Joe Satriani, “The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing”

This has always been one of my favorite Satriani songs. It has a super cool groove as you might guess from the title but also a lot of complex shredding and interesting compositional things going on, as well.

‘Shredding’-wise, he displays all kinds of guitar pyrotechnics. If you check out the video you will see/hear melodies with flying up the neck harmonics, acrobatic hammer-on arpeggios, right hand tapping and he even makes use of his right hand as a capo while his left hand is pulling and hammering arpeggios.

Compositionally, it is a great tune, as well. There is a simple groove which the song is based upon and interesting and well articulated melodies. The groove is at times interrupted with the aforementioned arpeggios. Satriani interjects some foreign sounds too using the harmonic minor scale that changes the bluesy riff into more of an Egyptian heavy metal soundscape. The highpoint of the composition comes towards the end when he overlaps two different arpeggio sections over each other creating the song’s climax.
Unfortunately, live he can’t quite duplicate this overlapping.

I included the link to the studio version, as well, which better represents all aspects discussed. However, I thought it would be more interesting to see everything going on live.

Listen for some of these items. Actively listening to music can make you aware of things you might’ve never heard before.

Here is the studio version. Listen for the overlapping arpeggios sections at 4:25.

Have a great weekend, Enjoy!

About mikeslayen

Guitarist/Instructor

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