Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 62

COLUMN Fretprints
and Sound Theories albums,
recorded in '05 and released
in '07. He guested on Zappa
Plays Zappa ('06) and won
his third Grammy for his
performance of "Peaches En
Regalia," hosted educational
workshops (Alien Guitar
Secrets) and toured the U.S.,
Europe, South America and
Australia with a new band
in '07. Vai celebrated the
20-year anniversary of his
Ibanez Jem in '07 and the
introduction of a Jemini signature dual-mode distortion
pedal in '08.
The next decade marked
the 20th anniversary of
his Universe guitar (2010)
and saw the inception of
VaiTunes digital distribution service, performances
on "American Idol" and the
Experience Hendrix tour, a
world record for the largest
online guitar lesson (Steve
Vai Guitar Techniques), and
Vai Academy, an outgrowth
of Alien Guitar Secrets. He
hit an artistic pinnacle when
he performed "Fire Strings,"
a challenging atonal concerto
for electric guitar by Ichiaro
Nodaira, with the Tokyo
Metropolitan Symphony
Orchestra in Japan (summer '16). Modern Primitive/
Passion and Warfare 25th
Anniversary Edition, a remastered reissue coupled with
recently completed music
from the '80s, was released
in '16, followed by a tour
wherein he performed the
entire Passion and Warfare
album in concert.

INFLUENCES

"The Attitude Song" was just that - an ostentatious rock
instrumental brimming with attitude. One of Vai's earliest
ventures, it inspired a million shredders worldwide. One
look at this example will tell you why. It is a technical
excursion filled with idiosyncratic Vai-isms. Measure 1
features a long, winding sequential line rendered with
machine-gun picking and heavy palm muting. The melody
conveys the Em Dorian mode in the first two bars. Note
the purposeful use of C# and F# in rhythmic placement
throughout and the intriguing chromaticism in measure 2

Vai acknowledges myriad
guitar influences. Foremost
is Jimmy Page, whose "Heartbreaker" solo caught his ear
as a youth. Also significant
are Frank Zappa, Brian
May, Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff
Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos
Santana, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads,
Adrian Belew, Reeves Gabrels, Vernon Reid,
Eric Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Ted

that suggests Vai's jazz training enhanced his rock lines
from the outset. Measure 3 contains an angular sequence
made of arpeggiated sonic shapes ascending the fretboard
chromatically. Check out the physically inverted threenote shapes in the patterns - a dissonant tri-tone/fourth
stack alternating with a consonant major triad. Measure 4
recaps his sequential Dorian melody in abbreviated form
and closes with a pick-scrape fall-off. The final measure in
2
/4 exploits an angular sequence of wide-interval arpeggios
(fourths and fifths) descending in fourth increments.

Greene, John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth,
Al DiMeola, and Prince. As a child he was
inspired by the West Side Story soundtrack

VINTAGE GUITAR

62

March 2017

and blossomed under the tutelage of Satriani.
He was inspired by books like Gary Chaffee's
Rhythms and Ted Greene's Chord Chemistry.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - IFC
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