Using the 540 as a starting point, the team slowly evolved towards a guitar that would allow this astonishing virtuoso to do everything he could do.
"If it makes the guitar sound like some other guitar, then forget it," Satriani says and the Ibanez JS series is certainly a unique family - a quality helped by his choice of pickups. Though not all models share the distinctive characteristics of the DiMarzio 'Fred' Alnico humbucker in the bridge position, with a DiMarzio PAF-PRO at the neck, as has the classic JS1000 reviewed this issue, they will all allow players to get somewhere close to his artist's palette of tonal effects. Key, too, is the Ibanez take on floating trem systems. The dedicated Satriani fan may save-up for the JS1000 but if price is a problem, Ibanez has introduced less costly models that will help you get close, like the JS100 which we also review in this issue.
Once you've got a guitar and amp you then need to start looking at your pedal board. Your amp needs to have huge headroom and dynamics to handle the transients, but essentially needs to be clean. Your guitar needs a huge output and an advanced trem system - but effects are your key. In the past, a Satriani array might have called for a Cry Baby wah, a Digitech Whammy and a clutch of Boss pedals including a DS-1, CH-1, CE-2, DD-2 and DD-3, but these days Satch has made it easy for his fans by teaming-up with Vox to introduce a range of four endorsed pedals which - as you'd expect - we have also reviewed in this month's GI.
Still not content in your quest for the perfect Satriani ensemble? Fear not - the great man uses and endorses D'Addario strings and a host of accessories like straps and picks from D'Addario's Planet Waves accessories brand. All you need to add is that blistering musical talent.
Chord ExtensionsThough Joe Satriani's fame is based on his blistering solo work, he's also a master of chords. Danny Gill demonstrates a neat way of following in Joe's footsteps.
A great way to add on to your chord vocabulary is through the use of chord extensions. A chord extension is when we add a scale tone to a basic chord shape in order to create a more colourful sound. If we analyse Always With Me, Always With You', the intro is basically a I, IV, V in B. The three chords are B, E and F#. Through the clever use of chord extensions Joe has taken these basic shapes and created the following chords; B maj (add11), Emaj13, F#sus4 and F#.
Let's take a look at the theory and see why this works so well.
The B major scale has the following notes:
B(1), C#(2), D# (3), E (4), F# (5), G# (6) and A# (7).
The 8th note is the octave B. We can continue this counting game using the odd numbers. This means there are three possible extensions:
The 9 (same as the 2nd scale step)The 11 (same as the 4th scale step)The 13 (same as the 6th scale step)
In this first chord B major (add 11) Joe has taken a B major triad (B,D# and F#) and added the 11th (E)
The E maj13 is an E major 7 chord with an added 13 (C#)
The F# sus4 consists of the 1, 4 and 5 from an F# major scale.
The F# chord is the 1, 3 and 5 from the F# major scale.
In this lesson we're going to learn some new chords in E minor. The seven basic chords in E minor that you should know are:
Em, F#dim, G, Am, Bm, C and D.
If we add scale tone extensions (9, 11 or 13) we can create some new chords yet remain diatonic to our key centrd of E minor.
In the video lesson you can see that each of these new shapes will have the top two strings open. Follow along closely and you should get the hang of these chords. The names can be scary!
Em9, F#m11, G maj 13, Am9, Bm11, C maj9, Dmaj (add6/9).