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Steve Vai is planning to release a full acoustic album with vocals – and a song he wrote with one hand

Steve Vai
(Image credit: Steve Jennings/WireImage)

The COVID-19 pandemic has evidently lit a creative fuse within Steve Vai. Last year, the virtuoso revealed he's planning not one, but three new instrumental guitar records – the first two with clean and dirty tones, respectively, and the third with all “drop-tuned eight-string stuff”.

And now, to add to the pile of six- (and eight-) string material we'll likely be hearing from Vai in the not-too-distant future, he's also eyeing up an all-acoustic album with vocals, too. 

Vai detailed the project in a new interview with The Cassius Morris Show.

“I always had this desire to one day just do an acoustic record – just me playing acoustic guitar and singing; nothing virtuosic,” he says. “There's a certain melody DNA that I have that whenever I come across a song idea that falls into that category, I kind of put it on the shelf under a different category. 

“And I had a whole bunch of these, and I said, 'Okay, now it's time to make this acoustic vocal record with these songs.' So, that's what I'm working on. But I also have all the songs put aside and ready to record for an instrumental guitar record that I'm hoping will be the next record I work on. 

“And then a tour. Like every other artist, I'm itching to get back on tour. And I've got a huge tour booked. We just don't know when we can start... [It will be] about 250 shows in about 52 countries. I have the itinerary, but it just keeps moving.”

The virtuoso also discussed his recent shoulder and trigger finger surgeries and how they've affected his creative process. 

Steve Vai

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Holding his left hand up to the camera, he says, “before I had this surgery done, which is nothing – if any of my fans see it and they say 'what happened to your hand?' – I'm fine, I had trigger finger and they fixed it.”

He goes on, “but before this happened, my shoulder was screwed up and I couldn't use this [picking] hand, so I was playing with one hand. So I did a little song with one hand, [and] I'm gonna work on trying to get that out.”

And if you think Vai's creative output stops there, he's also planning a new Generation Axe live release, as well as additions to his orchestral record series, Sound Theories.

“The other project I'm working on that I'm very excited about is I'm recording a bunch of my orchestra music,” he explains. “I've got about four hours of orchestra music that I've had performed and I've had recorded, but I wasn't really crazy with the recordings. 

“I've released Sound Theories Vol. I & II. And now, with this music, once it's recorded, I'll have enough, I think, probably up to 'Vol. VI' — I'll have 'III', 'IV', 'V', 'VI' [and] maybe 'VII'. I'm really excited about that.”

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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.