Joe Satriani: master of the guitar strings

Joseph “Joe” Satriani (born July 15, 1956) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie Hunter, Kevin Cadogan, and Alex Skolnick; he then went on to have a successful solo music career. He is a 15-time Grammy Award nominee and has sold over 10 million albums, making him the biggest-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time.

In 1988, Satriani was recruited by Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for his first solo tour. In 1994, Satriani toured with Deep Purple as the lead guitarist. He has worked with a range of guitarists during the G3 tour, which he founded in 1995. His G3 collaborators have included Vai, LaLonde, Timmons, Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Brian May, Patrick Rondat, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Legg, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Steve Morse and Robert Fripp. Satriani has been the lead guitarist for the supergroup Chickenfoot since co-founding the band in 2008. Since 1988, he has been using his own signature guitars, the Ibanez JS Series, which are sold in music stores worldwide. He has also collaborated with Vox to create his own wah, delay, overdrive and distortion pedals as well as a collaboration with Marshall Amplification for the creation of his own signature series amplifier head, the JVM410HJS.

 

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Satriani is considered to be a highly technical guitarist, and has been referred to as a top guitar virtuoso. Satriani has mastered many performance techniques on electric guitar, including legato, two-handed tapping and arpeggio tapping, volume swells, harmonics and extreme whammy bar effects. During fast passages, Satriani favors a legato technique (achieved primarily through hammer-ons and pull-offs) that yields smooth and flowing runs. He is also adept at other speed-related techniques such as rapid alternate picking and sweep picking. Satriani was influenced by blues-rock guitar icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Brian May, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore and Jeff Beck, as well as jazz fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth.

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