John Petrucci

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John Petrucci
John Petrucci



John Peter Petrucci was born July 12, 1967 in Kings Park, Long Island, New York. He is an American guitarist best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. As well as the guitarist he is also the band's main lyricist. He won the "Guitarist of the Year 2007" award in Total Guitar Magazine.


Starting Guitar

Petrucci first played guitar at the age of eight when his sister was allowed to stay up past her bed time to practice the organ. He soon dropped it when his plan failed. When he was 12, he began playing again, and began to practice seriously, at least 6 hours a day. He was a largely self-taught guitarist who developed his skills through attempts to match the skill of his idols, who included Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Al Di Meola, Alex Lifeson and Allan Holdsworth.

Dream Theater

Petrucci attended Berklee College of Music in Boston with childhood friend John Myung (bass), where they met future Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. These three in addition to another childhood friend of Petrucci and Myung, Kevin Moore (Keyboards), formed the band Majesty, which later became Dream Theater.

Tutorial Releases

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.

G3 Tours

In 2001 he was invited by Joe Satriani and Steve Vai to tour with them on the popular G3 guitar tour, which made him known 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. In 2007, John Petrucci went on G3 tour again, this time with Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert.

Other Bands

Petrucci is also a part of the project band Liquid Tension Experiment and has appeared as a guest on several records by other artists.

John 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.


Petrucci is a practicing Catholic, and was married to Rena Sands in 1993, a guitarist in the all-female heavy metal band Meanstreak, and they have 3 children, SamiJo and Reny (who are twins), and Kiara.

Guitar Playing

Petrucci has a widevariety of guitar styles and skills. He mainly plays metal though. One of the most common of his techniques is his high speed alternate picking which, as he himself claims requires a lot of coordination between both hands. He was ranked #9 on GuitarOne's "Top Shredders of All Time". Guitar magazines and fans worldwide consistently vote Petrucci as one of the world's finest guitar players. He has been labeled as a virtuoso on some websites. He has performed alongside Joe Satriani and Steve Vai on their annual G3 tour 6 times.

Studio Albums

When Dream and Day Unite (1989)
Images and Words Awake (1992)
A Change of Seasons (1995)
Falling Into Infinity (1997)
Scenes From A Memory (????)
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (2002)
Train Of Thought (2003)
Octavarium (2005)
Systematic Chaos (2007)
Suspended Animation (solo cd) (2005)
Liquid Tension Experiment (1998)
Liquid Tension Experiment 2 (????)


John Petrucci uses Musicman BFR guitars (often 7-stringed) with DiMarzio D-Sonic (Bridge) and DiMarzio Custom JP (Neck) pickups. He mainly uses Mesa Boogie Amplifiers and various effects from other companies. He uses a 6 Mesa Boogie Traditional Rectifier 4X12 Cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

He uses Ernie Ball strings and Dunlop Jazz III picks.

His rig consists of:
2 Mesa Boogie Mark IV Amplifiers
1 Mesa Boogie Lonestar Amplifier
1 Korg DTR-1 Tuner
1 Dunlop DCR-2SR Wah
1 DBX 266XL Compressor/Noise Gate
1 Mesa Boogie Amp Switcher
1 Boss Keeley mod TR-2 Tremolo Pedal
1 MXR EVH Flanger
1 Ibanez Keeley mod Tube Screamer TS-9 Flexi
1 MXR EVH Phase 90
1 Hermida Tech Zendrive
1 Dunlop Wylde Overdrive
1 MXR Stereo Chorus
1 Boss DS-1
1 Eventide Timefactor Delay
1 T.C. Electronics 2290
1 T.C. Electronics M3000
1 Eventide DSP7000
1 DMC Stereo Line Mixer
1 Mesa Boogie Rectifier Power Amp
1 Furman AC Line Regulator AR-Pro
3 Axess Electronics CFX-4 Loop Switcher
2 Axess Electronics GRX-4 Loop Switcher
2 Voodoo Labs Pedal Power
1 Framptone A/B Box
1 Radial Engineering JD-1 Passive D.I. Box

Related GMC Lessons

John Petrucci Style Melodic Solo

John Petrucci Melodic Style Solo 2

John Petrucci Melodic Style Lesson