John Peter Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Along with his bandmate Mike Portnoy, he has produced all Dream Theater albums since their 1999 release, Scenes from a Memory. Petrucci was named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any other invited guitarist. GuitarOne ranked him as the 9th Greatest Shredder of All Time.
John Petrucci grew up in Long Island with his parents and sister, who were also musicians. Petrucci first had an interest in guitar at the age of eight. Noticing that his sister got to stay up past her bedtime to practice the organ, Petrucci decided to take up an instrument as a ploy to stay up late. He chose guitar becuase it "seemed fun" but his plan backfired as his practice sessions were scheduled in the early afternoon. Petrucci abandoned the instrument at this point, but picked it up again at age 12 to join a band along with his friend Kevin Moore. Petrucci started an almost obsessive regimen of practice and exercise, often cited to practice upwards of six hours a day, a regimen he is largely believed to continue to this day. Petrucci noted that he had a hard time convincing his parents to let him go to Berklee, a famous university of musical study, and an even harder time convincing them to let him drop out, to pursue his career with Dream Theater.
Berklee and role in Dream Theater
Petrucci along with his friend John Myung attended Berklee College, and the two friends came across Mike Portnoy another Long Island native who shared an interest in progressive and metal music. The three struck up an immediate friendship and started a band, "Majesty", later known as Dream Theater based on their mutual influences.
Petrucci's role in Dream Theater can best be described as a "co-leader" along with Portnoy, whom he has been known to defer to in certain cases. Petrucci's influence in the band, particularly songwriting, is vast and it is perhaps only secondary to Portnoy due to Portnoy's more vocal approach.
Relationship with musicians and fans
To many, Petrucci seems like the more quiet counterpart to Mike Portnoy, seeming to be an amiable yet reserved individual. Petrucci has working relationships with many musicians, though if he has any friendships with them, they are kept private.
Petrucci's relationship with his fans is also reserved. As opposed to Portnoy, who goes out of his way to converse and meet with fans, Petrucci doesn't seek them out, however fans have noted him to be approachable and amiable in person. Petrucci, like Portnoy has a website with a forum, however his posts are infrequent and usually related only to his music.
Very little is known about Petrucci's personal life, as he chooses to live privately. He has a wife, Rena Petrucci as well as three children; Remy, Kiara and SamiJo. It is likely that Petrucci's strict regimen of exercise and practice keeps him from having very much spare time, though he does reportedly enjoy video games. Portnoy is also known to be religious, a practicing Catholic, something that is often reflected in his lyrics.
Although Petrucci is primarly known as a guitarist, he has other skills as well. Like with Portnoy, Petrucci is a skilled songwriter and lyricist, writing most of the lyrics for Dream Theater songs, far more than any other member. Petrucci also has co-produced all of Dream Theater's albums along with Mike Portnoy since Scenes from a Memory. When Dream Theater performs as Nightmare Cinema Petrucci plays Drums, however his skill is seen as miminal, his overly zealous technique leading to him tiring himself completely out after one short song, much to Portnoy's amusement.
Influences, awards and other accomplishments
Petrucci is 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. He has jokingly referred to his guitar idols as "the Steves and the Als".
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.
In 2001 he was invited by Joe Satriani and [Steve Vai to tour with them on the popular G3, 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.
John Petrucci won the "Guitarist of the Year 2007" award recently in Total Guitar Magazine.
He is a voting member of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Petrucci is respected for his variety of guitar styles and skills. One of the most notable of these is his high speed alternate picking which, as he himself claims, requires a "strong sense of synchronization between the two [playing] hands."
- When Dream and Day Unite
- Images and Words - Triaxis, Marshall JMP1 for Metropolis Pt.1, Roland JC120 for cleans.
- Awake - Only album to be quadruple layered. 2 takes using Dual Rectifier, 2 takes using Mark IIC+
- A Change of Seasons - Mark IIC+, Mark IV, TriAxis
- Falling Into Infinity - Rectifier, Mark IIC+, Mark IV, TriAxis
- Scenes From A Memory - Mark IIC+, Mark IV
- Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Mark IIC+, Dual Rectifier
- Train Of Thought - Road King Series I
- Octavarium - Road King Series I & II, Lone Star
- Systematic Chaos - Lone Star, Mark IV
- Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Lone Star, Mark IV, Mark IIC+, Mark V
- Suspended Animation (solo cd) - Roadking Series 1, Mark IIC+
- Liquid Tension Experiment - TriAxis, 2:90 power amp
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 - Mark IIC+, Mark IV
- I&W Tour - 2 Triaxis Preamps (one for backup), 2:90 power amp, Mesa Abacus+Mesa Midi Matrix for switching
- Scenes From NY - Triaxis, Dual Rectifier, Mark IIC+, Mark IV, Formula Preamp, 2:90 power amps
- Live At Budokan - Road King Series 1 (x3), Lonestar (x2)
- Score - Custom Built "Nunya" Preamp, Formula Preamp, mesa 2:100 power amp, 4 Mesa 4x12's and 4 Mesa 2x12's. Midi switching by Steen Skrydstrup.
- 2005 G3 Tokyo - Dual Rectifier (x2) Road King (x2)
- 2007 G3 tour - Mark IV (x2), Formula preamp
- 2007 Systematic Chaos Tour - Mark IV (x2), Lonestar (x1). TC Electronic 2290, M3000, Eventide Ultra Harmonizer, Jim Dunlop rack wah & various stomp boxes. Midi switching by Axess Electronics
With Dream Theater
- 1989 - When Dream and Day Unite
- 1992 - Images and Words
- 1994 - Awake
- 1997 - Falling Into Infinity
- 1999 - Scenes from a Memory
- 2002 - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
- 2003 - Train of Thought
- 2005 - Octavarium
- 2007 - Systematic Chaos
- 2009 - Black Clouds & Silver Linings (To be released)
- 1993 - Another Day
- 1995 - Lie
- 1995 - The Silent Man
- 1995 - A Change of Seasons
- 1998 - Hollow Years
- 2000 - Through Her Eyes
- 2008 - Forsaken EP
- 1993 - Live at the Marquee
- 1998 - Once in a LIVEtime
- 2001 - Live Scenes from New York
- 2004 - Live at Budokan)
- 2006 - Score
- 2008 - Chaos in Motion
Fan Club CDs
- 1996 - International Fan Club Christmas CD
- 1997 - The Making of Falling Into Infinity
- 1998 - Once in a LIVEtime Outtakes
- 1999 - Cleaning Out the Closet
- 2000 - Scenes from a World Tour
- 2001 - Four Degrees of Radio Edits
- 2002 - Taste the Memories
- 2002 - The ATCO Demos
- 2003 - Graspop Festival 2002
- 2004 - A Sort of Homecoming
- 2007 - Images and Words 15th Anniversary Performance
- 2003 - The Majesty Demos
- 2004 - When Dream and Day Unite Demos
- 2005 - Images and Words Demos
- 2006 - Awake Demos
- 2007 - Falling Into Infinity Demos
- 2003 - Los Angeles, California 5/18/98
- 2004 - Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
- 2005 - When Dream and Day Reunite
- 2006 - Old Bridge, New Jersey 12/14/96
- 2007 - New York City 3/4/93
- 2004 - Master of Puppets
- 2005 - The Number of the Beast
- 2006 - Dark Side of the Moon
- 2007 - Made in Japan
With Liquid Tension Experiment
- 1997 - Dragon Attack A tribute to Queen
- 1998 - Guitar Battle Various artists
- 1998 - Age of Impact With Explorers Club
- 1998 - Wicked With John Finn Group
- 2000 - An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess Live Album
- 2001 - Feeding the Wheel with Jordan Rudess
- 2005 - Suspended Animation solo album
- 2005 - G3: Live in Tokyo with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani
- 2006 - Blood of the Snake with Derek Sherinian
- 2006 - Loudspeaker with Marty Friedman
- 1993 - Images And Words: Live In Tokyo with Dream Theater
- 1995 - Rock Discipline instructional video VHS
- 1998 - 5 Years in a LIVEtime with Dream Theater
- 2001 - Metropolis 2000 with Dream Theater
- 2002 - Rock Discipline re-release on DVD
- 2004 - Live At Bodkan with Dream Theater
- 2005 - G3: Live In Tokyo with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani
- 2006 - Score with Dream Theater
- 2007 - Chaos in Progress the making of Systematic Chaos
- 2008 - Chaos in Motion with Dream Theater