Steve Vai Unveils First-Ever Music Theory Book, ‘Vaideology: Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players’

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Steve Vai has announced the release of Vaideology: Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players, via Hal Leonard. The guitarist’s first music theory book, Vaideology is geared toward both beginners and advanced players, and takes a deep dive into the basics of music theory and music theory fundamentals, incorporating practical exercises, diagrams, tips, practice methods and various ways of looking at music.

Topics covered in Vaideology include: Academic vs. Experiential Learning; Notes on the Neck; Music Notation; Reading & Writing Music; Scales; Intervals; Key Signatures; Circle of 5ths; Chords and Chord Scales; Rhythm Basics; Time Signatures; Guitar Harmonics; Modes and more.

Said Vai: “One of the questions that I’m usually asked by aspiring guitar players is, how much music theory do I really need to know, and is it necessary? My answer is usually, ‘You don’t need to understand music theory at all to be an effective player, but it will always help to at least understand the basics.’ So, I wrote a book that I believe contains the basics of music theory that can aid the student to be musically literate, and perhaps much more.”

He continued: “Since as far back as I can remember remembering, I always had a deep fascination with the written language of music. On paper, it looked like beautiful art to me.  It felt like a warm, safe place (a bizarre analogy, I know). It was this mysterious language that I instinctively knew could unlock my musical expressions. To be able to write a composition for a large group of people by starting with a blank piece of score paper, with its infinite possibilities for inventiveness, was absolutely spellbinding to me. I always had an intense desire to understand it fully and master it completely. Although I’m still a work in progress—because the evolution of music theory is infinite—I so much enjoy being able to use what I do know, and I still continue to study it.”

Additionally, Vai has collaborated with pianist Miho Arai on Piano Reductions Vol. 2. Said Vai, “I had seen video clips that Miho had made of her performing some of my songs on solo piano from her home on an electric keyboard, and I was blown away. I contacted her and asked if she would be interested in recording this record. Based on the fact that she had my Vai logo tattooed on her neck, I assumed she would be interested in this project, and she was!

“I choose the songs and over a 3-4 year period we would go into Ocean Way studios and record a few tracks at a time. It was obvious to me that she is a completely thoroughly trained musician and piano virtuoso. Her command of the instrument is stunning, and she took these songs and found all the little golden nuggets within them. She is an inspired player and I feel great appreciation for the way she respected, arranged and performed these tracks.” 

The complete track list for Piano Reductions Vol. 2 is: “Burning Rain,” “Lotus Feet,” “Lucky Charms,” “Whispering A Prayer,” “The Silent Within,” “The Moon and I,” “For The Love of God,” “Blood and Glory,” “Creamsicle Sunset,” “Dying For Your Love,” “Feathers” and “The Story of Light."

For more information on Vaideology: Basic Music Theory for Guitar Players and Piano Reductions Vol. 2, head over to Vai.com.