Steve Vai quotes

  • In the physical universe, there are objects that include suns, planets, all life, and all matter in all dimensions. And then there is the space where all these things exist. That space is the vital element. For virtually every kid since 1968 who picked up a guitar to find his voice on the instrument, Jimmy Page has been the space that enables all our notes to be played.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Kids #Voice #Space

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

    #Being In Love #Player #Guitar

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

    #Criticism #Sensitive

  • The only thing that's holding you back, is the way you're thinking.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Thinking #Way

  • 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

    #Art #Would Be #Today

  • 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

    #Choices #Musician #Remember

  • 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

    #Kids #Home #School

  • 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

    #Thinking #Artist #Musical

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

    #Believe #Marketing #Rays

  • It is only the most elite of elite musicians whose unconventional approach becomes convention.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Unconventional #Musician #Conventions

  • 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

    #Littles #Little Things #Moments

  • 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

    #Play #Guitar #Acoustics

  • I dedicated all the time I had to it. The 10 hour workout was just what I put in the magazine at the time, but for me it was every waking moment.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Workout #Player #Magazines

  • The level of achievement that we have at anything, is a reflection, of how well, we were able to focus on it. Because the only thing that's holding you back, is the way you're thinking.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Thinking #Reflection #Achievement

  • 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

    #Tired #Trying #Sound

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

    #Growing Up #Simple #Growing

  • 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

    #Guitar #Years #Musical

  • 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

    #Running #Real #Kids

  • 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

    #Commitment #Artist #Breathing

  • 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

    #Passion #Guitar #Ideas

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

    #Emotional #Creating #Feelings

  • 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

    #Artist #Natural #Conscious

  • 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

    #Art #Believe #Musical

  • 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

    #Love Life #Deep Love #Trying

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

    #Play #Should

  • Possessing a healthy imagination is a necessary ingredient for creativity.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Creativity #Imagination #Healthy

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

    #Guy #Want

  • 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

    #Listening #Trying #Fans

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

    #Spiritual #Bigs #Equilibrium

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

    #Stuff #Way #Vans

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

    #Heart #Needs #My Heart

  • 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

    #Years #Impact #Eight

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

    #Writing #Past #Interesting

  • 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

    #Voice #People #Passionate

  • 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

    #Spiritual #Balance #Gone

  • 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

    #Fashion #Artist #Giving

  • 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

    #Guitar #Bars #Aliens

  • We may be human, but we're still animals.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Animal #May #Humans

  • 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

    #People #Trying #Passionate

  • 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

    #Issues #Insecurity #Different

  • 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

    #Looks #Musician #Evolution

  • 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

    #Home #Artist #Musical

  • 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

    #Real #Player #Rocks

  • 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

    #Independent #Artist #Play

  • 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

    #Song #Thinking #Artist

  • 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

    #Mean #Thinking #Purple

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

    #Rocks #Historical #Talent

  • 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

    #Queens #Teenager #Purple

  • 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

    #Waiting #Simplicity #Looks

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

    #Tunes #Miserable #Instruments

  • I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Believe #I Believe #I Believe In

  • 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

    #Cheating #Important #Band

  • Lenny Breau was a genius - inspired and really loose. I loved how he used the guitar as an extension of his inner freedom, because, obviously, on the outside there were a lot of trainwrecks going on. But when you listen to him play, you hear what kind of guy he really is
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Guitar #Play

  • ... there is still a very strong subculture of people who want to do great things on an instrument, and who are stimulated by hearing people who can. That's reassuring. But it's gonna take a person - and I don't know who this is - to come along and reinvent the guitar as a virtuosic instrument in a completely different realm than any of us have done, or anybody else in the past. That's the clincher. Maybe that will happen and maybe it won't ...
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Strong #Past

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

    #Acting #Embarrassed #Feels

  • 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

    #Games #Listening #Zeppelins

  • The guitar is the coolest instrument in the world.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Guitar #World #Instruments

  • Baby don't wake me, let me take you on an endless journey. We touch and the softest kiss explodes with lust. It's real and you can't deny the heat you feel. And if I die before I wake, baby that's all right.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Baby #Real #Kissing

  • 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

    #Song #Kids #Guitar

  • 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

    #Attitude #Emotional #Stories

  • 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

    #Successful #Rocks #Insane

  • 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

    #Spiritual #Book #Writing

  • 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

    #Successful #Thinking #Artist

  • If you want to be a virtuoso then you have to set your sights above me. You have to go beyond what I'm doing. And that's for you to figure out. Because if you can do that, then I'm going to be trying to go beyond you.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Sight #Trying #Want

  • The tone is in your fingers, not in your amp or effects.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Tone #Fingers

  • Play slow and perfect - that’s the way to becoming a virtuoso.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Play #Perfect #Way

  • ... you watch Jimi Hendrix literally reinvent the instrument. He was playing from somewhere else. He was really a kind of hybrid, and I can't even begin to imagine where he came from
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Watches #Kind

  • A good solo is like a book. It will start out in a phrase, it will go on in paragraphs, and then it will have a great ending.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Book #Phrases #Goes On

  • 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

    #Art #Player #Guitar

  • 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

    #Years #Play #People

  • So that's the challenge for me and that has always been the challenge - finding that melody, that riff, that thing that just lights me up and makes me feel like it's Christmas.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Guitar #Light

  • If you want to play something that you can't, you need to see and hear yourself doing it in your minds eye. It will start to happen
    -- Steve Vai

    #Eye #Play #Mind

  • The cool thing about playing is that the more you do it, the better you get.
    -- Steve Vai

  • If you want to play something that you hear, you need to listen with your mind's eye. You've heard of the mind's eye, right? Your mind has an ear too. It's a kind of listening, but it's not using your ears to listen. It's listening with your inner ear, and that's what you want to translate onto the guitar.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Eye #Guitar

  • 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

    #Practice #Play #Understanding

  • 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

    #Kids #Play #Guitar

  • It's always funny to me when people use the phrase 'Best guitar player in the world'. There are too many variables such as technique, uniqueness, emotional investment in the notes, etc. But If I had to pick one, it would be Tommy Emmanuel. Watching him perform can be a study in artistic and virtuosic human achievement.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Player #Emotional #Guitar

  • Jeff Beck is compelled by his inner artistic drive to keep evolving the instrument. He'll use the whammy bar with the volume knob and the tone control all at the same time - creating harmonics that no human being should be able to hit.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Music #Creating #Bars

  • Find what you're best at and exaggerate it.
    -- Steve Vai

    #Musician