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Tech Session

John Petrucci

Issue #5

John Petrucci is one of the kings of shredding. So who better than Gi’s very own shredmaster, Andy James, to show you how he does it?

John Petrucci is arguably one of the best metal guitarists around. Known for his work in Dream Theater, with his ability to write stunning riffs and arrangements, with solos that seem to defy the laws of physics, he has become an influence to millions of guitarists across the globe - including yours truly!

For this issue of Guitar Interactive I caught up with John to talk all things guitar and Theater, backstage at the Wolverhampton civic hall, on tour supporting the band’s latest release, A Dramatic Turn of Events.

Analyzing the playing of a guitarist like John Petrucci isn’t easy. What I have have done is write a solo, then performed it to a backing track, then broken it down into 10 sections.  Together, these sections make up the entire solo study, but each individual phrase can be worked upon and used in your own playing.


The techniques used mainly feature the use of the alternate picking technique with the occasional sweep and tap for good measure. John Petrucci is known the world over for being one of the most accurate alternate pickers in the business, so really practice this technique slowly and accurately and you will see vast improvements in your alternate picking ability!

It’s hard to showcase years of evolved technique, but I have tried to capture the essence of what gives John his signature sound. There are several different influences in this solo, from Pull me Under, to the Glass Prison - with some of my own interpretation thrown in for good measure.

Remember to practice everything slow, and then when you have it down slow, try and speed it up but always make sure what your playing doesn’t become sloppy with speed!

Issue 5
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