Steve Vai - Knappsack

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New song “Knappsack“ is out now! Stream/download it here: On Dec 29, 2020, Steve had corrective surgery on his right shoulder. He believes that sitting while playing the guitar and hunching his shoulder for close to 50 years may have compromised the tendons, and then doing chest flies (work out exercise) and overextending did it in. He had two tendons that were torn all the way through, and a bicep tendon torn from the bone and shredded. Then he found Dr. Thomas Knapp, (Santa Monica) perhaps the leading cuff surgeon in the USA. Dr. Knapp fixed Steve up really nice and set him up in a sling that Dr. Knapp created called “The Knappsack.” Steve wore his Knappsack for 4 weeks, and it can be seen being worn in this video. Months before the shoulder surgery, Steve developed trigger finger in his left thumb. This is a condition that is a form of carpal tunnel. His thumb eventually froze, and he was in need of corrective surgery. In January 2021, Steve underwent this surgery that was performed by Dr. David Kulber (Beverly Hills) for which Steve says, “After all of the research I did, I believe he is considered the top hand surgeon out there.” Both surgeries were successful and Steve was on the mend. But during the recuperation process, while wearing his “Knappsack” and not able to use his right hand, he felt compelled to write and record this track and name it “Knappsack.” Because of Steve’s legato hammering style, performing with one hand was not so alien of an idea to him and when he set out to write and record this track, it flowed beautifully. “This piece of music was written in a stream of consciousness type approach. The idea hit me and I knew I could do it. The guitar part was written/recorded and filmed first to a click track. I built the melody and chord structures and jotted them down, then I did perhaps 4-5 takes. When this was finished, I had the guitar part and a click. I then set out to decorate the track with all of the other instruments, and I really enjoyed doing this. Hearing a song come to life like this is my favorite aspect of being a musician. For the most part, perhaps 80-90% of the song, I did not seem to need anything to dampen the strings, but there were a few riffs where I did. I placed a small but dense piece of cloth under the strings at the nut and this helped with some of the unwanted vibration. When editing the final take, the majority of the audio is in sync with the video, but there are some lines that came from alternate takes. Jumping into something with blind faith will always result in the peak of inspiration when the faith is strong enough. You just have to not make any excuses in your head and all your inspirations will be met beautifully.“ Enjoy #SteveVai #Knappsack

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