Steve Vai Posts New Lessons: String Bending, Technique, "For the Love of God" and More

(Image credit: Xavi Torrent/Getty Images)

On July 14, TrueFire posted a series of brand-new lesson videos featuring Guitar World's current cover star, Steve Vai.

While most of the clips feature lessons—and some history—pertaining to songs from Vai's 1990 masterwork, Passion and Warfare, the new video series also includes general lessons about technique. Below, you'll find lessons dedicated to "Bending Notes" and going "Deeper Than Technique." These are followed by videos that focus on "For the Love of God," "Erotic Nightmares" and "Sisters," all of which can be found on Passion and Warfare.

As we've reported, Vai and Legacy Recordings released a 25th-anniversary edition of Passion and Warfare on June 24. The package also includes Modern Primitive, an entire album full of previously unreleased material based on song sketches and works-in-progress that were penned and recorded by Vai following the release of Flex-Able, his 1984 debut.

"The music on Flex-Able is so vastly different from Passion and Warfare, one could wonder if the same guy actually made both records," Vai wrote in the liner notes for the collection. "Modern Primitive is the missing link between these two records. It's sort of Cro-Magnon Vai."

If you watch the clips below and decide you simply can't get enough of Vai's guidance, be sure to look into Vai Academy, which will take place January 2017 in Carmel, California. You can join Carlos Alomar, Al Di Meola, Vai and special guests for four nights of non-stop guitar. Now in its third year, the event is targeted toward players and music lovers of all ages, levels and interests. Whether you are a master player, a beginner or just a fan, the Vai Academy can help develop your skills as a guitarist and musician.

“This year, we’re going to focus on guitar technique,” Vai says. “Many young guitarists have questions. 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!”

Vai also recently announced a slew of additional North Amercian tour dates, you can find below the videos.

For more information about these TrueFire lessons (including tabs and additional content), visit

To check out the new issue of Guitar World, which includes a look at Vai's private stock of Ibanez and Fender guitars, head to our online store.

Steve Vai Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary Tour (INCLUDES NEW DATES)

  • 7/28 — Budapest, Hungary — Park Budapest
  • 7/30 — Tbilisi, Georgia — Tbilisi Open Air
  • 8/01 — Moscow, Russia — Moscow Annual Arts Festival
  • 10/8 — Riverside, Calif. — Fox Performing Arts Center
  • 10/9 — Las Vegas, Nev. — House of Blues — Las Vegas
  • 10/11 — San Diego, Calif. — House of Blues — San Diego
  • 10/12 — Ventura, Calif. — Majestic Ventura Theatre
  • 10/13 — San Francisco, Calif. — The Fillmore
  • 10/14 — Sacramento, Calif. — Ace of Spades
  • 10/16 — Portland, Ore. — Revolution Hall
  • 10/17 — Nanaimo, B.C. — The Port Theater
  • 10/18 — Kelowna, B.C. — Kelowna Community Theatre
  • 10/19 — Calgary, Alberta — Jack Singer Concert Hall
  • 10/21 — Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — O’Brian’s Event Centre
  • 10/22 — Winnipeg, Manitoba — Burton Cummings Theatre
  • 10/23 — Burnsville, Minn. — The Ames Center at Burnsville Performing Arts Center
  • 10/25 — Northfield, Ohio — Hard Rock Live
  • 10/26 — Milwaukee, Wisc. — The Pabst Theater
  • 10/28 — Grand Rapids, Mich. — The Orbit Room
  • 10/29 — North Tonawanda, N.Y. — Riviera Theater
  • 10/30 — Kitchener, Ontario — Centre in the Square
  • 11/01 — London, Ontario — London Music Hall
  • 11/02 — Ottawa, Ontario — Algonquin Commons Theatre

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.