22 August 2009

Steve Vai Unveils His 10 Favorite Instrumentals

Legendary guitarist Steve Vai joins us as a guest blogger revealing his favorite guitar instrumentals (and what guitar riff he deems is the "voice of God"). Be sure to check out his live album 'Where the Wild Things Are' debuting on September 29th. The DVD (also available Blu-ray and audio CD) covers live footage from his 'Sound Theories' World Tour at the State Theatre in Minneapolis. You can also also listen to Steve Vai on the Rock Instrumentals station.

Although any one of these guitarists have 10 songs that could make this list, I choose all different artists to give the radio listeners some variety.

10) The Champs: 'Tequila'
This track just makes me feel good whenever I hear it.

9) Yngwie Malmsteen: 'Black Star'
Yngwie is a passionate and fiery player. This track is haunting and evocative. He plays with a fierce confidence.

8) Stevie Ray Vaughan: 'Lenny'
I believe a musician makes their most intimate statement when they are in the moment of the performance. In this track Stevie is closer to the guitar than the strings are. When you listen to it, the melody sounds closer than your own thoughts.

7) Allan Holdsworth: 'Devil Take The Hindmost'
It's rare to hear a musician that does not sound like anyone else in their field. Allan is matchless. This piece contains his unrivaled tapestry of rich choral structures and his liquid technique.

6) Frank Zappa: 'Black Napkins'
Frank had a unique way of phrasing on the guitar. When he improvised his solos it was like a hurricane of wind and notes. He could write deeply touching melodies.

5) Mashavishnu Orchestra: 'Meeting of the Spirts'
This combo was extremely powerful. Every musician is phenomenally accomplished and this piece ebbs and flows, rises and explodes with menacing aural metaphysics.

4) Joe Satriani: 'Is There Love In Space'
We wear our personality on the coat sleeve of our creative expressions and the melodies of this song reveal an honest and humble yearning for melodic truth.

3) Jimi Hendrix: 'Midnight'
This is an underrated Jimi track. It's Raw and powerful, offers no excuses and takes no prisoners. In it you can hear the essence of his innovative rock attitude.

2) Jeff Beck: 'Cause We Ended as Lovers'
Jeff is an audio craftsman. The tonal dynamics of this performance is as vast as anything ever performed on the instrument. He's in a class by himself.

1) Santana: 'Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven Smile)'
For me, this song is the closest thing I have heard to the voice of God on an electric guitar. It's spiritual melodic perfection.


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