What’s with all these Italian guitar virtuoso’s?

January 17th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized

I grew up in Houston Texas in a neighborhood called Timbergrove Manor. Four of my good friends growing up were Italians. Chris Sacco, Nick Russo, Louie Romano, and Sam Zarzana. Chris Sacco lived just a few blocks from me and is one of my best friends. We both started playing the guitar at the same time.

Chris was what I would consider kind of a natural on the guitar.

He just seemed to pick it up and get it sounding good right away. Not the case with me, it was a damn battle, from the get go rhythm and playing by ear did not come easy. I eventually got some lessons and stuck to it and about three to four years in, saw some great results.

This was my first inkling that there’s something going on with these Italians and guitars. As I found my way collecting records and transcribing guitar solos, I again noticed great Italian guitarists everywhere. Check out this short list that just came to me extemporaneously as I am writing this:

1. Al Dimeola
2. Pat Martino
3. Frank Zappa
4. Bucky Pizzarelli
5. Steve Vai
6. Joe Satriana
7. John Petrucci
8. Joe Diori
9. Tommy Tedesco

All of these guys are monsters and over the years I have noticed an inordinate amount of Paisano’s that can play the hell out of the guitar. I guess It just kinda makes sense, since Italians love life, music, food, and drama. In which music plays a major role. I was reminded of this again last night when my friend sent me this crazy video of an eight year old Italian guitar prodigy taking care of business. Lucciano Pizzichini is his name and he’s only nine in this video playing a nice version of Stella by Starlight.

Pretty cool eh?

  1. 2 Responses to “What’s with all these Italian guitar virtuoso’s?”

  2. By antonio on Sep 16, 2012

    Hey I loved your article and I can confirm it is all true.

    The guys in your list all have italian origins but they are not italian born. There are however several italian-born players who wrote or are writing the history of this instrument. I mention some of them here below (all about rock sorry I do not know much of other genders):

    1. Luca Turilli (Rhapsody of Fire)
    2. Alex Masi (Masi)
    3. Marco Sfogli
    4. Daniele Gottardo
    5. Maurizio Solieri
    6. Olaf Thorsen (Vison Divine – Labyrinth)
    7. Paul Chain -Paolo Catena (Death SS)
    8. Enrico Paoli (Domine)

  3. By antonio on Sep 16, 2012

    and yes Lucciano is Argentinian with Italian origins too

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