Watch John Petrucci watch other guitarists try to play like John Petrucci

Sure, we all think of John Petrucci’s playing as some of the best in rock and metal. But what does John Petrucci think of our playing?

Thanks to MetalSucks, we now have the answer. The website sat Petrucci down to watch YouTube videos of mere mortals taking on tracks from Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment and his recent solo album, Terminal Velocity, and get the electric guitar master’s opinion on how they performed.

First up is Dcamils, who run through Dream Theater’s Untethered Angel. “Wow, some of these kids are young,” Petrucci says with amazement. “I love this cover. It totally gives a whole new life to the sound of the song.”

Next is Metropolis – Part I, performed by Sanca Records featuring Bunga Bangsa. “The bass player’s doing something really cool,” Petrucci says, observing a particularly difficult tapping passage. “Is that how it goes?”

From there, we see a band playing Liquid Tension Experiment’s Universal Mind, with the guitarist rocking one of Petrucci’s old Ibanez JPM signature models, and a playthrough of the Terminal Velocity track Gemini where the guitarist nails, well, everything. “Wow,” Petrucci says. “This guy could be my stunt double.”

Among the odder entries? LTE’s Acid Rain played on three-stringed instruments; Petrucci’s Terminal Velocity on synth; and Dream Theater’s Octavarium – III. Full Circle on marimba.

“I love seeing different guitar and keyboard passages played on instruments other than what it was written on and seeing people’s interpretations,” Petrucci says. 

“I’m just always amazed by how much talent there is out there in all parts of the world and all ages. It blows me away. It’s really inspiring.”

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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.