Move over, Steve Vai: Senior Apple software engineer shreds on triple-neck guitar at 2023 Apple Developers Conference

Craig Federighi taps on the middle neck of a triple-neck guitar at the 2023 Apple WWDC
(Image credit: Apple/YouTube)

Generally, people don't watch Apple's annual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) expecting to see electric guitar fireworks, of all things.

Some shredding, however, was indeed on the menu at this year's event, thanks to the company's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi.

After rounding out the macOS updates part of the company's presentation at the conference, Federighi can be seen armed with the craziest multi-neck guitar we've seen this side of Steve Vai's Ibanez Hydra, plugged into a full Marshall JCM800 stack for good measure.

Introducing the Audio & Home segment of the keynote, Federighi channels his inner Eddie Van Halen with some impressive two-hand tapping on the guitar's middle neck. Federighi then brings some devil's horns energy to the proceedings with a quick take on Black Sabbath's pioneering metal classic, Paranoid, before handing things off to Apple's VP of Sensing and Connectivity, Ron Huang.

It's unclear who actually made the 12-string/7-string/6-string beast, though the interesting assortment of headstocks (that sure looks like a Danelectro up top, and possibly a reverse Ibanez at the bottom?) seems to suggest it's made up of bodies from different builders. 

Whoever made it, we absolutely love the rainbow stripe that runs across the guitar's bottom-left side – a callback to vintage Apple branding.

Though this is the first time Federighi has had the opportunity to show off his tapping acumen at Apple's much-watched event, it's actually not the first time he's managed to sneak guitar into the conference.

At Apple's 2018 WWDC, the executive demonstrated the company's then-new Universal Scene Description (usdz) tech by visiting Fender's website and selecting a nice-looking Strat, which he was then able to project to viewers in 3D using usdz.

Do we officially recommend that you plug into a Marshall stack in the conference room next time you've got a big presentation? We're not not recommending it...

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.