Devin Townsend says seeing Steve Vai play guitar made him give up shredding

Devin Townsend and Steve Vai
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/Redferns / Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Devin Townsend’s six-string style is heralded by fans of progressive music – and the guitarist himself has even admitted that he’s pretty good at soloing, even if he doesn't love doing so – but there’s one aspect of guitar playing that the Canadian has largely shied away from in his music.

Namely, Townsend recently revealed in an interview that he made the conscious decision to give up shredding – despite having an affinity with its associated techniques as an aspiring young guitar player – because of one standout experience with Steve Vai.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.