Over the weekend of the LIMS Show in London's Docklands, Guitar Techniques' very own Phil Hilborne, along with Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain, formed part of Steve Vai's backing band and jam-mates for performances on the Live Stage.
Steve was primarily there for his sold-out Alien Guitar Secrets masterclasses, but also enjoyed playing with Phil and friends. Steve told musicradar.com about Alien Guitar Secrets: "During my 30-year career there have been moments where I made certain discoveries, some of the things that have really made sense to me about playing the instrument over the years. And these are the things I like to discuss. You can find out all the academics of music from a book or on the Internet, but the things I like to talk about are a little more esoteric. Everyone is an individual but you have to make a conscious decision to have the desire to want to play uniquely."
Speaking to Phil about his experiences he told GT's editor Neville Marten: "It was great. Steve and I did a lot of lick-swapping and trading ideas. But there was one great moment where he was playing things and I was following him, essentialy answering him; he did this one really weird lick that ended up with this great move on the whammy bar. For some reason I copped exactly what he was doing, I mean EXACTLY what he was doing, and played it back to him note for note. That was a great moment and Steve looked more than a bit surprised! It was brilliant for me, especially having only just come back from New York where I got up and played with the great Les Paul."
Check out Phil's One-Minute Lick every month in GT's Front End; maybe one day you can play it to Steve Vai too!