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Music / Joe Satriani

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"I can embarrass myself very easily on guitar. It's funny because people say to me I can play anything; I'm God on the guitar. But I could make a big list of everything I can't play... I'm grateful that people don't notice that."

Joseph "Satch" Satriani (born July 15, 1956) is an instrumental rock and Progressive Rock guitarist from Westbury, New York. He is an immensely influential man and the teacher of other guitar legends including Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett. He is the guitarist for Chickenfoot. He sued Coldplay for plagiarism of his 2004 song "If I Could Fly" for use in their 2008 Grammy winning "Viva La Vida." Note that he sued before Coldplay won the Grammy. The case was settled out of court.

In 1993, he was a temporary member of Deep Purple, after Ritchie Blackmore abruptly left in the middle of a tour. He declined an offer to join as a permanent member after the tour.

In 1996, Satriani started the first of many G3 tours, where he and two other guitarists(Vai usually one of them), would play individually and then together. Ever since the tour has featured: John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth, Paul Gilbert, Adrian Legg, and Robert Fripp.

Satriani's style consists of high speed legato, two-handed tapping, and whammy bar harmonics, combined with a deep understanding of music theory that make him one of the most technically advanced guitarists.

His song "Satch Boogie" is considered to be the most challenging song for guitar available on Rock Band; believe it or not, Harmonix added no additional Fake Difficulty notes to the solo.

Over the course of his career, he's been nominated for 15 Grammys, but somehow has not won a single one. He almost holds the record for the most nominations without any wins. Fourteen were for Best Rock Instrumental Performance while the initial nomination was for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and the years and songs are as follows:

     Songs he's been nominated for 

     Studio Discography 
  • Solo:
    • Not of This Earth (1986)
    • Surfing With The Alien (1987)
    • Flying In a Blue Dream (1989)
    • The Extremist (1992)
    • Time Machine (1993) (first disc)
    • Joe Satriani (1995)
    • Crystal Planet (1998)
    • Engines of Creation (2000)
    • Strange Beautiful Music (2002)
    • Is There Love In Space (2004)
    • Super Colossal (2006)
    • Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock (2008)
    • Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (2010)
    • Unstoppable Momentum (2013)
    • Shockwave Supernova (2015)
    • What Happens Next (2018)
    • Shapeshifting (2020)
    • The Elephants of Mars (2022)

  • Chickenfoot:
    • Chickenfoot (2009)
    • Chickenfoot III (2011)

    Live discography 
  • Solo:
    • Dreaming #11 EP (1988) (includes one studio track)
    • Time Machine (1993) (disc 2)
    • Live in San Francisco (2001)
    • Satriani Live! (2006)
    • Live in Paris: I Just Wanna Rock (2010)
    • Satchurated: Live in Montreal (2012)

  • G3:
    • G3: Live in Concert (1997)
    • G3: Rockin' in the Free World (2003)
    • G3: Live in Tokyo (2005)

This guitarist may exhibit the following tropes:

  • Audience Participation Song: Crowd Chant. It turns ridiculous when he begins doing some of his more outlandish tricks and the crowd has to try and keep up.
  • Determinator: Not Of This Earth was financed on his credit card, while Surfing With The Alien was only slightly less low budget and recorded with low-tech equipment during studio downtime.
  • '80s Hair: Up through Joe Satriani, before adopting his current bald-with-Cool Shades look circa the first G3 tour.
  • Epic Rocking: "Searching" clocks in at just over ten minutes.
    • "Woodstock Jam" clocks in at just over sixteen minutes!
  • Face on the Cover: As can be seen throughout the bulk of his discography. Surfing With The Alien is the most notable exception, featuring the Silver Surfer instead, while Engines Of Creation features a design that uses the back of Joe's head as its starting point.
  • The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles: His twelfth album is titled, Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.
  • Genre Shift: He's gone from an uptempo, hard rock sound to a slower, more melodic and progressive style.
  • Humiliation Conga: It's pretty reasonable to assume that after a long, long string of Award Snubs, Coldplay winning a Grammy for a song that sounds very, very similar to one of his probably didn't put him in a particularly good mood.
  • Iconic Item: He's got a few. His sunglasses, his signature Ibanez guitar, and as of the 21st Century a series of bucket hats custom-made for him by a women's collective in Alabama.
  • Improv: One of the best improvisational guitarists in the world.
  • Instrumentals: Most of his material qualifies.
  • The Mentor: To quite a few people, most notably Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett.
  • Older Than They Look: He certainly doesn't show he's in his 60s.
  • Progressive Rock: A large portion of his material qualifies.
  • Self-Titled Album: A case of it not being his debut, but rather being released in 1995, almost a decade after his debut.
    • Before the release of Not Of This Earth though, he released a self-made EP titled the "Joe Satriani EP", which was his start with instrumental music as a career. All but one of the tracks on that EP were eventually released on "Time Machine".
  • Shout-Out: Shockwave Supernova features a piece titled "Butterfly And Zebra", after the famous "Little Wing" lyric.
    • Strange Beautiful Music, his ninth studio album, is both the name of his publishing company and another Hendrix shout-out, taken from a lyric in "Third Stone From The Sun".
    • "Raspberry Jam Delta-v" from Crystal Planet is taken from a line in Endymion from the Hyperion Cantos note 
  • Technician Versus Performer: The performer, although he's also skilled enough to blow most technicians out of the water when he wants to.
    "Sometimes they act like they still like each other, and sometimes they don't."
  • Title Track: Ten of his studio albums. On six of them, it's the opening track.
    • Of the four studio albums that don't have a Title Track, two of them play with this trope by having tracks whose titles contain a part of the album title:
      • Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock has "Musterion" and "Professor Satchafunkilus". (If we really want to stretch out the technicalities, "I Just Wanna Rock" qualifies.)
      • Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards has the track "Wormhole Wizards".
    • The other two albums without a Title Track are the self-titled Joe Satriani, and Strange Beautiful Music, named for his publishing company.
    • The standalone EP Dreaming #11 (1988) was named for a song that wasn't released until 1993's Time Machine.
  • Word Salad Title: Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.
    • The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing also qualifies.