We need some performance help Stevie!

This is the forum for all Steve Vai-related discussion including Steve's albums, videos, performances and frequently asked questions.
davester1234
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Hey Steve,

You are truly the king of getting up on stage, and putting on a kick a$$ show. You stand as the only guitarist who my girlfriend has enjoyed watching, and thats because you're a guitarist that gives a bit more than all the others. Your movement, passion, and desire to entertain on stage makes for a killer connection with you're audience! It is quite simply unparalleled.

Can you give us aspiring guitarists some tips on how make a show a show? I mean, what do you do, or what is your mindframe when you go about planning a show and executing a live performance? Give us some Vai tips on how to harness and entertain an audience, so that we can have our own audiences connect with us the way we always connect with you at your live shows. :D

Cheers 8)
gabrielsean
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I second that. It would be nice to be educated on such things. :)
Oliver_Reed
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I second that too. I came away from one of Steve's show thinking "there's no music without emotion" - maybe that's it?

Cheers,
Ollie
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Steve's music definatley doesn't just appeal to guitarists and musicians.. Steve's music can be enjoyed by any human being because it's that special.

Steve's amazing technique and emotion that he uses in his music will put your soul in an ocean of emotion.. so much that it appeals to every human being.
Ya Yo Gakk
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I believe there is actually a section at this site where Steve talks about stage presence. If I'm not mistaken he suggested to play in front of a mirror, and try to make facial and bodily expressions for the guitar part your playing. Picture how you'd want someone to play it live, then try to do it yourself. I could be wrong though.

I'd love to hear Steve elaborate on this subject though.
guitarplayer5555
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I was watching the G3 DVD alittle while ago and Steve really blows the other guys away with his playing and stage performance
Guitarcake.
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i love watching the expressions on steves face as he plays... look at G3 FTLOG, and Die to live on Alien Love Secrets...he puts emotion through both his playing and reaction to his own sounds....... also look at the G3 'Answers' at the end of the song - before the end.. he looks like a kid in a sweet shop, enjoying the crowd to the maxx
Tapping_Master17
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yeah playing in front of a mirror is a great way to improve your act. i do it all the time. it really helps later on when u have 2 play on stage it is much more comfortable. experiment as well. i like to try playing with sun glasses. (actaully glasses are cool because your can make your facial expressions and the audience cant see your eyes that get really big in my case so you dont look all that crazy :P )
ChickenScratch
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I remember the first time I saw Steve with my girlfriend, I was scared for Evo's life! He was twirling it all around and flipping it yet still had all the time in the world to play every single note.

In sharp contrast to me when I play guitar I'm in this pose where my gaze is downcast watching my fingers and that's not very enthralling for an audience (my girlfirend). So Steve give us some tips on showmanship, I already know that I should at some point look at my audience but outside that I'm lost.

BTW, props to the dude who started this topic, great question!
davester1234
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thanx for the compliment dude!

I've wanted to ask steve this for years, and I can't wait for his reply!

I find myself scared to do anything but look at my hands when I play and stay perfectly still. When I do try to move, I'm so nervous I start botching what I'm playing and I turn into a stumble-bum. :oops:
Andrew J Dampier
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After playing shows consistantly for the past 6 or so years, I've come to realize that your showmanship is something that's gained through experience. I've got a tape of my very first performance, where I stand nearly dead still, and look into the audience maybe 2 times. (After the show, I vomitted in the backstage area).

Each time I'd get out onstage, I'd find more and more that I was getting comfortable, and then one fateful evening when a band I was in played an incredible show where the audience turned into one giant mosh pit in front of the stage. That's when the rush hit me for the first time. It seemed like at that moment, someone flicked a switch and everything was different. I had absolutely NO nerves about being on stage, I felt COMPLETELY at home, like I could do anything I had wanted and not be looked at oddly for it...so I did.

I definitely would say that my stage presence is NOTHING like Vai's....more like Mike Patton's! (Especially now that I'm singing instead of playing guitar...)
I often hear bands say, "Man, it's impossible to get into when the audience is just standing there." My reply to that is-Dude, you've got to get the audience going first man, just standing there isn't going to do it, unless your name is Adam Jones and you happen to be playing for Tool, and then it's ok...

If you wear glasses, take them off, (even if you can't see a damn thing...that's the point...) it'll make it a bit easier to forget the audience is there so you can let lose.

I'd guaruntee half of Vai's presence came from touring with DLR...
casvect167
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every guitarist is diferent there is only one vai and dont try imatate what he does cause there is only one him :wink:
davester1234
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i don't want to immitate.

Just want some useful tips from da granddaddy of em all.

:)
casvect167
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well if u wanna get some tips in how to put on as show from th guy he would probably not respond but i give u gratitude for tryn man lets just hope he sanswers :wink:
davester1234
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he will, its just a question of time i bet. He's a busy guy
:)

Nevertheless, I certainly wouldn't expect a dissertation from Steve, cuz thats time away from the new album :wink:
we can't wait too much longer stevie! 8)
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