Sammy Hagar: Joe Satriani is More 'Fluent and Versatile' Than Eddie Van Halen

The frontman suggests that Joe Satriani is a better guitarist than his former bandmate Eddie Van Halen. What do you think?

Sammy Hagar: Joe Satriani is More 'Fluent and Versatile' Than Eddie Van Halen
7
Sammy Hagar has compared his former bandmate Eddie Van Halen with Joe Satriani - and in Hagar's mind, there's only one winner.

Both guitarists are rated among the greatest players ever, but Hagar has performed with both of them and saves his highest praise for Satriani who he plays alongside in Chickenfoot:

"Once he finishes with my repertoire, he can go into French, Spanish and Russian on the guitar! He's just so versatile and fluent," said Hagar of Satriani.

He continued: "Eddie’s not as fluent and versatile. Eddie's got a style for himself and he's very much in that pocket, but Joe can play anything. When Joe and I start to write together, he'll show me some chords and I'll start singing, then I'll pick up a guitar just mainly to figure a lick out: 'What chord is that? What are you playing?' so I can know what notes I have to choose from to sing. Then he'll go 'That was a cool lick, what did you play?' and I'll go '[Expletive], I don't know!' I don't get it. I just play."

Which guitarist do you prefer? Does versatility beat style, or should a good guitarist have a balance of both? Let us know what you think in the comments.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Jesus_Dean
    I would agree that Satch is the more versatile guitarist, but EVH is just more fun to listen to.
    Witt1975
    I agree with that wholeheartedly. I can't bring myself to listen to a whole Satriani album. All the soloing is fantastic but the songs, in my opinion aren't very good. (no I can't do any better, I'm not saying that, just not my cup of tea) Been listening to Paul Gilbert's Vibrato lately and that's a pretty kickass album.
    AcdcTXfan
    This pretty much says it all. I saw both guitarists last year and was equally impressed by them.
    FlyinVJs30RR
    Does versatility beat style, or should a good guitarist have a balance of both??? The best guitar player is the one that can write songs that you cant get out of ur head.No matter how skillful you are (see youtube players, its your song writing ability that brings you places.
    a7xrocker201
    What even defines best or better? Music is all from your point of perspective and taste. I prefer EVH because I think there is more feel in his music. Satriani sounds too digitized for me. Idk maybe I'm just into the old school vintage sound.
    FlyinVJs30RR
    Yes ultimately it comes down to preference. Music is subjective.But then again if ur gonna compare EVH/Satch to lil wayne then I can say who is the best/better guitar player lol
    julianholguin
    This is a debate over technical skill vs catchiness. Eddie is definitely the more catchy one but Satch does have more technical versetile skill.
    vppark2
    Satriani, definitely.
    Lapidus
    It's like comparing Oasis to the Beatles, Satriani wouldnt even exist as we know him if EVH didn't revolutionize the genre in the first place.
    AcdcTXfan
    Eddie is ONE year older than Satch and has been around for just as long. It just took longer for Satch to become big.
    Lapidus
    It's like comparing Oasis to the Beatles, Satriani wouldnt even exist as we know him if EVH didn't revolutionize the genre in the first place.
    Mr Winters
    Being the first to do something doesn't mean you're the best at it.
    Lapidus
    In this case he is Can you imagine Satch without a floyd rose and no right hand tapping??? Anyway, Hagar's just being Hagar, he's basicaly saying his new girlfriend has a firmer ass than his old ex, whatever...
    cmonkey81
    Eddie is a better song writer..but Satch a better Player n they both rely on tapping n trem bars.....excellent sweepers great trem pickers w a great ear for tone....both great players but I'm goin w Satch on this one
    MaggaraMarine
    Satriani is definitely more technical than Eddie. I don't even think Eddie is that technical compared to all these G3 guitarists. He was really innovative and a great player - just like Jimi Hendrix was - but there are lots of more technical players than him. Though, who cares? Van Halen can play the guitar really really well and I'm sure he can play almost anything he wants to play. And I think I enjoy his music more - especially Van Halen II and 1984 albums. Though sometimes I feel like he's repeating himself a bit too much. So I think I agree with Sammy - he has just one style, he's not really that versatile. Music isn't all about technique. Actually good music has nothing to do with technique. For example Jimmy Page wasn't really technical but I think he wrote better music than Satriani. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Satriani but I would rather listen to the "worst" Led Zeppelin album than the best Satriani album (though it depends on my mood too). The music you write is a lot more important than if you can play 30 notes per second or "only" ten notes per second. You need to be as technical guitarist as your music needs you to be, though of course it's cool to be able to shred like crazy. Back on topic - IMO Eddie has more charisma than Satriani.
    sspatola
    Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone's got their own character, and that's the thing that's amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone's approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it's all valid.Give it to Eddie
    Eirien
    Just wondering, was it an editorial decision to take this off the main page or just a bug?
    guitarhero923
    I like Satch, but I think if it's very technical, but it doesn't catch the ear of the listeners as much, it tends to... umm, dunno how to put it. Pretty much, Ed has a style that appeals to more. I prefer Ed over Satch cause Ed's stuff is so fun to play too.
    Slasher_M&M
    I don't care about this debate, all I care about is that I'll see Satch live next monday night, sitting in the second row, at center. I would like to see Eddie in such a place too, but let's start with Satch!
    trentonlambert
    Just look at Daron Malakian. He's a damn good guitar player, and so is Kurt Cobain, but both of their stuff is very simple. But who's to say that they're "good" or "bad" ? With different styles come different skill sets, talent, technicalities, etc.
    Eirien
    It doesn't really matter does it? Both are capable guitarists. Both have made some great music. Both have made some terrible music with Sammy Hagar. He shouldn't be stirring shit for no reason.
    Anjohl
    Nah, Eddie is better. Satch never played within a band dynamic, and mone of his stuff is memorable.
    FlyinVJs30RR
    Does versatility beat style, or should a good guitarist have a balance of both??? The best guitar player is the one that can write songs that you cant get out of ur head.No matter how skillful you are (see youtube players, its your song writing ability that brings you places.
    kiba56
    Well I'd say marty friedman is the better guitarist compared to satriani, but it's Eddie vs joe...I'd say Eddie is so much better
    jschexna
    Sammy should be happy he isn't pumping gas. If there was no Montrose, Van hagar, or Chickenfoot he never would have made a dime. As far as guitarisys, which is the better album, VH one or Chickenfoot one ???? Satch is more versatile, but which album changed music forever? I rest my case.
    glynn 46
    satch,great great guitar player,but eddie, I remember when I first bought the van halen 1 lp in 1978. knocked the whole guitar playing world off its feet,the guitarists of the day were mesmerised by what he'd done and how he did it cause no one had heard anything like it.couple of years later everyone played like it,including satch.there are very few who changed the way the world plays guitar so it has to be EVH
    vayle
    I think Satriani is way better than EVH. thing is that EVH came up with some things that became popular and he kept with it and stopped progressing. (this might have various reasons I can not know). a guitarist should never stop getting better, learning new better techniques etc etc etc