Author Topic: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?  (Read 3452 times)

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Offline erwinrafael

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John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« on: January 12, 2017, 01:59:42 AM »
The past weeks, I have been listening to a lot of my favorite guitarists. Criss Oliva, Brian May, Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt, Eddie Van Halen, just to name a few. While listening, I realized that if I had a blind listen to a song one of these guitarists played in, I could recognize who the guitarist is because I can hear a distinct "voice" from the guitar playing.

The same can not be said for Petrucci, though. I love his guitar playing, but I can not hear a unique voice, a distinct style from his guitar. He's a great guitarist, but for some reason, he never developed a signature style that would make me say, "Oh, that's John Petrucci" when I do a blind listen.

Is there a distinct Petrucci style that you can pick up from his playing?

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 02:01:39 AM »
I'm too much guitar-ignorant to answer in specific terms, but when I hear Petrucci playing, I know it's him. When I hear DT's voice, James, on other projects, I clearly realize that, style aside, the guitar player is not the same of the band that made me know James. And while I'm not fully invested in his solo projects, I've heard some of them and I recognize that it's him playing.

Offline Evai

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 02:48:58 AM »
He definitely has his own style, it may not be as distinct as the guitarists you mentioned but it's there.
eh

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 02:56:31 AM »
He definitely has his own style, it may not be as distinct as the guitarists you mentioned but it's there.

I agree with this. Petrucci does have his own style, although it's not one that is as clearly recognizable or distinct as an EVH, or Brain May, Blackmore etc. But these guitarists are rare standouts who helped define whole periods of music.
I think I could pick him out in a blind test though. There are plenty of elements that combine to create his own sound.
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Offline mikeyd23

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 06:54:37 AM »
I agree with this. Petrucci does have his own style, although it's not one that is as clearly recognizable or distinct as an EVH, or Brain May, Blackmore etc. But these guitarists are rare standouts who helped define whole periods of music.
I think I could pick him out in a blind test though. There are plenty of elements that combine to create his own sound.

Pretty much this. JP does have a certain feel that comes from his fingers and his own batch of go-to phrases or runs.

Online gabeh1018

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 07:20:59 AM »
JP most certainly has a distinct style...
as a die hard DT fan since 2001 and a guitarist of 20+ years  there are plenty of things that stand out about his playing especially when he improvises...
first he has a unique way of playing melodies    i.e. the end of 8vm, the end of The Count of Tuscany and Illumination Theory just to name a few... he tends to lean on certain lines when he  constructs a solo and improvises... anyone that knows all of his solos from beginning to end would be like O... that's JP being JP... and the main thing that sets him apart from every other guitarist where you are like yup that's JP is the way he plays his fast scale patterns especially lives... just listen to the end of Live at Budokan Beyond this life jam solo... typical JP going to his tried and true arsenal of tricks...
I could go on and on, but for the sake of this thread I'll stop here :)

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 07:32:19 AM »
first he has a unique way of playing melodies    i.e. the end of 8vm, the end of The Count of Tuscany and Illumination Theory just to name a few...

His excellent taste for melodies is what I like the most about him. I may not be crazy for everyone of his fast solos, but when he's there playing in a slow and melodic way, like for example during the intro to The Spirit Carries On in the ADToE tour, I could go on forever listening to him.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 09:00:55 AM by MirrorMask »

Offline bl5150

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 07:46:38 AM »
I agree with much of the above - JP to me has some quite distinctive characteristics to his tone and phrasing but when someone like say Eric Gillette tries to ape him then it is possible to get pretty close to the real thing.

Try as you might it is basically impossible to sound the same as EVH , May , Vai etc.......or even Lynch as their fingers move/communicate in unique ways that are beyond just tone and phrasing.

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Offline rumborak

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 08:18:52 AM »
I agree with most people's sentiment that he doesn't have a super-distinct style that makes him immediately recognizable like Vai or May. At the same time, I actually think that's a good thing, because many of those distinct players have a maximum amount I can listen to them until their idiosyncrasies become annoying.
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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 09:11:40 AM »
I could easily distinguish JP playing if blindly matched against any of the other guitarists you mentioned. I think he most definitely has a distinct style.

Offline goo-goo

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 09:47:35 AM »
I could easily distinguish JP playing if blindly matched against any of the other guitarists you mentioned. I think he most definitely has a distinct style.

I do think he has a distinct style (I see him as a blend of Hetfield, Lifeson and Steve Morse) but I think he has more of an identifiable tone as well, specially now with Ernie Ball (although I prefer his tone that he had back in the 90s with the Ibanez).
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Offline pcs90

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 02:22:43 PM »
His excellent taste for melodies is what I like the most about him. I may not be crazy for everyone of his fast solos, but when he's there playing in a slow and melodic way, like for example during the intro to The Spirit Carries On in the ADToE tour, I could go on forever listening to him.

Here's another one. This is epic. I love the way he plays these type of solos with the keyboard chords underneath. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq7HJmiRUm8

Offline noxon

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 02:36:23 PM »
One of the "problems" with JP is that he's an excellent "imitator" as well as doing his own style. So he can do a solo that really sounds like, say, Allan Holdsworth (on Trial of Tears) and because of this versatility his own sound is less clear than maybe other guitarists are. But take songs like Under a Glass Moon or Glass Prison or what have you. Those are very distinctive sounding.
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 03:16:21 PM »
His excellent taste for melodies is what I like the most about him. I may not be crazy for everyone of his fast solos, but when he's there playing in a slow and melodic way, like for example during the intro to The Spirit Carries On in the ADToE tour, I could go on forever listening to him.

Here's another one. This is epic. I love the way he plays these type of solos with the keyboard chords underneath. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq7HJmiRUm8

Yeah, exactly! that kind of stuff, I love it so much about him.

Offline PetFish

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 06:06:39 PM »
Of course he has a distinct style.  Every player does.

It's much easier for guitarists to notice it just like it's easier for drummers to tell other drummers apart.  You take the same guitar/amp to every guitar player and have them each play "Mary Had A Little Lamb" or have them noodle for 30 seconds and it would be quite easy to know who is playing, at least to other guitarists.  Allow them to use their own rigs and each player is instantly recognizable after only a few notes.

If I had to say one thing to non-guitarists that he does more than anyone else is that he picks almost every note.

Offline gzarruk

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2017, 06:16:22 PM »
JP has a unique style. Like others have already said, his taste for melodic solos is unmatched. Also, you'll notice JP uses the wah a lot, but on creative ways, not just for noodling (Kirk Hammett, I'm looking at you). The problem with JP's style these days is that he doesn't sound that unique anymore because TONS of people have been so inspired by him that they've copied most of his signature tricks. But, yes, JP has a very distinctive style, tone and phrasing, just not as "mainstream" as guys like Satriani, Vai, EVH, etc.

Offline mikeyd23

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 12:20:44 PM »
His excellent taste for melodies is what I like the most about him. I may not be crazy for everyone of his fast solos, but when he's there playing in a slow and melodic way, like for example during the intro to The Spirit Carries On in the ADToE tour, I could go on forever listening to him.

Here's another one. This is epic. I love the way he plays these type of solos with the keyboard chords underneath. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq7HJmiRUm8

God that was such a good live era for the band.

Offline Stewie

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 04:42:08 PM »
I don't understand how anyone could say or think that JP doesn't have a unique style or "voice"...to me it's pretty obvious that he does. I can always tell when it's JP, as there are a lot of things that give it away. His phrasing, for one, and his tone. Just those two right there are dead giveaways. Aside from that, his pick attack, vibrato, note choices (the way he blends different scales over a passage) and his rhythmic groupings (the way he often does different subdivisions of the beat during his solos, providing a lot of rhythmic variety).

He also has a unique way of blending linear / interval phrases. Meaning, he doesn't always just play in step-wise motion. There's always a nice blend between linear and skipping, and his use of arpeggios is pretty signature sounding, too.
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Online ReaperKK

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2017, 05:53:15 PM »
I think he has a distinct style but not as strongly as some of the other players mentioned in the thread.

Offline Evai

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2017, 06:04:39 PM »
I don't know any other players who can time warp
eh

Offline FracturedMirror

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2017, 06:56:42 PM »
I think he does.  A good example is the G3 jams with Vai and Satch where you have three of the biggest names in guitar playing together, and all three have distinct ways of playing.   His style may not be as distinctive to non-players as someone like SRV or Zakk Wylde, but there's things he does that automatically make me think "Petrucci".

Offline Adami

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2017, 06:59:38 PM »
He has a style, it's just not as narrow as most other people's.

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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2017, 09:39:45 AM »
He definitely has his own style, it may not be as distinct as the guitarists you mentioned but it's there.

I agree with this. Petrucci does have his own style, although it's not one that is as clearly recognizable or distinct as an EVH, or Brain May, Blackmore etc. But these guitarists are rare standouts who helped define whole periods of music.
I think I could pick him out in a blind test though. There are plenty of elements that combine to create his own sound.

I'm not a guitar player, but I've listened to DT for 25 years now (holy crap I'm old) and I could pick Petrucci blindly. He does have a style, it's called 'God Status'. Those other guitarists mentioned are certainly popular players that have relied on crafting a noise that is 'theirs'....but to my ears Petrucci is on another level than them...a higher one that included 'his' sound that can be singled out.
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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2017, 09:40:35 AM »
The past weeks, I have been listening to a lot of my favorite guitarists. Criss Oliva, Brian May, Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt, Eddie Van Halen, just to name a few. While listening, I realized that if I had a blind listen to a song one of these guitarists played in, I could recognize who the guitarist is because I can hear a distinct "voice" from the guitar playing.

The same can not be said for Petrucci, though. I love his guitar playing, but I can not hear a unique voice, a distinct style from his guitar. He's a great guitarist, but for some reason, he never developed a signature style that would make me say, "Oh, that's John Petrucci" when I do a blind listen.

Is there a distinct Petrucci style that you can pick up from his playing?
"The same can not be said for Petrucci"

Is that an absolute?

I have heard stuff on Pandora in the past with his playing I had never heard before and found it easy to say to myself, "hey that's John Petrucci"

Guitar sound like May and Van Halen are signature but playing style is an element not to be overlooked.
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Offline Dublagent66

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2017, 03:28:26 PM »
Of course JP has a distinct style.  I can pick him out of a sea of guitarists.  :p
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Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2017, 06:07:49 PM »
He has a style, it's just not as narrow as most other people's.

To me this is the best answer in the thread. John is a very versatile guitarist who can do almost anything, but he does have a certain sound that makes him recognizable.

Offline TAC

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2017, 06:31:00 PM »
Of course JP has a distinct style.  I can pick him out of a sea of guitarists.  :p

Yeah, the Petruc...sea!

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would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Stewie

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2017, 07:41:16 PM »
One of Petrucci's strengths, and part of his style, is how well he blends musicality and technicality. Aside from being very well rounded stylistically, he's always been a very lyrical player. That's probably my favorite thing about his playing.
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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2017, 07:51:25 PM »
I actually hear a lot of Gary Moore in his playing.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2017, 08:09:45 PM »
One of Petrucci's strengths, and part of his style, is how well he blends musicality and technicality. Aside from being very well rounded stylistically, he's always been a very lyrical player. That's probably my favorite thing about his playing.

This, this this.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2017, 09:10:05 PM »
He has a style, it's just not as narrow as most other people's.

To me this is the best answer in the thread. John is a very versatile guitarist who can do almost anything, but he does have a certain sound that makes him recognizable.

Well, May and Vai covered much wider ground than Petrucci, but their style is still more distinct.

Anyway, after making this thread, I went back to Petrucci's discography and the funny thing is that I think I finally picked up the Petrucci-isms when I listened to his piece in Dragon Attack.  :lol

Offline rude boy

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2017, 05:56:53 AM »
A good example (for me at least) of noticing petrucci-isms is his guest solo on Periphery's song Erised.

I also agree that his style is maybe not as distinct as that of Satriani, Vai or EVH but he definitely does have it.
And it is maybe most distinguishable in these situations. I didn't know he had a guest solo on this song when i first heard it, but when i did hear the solo it was instantly recognizable- not just because of his sound. Phrasing, picking style, etc. It is easier to notice when put in a different context.

Offline Evai

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2017, 08:29:22 AM »
I think if all the guitarists mentioned in this thread walked into a room full of non-musicians, Petrucci would be noticed the most. The others would kinda blend together a bit
eh

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2017, 08:32:30 AM »
I think if all the guitarists mentioned in this thread walked into a room full of non-musicians, Petrucci would be noticed the most. The others would kinda blend together a bit

How would Brian May, Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen blend together?

Offline KevShmev

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Re: John Petrucci: Does he have a distinct style?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2017, 09:01:54 AM »
I think if all the guitarists mentioned in this thread walked into a room full of non-musicians, Petrucci would be noticed the most. The others would kinda blend together a bit

That is wrong on about 399 levels. :P  EVH has possibly the most distinctive guitar style ever, and that despite countless guitarists since emulating his style in some fashion or another.