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Vai Academy 3.0

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Hi all! Last week I participated in Vai Academy, a week-long musical retreat. Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, and Al DiMeola were the main guest stars with Carlos Alomar(musical director and rhythm guitar for David Bowie throughout most of Bowie's career) doing some heavy lifting teaching music theory. 

Every night a full band concert. During the day various talks and playing by the stars; sometimes solo and sometimes together(Vai with Alomar, Vai with Al, Vai with Zakk). 

The highlight of the retreat is that Vai invites all guests who want to play guitar to get on stage and jam for a couple of minutes. The first night there were ~40 jammers! He was very welcoming urging that no matter what the level you felt you were to come up on stage. The retreat organizer mentioned that some years ago a fan went onstage, mentioned that she had just started playing(didn't know how to play). Vai asked her to play the first string and then the second string slowly again and again. The band jammed around it and she left the stage with her head in the clouds. 

I'm no guitar geek. I haven't played much in the last couple of years so I thought this would be a good chance to reconnect with the instrument. Rusty and all, Vai was very gracious and had managed to create a "no pressure" environment. Still nervously I went on.

Here's the link if you want to watch:

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