Steve Vai

(Steven Siro Vai)

Steve Vai
Steve Vai
  • Born: June 6, 1960
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Musician

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Steven Siro Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer. A three-time Grammy Award winner and fifteen-time nominee, Vai started his music career in 1978 at the age of eighteen as a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, and joined his band from 1980 to 1983. He embarked on a solo career in 1983 and has released eight solo albums to date. He has recorded and toured with Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, Whitesnake, as well as having recorded with artists such as Mary J. Blige, Spinal Tap, and Ozzy Osbourne. Additionally, Vai has toured with live-only acts G3, Zappa Plays Zappa, the Experience Hendrix tour, as well as headlining international tours.

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A lot of those little things that I really like doing are just moments of cool articulation, just little moments of phrasing that probably go over everybody's head.
Acting, at least for me, is very unreal, and when I'm doing it, I actually feel embarrassed.
All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her 'ear' - the understanding and recognition of musical elements - for guidance. Music, Chants & Rapps
Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.
As a musician, I look for certain things that stimulate me. And what I look for is something that's an evolution on a particular genre that I never heard before.
As far as Deep Purple goes, I mean, they're iconic. Their contribution is unquantifiable, and as far as the politics involved in things like awards, you know, I don't think anything, because I know what they mean to me, and I know what they mean to the people who like them. Awards are very politically based. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Criticism can be devastating. When push comes to shove, we are all very sensitive.
Favored Nations is a long-term commitment. Our hope is that those who are passionate about real musicianship will want to hear and own most of our albums. We will set out to attain the same direct relationship with our customers that we have with our artists. Hope
History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals. We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess. History
I awake, I meditate, get the kids off to school, go to the gym, go to the Favored Nations office, and usually at around 1 pm I'm home and do music the rest of the day. Music, Chants & Rapps
I can count on one hand the people who are legendary in my book, and Tom Waits is certainly right at the top. It's funny, though: When I tell people that I like Tom's music, it surprises them. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Humor
I can tell you this: I'm an extremely passionate individual. I try to be careful how I display it because you never know how people are going to take it.
I could never overstate the importance of a musician's need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good 'inner ear' - the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening - is the most important element in becoming a good musician. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I created this picture of this character who would play the guitar effortlessly, who had no limitations, performing beautiful music, and he moved around with great acrobatic skills, just capturing the audience and being a great entertainer. Music, Chants & Rapps
I designed a guitar for Ibanez and then they started manufacturing it - it's called the Jem - it's 26 years old and I still play it. As a kid I liked Les Pauls and Strats, but they had limitations for the kind of playing I wanted to do.
I didn't have any aspirations of becoming famous or successful; in fact I was scared to death of all that. I remember somebody once said that if a rock musician goes on tour, he goes insane. I was very impressionable and I carried this useless weight of fear around with me about going on tour, all because of this thing somebody said. Death ;Fame
I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites.
I don't think I approach my songs differently from other artists. You get a big picture of it, and you imagine the song and hear and feel it, and that big picture is like a snapshot, and it comes to you as fast as it takes to click a camera.
I have a deep love for life and my fellow human beings. I try to understand everything that everybody does, even if it seems wrong to me. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I have an independent record label called Favored Nations on which I released an album by an artist called Johnny A, who plays an arch top Gibson through a Marshall, but the tone is all in his fingers.
I knew that I was going to have a life as a musician, because I always felt the pull. I don't remember ever having to make a choice. Life
I know it is common nowadays for artists to start labels but this is a thoroughly constructed vehicle for inspired talent. This is a market that we've been living, breathing and eating for our entire lives - one where a huge void currently exists. Favored Nations is a long-term commitment.
I loved the guitar, and I had all of this music in my head. My passion for the guitar and the ideas for what I could create musically were equal. So that's where I was. Music, Chants & Rapps
I loved the idea of recording. The idea of sound-on-sound-recording captured me as a young kid, and once I realized what it was I had an epiphany. Before I was even playing the guitar, I would create these lists of how I would record things and overdub them, like Led Zeppelin song, 'I could put this guitar on this track...' and so on.
I think every artist subconsciously wants to evolve themselves. Sometimes they get stuck in ruts because of pop culture, peer pressure, stuff like that. But what excites me most is exploring my own musical insights and expanding upon them.
I wanted to be a composer before anything else. And my sister was listening to Led Zeppelin in the other room! When I heard that, it was a game-changer.
I was a kid, 12 or something, when the Partridge Family was big on TV. I liked the curly cord running from the bass to the amps, which were real fancy. That cord looked so cool. I said, 'Wow! I gotta play something like that!' Families, Children & Parenting
I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard West Side Story, and it had a huge impact on me. If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today.
I was always one of those guys who was a seeker after truth. I want to know what's going on. Truth
If I remain true to what's in my heart, that's all the success I need. Success
If you're feeling emotional when you're creating something, it'll sound that way.
I'm a big fan of cultural music, and that's how I try to expand my playing, by listening to music that is not conventionally American. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm always pursuing knowledge; I'm a seeker of spiritual equilibrium - and music is a big part of that. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Music, Chants & Rapps
It just happens in life, where you resonate with a particular artist. Or it can be a kind of food or a fashion - you discover it and it gives you a whole new lease on life. Life ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
It's hilarious, because my guitar has what's known as a tremolo bar or a whammy bar. And the whammy bar is probably the most alien thing on my guitar that could possibly relate to a classical guitar.
It's very hard to come across as a passionate human being in print. People can't hear the inflections in your voice.
I've always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one's musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not. Music, Chants & Rapps
I've been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I'm just not interested. Life ;Money, Coins & Minting
I've learned over the years that you're going to be most successful at the things you're most excited to do. Every artist has a special set of tools. When you really use those tools, and you make yourself feel really good about the product you create, I think you'll find an audience for it. I've been very fortunate in that respect. Respect
I've never really heard anybody imitating anything of mine the way they do with Edward Van Halen's stuff.
Most people are fascinated to see someone play an instrument in an inspired way. We are moved by witnessing musical brilliance, and it was this notion that led me to purchase the GuitarTV domain 10 years ago.
My main calling in life is to seek and achieve spiritual balance, and to express that through my instrument. Everything else is here today, gone later today. Life
My past is very interesting, and I treasure it, but to write about it, it's just not on my radar.
Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity.
Ray and I do not draw salaries, Any profits will be re-invested into marketing the music we believe in. Music, Chants & Rapps
Reps once took chances on art, History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals. History ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Still to this day, I am deeply satisfied when watching a guitar player who is connected with their art and instrument. GuitarTV helps you tap into that connection, and to each other. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
That's the thing about great artists: They find the thing that's most obvious to themselves, what's most conscious and natural, and they put it out there and the audience comes.
The blues scale was the first thing I learned. It's just a pentatonic scale with a flat seventh and a few notes that sound cool when you bend them. And because people have amalgamated the blues into this rock-blues scale, if you're using it, you better sound like a real authentic blues player.
The classical guitar has a dynamic to it unlike a regular acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back. It's an extremely dynamic instrument.
The older I get, the more I just like plugging directly into my amp. I'm tired of trying to impress myself with weird sounds. It's about the notes more.
The only time I'm miserable is when I can't keep an instrument in tune. Time
We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess. Favored Nations will be branded as the home base for inspired musical talent.
What I look for in music is artistry, sincerity, and simplicity, and Tom Waits has all of that. I want to make a connection to the creator. Music, Chants & Rapps
When I was a teenager in the '70s, I was really into those great bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen and Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper.
When I was growing up, the blues did seem too simple to me. I was just a muso.
When I was young, I wasn't a misfit or anything. I had friends in all the different social groups. But I had issues - just personal issues, insecurities and other things that had happened in my life. Life
When you get down to it, the way that the music affects you individually is the most important thing, and when you let things like the location of a band get in the way or have an effect on your overview, you're cheating yourself out of a really good time. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
You can never deny the immense talent, rock credibility and iconic historical contribution that Van Halen made.
You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back.