Joe Satriani was born in Westbury, New York on July 15th 1956. He first became inspired to learn the guitar at the age of 14 after learning of the death of Jimi Hendrix. Satriani said he learnt of Hendrix’s death during a football training session at which point he confronted his coach and told him he was quitting to become a guitarist. In 1974 Satriani studied music with Billy Bauer and the technically demanding Jazz pianist Lennie Tristano, who greatly influenced Satriani’s playing style.
Satriani began teaching while in New York, his most notable student being Steve Vai. In 1978 Satriani moved to Berkeley, California to purse a career in music. He resumed teaching soon after and has taught some of the top players to date, including Kirk Hammet of Metallica and Alex Skolnick of Testament.
During the 1980’s Satriani carried on making connections within the industry. He was invited to join the Grag Kihn band, who helped to pay the bill for Satriani’s first album. In 1987 Satriani’s second album Surfing With The Alien was released and proved a hit and chart highly, the first instrumental album to do so in many years.
In 1992 Satriani released his 4th album, The Extremist, which became his most successful album to date.
In 1993 Satriani joined Deep Purple for the bands Japanese tour as a replacement for Ritchie Blackmore. After the tour Satriani was asked to join permanently but declined due to a Multi-Album deal with Sony.
In 1996 Satriani set up the G3, a tour intended to feature a trio of the top instrumental guitarists. The original line up was Satriani, Vai and Eric Johnson. Since the first tour the has been others with guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert.
Through out the rest of the 90’s and into the new Millenium Satriani carried on regularly recording and releasing music which evolved over time.
In 2008 he revealed his new band Chickenfoot which involved former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony and Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummmer Chad Smith. They released their self titled album in 2009
In 2010 Satriani took part in the Experience Hendrix Tribute Tour playing music inspired and written by Hendrix.
Satriani’s style includes many techniques such as legato, two-handed tapping, arpeggio tapping, volume swells, harmonics, and extreme use of the whammy bar. During faster passages Satriani favours legato but is also capable of sweep picking and rapid alternate picking.