Joe Satriani

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Joe Satriani in Chile , 2003
Satriani 2005
Satriani at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt (2004)

Joseph "Joe" Satriani (born July 15, 1956 in Westbury , Long Island , New York ) is an American rock guitarist and composer of instrumental music .


After Joe Satriani had read a report about Jimi Hendrix on the day of his death on September 18, 1970, he began, like Yngwie Malmsteen , to teach himself to play the guitar at the age of 15 . He also took brief lessons from jazz pianist Lennie Tristano . It gained its permanent place in the San Francisco music scene in the early 1980s. Satriani gave guitar lessons, including Kirk Hammett (later with Metallica ), Tom Morello ( Rage Against the Machine , Audioslave ), Larry "Ler" LaLonde ( Possessed and later with Primus ), Alex Skolnick ( Testament ) and Steve Vai , himself one of them currently best known guitarist. From December 1 to 8, 1993 and from June 2 to July 6, 1994 Satriani replaced Ritchie Blackmore on the The Battle Rages on tour at Deep Purple , but official recordings with the band were prevented by Satriani's existing record deal.

In Germany, Joe Satriani's song "Cryin '" became known to the general public through the Sat.1 program " Ran ", in which it was used as background music.

In 1996 Satriani initiated the all-star guitarist project G3 together with Steve Vai and a third guitarist who changed from year to year. The G3 project made 10 tours through Europe, the USA and Asia by 2016.

Together with the two ex-members of Van Halen , Sammy Hagar (vocals) and Michael Anthony (bass), and Chad Smith (drummer of the group Red Hot Chili Peppers ), Satriani founded the supergroup Chickenfoot . On June 5, 2009, they released their first album, Chickenfoot , which peaked at # 4 on the Billboard 200 . On September 23, 2011, the band's second studio album, Chickenfoot III , was released after the live album .


Satriani has been married to Rubina Satriani from Singapore since 1981 . They have the son ZZ (Zachariah Zane), to whom Joe Satriani dedicated ZZ's song on Crystal Planet 1998 as well as the co-authorship of three songs. Currently working as an artist.


Characteristic of his playing are both his very vocal melody lines and his solo passages, which are often characterized by his fast, fluid legato playing , as well as the virtuoso use of tapping . He obtains his sound material from different scales, whereby the Lydian and Mixolydian as well as the blue scales are the ones he uses most .

He often uses the compositional or improvisational concept of the pitch axis (German fundamental axis theory), where he plays different scales (modes) starting from the same fundamental tone (for example E-Mixolydian (mode with major third and minor seventh ) and then E- phrygisch (mode with minor third and less than a second)). He also often uses blues rock licks. He is also known for his frequent use of artificial overtones (also called: "pinch harmonics" / "artificial harmonics"), which are generated with a certain technique of the pick and thumb, which he then modulates with the tremolo .

Satriani vs. Coldplay

In December 2008 Satriani filed a lawsuit against the band Coldplay for copying the chord progression, melody and dynamics of their song "Viva la vida" from his piece "If I Could Fly" (2004). In September 2009, both parties reached an out-of-court settlement.


Studio albums as a solo artist

  • 1986: Not of This Earth
  • 1987: Surfing with the Alien
  • 1989: Flying in a Blue Dream
  • 1992: The Extremist
  • 1993: Time Machine
  • 1995: Joe Satriani
  • 1998: Crystal Planet
  • 2000: Engines of Creation
  • 2002: Strange Beautiful Music
  • 2004: Is There Love in Space?
  • 2006: Super Colossal
  • 2008: Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock
  • 2010: Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
  • 2013: unstoppable momentum
  • 2015: Shockwave Supernova
  • 2018: What Happens Next
  • 2020: Shapeshifting


The album named after him, Joe Satriani , was nominated for a Grammy in 1997. In addition, individual songs (e.g. You're My World, etc.) have been nominated for the Grammy again and again . In total, Satriani was nominated fourteen times for this award, but has not yet received one. In 2015 an asteroid was named after him: (274213) Satriani . In April 2018, Satriani received the Sena European Guitar Award (SEGA).


  • Surfing with the Alien. Descriptions Jesse Gress. Ed. Andy Aledort. Cherry Lane Music, Port Chester, NY 1988, ISBN 0-89524-414-4 .
  • Joe Satriani Guitar Secrets. With 41 private lessons. Cherry Lane Music, Port Chester, NY 1993, ISBN 0-89524-738-0 .
    German edition: Voggenreiter, Bonn 1993, ISBN 3-8024-0227-8 .
  • with Jeff Jacobson, Paul Pappas: Strange Beautiful Music. Cherry Lane Music, New York, NY 2003, ISBN 1-57560-597-X .

Web links

Commons : Joe Satriani  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Stefan Woldach: "Two chairs, one opinion !?" - Yngwie Malmsteen versus Joe Satriani. In: Solo 3/1998, pp. 8-10.
  2. ^ A b Peter Bursch: "Heavy Metal Guitar", Volume 1, Voggenreiter Verlag, p. 80.
  3. ^ A b Peter Fischer: "Masters Of Rock Guitar", Volume 1, AMA Verlag, p. 132.
  6. Guitar guru Joe Satriani proud of mentees who outshine him ( Memento from April 27, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), 2004
  7. Crystal Planet
  8. About ( Memento from October 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  9. ^ ZZ Satriani. Retrieved February 10, 2020 .
  10. Joe Satriani: 'Dit is een prijs voor al mijn fans'. In: Sena European Guitar Award. April 15, 2018, accessed on March 10, 2020 (nl-NL).