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John Petrucci: “I've always felt there's a connection between guitar playing and weight lifting”

John Petrucci
(Image credit: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

Being one of the most technically adept electric guitar players in the world, John Petrucci practices his craft meticulously. But his fingers aren't the only things he works out, clearly.

Yes, those who look beyond the Dream Theater guitarist's jaw-dropping chops and spellbinding beard will have no doubt noticed his equally impressive physique. And while shredding solos and pumping iron may seem worlds apart, those who take part in either require a similar set of qualities in order to succeed.

These are, principally, consistency and form, as Petrucci explains in the December 2021 issue of Guitar World.

“I've always felt as though there was a connection between [guitar playing and weight lifting],” he explains. “Of the two things that stand out, one of them is consistency. People who become proficient on their instruments or get in really great shape are doing so because they practice or work out on a regular basis.

“Whether it's every day or four or five days a week, you can't get there by being a weekend warrior. It doesn't work that way. You need to be consistent to achieve gains and see results.”

He continues: “The second thing is form. You see it with guitar players who have really great technique – or bodybuilders who are in fantastic physical shape. If you're lifting weights, you can't just throw stuff around willy-nilly; you need to work out with structure and discipline. You need a plan.

“With guitarists, you need to focus on specifics – how your fingers are moving, picking angle, conserving motion. It all sounds nerdy, but it works. Guitar playing and weight lifting are very related in my book.”

So if you're a guitarist who's never set foot in a gym, fear not, as you just might inherently possess the qualities needed to build the rig of your dreams.

John Petrucci with his new signature Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 8 guitar

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

We're still convinced Trooch built his physique in preparation to be able to safely handle his monstrous new 8-string Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty, which launched last month.

Majestic by name, and majestic by nature, the new signature guitar boasts a mahogany body, sprawling 24-fret multi-scale fingerboard, custom-angled DiMarzio pickups, and an angled hardtail bridge for optimum string tension, to name a mere few spec highlights.

And if you want to hear the guitar in action, you're in luck, as Petrucci's eight-string leads appear on Dream Theater's forthcoming album, A View From The Top Of The World.

This excerpt is taken from the December 2021 issue of Guitar World. To read the full interview, get your copy over at Magazines Direct.

Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.