Ever since it was designed and built in 1987, Steve Vai’s signature Ibanez has been one of the most instantly recognizable guitars in rock. Numerous visual features make this one

Ever since it was designed and built in 1987, Steve Vai’s signature Ibanez has been one of the most instantly recognizable guitars in rock. Numerous visual features make this one really stand out from the pack: the monkey grip, the Lion’s Claw trem cavity, and the Tree of Life fretboard inlay all help make this a truly memorable guitar.

The sonically relevant appointments are just as unique: the rosewood fretboard attached to the five-piece maple and walnut neck is scalloped above the 21st fret to allow better control in the upper register, and the DiMarzio Evolution pickups were also designed exclusively with Vai’s input.

Steve’s main guitar, “Evo,” is a JEM7V identical to the one pictured here, but “slightly battered” after years of touring with one of the most exuberant guitarists of the past thirty years. Vai also uses a JEM77 with DiMarzio Brood pickups, nicknamed “MOJO,” and a UV777 Universe sevenstring guitar.

Thanks to Teddy Gordon of Make’n Music in Chicago for making this piece available on Gear Search. Whether you’ve got the funds for a limited piece or are looking for something a bit more common and affordable, chances are it’s on Gear Search. There are more than 47,000 pieces of gear listed, including some of the hardest-to-get gear in the world.

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

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With such a flashy flame top, the Silvertone 1445 was built to catch the eyes of department store shoppers.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’m breaking down all over and my shoulder is the latest to crumble. When I was a kid I would practice guitar in my bedroom near a radiator with an ungrounded amp plug and I’d get a zap right through my guitar and into my hands. Well, my shoulder pain is like that now, only without the cool story of rock ’n’ roll survival. I simply woke up one day like this. After a few weeks of discomfort, I figured I’d try out a new pillow, since mine are flattened like a wafer. I ventured out to the mall and, much to my sadness, saw the local Sears store shuttered, with weeds growing up from the sidewalks and concrete barriers blocking the large glass doors. I know I don’t get out much, but, man, was I sad to see the Sears store I’d known since childhood closed-up like that. My wife was laughing at me because apparently it had been closed for some time. But since I seem to exist on a separate timeline than most folks, it was all news to me.

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It doesn’t have to be all cowboy boots and yee-haws!

Intermediate

Beginner

• Learn how to comp using hybrid picking.
• Add nuance to your playing by combining pick and finger string attacks.
• Add speed and fluidity to your lead playing.

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The first thing most guitarists think of when they hear the phrase “hybrid picking” is undoubtedly twangy Telecasters. While that may be the most common use of hybrid picking, it is far from the only application. Diving into hybrid picking opens a whole new world of control, timbre possibilities, ideas, speed, and more.

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