#14- JOHN PETRUCCI
John Petrucci (born John Peter Petrucci on July 12, 1967, Kings Park, Long Island, New York) is an American guitarist best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. He has produced (along with his bandmate Mike Portnoy) all Dream Theater albums since their 1999 release, "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory". He is also the band's main lyricist.
Petrucci first played guitar at the age of eight when he noticed his sister (who was taking organ lessons at the time) was allowed to stay up past her bed time to practice. He soon dropped it when his plan failed. At age 12, he began playing again when he was invited into the band of his friend Kevin Moore, who would later become the first keyboardist of Dream Theater. Petrucci began to practice in earnest whilst exercising physically. He was a largely self-taught guitarist who developed his skills through attempts to match the skill of his idols, who included , Steve Howe, , , Al Di Meola, Alex Lifeson and . He has jokingly referred to his guitar idols as "the Steves and the Als". Petrucci attended Berklee College of Music in Boston with childhood friend John Myung (bass), where they met future bandmate Mike Portnoy (drums). These three in addition to another childhood friend of Petrucci and Myung, Kevin Moore (Keyboards), formed the band Majesty, which would later become Dream Theater. While Dream Theater is what Petrucci is most commonly associated with, he is also a part of the project band Liquid Tension Experiment and has appeared as a guest on several records by other artists such as the "Age of Impact" album by the Explorer's Club. Petrucci has released a guitar instructional video, "Rock Discipline", which covers warm up exercises, exercises to avoid injury while playing, alternate picking, sweep picking, chords and other techniques for developing one's guitar playing. Petrucci also has a book named "Guitar World presents John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom", which was compiled from columns he wrote for Guitar World magazine, bearing that same title. In 2001 he was invited by and to tour with them on the popular G3 guitar tour, which exposed him to a massive number of new fans and inspired him to record a solo album. "Suspended Animation" was released on March 1, 2005, and made available for order from his web site. He also appeared on the 2005, 2006 and 2007 G3 tours. Petrucci also wrote and recorded two instrumental soundtrack songs for a Sega Saturn game titled "Digital Pinball: Necronomicon". Each track is roughly two minutes long and they are simply titled "Prologue" and "Epilogue". Petrucci is an avid Sega Saturn gamer, and has revealed in interviews that he never tours without one. In 2007, John Petrucci went on G3 tour again, this time with and Paul Gilbert. Dream Theater bandmate Jordan Rudess revealed in an interview that Petrucci is a practicing Catholic. Petrucci is married to Rena Sands, a guitarist in the all-female heavy metal band Meanstreak, and they have 3 children, SamiJo and Reny (who are twins), and Kiara. John Petrucci won the "Guitarist of the Year 2007" award recently in Total Guitar Magazine.
Dream Theater bandmate Jordan Rudess revealed in an interview that Petrucci is a practicing Catholic. Petrucci is married to Rena, and they have 3 children, SamiJo, Reny (who are twins) and Kiara. Rena Petrucci is also a musician and has been supported by Petrucci in concert.
Petrucci is also notable as one of the musicians to popularize the usage of the seven string guitar (Alongside Steve Vai, Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George and the nu metal band Korn). While he uses a conventional six-string guitar in the majority of his compositions, he began to use Ibanez seven-string guitars on three tracks of the 1994 album "Awake" and on songs like "A Change of Seasons", "The Glass Prison", "The Test That Stumped Them All", "Just Let Me Breathe", "Jaws of Life", "This Dying Soul" and "The Dance of Eternity". Beginning with the album "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", he started to experiment with lower tunings on his guitars. Much of the track "Blind Faith" from that album was tracked with a detuned Ernie Ball Silhouette six-string bass guitar, simulating a baritone guitar. (Baritone guitars feature a longer scale neck, giving far greater tuning stability at lower tunings than a standard guitar.) Lately, it seems that he has favoured these detuned six-string guitars over his seven-strings. He now has proper Ernie Ball JPM baritones but they are not commercially available as of yet.
Petrucci currently endorses Ernie Ball/MusicMan guitars and has two signature guitars on the market, a six- and a seven-string. Petrucci uses a modified DiMarzio Air Norton in the neck position and a DiMarzio D-Sonic in the bridge position. His signature Musicman guitars also have Piezo acoustic bridges (special saddles hold the strings and pick up the true acoustic vibrations of the strings). This allows Petrucci to make his electric guitar sound like an acoustic guitar. He uses this in many of Dream Theater's songs, one of the most obvious examples in the song "Hollow Years". In the past he has endorsed Ibanez guitars, and had his own signature model manufactured by the company (also known as the "JPM" model). In recording Petrucci uses whatever guitar he sees fit for any particular situation. His famous black and white Picasso Ibanez seven string guitar was sold to a collector on ebay after his endorsement ended.
In the Majesty/Early Dream Theater era, Petrucci can be seen using a B.C. Rich Assassin (strat-style guitar) through Randall Amplifiers. John Petrucci's road rig and choice of amplifiers for recording often will and does change.
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