Vai is a Berkelee College of Music alumnus. According to The Wik, He got his start with Frank Zappa, playing on some legendary Zappa albums, and has played with Public Image Ltd, David Lee Roth, and Whitesnake, in addition to releasing a score of albums since going solo in 1984. He is fantastically popular with guys who play guitar, especially the ones with jazz patches and feathered hair who use their whammy bars a lot. He’s constantly being voted “best this” and “best that” by Guitar Player magazine, and has won three Grammys (in addition to a LOT of nominations). He even recorded several orchestral albums.
He started his own record label, Favored Nations, in 1999 to release instrumental, experimental, and jazz albums, as well as other examples of less-than-commercial iconoclasm. Vai has traditionally been a champion of guitar learning, pioneering online instruction and supporting Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments to kids in public schools. He founded the Make a Noise Foundation to provide music instruction and musical instruments to those with limited income.
Oh, he’s also an avid beekeeper. Huh? You heard. me. Beekeeper.
The following comes from Hennemusic.com, “Rock News You Can Use”:
Vai’s FREE online lesson will last 30 minutes, and will provide a look into Steve’s technique with a focus on how guitarists can develop and gain insight into their own playing. In order to further engage with his fans, Steve is also encouraging participants to submit questions to him online, which he will answer onstage at the conclusion of his online lesson. Interested participants can submit questions to Steve on the event’s web page…
…As a gesture of its commitment to music education, Berkleemusic will donate one dollar for every person that joins the online lesson to the Steve Vai Online Scholarship Fund at Berkleemusic, which is designed to reward and assist outstanding students studying in Berkleemusic’s multi-course certificate programs.
The best part of the whole thing is the “quote from Vai.” Anyone who’s ever read or written press releases will be reminded of how the art form demands that one put out the most hilarious and bizarre comments as coming right from the mouth of one’s client:
“This online event, and the larger efforts Berkleemusic is making to teach students around world, is a great example of the collaboration that happens at Berklee,” says Vai. “Whether you’re in Boston, Bombay, or Brussels, we’ll all be together on March 3rd.”
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrright. I’m sure Steve Vai really does talk like a quote from Rasputin in The Onion. If so, this guy must be hella fun to party with.
Anyway, the event is designed to promote Vai’s new Berkleemusic.com 12-week online course, Steve Vai Guitar Techniques. The spring term begins on April 4, 2011. You can sign up for the course here if you’ve got $1,195-$1,395 (depending on whether you want academic credit) or just find out more about the world’s largest online guitar lesson here.
The author at Henne Music wasn’t able to track down the current record for the largest online guitar lesson. If there already is one, then I’ll be deeply disturbed. No word, either, on how many participants they’re hoping for.