hwo does he do it?

Discuss Steve's guitars, set-up and equipment here. This forum is not for discussing general guitar topics.
Message
Author
Miricle Man Matt
Newcomer
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:06 am
Location: England

hwo does he do it?

#1 Post by Miricle Man Matt » Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:16 am

Hi im new to this forum and also to Vai's stuff. But i love it and am amazed at his playing. one thing i cant get is how he manages to play with high gain and gets a really clean tone without random noise. for example his tapping sounds perfect!!

I have a vox AD30VT and a custom guitar with a bareknuckle Miracle Man in. the amp has noise gate and comp and various distortions as well as other effects.

what would be a good set up and amount of comp/noise gat to try? also if i need any specific stuff, what would u guys reccomend?

thanks for helping out a fellow vai freak

MMM

Balex the Shizzle
Member
Member
Posts: 481
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:26 am

#2 Post by Balex the Shizzle » Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:26 am

i dont think steve uses noise gates n the like, i think its just his playing, correct me if im wrong guys...

Miricle Man Matt
Newcomer
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:06 am
Location: England

#3 Post by Miricle Man Matt » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:14 am

theres gotta be something that lowly mortals like us can do to mimick guitar inlightenment that Steve represents :!:

anuj
Member
Member
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:03 am
Location: san jose, ca, us
Contact:

#4 Post by anuj » Sun Apr 10, 2005 1:15 pm

yup - practice, practice, practice :)

~A

GuitarStrings
Member
Member
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 1:05 pm
Contact:

#5 Post by GuitarStrings » Sun Apr 10, 2005 2:48 pm

I think the main trick is:

Don't only use your FINGERS to mute the strings, but also use your EAR to mute the strings! :P
Your ear is magical, it can isolate the sound you actually want to hear from your guitar from the rest of the noises you don't want to hear.

Some people will say I am mad reading this, but actually it's true, try it! :P But practice is also required.

The proper title for this section of the forum should be "Steve's Guitars and Ear"! :lol:

Mothra
Member
Member
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:52 am
Location: Leeds, England
Contact:

Re: hwo does he do it?

#6 Post by Mothra » Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:03 am

Miricle Man Matt wrote:one thing i cant get is how he manages to play with high gain and gets a really clean tone without random noise. for example his tapping sounds perfect!!
The answer is, he doesn't use high gain at all - that's a beginner's trick to sounding good without too much practice! ;-)

To get, "the sound", set your basic sound with a very mild amount of distortion and overdrive with the mid EQ up quite high and a only a little extra bass and treble. It should sound quite "bluesy". Then set your DS-1 as follows: tone @ 11 o'clock, level @ 1 o'clock and distortion @ 11 o'clock.

After that, it's all down to your pickups to provide the sustain. The Evolution pickups in the Jem 7VWH really help here.

User avatar
Logic
Member
Member
Posts: 1673
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:32 pm
Location: Modesto Ca.
Contact:

#7 Post by Logic » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:37 am

First. He does to use gain AND noise gates. High gain is a reletive term. His gain is higher than mine. in some songs mind you. A begginers trick? I don't think so as I use higher gain at practice because it is much harder to keep it clean. every little mistake comes roaring out the amp. Cord crunching high gain players that don't play virtuoso style perhaps. Also, This I say of myself, I think my playing is not very clean and am always trying to clean it up. but when others hear me play they ask how I keep it so clean?!! makes me wonder if they're hearing the same thing I am. And then when I listen to them play they sound devine and I ask them how they do it. They wonder if I am hearing the same thing as they are.

User avatar
jemgirl
Member
Member
Posts: 2970
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:21 pm
Location: netherlands noord brabant
Contact:

#8 Post by jemgirl » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:43 am

i think he uses some high-quality noise gates or something like that.

patricia :wink:

anuj
Member
Member
Posts: 571
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:03 am
Location: san jose, ca, us
Contact:

#9 Post by anuj » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:55 pm

heh, his amp gain really isn't that high.

~A

Ffats
Member
Member
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 6:46 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Contact:

#10 Post by Ffats » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:36 pm

It's not so much a technique that Vai might use per-say, but its very fun to play solos through two amps - one on high gain, and the other clean.

User avatar
Logic
Member
Member
Posts: 1673
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:32 pm
Location: Modesto Ca.
Contact:

#11 Post by Logic » Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:04 am

Balex the Shizzle wrote:i dont think steve uses noise gates n the like, i think its just his playing, correct me if im wrong guys...
It's kewl to see people like an artist's talent and Mr, Vai is a very talented guy.

He's just not a supernatural devil possessed wizard who can just plug a guitar into an amp and do all those over the top things he does.

When I was a kid, and dinosaurs roamed freely there was an old wives tale going around that Jimmy Hendrix had just flipped a Strat over and started playing. Low E on the bottom and high E on top! Or should I say Eb?? :) And that he didn't use any effects at all.. Just an upside down guitar and an amp. When the truth is closer to Mr. Hendrix pioneering alot of effects. and that he, like Mr. Vai, are simply outstanding, HUMAN guitarist. The use of effects in no way effects talant. Granted there are those who use effects to jump to the head of the sound, tone, talent line but in my humble opinion that takes nothing away from artist like Mr. Vai who uses more effects than anyone. in fact, It amazes me how he can use all that stuff he does so perfectly! This coming from a guy who doesn't even have a wah pedal down very well at all. Me.

SBarrett
Member
Member
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2003 7:34 pm
Location: Tucson

#12 Post by SBarrett » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:34 pm

I have the same experience, Logic.
I go to Guitar Center just to test some guitars and break out some random jibberish/riffs. I don't play my best since the guitars and amps are different than what I have and I'm in a different environment (more people = I'm more nervous). And what's funny is that I turn heads and sometimes form small crowds (only 5 people max). And I receive compliments on how I play so smoothly or cleanly. I'm always thinking to myself, "What are you talking about? I suck!" :?: I hear my flaws in my playing, mostly due to me being slightly nervous around other musicians. Sometimes I'm not feeling good on certain days and I play horrible.
Plus I'm not even close to Vai's prestigious style. I really feel good that people approve my playing... even though I'm usually scratching my head afterwards. :? Oh, make sure you compliment fellow guitar players. Be courteous. There will be guitar players more experienced or less experienced than you. Try to learn from their mistakes to prevent your own.
I guess we are all critical with our ears and our guitar playing.
To be honest, I think self-criticism is the best thing to have while practicing. I think it encourages us to be better... even though it may make us feel like perfectionists.

To the topic:
In order to become better at techniques, like tapping, just feel good about yourself and make sure you are rested, that you've eaten a nutritious meal, and make sure you are in a good mood. Emotions are essential in guitar playing. Look at Steve Vai... he puts so much into every note when he plays. So make sure every note has a meaning when playing. Stretch your fingers, arm muscles, hands, and shoulders.
Also, look at the way you are placing your picking hand over the strings. Look at how you place your fingering hand over the strings. You also don't need to use as much finger pressure to execute tapping... just enough that the notes ring out. Otherwise you waste too much energy and you get tired or cramp up because of excess finger movement or pressure.
Learn to practice with low gain too... I now love the clean channel to death when I play. 8)
You can figure out what you're doing wrong and fix it by yourself since there is really no wrong way of doing techniques... If that doesn't help, just keep practicing at it or ask for help from a guitar instructor.

I hope this helps
Cheers!
-Sean

Rudee
Member
Member
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 9:11 pm

#13 Post by Rudee » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:19 am

Through decades of practice, Steve has found what is called the "sweet spot" of the note. Alot of playing is in the fingers.

User avatar
resha
Member
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:09 am
Location: Turin, Italy
Contact:

#14 Post by resha » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:09 pm

I believe it's only practice practice practice :roll:

User avatar
SRVoodoo
Member
Member
Posts: 802
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:14 pm
Location: Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Contact:

#15 Post by SRVoodoo » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:22 pm

Practice is not everything.
There are players out there who can light up the fretboard
with all sorts of fast runs & sweep picking & all that but unless you've
got a good sense of timing & feel, it'll just be guitar wanking.

Let's also not forget that Steve knows music theory like he was born with it! That certainly helps him in knowing exactly where his fingers are going.
Unlike ME who just picks up the guitar & plays it. I wish I could learn all that stuff about music in the same way that Neo learned Kung fu in the Matrix! That would make my life alot easier! :roll:

Post Reply