Steve Vai Guitar Lesson Review

In this article I will be reviewing the actual “lesson” from another teachers point of view and to help with any further questions students or just onlookers may have had, but not have had been fortunate enough for Mr Steve Vai to answer.
Firstly anybody watching may have noticed that Steve concentrates more on the esoteric and less the exoteric.
The esoteric being more about meditating on the guitar playing, watching very closely and trying to bond spiritually with the notes and the instrument while leaving the exoteric – that being theory, chords, scales, practice, practice, practice, to another more personal time, and you should have come to the table with allot of these or some of the basic skills.
The reason he does this is that the spiritual side of the guitar playing can be conveyed much faster in a smaller amount of time than he could teach you a bunch of chords. In other words he was trying to convey a message of “just go and do it yourself and put your whole heart into what you are doing with your music”. In an hour you are not going to learn all the chords, theory, etc while a solid bit of advice . egging on so to speak will get you out to your next goal.
I have used this particular form of encouragement with students myself. You will hear many times over the course of your guitar playing life ” I cant seem to find the notes on the guitar!” – B.S I say …keep playing, the notes will find you!
Not everything you play all the time has to be gold, remember Steve saying pulling faces while playing the guitar was important….it helped him to get the next note and looked whacky, but it was part of the show…he didn’t just sit there like a brick and bore the pants off you did he now? Remember having fun while playing the guitar will keep you going while mopping and whining will get you down and you will not want to play…right?
Of course practice the scales,chords, etc but in the end you have to find the way to express yourself…O.K shoe gazing may be your thing, but Kurt Cobain depressed himself so much….well we all know what happened there!
Through the lesson Steve totally emphasizes his main point also of training your ear and while he does mean “perfect pitch” and tuning the guitar, he says throughout, “listen to other players, especially genius ones like the immortal Frank Zappa!”
– if you haven’t heard him – go, run out right now and get your hands on anything he touched, it is of the highest caliber music, art, sheer inspiration to play, to look up to, to worship and if you can get just 1 note from Zappa, you have a lifetime to figure that golden note out!
Listen to everything for inspiration then turn that ear back on yourself and listen VERY closely to what you play and try to sing along with it and predict what you are going to play..this is excellent advice!
Gradually you will be able to pick out sounds “in your head” and put them on the guitar for others to hear and maybe enjoy or not , but it will be yours from you!
Finally as you can see form the lesson we have learnt the most important part from the master – and what was this pearl of wisdom?…he did not say it – he did not even glance it! …but it was everywhere on the screen….in his words …in his actions…when the drum machine failed… HE PLAYED THE GUITAR! Yes the most important part of the lesson was when he actually played the guitar!
“But what did that teach me?” you ask.
The years of practice, bonding mentally, spiritually, totally with the instrument, personality, confidence, all combined to produce the rarest of commodities on the planet – SHEER TALENT!
He put on a show, with the minimalist of effort and aplomb he kept us glued to the screen, kept our collective butts on our chairs until that last breath where he said “see ya later!” and we salivated for more! Now that’s worth the price of admission any day of the week!
Now weather he set a world record or not , the guitar community will be talking about Steve Vais World Record lesson for years! Imagine if say Jimmy Hendrix was alive…he would a torched 2 guitars and the same would have happened ..we would have been talking, blogging, FBing about it for ages to come – now go play your guitars! P.S. have fun!
Now watch the Master!

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