Joe Satriani On Being The Teacher Of Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, And More

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In a recent conversation with Guitar Player, guitarist Joe Satriani spoke about his teaching days and revealed what it meant for him to be a teacher of established guitar players. 

Joey Satriani started learning guitar at a very early age and has played for nearly 50 years. Jimi Hendrix was one of the icons who motivated him on this path, but interestingly he was inspired by his passing. Satriani decided to play guitar after hearing about Jimi Hendrix’s death as a 14-year-old teenager, and his popularity significantly increased when he crossed paths with Mick Jagger.

However, years before he rose to fame, Joe Satriani instructed many young musicians who would later be praised as guitar virtuosos, including Steve Vai, Alex Skolnick, Kirk Hammett, and Larry LaLonde. In a recent conversation with Guitar Player, Satriani spoke about his teaching days and revealed what it meant for him to be a teacher of well-renowned guitar players.

While sharing that it was an outstanding experience for him, the artist said that he tried to make the lessons as fun as possible so that his students would not get bored. Joe, who could observe and tell what his students were capable of thanks to his teaching experience, added that he tried to modify the musical knowledge he shared in a way that his students could understand and apply.

Joe Satriani’s words on his teaching days:

“It was a great experience. No matter what abilities my students came to me with, I always tried to give them their money’s worth and build their musical knowledge in ways they could grasp and use. And I tried to make the lessons fun because I knew that if things got boring, they’d tune out and stop coming.”

Satriani had to take a break from his live performances due to COVID-19. However, as the restrictions eased, he went back on stage with great enthusiasm. He has scheduled a 44-date tour across the States and Canada to promote his 19th full-length album, ‘The Elephants of Mars.’ The tour will begin next week and will continue throughout this fall.