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8/10/07

Joe Satriani


Satriani is widely recognized as a technically highly advanced rock guitarist. He has mastered many performance techniques on the instrument, including two-handed tapping, sweep-picking, volume swells, harmonics, and extreme whammy bar effects. One of his trademark compositional traits is the use of Pitch Axis Theory which he applies with a variety of modes. Satriani approaches scales and soloing differently. Instead of practicing his scales in positions he practices his scales one string at a time. He calls this technique ‘linear scales’. Satriani falls into the category of guitar virtuosos who primarily achieve speed through hammer-ons and pull-offs (like Allan Holdsworth), as opposed to guitarists who include lines with very rapid alternate picking of every note in their playing (like Al Di Meola, Yngwie Malmsteen,or Michael Angelo Batio).
Satriani (like Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and other guitarists who incorporate speed and technical precision in their playing) has been criticized by those who prefer simpler compositional styles. For example, Gary Moore once said that he found Satriani's music "cerebral", saying, "it leaves me cold". Although his more flamboyant student, Steve Vai, has garnered more attention, most writers and musicians respect Satriani's musicianship as well as his modest and personable demeanor.
Fans of instrumental electric guitar music widely laud him as the most lyrical and soulful of contemporary rock guitarists, with an eye and an ear for a good tune and, more recently, an emphasis on emotion over technique. Since 1998 his albums have been, stylistically speaking, a departure from his earlier style, delving into simpler, more widely accessible genres. Satriani has maintained a large fan base throughout the world, buoyed largely by the lasting influence of his earlier albums.
His success is notable in a genre typically unfriendly to instrumental musicians. Satriani has received 14 Grammy nominations,and he has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Many of his fans call him "Satch," short for Satriani, as have his friends over the years. The song "Satch Boogie" from the album Surfing With the Alien is one of possibly several hundred such songs numbered, but with no names ("Satch Boogie 1," "Satch Boogie 143," etc.). Other guitarists sometimes refer to him as "Saint Joe;" there are numerous t-shirts to this effect.
Satriani has endorsed Ibanez's JS Series guitars, and Peavey's JSX amplifier. Both lines were designed specifically as signature products for Satriani.


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