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Happy birthday to Steve Vai


Sharkman

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Happy Birthday Steve

1997 PRS CE24, 1981 Greco MSV 850, 1991 Greco V 900, 2 2006 Dean Inferno Flying Vs, 1987 Gibson Flying V, 2000s Jackson Dinky/Soloist, 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio,

 

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June 6th is not only the anniversary of D-Day, it's Steve Vai's B-day also. And if you don't know who Steve Vai is, you must have accidentally stumbled across this website.

 

I wonder how crowded it IS under that rock!

 

But, Steve Vai is a "great" talent? Sorry, but....

 

"Great" doesn't even come CLOSE to being adequate. :)

 

But, have a happy day Steve. We all LOVE ya.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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He's on the top 10, 20 and 100 list of greatest guitar players (if you google on "great guitarists" Fang)...the key words are not "great talent" it is "Great Talented Guitarist". I'll stand by my description and you can come up with something more "Adequate" than "Great"...like "the greatest guitar player of all-time," if you think he beats out Hendrix, Vaughn, Clapton, Santana, Beck, Reed, Atkins, Django, Emmanuel, etc., [insert name]. For me, I would [pick] Atkins as the greatest if I had to...even if he doesn't make the list. http://whatculture.com/music/20-greatest-guitarists-of-all-time?page=2 <---here's 20 of them depending on which list you choose LOL! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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:cool:

 

I first got wind of Vai when he was with Zappa, his being in Carvin endorsement ads, and also when Guitar Player magazine included a "Soundpage" record of Vai's "The Attitude Song", which prompted me to seek out and buy a cassette of the Flexible album. What a major talent!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Hey, LarZ, don't sweat it.

Some ppl just don't like some stuff they never strummed along to as it played on the radio & therefore it can't be good.

 

As for "the little Italian stunt guitarist",

you don't see this often...or hear it, either.

 

[video:youtube]

 

BTW & FWIW & just in case y'never heard it, here's one of the most famous stories abt Vai

 

https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Xx1RguHA4XE

[video:youtube]

 

& another y'prolly never heard

 

[video:youtube]

 

 

& then there's this, which, while kinda corny, is simply beautiful

 

[video:youtube]

d=halfnote
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<---I've posted this one several times so I'm sure you've seen it D. It's still one of my favorites. As JuJu pointed out we don't see too many female greatest guitarists but I put Orianti from Down Under and Bonnie Raitt right up there with all of them. The way Steve recognized and showcased Orianthi's talent reminds me of those Zappa interviews Vai shares with us and I'm glad to hear Vai got the job after his try out audition. I think Vai put Zappa a step above his playing and it's great to see these greats recognizing others! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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<---I've posted this one several times so I'm sure you've seen it D.

 

Actually I hadn't seen that before.

Thanks!

Interesting visual concept & production; well choreographed, both visually & musically.

I particularly like that ascending / descending pick tapping thing they exchange at 1:25~1:30 & the double LH thing at the end.

 

Nor did I realize that Vai had anything do do with promoting Orianthi, who's actually somewhat outside my usually attention sphere.

As y'might note from the Vai selections I made above, I'm more into the musical content than the shredosity.

 

She does one interesting thing I noticed. Her string bends go both up & down apparently randomly; that is, she's not bending in either direction to avoid disrupting the vibration of another sounding string.

 

Back to the susbject at hand...Vai's picking technique seems to vary.

In the 1st vid upstairs (w/ the 3 headed gtr) he's holding the pick at a 45 degree angle.

Looks somewhat less in the clip you linked.

 

& for everyone, what'd ya think of that feedback interpretation of a bird landing & flying off (at 6:15~7:05

& 7:05~7:50) at the end of Whispering Prayer ?

d=halfnote
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He's on the top 10, 20 and 100 list of greatest guitar players (if you google on "great guitarists" Fang)...the key words are not "great talent" it is "Great Talented Guitarist". I'll stand by my description and you can come up with something more "Adequate" than "Great"...like "the greatest guitar player of all-time," if you think he beats out Hendrix, Vaughn, Clapton, Santana, Beck, Reed, Atkins, Django, Emmanuel, etc., [insert name]. For me, I would [pick] Atkins as the greatest if I had to...even if he doesn't make the list. http://whatculture.com/music/20-greatest-guitarists-of-all-time?page=2 <---here's 20 of them depending on which list you choose LOL! :cool:

:rolleyes:

CRIPES! I WAS paying him a COMPLIMENT! Indicating the word "great" falls far SHORT of describing how truly "boundless" his talent is. PLEASE tell me you DIDN'T actually think I meant otherwise! :facepalm:

 

d : "Shredology"? Ha! I LIKE that! ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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When I can't make any relevant comment, I'll blather on tryna backtrack what I said before then mis-spell a word someone else used

 

Can we consider Vai the Paganini of our time ?

As I look at someof his perfs, his technique which, unlike many shredicators, is matched by his musicality, continues to stun me in a way even Beck doesn't.

 

However, what are we to make of this, uh, "Vilanova Juxtiposition" ?

 

[video:youtube]

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKUXSl7TAcU

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKUXSl7TAcU

 

d=halfnote
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@ Fang, You did a "great" job of paying him your compliment. I knew you were just trying to say "great" is not a big enough word. It reminds me of John Candy when Steve Martin tells him I know you LOVE your wife, and John tells him "LOVE is not a big enough word". That one sticks with me. It also reminds me of CPG which stands for Certified Guitar Player. It was a cute thing that Chet Atkins laid on Tommy Emmanuel and even gave him a certificate. Probably just started out as a fun memento but turned out to be a real treasure to Tommy. I think Vai feels the same way about Zappa...

 

For me, there should only be one "Greatest Guitar Player of All Time" but as in the lists there are always more than one. Steve Vai is definitely one of them...that's all I'm trying to say, "GREAT" is not a big enough word... :cool:

 

@ D, glad you liked the vid...The pick scrape intro and the answering pick scrapes at 1:25 are very cool. I can't really describe Vai's picking techniques in all those videos as he does so much with his fretting hand. You'll see him pick once on a string and then a flurry of notes come flying by from that string and all the others LOL! He does so much without the pick, tapping, whammying, etc. that it gets hard to watch the angle (like at the end of my vid when he reaches over and plays Orianthi's guitar!). I did notice him copying my hybrid technique once LOL! The bird taking off feed back demonstration was great! I thought more of the whale communication sounds I've heard in many ocean vids for some reason...great feedback demo! He knows just where to stand and just how to angel that guitar with all the notes and electronics at his finger tips! :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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The bird taking off feed back demonstration was great! I thought more of the whale communication sounds I've heard in many ocean vids for some reason...great feedback demo! He knows just where to stand and just how to angel that guitar with all the notes and electronics at his finger tips! :cool:

 

Y' know, LarZ, sometimes what looks like a mistake can be a great revealution :D .

 

...but back to the Hendrix cop....

d=halfnote
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As to Vai....

 

I was once discussing various players with that old friend of mine who studied classical for years and switched to jazz as he got older, and to shorten a long story, he mentioned three players in one example. EVH, Malmsteen and Vai. Saying something like, "All three have fantastic "digital dexterity", but of the three, only VAI really SAYS anything with it!" :)

 

As to Tommy treasuring that certificate.....

 

I'd think ANY guitar player's FEET wouldn't touch the ground for YEARS if Chet Atkins so much as said, "Not too bad" to them after he heard them play a bit. ;)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Just remember the old friend's opinion is just that. For me, EVH, Malmsteen and Vai are all fantastic guitarists with lots to say...I can only wish and dream that I could have half of their talent. +1 another guy who's feet never touched the ground as a CPG by Chet (and rightfully so) was Jerry Reed! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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I'd consider Malmsteen the Paganini of guitar- Paganini is one of his most obvious influences, and you can hear many echoes of that in YJM's work.

 

Vai...well, I think he was well cast in Crossroads. His technical fretboard skills are equaled by his broad understanding of music in general, almost as if he had made the Devil's Bargain. He's got this eclectic modernist approach that is different from neoclassical shredders like YJM. He grabs things from all over..

 

Sooooo...maybe the Dmitri Shostakovich of guitar?

 

Regardless of labels, a remarkable man, a remarkable talent. HBD, and many more, SV!

 

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

My FLMS- Murphy's Music in Irving, Tx

 

http://murphysmusictx.com/

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Just remember the old friend's opinion is just that. For me, EVH, Malmsteen and Vai are all fantastic guitarists with lots to say...I can only wish and dream that I could have half of their talent. +1 another guy who's feet never touched the ground as a CPG by Chet (and rightfully so) was Jerry Reed! :cool:

 

I think I know what Bill(my old friend) meant by what he said, and yes he, like all of us, has HIS own opinions and preferrences, and tastes. And I concur with him as it seems that despite their obvious talent(and Bill never said they DON'T have any) EVH's and YM's "wanking" seems to be so just for the SAKE of "wanking" and masturbatory with no sense of direction. VAI on the other hand, matches them note for note in speed, without making his solos sound like it's all about HIM, but ADDS "flavor" to the tune rather than masking it. ;)

 

If ya get my drift......

 

But, if we're gonna start using classical composers names as comparisons, I'd say Steve falls somewhere between CHOPIN and SCRIABIN. ;) With a "touch" of STRAVINSKY. :cool:

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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@ Fang, I really do not listen to EVH, Malmsteem or Vai, but I recognize talent when I see/hear it. I'll leave it to you and Bill to describe their "wanking" as you have more experience with them...there are many other guitar players that I like better like Atkins, Reed, SRV, Emmanuel, Clapton, Moore, Knopfler, Gilmour, Harrison, BB, etc., that get more of my attention. :cool:

 

@ Danny, +1 Many very talented guitar players can be linked to their classical masters, but I'm not familiar with classical music enough so I can [pick] out which one(s) they come closest to... :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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I think of Paganini (or similarly Liszt, whose playing was so emotive that not just women in audiences would swoon but he himself :rolleyes: )

not just as talented players but masters of theatricks *.

 

My intention was in terms of that, not their music, per se.

 

Does Yngvie do all that mugging & interpretive physical stuff Vai seems to delight in ?

[For those who haven't watched it, look at the last couple minutes of the Whisper-Prayer clip above]

 

Or maybe just take a gander at this Battle of the Neckwork* Stars.

 

[video:youtube]

----------------------------------------------------

*Yeah, I meant to spell it that way ! :D

 

 

d=halfnote
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It all just boils down to what appeals to an individual's ears.

 

I can recognize, for example, both Barbara Steisand and Whitney Houston as having fantastic vocal talents (or HAD, in Whitney's case). But WHAT they sing just isn't in my area of interest.

 

Same with the trio of guitarists in question. There's NO denying their talent of course, but like with Babs and Whitney, just them BEING talented and great doesn't mean you GOTTA love 'em. As to Malmsteen.....

 

I'm not really all THAT familiar with him outside of the occasional clips of him I bothered to listen to in THIS FORUM. ;)

 

As to that list of yours Larry; There's some names I would add AND replace on it, but like I just said, it wouldn't be because I DON'T think the names you put there AREN'T any good. :cool:

 

And d's clip of Malmsteen and Vai together helps prove a point I tried making concerning other people in a different forum....

 

These artist "rivalries" mostly exist among particular artist's FANS. Those guys probably NEVER think of themselves as rivals. :)

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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@ Fang, Like your analogy of Whitney and Streisand non-guitar players, I would choose to listen to Houston if I had to pick just one (much like my picking Chet Atkins if I had to pick just one). They are both excellent and both are or were at the top of their game and have many fans. I don't really care for their music that much. Like your comment on Malmsteen, I don't watch or listen to him any more than you do and that will include EVH and Vai as well. My list of artists that I do listen to can be greatly expanded and thus the "etc." Right off the get go, I would add Fogerty! He is a great guitarist IMHO as is Beck. The main idea of this thread is to wish Vai a happy birthday...like all of the artists mentioned he has a fan base and he's great regardless of who my little world listens to. He and all the others deserve our admiration. Vai does a fantastic job representing all guitar players IMHO. Again, Happy Birthday Steve! :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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