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Steve Vai Planning 8-String Guitar Album With 'Heaviest Stuff I Could Possibly Dream Of'


Steve Vai Planning 8-String Guitar Album With ‘Heaviest Stuff I Could Possibly Dream Of’

The guitarist is planning to work on three different records

During a conversation with Guitar Magazine, Steve Vai has announced plans for three new albums, one of which will be focused on eight-string guitar.

When asked about his current creative endeavors, the guitarist replied:

“I’ve started working on some other things… It’s difficult for me to talk about them because my plans change. Once I let something out that I’m doing, people expect it right away. So I should preface this with, I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“My original plan was to record three trio-based instrumental guitar records that have no overdubs. One record was going to be all clean guitar tones.

“The second one was going to be my normal dirty tone.

“The third one was going to be this tuned-down eight-string stuff, like the heaviest of stuff I could possibly dream of.

“That was one project and I laid it all out, but then other things got in the way.

“I recorded one track, ‘Candle Power,’ and that’s for the clean records. It’s on YouTube. It’s got this cool technique I was fooling around with that I call ‘joint shifting.’ It’s where you bend notes in different directions while you’re pulling off and fretting other notes.

“I discovered the only way to really do it accurately is to use the tip of your finger and then bend the joint at the tip, as opposed to conventional bending. I looked at it and thought, ‘This is like joint shifting.’

“There are some pretty bizarre things in that piece. I wanted to challenge myself for my 60th birthday. I used a Strat-style guitar, which is not what I usually play. It’s a clean tone with no whammy – that’s like removing one of my limbs – and no pick.

“I never developed my fingerpicking, but I thought, ‘OK, let me try it. Something will come out of it.’ It was an idea that I had in the back of my mind for this weird bending thing.

“It sounds almost like country bending. I did Alien Guitar Secrets Episode Eight, and that’s about an hour and a half where I play the video and I also explain the whole approach to the song.

“I had never seen this technique being used quite this way, but I assumed it was done before by perhaps many players. After the track came out, some people had mentioned that Jerry Donahue did things like this, so I checked him out, and yes, he was doing similar-type things decades ago, although it was new for me.

“There’s also the ‘Real Illusions’ trilogy – I’ve already released two records, so I decided that I should do the third one. I’ve started to pull that together.

“On one of my Alien Guitar Secrets, I did an acoustic and vocal version for a song, ‘The Moon and I.’ The response was so great that I thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to make an acoustic record.’

“Just solo acoustic guitar and vocals. But as mentioned, who knows how it will all turn out? That’s the surprise and delight.”

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