Steve Vai Guitar Lesson On How To Become A Great Guitarist – Part 2

Author: Tom Hess

Author: Tom Hess

You can truly learn a lot by studying the best guitar players in history, but only if you  know what to look for. Truth is, Steve Vai did not achieve his guitar playing greatness through flawless guitar technique alone… Vai’s greatness comes from his ability to deeply express himself through his music.
Below are some additional lessons regarding Steve Vai’s guitar playing greatness, plus how you can use them to grow and become a better guitarist (to find the previous three lessons, read the first part of this Steve Vai guitar lessons article):

Steve Vai - Six Guitar Playing Secrets

Why Steve Vai Has Achieved Greatness – Reason #4: His Ability To Turn Difficult Rhythms Into Great Music

Vai has developed the ability to play guitar over many confusing and complex time signatures while doing it without much effort. His playing flows very well and feels very relaxed – rather than seeming like an attempt to impress the audience with overly-complex playing.

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How to use this to improve your own guitar playing:

  1. Never underestimate the significance of tight guitar rhythm skills, and never assume that you will develop them merely by chance. Be sure to work on your rhythm guitar playing by adding it into your guitar practice routine.
  2. Don’t waste your time practicing rhythm guitar in a mindless manner (by having no direction in your practice). Instead focus heavily on accuracy and articulation. Learn more about becoming a better rhythm guitarist by reading this article about how to play rhythm guitar riffs.
  3. Challenge yourself to practice playing over unusual time signatures. Pick some of your favorite songs that are in 4/4 time and play them over several different time signatures, like 7/4 or 5/4. By doing this exercise, your mind will start to think differently and begin getting used to complex rhythms.

Note: If you are not the type of guitarist who likes to play in a progressive rock guitar style, I still encourage you to implement this approach. Don’t think of it like you will play something you don’t like, instead approach this as an exercise that will push your creativity ten times more than the average rhythm guitar exercises.

Why Steve Vai Has Achieved Greatness – Reason #5: He Uses Several Songwriting Approaches To Compose Great Music

Steve Vai is well-known for his amazing ability to create great music. Vai can take a single technique (like a slide) and implement it in many different ways to create a unique sound. Furthermore, the true secret of Vai’s songwriting skills is in the variety of musical styles and techniques he has mastered. This allows him to use multiple approaches when writing music, so he doesn’t have to rely exclusively on his guitar as his main songwriting tool.

How to use this to improve your own guitar playing:

Having only one songwriting approach will always be a limiting approach if you are trying to compose innovative pieces of music. Start learning many other songwriting methods so you can use them to fully express yourself in music – check out this article series about creative songwriting.

Why Steve Vai Has Achieved Greatness – Reason #6: He’s Had Total Commitment To Becoming An Incredible Player

Vai is famous for practicing tons of hours per day in his younger years and his 10-hour guitar practice workout is legendary. Fact is, it’s not the number of practice hours he’s practiced that made him into the virtuoso he is – it was his consistent focus on mastering ALL the elements of musical greatness I discussed in this article (and in my previous article about Steve Vai’s guitar playing). The point is, anyone who does the same things Steve Vai did/does can reach his skill level (regardless of how much time they spend practicing). In reality, what lead Vai to achieve his guitar playing greatness is something that is a commonly shared trait among all great guitarists. It is a true commitment to becoming a great guitar player… by doing whatever it takes.
Read this article and learn more about how to become a great guitar player.

How to use this to improve your own guitar playing:

In order to achieve guitar playing greatness you do NOT need to practice for 7, 3 or even 2 hours a day. If you want to take giant steps in the process of becoming the best guitar player you can be, there are three key steps to take (right now):

  1. You need to develop a deep and strong desire to become a great guitar player.
  2. You must learn how to practice guitar effectively while having fun at the same time.
  3. You MUST eliminate mindless guitar practicing from your practice routines. Understand precisely what exercises you need to practice in order to achieve guitar playing greatness and determine the best way to practice them. Fill out this free musical goals assessment to discover what you should be working on now.

You now understand Steve Vai’s guitar playing greatness from a higher level, and can start implementing these concepts into YOUR practice routine in order to become a better guitar player. To quickly improve your guitar playing, find the best guitar teacher who has experience helping other guitarists reach their musical goals.

About The Author:

Tom Hess is an electric guitar teacher online, recording musician and a mentor for guitar teachers. He teaches electric guitar online lessons to guitar players around the world. On his website, you can find tools for guitar playing, and guitar playing articles.

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