Guitar virtuoso Steve Vai talked about his early musical career and guitar lessons from Joe Satriani during a recent appearance on String Theory.
In the conversation, Steve stated that he was twelve years old when he first joined a rock band, but he wasn’t playing the guitar at that time. Surprisingly, he was a keyboardist in the first place.
However, things have changed for Steve after listening to Led Zeppelin. According to the legendary guitarist, it was the time when he decided to be the guitarist, which shows how good and inspiring Jimmy Page is.
As everybody knows, Steve started to take guitar lessons from another legend, Joe Satriani, for over three years, which takes a huge role in where he stands as a guitarist right now.
Steve Vai said:
“When I was 12, I had joined a band, but I didn’t play guitar, I played keyboard – electric keyboard. And I only knew two chords – they were for ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ but I always wanted to play.
So, finally, when I heard Led Zeppelin, I decided I wanted to play, and also a friend of mine that lived a couple of houses down, John Sergio, he was really into music. He was instrumental in my musical evolution as a youngster, and he was taking lessons from Joe.
And when I was at John’s house once, and he had a guitar, and he was playing – I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘You have a guitar and you’re able to play it?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, I’m taking lessons from this guy, Joe Satriani.’
And I got Joe’s number from him, and that’s when I decided, ‘Well, it’s OK, you can play the guitar. ‘So then I went to Joe and I basically had a pack of strings and a guitar.”
Further in the conversation, Steve Vai praised the talent of Satriani by saying that he was an excellent teacher. Also, Steve mentioned that he started with finger practices as every other beginner does.