[[quoteright:339:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/steve-vai_5449.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:339:Yes, that is a three necked guitar. No, its not just for show.]]
'''Steve Vai''' is, like his mentor, Music/JoeSatriani, an [[{{instrumentals}} instrumental rock]] and ProgressiveRock guitarist from UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. His first major claim to fame was playing for and transcribing songs for Music/FrankZappa, but he has an extensive solo discography that takes many cues from both Zappa and Satriani.

In the 70s, Vai took some guitar lessons from Joe Satriani, played in some local bands and followed up on his lessons by attending the Berklee College of Music. In 1979, he sent Frank Zappa a transcription of Zappa's drum instrumental, "The Black Page," and a tape of some of his guitar playing. Zappa was so impressed by this, that he hired Vai on to transcribe many of his guitar solos. Not long after this, he was promoted to full band member status. Zappa actually felt that Vai was so good that he called him "his little Italian virtuoso" and would credit him as performing "stunt guitar" or "impossible guitar parts." Part of this was because Vai would encourage audience members to bring in musical scores to see if he could sight read them. Of course, all good things must come to an end and he left Frank Zappa in 1982 to focus on a solo career.

Although, since 1984, his solo career has been his main focus, Vai has contributed to other acts, including Music/OzzyOsbourne, Music/{{Whitesnake}}, Music/{{Motorhead}}, and Music/DavidLeeRoth.

More currently, Vai contributed to the {{Halo}} 2 soundtrack with a rock version of the game's main theme. This version of the theme was included as downloadable content on the XBox 360 version of GuitarHero III. Even more recently, a few of his songs have been featured on the RockBand Network. He is also known for the extra introductary solo on the ''Film/BillAndTed'' version of {{KISS}}'s "God Gave Rock and Roll to You II."

[floatboxright:
Influences:
+Jeff Beck, Music/JoeSatriani, Jimmy Page]

Studio discography:
* Flex-Able (1984)
* Flex-Able Leftovers (1984)
* Passion and Warfare (1990)
* Sex & Religion (1993) (featuring vocals from a then-unknown {{Devin Townsend}})
* Alien Love Secrets (1995)
* Fire Garden (1996)
* The Ultra Zone (1999)
* Real Illusions: Reflections (2005)

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[[folder: This guitarist may exhibit the following tropes: ]]

* AllThereInTheManual: Vai explains the story line behind ''Fire Garden'' [[http://www.vai.com/AllAboutSteve/stories.html on his website]] with several short stories.
* DramaticWind: A major aspect of his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ7vyFnLvjw live]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1e6sGVva6o&feature=relmfu shows]], thanks to a large fan he has at his pedalboard.
* EpicRocking: ''Fire Garden'''s "Fire Garden Suite" is almost 10 minutes in all.
* ICallItVera: Three of Vai's guitars are named: Evo, Flo, and Mojo.
* LargeHam: He's a showman, that's for sure.
* SignatureSong: For the Love of God
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