John Petrucci – Guitar God profile

By on 09/22/2014
John Petrucci
  • Born: July 12, 1967
  • Where would the world of progressive rock be without the aggressively innovative John Petrucci? The Grammy-nominated Dream Theater guitarist remains a musical force of nature, thanks to his prolific body of work that continues to grow over the years. Not only has Petrucci made his band’s albums memorable with his blisteringly fast-paced style of guitar playing, he produced most of them as well.
  • Both a virtuoso and a lightning-quick shredder, he grew up listening to the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden and Metallica.
  • Talking about his influences, Petrucci says, “Where I lived, on Long Island, you had the radio stations that always played Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and AC/DC and all that. I grew up on all that stuff. I got turned onto bands — you know, the first time I heard Rush, the first time I heard Yes. Then, my mind started to want to connect and reach out to some other things. Then, Iron Maiden came along, and Metallica, and all this other stuff.”
  • As expected with someone of his caliber, Petrucci has numerously been voted as one of the greatest players in many respected magazine polls and books, such as Guitar World, Joel McIver’s book, “The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists”, Guitar Player, Prog Magazine and Total Guitar.
  • A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Petrucci formed Dream Theater with Kevin Moore (the band’s first keyboardist), drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist John Myung. They were originally called Majesty, doing covers of songs by Iron Maiden and Rush. However, they changed their name due to a copyright issue and took Portnoy’s father’s suggestion which was based on a California theater.
  • Given the precision and technicality required for the music that Petrucci plays, he went through a rigorous routine of practicing several hours every day, putting him at the top of his game.
  • Petrucci is also part of the highly-acclaimed G3 guitar tour which was spearheaded by fellow Guitar God Joe Satriani. Featuring a number of established guitarists such as Steve Vai, Eric Johnson and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Petrucci has appeared numerous times on the worldwide tour, playing alongside former Dream Theater bandmate Mike Portnoy.
  • His performance on the G3 tour proved to boost his career as it brought his talents to an even wider audience. It even paved the way for his independently released solo effort called Suspended Animation. Album tracks such as “Glasgow Kiss” and “Damage Control” have been part of the later G3 performances as well.
  • Before Suspended Animation however, Petrucci also worked on other side projects such as “Liquid Tension Experiment”, an instrumental progressive metal/jazz fusion supergroup again featuring Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess.
  • Another of Petrucci’s side projects includes songs from the video game Digital Pinball: Necronomicon, which was released for the Sega Saturn (one of his favorite game consoles). Here’s a song from the soundtrack called “Epilogue”:

  • Petrucci has been one of Ernie Ball and Music Man’s greatest ambassadors of its line of guitars and strings,as well as an advocate of Mesa Boogie amps. In connection to this, he often does classes and workshops for Ernie Ball and Mesa Boogie where devoted fans and students worldwide get an in-depth look of how Petrucci works his magic. Here’s a clip of him breaking it down:

  • He also has his own record label called Sound Mind Music. Rena, his wife, was responsible for its inception and came out with a live release called “An Evening With John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess.”
  • Known for his diverse style of playing, Petrucci has a wide range of skills, such as high speed alternate picking. According to him, playing this way means having a
    “strong sense of synchronization between the two hands.” He’s also known for often playing with a seven-string guitar, an instrument that allows him to bust out heavier riffs and embellish on his solos, thanks to the extended range it offers.
  • “Hollow Years” is considered by many fans to be one of Petrucci’s greatest solos, and here he is doing his thing during their Live at Budokan performance:

  • Petrucci has a variety of custom made guitars he designed with Ernie Ball/Music Man. This includes the EB/MM JPX models, JP-BFR models and JP standard models.
  • In Dream Theater’s A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour (to promote their album A Dramatic Turn of Events), Petrucci uses the following equipment:
  • Guitars:

JPXi 6 (Standard)
JPXi 6 (Standard)(Breaking All Illusions)
JPXi 6 (Standard)
JPXi 7-String (Standard w/ Low B)
JP BFR 7-String Koa Top (Standard w/ Low B)
JPXi Silver Burst 6 (D tuning)
JP BFR Tobacco Burst Baritone (A tuning)
Taylor 30th Anniversary Acoustic (712ce)

  • Amps and Effects:

Boogie Mark V
Fractal Audio Axe FX 2
Framptone A/B Box
Dunlop DCR-2SR Crybaby Rack Module
Axess Electronics Switchers
Keeley Mod TS9DX Flexi-4X2
Analog Man King Of Tone
Analog Man TS808 Mod
BOSS PH-3 Phaser
MXR EVH Flanger
Carl Martin Compressor
Mark Snyder Custom Interface/ Switcher
Furman AR Pro Power Conditioner

  • Pedalboard:

Axess Electronics FX-1 Midi Controller
Ernie Ball 25K Stereo Volume Pedal
Dunlop Crybaby Remote Pedal
Boss TU-3 Tuner
Dunlop Crybaby Remote Pedal for Center Stage
Custom Steel Diamond plate Foot Rests with Buttkicker Drivers

  • Cabinets:

Mesa Boogie Traditional Rectifier 4X12 Cabinets with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers



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