John first played guitar at age 8 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 keyboardist of Dream Theater. John began to practice in earnest whilst also working out so that his body could absorb the ultimate brunt of true shred. He was a largely self-taught guitarist who developed his skills through attempts to equal the chops of his idols, who included Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Al Di Meola, Alex Lifeson, and Allan Holdsworth. He has jokingly referred to his guitar idols as “the Steves and the Als”.
John attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts 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 John is most commonly associated with, he was also a part of the 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 Explorers Club. It is worth mentioning, however, that Liquid Tension Experiment also included Dream Theater co-members Mike Portnoy and Jordan Rudess, Jordan joining Dream Theater after LTE’s success.
John also came out with a guitar instructional video, “Rock Discipline”, which covers alternate picking, warmup exercises, sweep picking, chords, legato, and other techniques for developing one’s guitar playing.
In 2001 he was chosen by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai 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 Joe Satriani 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.
Edited by scottnicholls on 22 Mar 2009, 18:42
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