Guitar Aficionado

Steve Vai Posts New Lessons: String Bending, Technique, "For the Love of God" and More

On July 14, TrueFire posted a series of brand-new lesson videos featuring Steve Vai.
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By Damian Fanelli | Photo: Xavi Torrent/Getty Images

On July 14, TrueFire posted a series of brand-new lesson videos featuring Steve Vai.

While most of the clips feature lessons—and some history—pertaining to songs from Vai's 1990 masterwork, Passion and Warfare, the new video series also includes general lessons about technique. Below, you'll find lessons dedicated to "Bending Notes" and going "Deeper Than Technique." These are followed by videos that focus on "For the Love of God," "Erotic Nightmares" and "Sisters," all of which can be found on Passion and Warfare.

As we've reported, Vai and Legacy Recordings released a 25th-anniversary edition of Passion and Warfare on June 24. The package also includes Modern Primitive, an entire album full of previously unreleased material based on song sketches and works-in-progress that were penned and recorded by Vai following the release of Flex-Able, his 1984 debut.

"The music on Flex-Able is so vastly different from Passion and Warfare, one could wonder if the same guy actually made both records," Vai wrote in the liner notes for the collection. "Modern Primitive is the missing link between these two records. It's sort of Cro-Magnon Vai."

If you watch the clips below and decide you simply can't get enough of Vai's guidance, be sure to look into Vai Academy, which will take place January 2017 in Carmel, California. You can join Carlos Alomar, Al Di Meola, Vai and special guests for four nights of non-stop guitar. Now in its third year, the event is targeted toward players and music lovers of all ages, levels and interests. Whether you are a master player, a beginner or just a fan, the Vai Academy can help develop your skills as a guitarist and musician.

“This year, we’re going to focus on guitar technique,” Vai says. “Many young guitarists have questions. How do I bend notes properly? What’s the best way to approach vibrato? How do you pick so that you get the most out of what you’re trying to achieve? What does it feel like to play effortlessly in 11/16 timing? How does my intonation work into all of this? We’re all in need of guidance regarding these things. I know I still am occasionally!”

Vai also recently announced a slew of additional North Amercian tour dates, you can find below the videos.

For more information about these TrueFire lessons (including tabs and additional content), visit

Steve Vai Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour (INCLUDES NEW DATES)

7/28 — Budapest, Hungary — Park Budapest
7/30 — Tbilisi, Georgia — Tbilisi Open Air
8/01 — Moscow, Russia — Moscow Annual Arts Festival
10/8 — Riverside, Calif. — Fox Performing Arts Center
10/9 — Las Vegas, Nev. — House of Blues — Las Vegas
10/11 — San Diego, Calif. — House of Blues — San Diego
10/12 — Ventura, Calif. — Majestic Ventura Theatre
10/13 — San Francisco, Calif. — The Fillmore
10/14 — Sacramento, Calif. — Ace of Spades
10/16 — Portland, Ore. — Revolution Hall
10/17 — Nanaimo, B.C. — The Port Theater
10/18 — Kelowna, B.C. — Kelowna Community Theatre
10/19 — Calgary, Alberta — Jack Singer Concert Hall
10/21 — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — O’Brian’s Event Centre
10/22 — Winnipeg, Manitoba — Burton Cummings Theatre
10/23 — Burnsville, Minn. — The Ames Center at Burnsville Performing Arts Center
10/25 — Northfield, Ohio — Hard Rock Live
10/26 — Milwaukee, Wisc. — The Pabst Theater
10/28 — Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Orbit Room
10/29 — North Tonawanda, N.Y. — Riviera Theater
10/30 — Kitchener, Ontario — Centre in the Square
11/01 — London, Ontario — London Music Hall
11/02 — Ottawa, Ontario — Algonquin Commons Theatre