Quick Licks - Steve Vai: A Deep Dive into Advanced Guitar Techniques

Introduction to Quick Licks - Steve Vai

LickLibrary.com proudly presents "Quick Licks - Steve Vai", a comprehensive guitar lesson series designed to immerse guitarists into the world of one of the most innovative and influential guitarists, Steve Vai. These lessons from Andy James are tailored for guitarists looking to expand their technical abilities and incorporate Vai's unique style into their playing. This series is not just about learning licks; it's about understanding the techniques and musical concepts that define Steve Vai's guitar playing.

What You Will Learn In This Course

35 killer metal licks in the style of Steve Vai. This course also includes a backing track to play over. The techniques you will learn include:

  • Modal Scales
  • Two-Hand Tapping
  • Arpeggios
  • Whammy Bar Use

Technique Breakdown

Modal Scales

The essence of Steve Vai's sound often lies in his use of modal scales. Modal scales, differing from traditional major and minor scales, provide a unique tonal palette and emotional expression. This lesson focuses on how Vai uses these scales to create his signature soundscapes. Understanding modal scales can elevate your improvisation skills and allow you to create more nuanced and expressive solos.

Two Hand Tapping

Steve Vai's utilization of two-hand tapping is nothing short of artistic. This technique, where both hands are used on the fretboard, allows for the creation of complex and rapid melodies that are not possible with traditional picking techniques. These lessons will guide you through the fundamentals and advanced aspects of two-hand tapping, enhancing your ability to craft intricate and fast-paced solos.


Arpeggios are a staple in Vai's playing, allowing him to outline chord progressions melodically. These lessons will delve into various arpeggio shapes and how to use them creatively in your playing. Mastering arpeggios can significantly improve your understanding of chord tones and lead playing.

Whammy Bar Use

The whammy bar is an expressive tool in Vai's arsenal. This section of the lessons focuses on techniques like dive bombs, subtle vibratos, and pitch rises, showcasing how the whammy bar can be used to add emotion and flair to your playing.

Practicing with Backing Tracks

Each lesson includes a backing track, simulating a real-band environment. Practicing with these tracks helps develop your timing, improvisational skills, and understanding of how these licks fit into a broader musical context. It's a valuable tool for any guitarist looking to improve their play-along and ensemble skills.

Steve Vai's Guitar Style

Steve Vai is known for his technical proficiency and emotional expression. His playing is characterized by its speed, precision, and use of advanced techniques like whammy bar antics and complex rhythmic structures. By learning his style, guitarists can not only improve their technical abilities but also learn how to convey emotions effectively through their instrument.

Guitar Techniques Used in the Lessons

At the end of this series, you'll have a deeper understanding of various guitar techniques. Here's a list of techniques covered, with additional resources from LickLibrary.com:

In conclusion, "Quick Licks - Steve Vai" offers an in-depth exploration of the techniques that make Steve Vai a guitar legend. Whether you're looking to incorporate his style into your playing or simply want to expand your guitar skills, these lessons provide a rich and engaging learning experience.

About The Tutor

Tutor Profile

Andy James

Andy James needs little introduction as one of the most popular LickLibrary tutors, respected the world over for his unbelievable technical skills and teaching material. "As a player Andy has released a string of solo albums, the last being 2012's ""Andy James"" on Transcend Music which was met with huge...

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