By Andrew Catania
An excellent lyricist, proficient producer, virtuosic composer, and a master when it comes to playing the chords, John Petrucci is the present age music sensation who is progressively making his way to becoming an institution in his entirety. Primarily known for his co-founding association with Dream Theater, John Petrucci has established a sound fandom over time. Acclaimed by critics and loved by music enthusiasts, John Petrucci is also an inspiration for budding musicians who are magnetically drawn towards his dense, intricate and soulful tones that he so smoothly manages to squeeze out of the chords.
John Petrucci emerged as a promising name on the music scene of the 1980s. Ever since his debut, the maestro has made a significant contribution to the progressive metal genre. John’s professional career is a long journey that is punctuated with constant learning, consistent efforts, and well-crafted improvisations, in pursuit of the musical mastery that he enjoys today. John’s alternate picking is his master forte and is considered as one of the best in the world. Of course, it was not that he mastered the feat overnight and it cost him a considerable amount of time and efforts as well as a ‘strong sense of synchronization between both playing hands,’ as he states.
Aside from his signature alternate picking, John has also redefined the typical tight rhythm guitar playing. Rhythmic playing is often taken for granted as the most basic and most straightforward of all playing techniques. However, Petrucci’s style of tight rhythm playing is a smooth rhythmic string that is heavily punctuated with many intricately infused riffs and nuances that cumulate their melodic essence and fall on the eardrums as a harmonic, rhythmic beat.
John Petrucci is also characterized by his use of a variety of instruments, especially his signature seven-stringed guitar that provides him an extended chord to incorporate extension in his riffs and rhythms, as seen in his solos. His heavy riffing is attributed as one-of-its-kind and the way he fuses this signature shreds with the delicately audacious solo playing techniques. While even the most eminent of his contemporaries establish the seventh string in the lowest pitch frequency with repeated riffing, John utilizes the extended string to uplift the tone and add another dab of creativity and improvisation to the flow of tone. Jon’s primary influences include music luminaries such as Steve Morse, David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads and Yngwie Malmsteen and his sound knowledge of the individual techniques of his influences is often reflected in his tones.
John Petrucci has tested his fingers on a variety of instruments, including different versions of Music Man, Ibanez, and Acoustic Guitars. He has had a loyal, long-term association with Mesa Boogie Amplifiers has barely changed his original pedal board except for the overdrive pedals. John Petrucci currently plays his signature Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Signature Model and Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty. Jon Petrucci also endorses some brands such as Music Man’s signature guitars, Dunlop’s signature guitar picks, and TC Electronics signature fix pedal.