Joe Satriani says he was two-hand tapping before he ever heard Eddie Van Halen

Joe Satriani performs for G3 project at Castello Sforzesco on July 22, 2012 in Vigevano, Italy
(Image credit: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

It’s widely accepted that while Eddie Van Halen didn’t invent the concept of two-handed tapping (there were Canned Heat’s Harvey Mandel and Larry Carlton with Steely Dan, for just two antecedents), he was the one that brought it full steam into the rock guitar lexicon.

But in a new interview with the Behind The Vinyl podcast, Joe Satriani said he was also tapping on electric guitar prior to first hearing Eddie Van Halen in 1978.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.