typical Vai licks

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dc27
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typical Vai licks

#1 Post by dc27 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:41 am

I'm sure we're all guilty of having a few licks that we revert to and modify when we improvise, I know I do! Anybody who doesn't is lying!
I've managed to pick up a fair few Vai inflections, and was wondering if anybody else had noticed any typical Vai fills that he uses a lot, especially tapping and fast runs? I'm interested to see if people have picked up the same ones as me!

Post them below! :guitar

bilo13
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Re: typical Vai licks

#2 Post by bilo13 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:58 am


dc27
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Re: typical Vai licks

#3 Post by dc27 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:22 am

bilo13 wrote:He sweeps this arpeggio a lot:
https://ksgb-public.sharepoint.com/Docu ... peggio.jpg
It wont let me see! Is it an Eadd9 by any chance? Its fairly obvious that he loves his 9ths a lot. I've seen a fair few ones on the internet 'in the style of', and the only one I've seen him actually use is the alternate picking lick from Whitesnake at Donnington, the very first part of his solo

dc27
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Re: typical Vai licks

#4 Post by dc27 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:14 am

I also noticed he sometimes likes to use the same tapping lick that moves into triplets (i.e Donnington, Letterman, 97' G3 record) but cant quite make it out.. anybody got any notes for it?

bilo13
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Re: typical Vai licks

#5 Post by bilo13 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:46 am

Try the link again, it should work.
It is a 1 5 b7 9 11 arpeggio.

Marco2112
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Re: typical Vai licks

#6 Post by Marco2112 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:33 pm

I play ALL Steve Vai lick's...

Ahem... Not all of HIS lick's, I mean all of My lick's are Vai lick's, because I'm so late to the party of musical knowledge that anything I'm playin', I'm sure he's played 100 times over. :lol:

I do the note slide and I try to emulate that fretting hand circular vibrato.. but I think that's it. From there I either can't do what he's doing, or I try to just do thing's I think sound as cool, my own way. (a very private and hopelessly optimistic 'cool',lol.)

My go to lick's are ingrained in me from years of simple parrot guitar.. playing what I could hear and copy without having to understand it all. And from my first inspirations, Gilmour, Page, Lifeson. As I'm sure you probably guessed from my screen name.

I Should have made more of a Zappa relate - not sure what I was thinkin.

Getting back more to the topic... can anyone recommend a good entry point song for a guitarist that wants to try to get a whole Vai song under the belt?

dc27
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Re: typical Vai licks

#7 Post by dc27 » Fri May 22, 2015 2:32 pm

Marco2112 wrote: My go to lick's are ingrained in me from years of simple parrot guitar.. playing what I could hear and copy without having to understand it all. And from my first inspirations, Gilmour, Page, Lifeson. As I'm sure you probably guessed from my screen name.
90% of my licks are MY licks, I just seem to enjoy them a little too much sometimes :lol:

Marco2112 wrote:Getting back more to the topic... can anyone recommend a good entry point song for a guitarist that wants to try to get a whole Vai song under the belt?
Vai songs aren't as hard as they seem. Many are simple melodies, with the occasional fairly challenging lick. But once you nail them, you'll start noticing them popping up all over the place - like the lick that is duplets in ascending 5ths (like in Die to Live or the Story of Light, the list goes on)

Im guessing you're semi competent in skill, so I'd recommend simpler songs like Die to Live, All About Eve, Salamanders, Frank, Gravity Storm, Sisters etc etc.

Or you can just jump in at the deep end and start playing songs like Oooo or Freak Show Excess. They're tricky at first, but half the battle is understanding the phrasing and how to play in awkward timings/groupings. I do a lot of pit work and jazz, so that probably helped me!
Honestly, I used to see Vai as a wizard. But as I started recognising key licks/inflections I realised even the hardest Vai songs are fairly straightforward.

In my book, what separates a good guitarist from a great guitarist like Vai is that whilst a good guitarist can play like Vai, they could never write like Vai - and that's what counts!

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