Is there anything better than a good song intro? Well, yeah. I can think of a few things, and some of them even have something to do with music. But still, there’s just something magical about a great song intro. Whether it’s an unaccompanied slab of guitar wizardry, some kind of unexpected time signature, a chunk of mysteriously atmospheric ambience or even just some kind of silly bit if dialog recorded in the studio, a good intro can set the scene and build anticipation for the song proper. So in celebration of the glories of the intro, here are a few of my favourites, divided in to guitar and bass examples. What are yours?
Last week the magnificent Steve Vai played here in Melbourne (read my recent interview with Steve here). I was lucky enough to be offered some free tickets so I invited my old school buddy and his friend, as well as a guy I know who’s had a bit of a hard time recently and who I thought might enjoy the chance to take him mind off it with a gig. Like all Vai gigs it was a wildly diverse experience: blinding virtuosity, humour, melody, showmanship, and all-round good vibes. And I got to meet quite a few I Heart Guitar readers before and after the show, which was really cool. But something my buddy said afterwards really jarred me. Nodding back towards the venue, he asked, in an almost protective tone: Continue reading
Steve Vai has been a frequent visitor to Australia over the past decade. He’s been out here for a few G3 tours (first with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci, and then with Satriani and Steve Lukather), he’s been a guest of Dweezil Zappa during the first Zappa Plays Zappa tour, and he even shared some pretty deep musical insights during a masterclass tour. But in that time we’ve only had one Vai solo tour, back in 2004. And you really don’t get the full Vai experience from a short G3 set, a guest appearance or an admittedly amazing masterclass. No sir, for the full Steve Vai experience, you have to see a full Steve Vai show. Continue reading
Risskov, Denmark, June 11th 2013 – TC Electronic is excited to announce one of the biggest names on the TonePrint artist roster yet – Steve Vai! The creative genius has contributed a TonePrint for Hall Of Fame Reverb entitled Ocean Machine. This TonePrint is available immediately and free of charge through www.tcelectronic.com/steve-vai or through the free TonePrint app for iOS and Android phones. Steve Vai’s signature Ocean Machine reverb is a very natural sounding reverb, with a bit of chorus and Steve’s artistically precise parameter and EQ settings. Both introspective and flowing, Ocean Machine truly lives up to its name. Continue reading
Steve Vai is about to return to Australia with his full solo show for the first time since 2004. Sure, he’s been here quite often lately – with G3, with Zappa Plays Zappa and to give a Masterclass – but it’s been nine years since Vai played an entire show dedicated to his particular and peculiar brand of musical madness. I spoke to Steve this morning and that interview will be up on the site in a couple of weeks (we talked a lot about 7 and 8-string guitars, by the way). But in the meantime, here are the tour dates: Continue reading
Check out this bad boy from the Jackson Custom Shop: the SL2H Dakota Red. I don’t know if it’s purposely designed to recall that cool Soloist Steve Vai used in the film Crossroads – there are a few differences here, particularly the bridge colour and the electronics layout – but they’re similar enough to make me want to pick one up and wail on Eugene’s Trick Bag. As of this writing there’s one on Amazon.com here, and there’s a list of dealers here. I’m not sure where the rest are hiding or if they’re already snapped up yet. I hope whoever buys them plays the hell out of them. Continue reading
I have plenty of GJ2 Guitars pics and info to post over the coming days, but I thought I’d give you this teaser: the GJ2 Guitars Green Meanie! It’s limited to 36 guitars worldwide: 12 in the USA (which were all snapped up instantly), 12 in Europe and 12 for Asia/Australia/etc.
Contact G2J or your local dealer for info. And good luck!
Wow! Didn’t expect these to be announced so soon, but Music Radar has the scoop on several killer new Ibanez models for 2013, including the RG550-XH, effectlively a new version of the RG2011SC, the 30-fret beast released a few NAMMs ago (and used in the studio by Dragonforce, according to Herman Li in my April 2012 interview), the new Iron Label series and … a Premium version of the venerable ‘green dot’ Universe 7-string!!! The UV70 features DiMarzio Blaze pickups and the same basic styling as one of the most missed early Universe models. Get the lowdown here.
Steve Vai has used various signature DiMarzio pickups over the years: the Evolution, the Breed, the Blaze, Evolution 7 and Evolution 2 (as well as the set made exclusively for the transparent acrylic 20th Anniversary Jem). And his pickups have something in common with his music: they all seem to be designed to explore and address a specific sonic question. The Evolution is bright, middy and somewhat hyper, for instance, while the Breed is warmer and more vintage. Steve’s new Gravity Storm set comes from a different place to the Evo, Blaze or Breed. Continue reading