Steve Vai: What Blows My Mind About Tosin Abasi

"When I think of guys that are creating things of great value right now, I think of Tosin."

Ultimate Guitar
Steve Vai: What Blows My Mind About Tosin Abasi

Steve Vai sang praises of fellow guitar champion and Generation Axe colleague Tosin Abasi, telling Amit Sharma:

"When I think of guys that are creating things of great value right now, I think of Tosin Abasi from Animals As Leaders. He was also part of the Generation Axe tour.

"He's one of few players I've heard that combine various elements of music that I really like.

"There's this underground movement of guitarists that are still very interested in shredding their ass off at levels beyond my comprehension.

"When I hear it, I find it fascinating, but it's not as musical as I'd like to hear.

"I like unpredictable things, which is what Tosin is great for - inventing grooves that make you feel different from anything in the past, as well as effortless chops and beautiful big chords you don't normally hear.

"And he's doing these chords on an 8-string, which makes them even more unconventional. The music has melodies within the chords; they're really quite exquisite.

"His rhythmic sensibilities are unique - it's not based off your normal 4/4 or odd-time signature - there are polymetric systems moving inside of each other. They are hard to figure out, but they create this feeling that's incredibly unique.

"He's a rare bird - and his chops are off the hook!"

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25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i agree with Steven Vai. something i like about tosin abasi is that he plays guitar really well 
    Really well isn’t much of a reason to like someone as a guitar player and artist, but, whatever...
    Soooo..... that video of Steve Vai & Tosin Abasi is really just Vai wanking down on his trem while Tosin sits in the background playing along so quietly I don't even hear him?  That's a pretty good way to show why Vai likes him.
    Yeah I thought it was inappropriate. Steve invites this "incredible new guitar player" to join him on stage and turns his mix down and makes him play rhythm.
    "Hey Tosin, sit back let me show you how it's done"   *PROCEEDS WITH 8 MINUTE HORRIBLE WHAMMY BAR FEEDBACK SOLO*
    Zakk Wylde was worse turned black sabbath songs with chorus after chorus of guitar solos it was like listening to john coltrane solos that go on and on and on
    Anyone who thinks vai "just" wanks does not understand the intricacies of his playing and the time, effort and skill that goes into exploring techniques and articulations that literally no other guitarists use. And not to mention, he plays the way he does because he enjoys it and is extremely humble about it, unlike yngwie and the like.
    I like the point he makes about technically amazing but missing the music element. I hear this creeping around from time to time in various music i explore, where you know the playing is obviously very difficult and mechanical, however its missing the "music"element in terms of moods and melody. But, at the same time i know music can be subjective, so i would never call it bad, i just think there is a difference between soulful playing and running through notes at a incredible speed,
    Music is not subjective. Its perception, however is. If you can perceive music as well as you can spell...well, too bad.
    Before criticizing somebody on their English, it pays to have a basic grasp on the language yourself. Music is most definitively subjective and you can't use apostrophes correctly or create a fully fleshed out sentence. TLDR; Bugger off. 
    Ordinarily i would not reply, but.... Point me out to the misspelled words in my comment? Also, music is personal, and one can be biased on music taste - which is the meaning of the word subjective, so i fail to see your critique of what i said.
    I want to enter in Abasiland... what should I listen for start?
    My favorite album from AAL is their self titled album. I really enjoyed the most recent one, The Madness Of Many, but not quite as much. I would recommend just listening to the whole of the first album, but a great song to start is On Impulse.  If you want shreddy ridiculousness, Wave of Babies (which is a single) was really good. Off their recent album, The Brain Dance was really pretty, though it's fairly different from most of their other songs.  I hope that helps!
    Same. I need the entry level song. I'm not a metal or progressive fan, but I can respect his ability. The sound hasn't hooked me, but I'm open.
    I started with this song and I'm very glad I did. Even if the rhythm is like a 5/8 polymeter for the main riff, it's super catchy:
    The song that is actually the most accessible might be this one cuz it's almost pure rhythm:
    And the softer songs go down really well even if they're pretty atypical for what could be considered 'soft'. I can guarantee that @1:14 will be stuck in your head for a very long time:
    And also:
    People pay to watch that guy masturbate onstage? It gets boring after a minute or two.