Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Steve Vai on reflection, focus, effects, tone, guitar, musician, love, politics, imagination, belief, and culture.

61 Steve Vai Quotes For The Times You Have To Call The Shots

Famous As: Guitarist, Songwriter
Born On: June 6, 1960
Born In: Carle Place, New York, United States

Steve Vai is a celebrated American singer, guitarist, producer, songwriter, and composer. He has earned fifteen ‘Grammy Award’ nominations and won three. He kicked-off his music career at the age of 18, in 1978. In 1983, he embarked on a solo career, and has released eight solo albums till now. In 1984, ‘Flex-Able’ marked the debut of his first solo album. ‘Passion and Warfare’ has been his most successful release. He has sold more than fifteen million records and was voted by the ‘Guitar World Magazine’ as the ‘10th Greatest Guitarist.’ Here is a collection of quotes and sayings by Steve Vai which have been amassed from his writings, songs, interviews, lyrics, compositions, etc. Scroll down to read through the compilation of notable and quotable quotes and thoughts by Steve Vai.

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My past is very interesting, and I treasure it, but to write about it, it's just not on my radar.

Steve Vai

I'm a big fan of cultural music, and that's how I try to expand my playing, by listening to music that is not conventionally American.

Steve Vai

You can never deny the immense talent, rock credibility and iconic historical contribution that Van Halen made.

Steve Vai

When I was a teenager in the '70s, I was really into those great bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen and Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper.

Steve Vai

If I remain true to what's in my heart, that's all the success I need.

Steve Vai

The only time I'm miserable is when I can't keep an instrument in tune.

Steve Vai

I can tell you this: I'm an extremely passionate individual. I try to be careful how I display it because you never know how people are going to take it.

Steve Vai

It's very hard to come across as a passionate human being in print. People can't hear the inflections in your voice.

Steve Vai

When I was growing up, the blues did seem too simple to me. I was just a muso.

Steve Vai

I was always one of those guys who was a seeker after truth. I want to know what's going on.

Steve Vai

Criticism can be devastating. When push comes to shove, we are all very sensitive.

Steve Vai

When I was young, I wasn't a misfit or anything. I had friends in all the different social groups. But I had issues - just personal issues, insecurities and other things that had happened in my life.

Steve Vai

As a musician, I look for certain things that stimulate me. And what I look for is something that's an evolution on a particular genre that I never heard before.

Steve Vai

I wanted to be a composer before anything else. And my sister was listening to Led Zeppelin in the other room! When I heard that, it was a game-changer.

Steve Vai

I knew that I was going to have a life as a musician, because I always felt the pull. I don't remember ever having to make a choice.

Steve Vai

I'm always pursuing knowledge; I'm a seeker of spiritual equilibrium - and music is a big part of that.

Steve Vai

I've never really heard anybody imitating anything of mine the way they do with Edward Van Halen's stuff.

Steve Vai

It just happens in life, where you resonate with a particular artist. Or it can be a kind of food or a fashion - you discover it and it gives you a whole new lease on life.

Steve Vai

That's the thing about great artists: They find the thing that's most obvious to themselves, what's most conscious and natural, and they put it out there and the audience comes.

Steve Vai

I can count on one hand the people who are legendary in my book, and Tom Waits is certainly right at the top. It's funny, though: When I tell people that I like Tom's music, it surprises them.

Steve Vai

I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard West Side Story, and it had a huge impact on me. If you look at the elements of that record, it contains many of the things I enjoy doing today.

Steve Vai

You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back.

Steve Vai

We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess. Favored Nations will be branded as the home base for inspired musical talent.

Steve Vai

Still to this day, I am deeply satisfied when watching a guitar player who is connected with their art and instrument. GuitarTV helps you tap into that connection, and to each other.

Steve Vai

Reps once took chances on art, History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals.

Steve Vai

Ray and I do not draw salaries, Any profits will be re-invested into marketing the music we believe in.

Steve Vai

It's hilarious, because my guitar has what's known as a tremolo bar or a whammy bar. And the whammy bar is probably the most alien thing on my guitar that could possibly relate to a classical guitar.

Steve Vai

I have an independent record label called Favored Nations on which I released an album by an artist called Johnny A, who plays an arch top Gibson through a Marshall, but the tone is all in his fingers.

Steve Vai

I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites.

Steve Vai

I awake, I meditate, get the kids off to school, go to the gym, go to the Favored Nations office, and usually at around 1 pm I'm home and do music the rest of the day.

Steve Vai

Acting, at least for me, is very unreal, and when I'm doing it, I actually feel embarrassed.

Steve Vai

A lot of those little things that I really like doing are just moments of cool articulation, just little moments of phrasing that probably go over everybody's head.

Steve Vai

I have a deep love for life and my fellow human beings. I try to understand everything that everybody does, even if it seems wrong to me.

Steve Vai

Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity.

Steve Vai

Along with its enchanting and exquisite melodies, West Side Story has attitude and a tremendous amount of frenetic energy. It's emotional, theatrical and technical. It's everything.

Steve Vai

My main calling in life is to seek and achieve spiritual balance, and to express that through my instrument. Everything else is here today, gone later today.

Steve Vai

If you're feeling emotional when you're creating something, it'll sound that way.

Steve Vai

I loved the guitar, and I had all of this music in my head. My passion for the guitar and the ideas for what I could create musically were equal. So that's where I was.

Steve Vai

What I look for in music is artistry, sincerity, and simplicity, and Tom Waits has all of that. I want to make a connection to the creator.

Steve Vai

Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument.

Steve Vai

Most people are fascinated to see someone play an instrument in an inspired way. We are moved by witnessing musical brilliance, and it was this notion that led me to purchase the GuitarTV domain 10 years ago.

Steve Vai

The older I get, the more I just like plugging directly into my amp. I'm tired of trying to impress myself with weird sounds. It's about the notes more.

Steve Vai

I think every artist subconsciously wants to evolve themselves. Sometimes they get stuck in ruts because of pop culture, peer pressure, stuff like that. But what excites me most is exploring my own musical insights and expanding upon them.

Steve Vai

The classical guitar has a dynamic to it unlike a regular acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. You know, there's times when you should play and there's times when you gotta hold back. It's an extremely dynamic instrument.

Steve Vai

I didn't have any aspirations of becoming famous or successful; in fact I was scared to death of all that. I remember somebody once said that if a rock musician goes on tour, he goes insane. I was very impressionable and I carried this useless weight of fear around with me about going on tour, all because of this thing somebody said.

Steve Vai

Favored Nations is a long-term commitment. Our hope is that those who are passionate about real musicianship will want to hear and own most of our albums. We will set out to attain the same direct relationship with our customers that we have with our artists.

Steve Vai

History's most treasured musicians were believed in and cultivated to reach their potential. Today, it would be difficult for those musicians to get deals. We have the insight and the tools to identify and bring to fruition the dormant talent that our artists possess.

Steve Vai

I know it is common nowadays for artists to start labels but this is a thoroughly constructed vehicle for inspired talent. This is a market that we've been living, breathing and eating for our entire lives - one where a huge void currently exists. Favored Nations is a long-term commitment.

Steve Vai

I created this picture of this character who would play the guitar effortlessly, who had no limitations, performing beautiful music, and he moved around with great acrobatic skills, just capturing the audience and being a great entertainer.

Steve Vai

I've learned over the years that you're going to be most successful at the things you're most excited to do. Every artist has a special set of tools. When you really use those tools, and you make yourself feel really good about the product you create, I think you'll find an audience for it. I've been very fortunate in that respect.

Steve Vai

I designed a guitar for Ibanez and then they started manufacturing it - it's called the Jem - it's 26 years old and I still play it. As a kid I liked Les Pauls and Strats, but they had limitations for the kind of playing I wanted to do.

Steve Vai

I was a kid, 12 or something, when the Partridge Family was big on TV. I liked the curly cord running from the bass to the amps, which were real fancy. That cord looked so cool. I said, 'Wow! I gotta play something like that!'

Steve Vai

I could never overstate the importance of a musician's need to develop his or her ear. Actually, I believe that developing a good 'inner ear' - the art of being able to decipher musical components solely through listening - is the most important element in becoming a good musician.

Steve Vai

All musicians practice ear training constantly, whether or not they are cognizant of it. If, when listening to a piece of music, a musician is envisioning how to play it or is trying to play along, that musician is using his or her 'ear' - the understanding and recognition of musical elements - for guidance.

Steve Vai

I've always considered transcribing to be an invaluable tool in the development of one's musical ear and, over the years, I have spent countless glorious hours transcribing different kinds of music, either guitar-oriented or not.

Steve Vai

The blues scale was the first thing I learned. It's just a pentatonic scale with a flat seventh and a few notes that sound cool when you bend them. And because people have amalgamated the blues into this rock-blues scale, if you're using it, you better sound like a real authentic blues player.

Steve Vai

As far as Deep Purple goes, I mean, they're iconic. Their contribution is unquantifiable, and as far as the politics involved in things like awards, you know, I don't think anything, because I know what they mean to me, and I know what they mean to the people who like them. Awards are very politically based.

Steve Vai

When you get down to it, the way that the music affects you individually is the most important thing, and when you let things like the location of a band get in the way or have an effect on your overview, you're cheating yourself out of a really good time.

Steve Vai

I don't think I approach my songs differently from other artists. You get a big picture of it, and you imagine the song and hear and feel it, and that big picture is like a snapshot, and it comes to you as fast as it takes to click a camera.

Steve Vai

I loved the idea of recording. The idea of sound-on-sound-recording captured me as a young kid, and once I realized what it was I had an epiphany. Before I was even playing the guitar, I would create these lists of how I would record things and overdub them, like Led Zeppelin song, 'I could put this guitar on this track...' and so on.

Steve Vai

I've been approached many times to write all sorts of books about my past and my personal life. I get interest from people who want to do reality shows, and somebody just offered me a huge amount of money to write my spiritual memoirs. I'm just not interested.

Steve Vai