Watch Steve Vai Play a Guitar Handed to Him From the Audience


Musicians are understandably precious about what instruments they perform with.

The foremost concern to most players when playing live is the comfort of a familiar instrument. With all the variables from lights, noise and adrenaline that comes on stage, it's nice to at least be able to control your equipment. For guitar god Steve Vai, his instruments of choice for nearly 30 years have come from his signature Ibanez JEM series.

That's what makes Vai's decision to accept a fan's instrument while his own tech was off to retrieve his signature "EVO" guitar during a live performance at a recent guitar clinic in Vail, Colorado, so incredible.

Not only might someone of Vai's stature have sponsorship concerns about playing a different brand for an audience, Vai's music is insanely complicated and you might understand how a difference in something subtle like strings, string-spacing, fret size (Vai has large hands), setup or even the electronics could throw him off.

However, as you can see in the above video, Vai is a master of his craft and while he warned the crowd "you'll get to see me fumble," fumble he did not.

The video opens with Vai taking the guitar off his body, saying "I'll pass," but when the audience groans, he reconsiders and lengthens the guitar strap so the guitar will fit comfortably on his body. After getting a quick explanation of the Parker Fly's controls from the guitar's owner, Francisco Tomás, Vai was off and running with his band on his song "The Audience Is Listening."

As Gear Gods' Maxwell McAllister writes, "Congratulations, Francisco Tomás, on having your Parker imbued with magical properties right before your very eyes. I hope you’re not a gear junkie because you can’t ever sell this one."

We second that!

Photo: Getty Images

Gerry Martire

Gerry Martire

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