-per-string shapes. However, he does like pick tapping for a speed frenzy! Which do you prefer? Eric Johnson Solo: The first two bars use Clapton-like A minor pentatonic ideas in the 3rd scale position, but with an added B and F#, so it's more like A Dorian (A B C D E F# G). Bars 3-4 are based on an SRV blues lick - the first finger bars over the 5th fret and curls to the side to execute the 3rd string bend without moving the 2nd string. Bars 5-6 use D Mixolydian (D E F# G A B C) to highlight the chord change. Characteristic Johnson techniques here are the pedal steel bends at the beginning (bend up to a note and then play the same note as a conventional fretted note) and the quick position shifts. In the next bar, there is a typical Johnson repeated pattern which you might ordinarily play using triplets. The rhythm here may prove tricky, so listen closely to the CD. Eric often descends pentatonic scales as in bar 10 (ie up one, down two, etc) rather than simply in step, so the picking may seem a bit unnatural at first. The solo culminates with some rapid sextuplet runs and his trademark octave jump to finish a pentatonic run. You can check out an audio file HERE. Joe Satriani Solo: The first five bars use some Surfing With The Alien style pick taps which require a bit of stamina. The next major technique comes in bar 9, where you need to scoop into the notes by rapidly pushing down on the whammy bar and then releasing it without any picking. Because of the speed of the very big scoops, the action is more like banging the bar with your palm. Bar 10 features a large dive bomb followed by a tricky harmonic that you need to pull up to the pitch of E. In the final bar, while trilling the notes G and A, lightly slide the palm of your picking hand along the 3rd string (around the area of the pickups) and you should produce random harmonics, la Satch. Use the edge of the pick and tap with a down/up motion on the relevant fret(s) to sound the note. To sound a lower note on the same string, simply lift off the pick. You can check out an audio file HERE. Steve Vai Solo: Bar 1 needs to be bent evenly up to the target note A, an idea used several times in the solo. The two tone bend in bar 5 is followed by some quick pull-ups on the whammy bar where indicated. You are aiming to pull the note out of pitch and back again very quickly. More whammy bar antics follow in bar 6, where you need to dive bomb approximately one octave with the harmonic and back again! Bars 7-8 use A minor pentatonic, with a few chromatic notes and pinched harmonics thrown in for good measure. Perhaps the biggest challenge is in the next bar with the quick tapping arpeggios. The idea uses a simple Eddie Van Halen arpeggio pattern, but the taps follow the same Am pentatonic scale one octave higher, so you need to know the left hand pattern well. The final bar should really only be attempted if you have a floating trem and are feeling reckless! Play the first chord and quickly lift up the guitar with the whammy bar until it is level with your face. The weight of the guitar should bend the two notes to roughly the indicated pitch. You can check out an audio file HERE. PDF file with tabs off this article is HERE. - TotalGuitar.Co.Uk

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    totally mind blowing! iv looked up 2 satriani since i was a youngen. love his stuff. and i loved vai and johnson. although i dont really know there work very well.. this is the first time iv heard them. hope somday im brave enough 2 beat the crap outta my guitar also.
    sorry.. a little mistake there .. in 2001 G3 had Satriani,Vai and Petrucci..not eric
    For u PPL that dont know what G3 is.. its a concert that Satriani and 2 other guitarists take on tour around USA or wherever just showing their stuff.. G3 -1996..Satriani,Vai,Johnson(usa) -1997..Satriani,Vai,Adrain Legg(europe tour) -1997..Satriani,Kenny WayneShephard,Robert Fripp -1998..Michael Schenker,Uli Jon Roth,Satriani -2000..Joe Satriani,Steve Vai,Eric Johnson -2001..Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric -2003..Joe Satriani, Steve Vai,Malmsteem For more info on it.. go here.. www.satriani.com/g3.. Hope it helped
    I didn't understand a word of what that article just said..... Do these count towards our post count?
    Hehehe, It's not abuse if you have the right guitar, most floyd rose's will stand up to the Satch Torment. I have that DVD, Amazing DVD, also have the CD. Thanks for the great knowledgable info, some of their stuff can be tricky...
    ad_lib_oz all I have to say to you is jealousy is weakness... if u know what I mean!! Don't let shredders get u down, instead u should let them motivate you into becoming a better guitarrist.. well if you are one.
    hmm i dont really know much about these guys except theyre like shredding masters...i freakin hate shredding dammit
    I love G3 soo much!! I have that CD and really enjoy the last part of it with the jams. I hope someday i can play like them.
    well.. if u have the G3 video like i do.. then you can basically see everything they're doing.. i'd recommend taking a look at it.. it'll help. btw, the zappa song is my favourite blues number .. its the best, man.. incredible song.. vai and that guy singing lead vocals do an incredible job!