Testament Guitarist Alex Skolnick Remembers Taking Lessons from Joe Satriani

In a recent interview with The Gauntlet, Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick took some time to reflect on taking lessons from guitar great Joe Satriani, including seeking Joe's advice on joining a metal band. An excerpt follows:

On how Satriani found him: "I found him. He was probably the busiest guitar teacher at Berkley and definitely the most respected. Everybody knew about him. He was in his mid to late twenties but all these younger players in their early twenties who were starting to get attention came from him. He was very feared. He was very strict and very serious. He definitely had a reputation for refusing to teach students that wouldn’t practice enough. It was a bit of a bold move to take lessons from him."

On how Joe took his decision to join a metal band: "I asked him about it and he thought it was a good idea for me to join Testament He thought it would probably be temporary. At the time I had no idea if I’d stick with the band or if it even made sense. Then things started going places. He wasn’t really unfamiliar with that genre of music anyways. Kirk Hammett from Metallica studied with him, and the guys from Exodus would occasionally drop in for lessons. He was very supportive. The fact that he’s Italian, it was like going to the Godfather for permission [laughs]."

You can read the full interview here.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.