John Peter Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an American Virtuoso 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 was born on July 12, 1967 in Kings Park, New York, a suburban town on Long Island, to an Italian American family. He picked up the guitar at the age of eight because his older sister was allowed to go to bed later in order to practice the piano. However, he decided to quit the guitar when his attempts to stay up late were unsuccessful. He picked up the guitar again at the age of 12 and quickly realised that music was his passion, and practised for at least 6 hours a day. His main influences at the time were progressive rock and heavy metal acts including Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden and later Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen and Queensrÿche.
Berklee and role in Dream Theater
Petrucci along with his childhood 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, along with another high school friend Kevin Moore on keyboards and Chris Collins on vocals, 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 had been known to defer to in certain cases. Petrucci's influence in the band, particularly songwriting, is vast, 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. Petrucci 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. He co-produced every Dream Theater album from Scenes From a Memory to Black Clouds & Silver Linings until Portnoy's departure in 2010, when Petrucci produced their proceeding album A Dramatic Turn of Events by himself. He also performs backing vocals, both live and in the studio, and has done so since the Awake tour.
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 - Mesa Boogie Triaxis, Marshall JMP1 for Metropolis Pt.1, Roland JC120 for cleans.
- Awake - Only album to be quadruple layered. 2 takes using Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, 2 takes using Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+
- A Change of Seasons - Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Mark IV, Mesa Boogie TriAxis
- Falling Into Infinity - Mesa Boogie Rectifier, Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Mark IV, Mesa Boogie TriAxis
- Scenes From A Memory - Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Mark IV
- Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier
- Train Of Thought - Mesa Boogie Road King Series I
- Octavarium - Mesa Boogie Road King Series I & II, Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Lonestar
- Systematic Chaos - Mesa Boogie Lonestar, Mesa Boogie Mark IV
- Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Mesa Boogie Lonestar, Mesa Boogie Mark IV, Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Mark V
- Suspended Animation (solo cd) - Mesa Boogie Roadking Series 1, Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+
- Liquid Tension Experiment - Mesa Boogie TriAxis, Mesa Boogie 2:90 power amp
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 - Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+, Mesa Boogie Mark IV
- A Dramatic Turn of Events - Mesa Boogie Mark V, Fractal Audio Axe-Fx
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
- 2011 - A Dramatic Turn of Events
- 1993 - Another Day
- 1995 - Lie
- 1995 - The Silent Man
- 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