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Head and Heart make the Whole:

Steve Vai: When I was playing "For the Love of God," I paid a lot more attention to what I heard in my head melodically than to technique, but I did employ certain conscious technical approaches.

Hard Work is the Key:

GP: So none of the sounds on the cut ("Love Secrets" from Passion and Warfare) were happy accidents, or trial and error?

Steve Vai: Absolutely, positively, unequivocally No. I had 800 patches for the Korg M1, I had hundreds and hundreds of Yamaha DX7 sounds, and I would fucking sit there and go through all of them until I heard what I thought was right for the section.

Know what you Love, and Love what you Know:

Steve Vai: Besides being a guitar player, I'm a big fan of the guitar. I love that damn instrument.

Hard Work is the Key Part 2:

Steve Vai's introduction "A Bit About Flex-Able" from the transcription book "Steve Vai."

Steve Vai: Sometimes an artist is driven to do things without the financial or moral support of a super power such as a record company or backer. The only thing they have is the vision and drive to make their imaginings a reality. Such was the case when I embarked on the recordings on Flex-Able and Flex-Able Leftovers. I had worked with Zappa for three years, saving enough money to put a down payment on a house. Even though it was a modest house, I had to have eight people live in it so they could pay rent while I worked without a care.

Inspirational Melodies - Playing what you Hear!:

Steve Vai: If you want to play something that you hear, you need to listen with your mind's eye. You've heard of the mind's eye, right? Your mind has an ear too. It's a kind of listening, but it's not using your ears to listen. It's listening with your inner ear, and that's what you want to translate onto the guitar. It could become a very mechanical process to play through scales and go through the grids. But to really stop and listen before you play is where those inspired moments come from.

Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N Play yer Guitar, also known as the Third Movement from the Theme from Hard Work is the Key, aka Hard Work is the Key Part 3:

Frank Zappa from the After word of "The Frank Zappa Guitar Book", which Steve Vai transcribed and which is a death defying work of accuracy...

FZ: A few words...For those who have managed to get this Frank Zappa. In preparing this book, we have tried to present the rhythmic and melodic events as exactly as possible (including my mistakes...let's face it, some of those notes got played by a finger landing on the wrong fret or because I was rushing the tempo, or trying to catch up to a band that was running amok...), and for the most part, I think we have succeeded.

If the notational results sometimes appear to be a little terrifying, you can console yourself with the thought that only a maniac would attempt to play these things anyway...BUT, if you should be a maniac sort of person, AND, if you should try to read these charts on your own instrument, please be advised that if I were standing next to you with a metronome and a baton (frowning and smoking a lot of cigarettes), I would insist that the rhythms be accurate, and that only the pitches which reside outside the basic tonality (the original "wrong notes") could be altered.

We hope you enjoy this book, and we look forward to providing other study items like this in the future. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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