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Steve Vai Talks 2017 Vai Academy, Featuring Zakk Wylde, Al Di Meola andCarlos Alomar

(Image credit: Jordi Vidal/Getty Images)

In this exclusive clip, which kicks off with a benind-the-scenes look at Steve Vai and his band rehearsing in North Hollywood last month, the guitarist discusses some of the finer points of Vai Academy 3.0.

The 2017 edition of this popular event will take place January 2-6 at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Carmel, California. Guests will include Zakk Wylde, Al Di Meola and Carlos Alomar.

"We're gonna be discussing guitar, and then we're gonna be discussing guitar, and then we're gonna be discussing guitar," Vai says in the video, which you can check out below.

Besides all that, however, this year's Academy will delve deeper and deeper into technique.

“Many young guitarists have questions," Vai says. "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.

“The technique is the tool. It’s your most useful friend to express what’s inside. Let’s unlock that together.

“Ultimately, the main goal of Vai Academy is for everybody in attendance to feel incredibly enthusiastic when thinking about their goals, their future and their connection to the instrument,” he adds. “You’ll hopefully leave with a few new buddies and maybe band mates too. I look forward to seeing everybody at Vai Academy 2017.”

Register and find out more at To catch Vai on his Passion & Warfare25th Anniversary Tour, step right this way.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.