How tall is Steve Vai

Steve Vai's Height

6ft 1in (185 cm)

American Guitarist. He is reported to have claimed 6ft 2 and 150lbs in a Howard Stern interview in 1989.


Photos by PR Photos

Add a Comment 121 comments

Average Guess (6 Votes)
6ft 0.88in (185.1cm)
RisingForce said on 18/Jun/17
I'd put Warren DeMartini in that category, Arch. He didn't seem that tall in the 80s due to Robbin Crosby, who claimed 6'5", but since then, you see photos where he can look quite tall and lanky despite being no more than 5'11".
Arch Stanton said on 2/Jun/17
There's a lot of 5 ft 11 rockstars RisingForce who give the illusion of 2 or 3 inches taller. Justin Hawkins from the Darkness is another one, you'd think 6'2. A lot of them have big hair/head and that long thin frame, skinny, and also wtend to wear big boots so might explain it.
RisingForce said on 14/Mar/17
I thought Doug was 6' tall when he was with Dio for obvious reasons! A guy in the 5'10-11" range will look tall with a 5'2" RJD and 5'4" max Simon Wright! It's funny that Glenn Hughes who is noticeably shorter than Doug claims to be 6 feet! Hughes is about 5'9" now, maybe taller when younger, but if he's lost any height with age, he certainly hasn't lost any vocal range!
Arch Stanton said on 13/Mar/17
Yes, about 5 ft 11 for Doug seems right, though a guy who can look an easy six footer with his slim frame and look from certain camera angles! Joins a big group of 5'11 rockstars who can look much taller!
RisingForce said on 11/Mar/17
Doug Aldrich has been mentioned on these pages so I thought I'd add that he claimed to be 5'11" on his official message board and looks close enough to it, certainly nothing under 5'10" though Glenn actually said Aldrich was only 5'8"!
RisingForce said on 7/Mar/17
Kotzen isn't 5'11"? I've never met him, but he was taller than George Lynch on stage, who I have met and George is still an average height guy. As for Vai, he looked a solid 6'1", 186 cm guy, but might have had boots so this is probably about right. Zakk Wylde looked 6'1" to me, but had big boots as always, so he's really about 6 feet, maybe a fraction taller, but nothing above 184 cm max, and definitely shorter than Vai.
Vamos said on 8/Feb/17
in a recent pic next to a friend of mine who is a six footer, he looks more in the range of a solid 6'1 to a weak 6'2
Rego said on 21/Sep/16
I've met a lot of these guys out in LA being a musician myself and these are my honest estimates of they're height. I'm 6'2
Vai is about 6'0 1/2, maybe 6'1
Billy Sheehan is around 6'1. Have a pic with him and I was just a tad taller
Richie Kotzen is NOT 5'11. Met him back stage and was taken back how short he was. He's closer to 5'10
Met Paul Gilbert at the same show he's easily 6'3-4. Not 6'6
Eric Johnson is around 6'0 he looks shorter because he's always slouched over his guitar.
Cudaboy said on 29/Aug/16
Seen him with Zakk Wylde (6'2") and Dee Snider (6'1") so yeah, 6'1"-6'2" sounds about right unless they all be lyin' !
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 9/Apr/16
A skinny guy can easily be guessed 1-2in taller than his actual height. I thought this guy was 6ft2-3 range for years!
Paleman said on 9/Apr/16
Interesting, this guy was once listed at only 5'10" in iMDB :D but yeah he can often look in the 6'2" range, especially in his younger days. But like someone said earlier, he's had two back operations so that may have affected his present height somehow. If he measured at only 183-184cm today I wouldn't be surprised.
Wipeout said on 29/Feb/16
Arch Stanton said on 4/May/15

John Petrucci does seem about 5'9.5-5'10 as you stated, if not maybe even 5'9.25. Yet he's always been listed 5'11. Mike Portnoy too was always listed at 5'10 when he is barely a legit 5'8. Why do people always do this? I mean, round up to the next inch or use your morning height. That is acceptable. But 2 inches? Come on. That's just lying. Doesn't take away from the talent, but still. Too much negative stigma I guess using your real height unless you're over 6 ft. We need to change that.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 31/Jan/16
A 150lbs, 6ft1 guy could get away with claiming 6ft2 and sometimes even 6ft3!

Rob, is 186cm possible?
Editor Rob: you could probably argue it was
Arch Stanton said on 25/Nov/15
Click Here Another one with Urban. He's got to be around 6', but clearly not 6'2!! It really does need asserting as the whole web thinks he's 6'2" and it's a blag and needs setting straight!
Arch Stanton said on 25/Nov/15
Mmm, now Chet Atkins was supposed to have been 6'2.5 I think. Now he could look near it in his younger years. Still looks taller than Tommy here Click Here but really old at the time and would have lost an easy inch, possibly almost 2. It's difficult to put him under 6 ft, though with Sambora he seems closer to 5'11, but it might be Ritchie's footwear. I think he's most likely in 182-3 range.
Arch Stanton said on 25/Nov/15
With Keith Urban Click Here but not standing his best and Keith is known to wear big shoes. Also he's 60 now and might have lost a little.
Arch Stanton said on 25/Nov/15
The problem is that Ritchie Sambora tends to wear footwear which make him look a comfortable 6'1" at times. He looks taller than Tommy at the end there really.I doubt Tommy is as low as 5 ft 11 though. He's tall, just not close to 6'2", like Ritchie isn't.
Arch Stanton said on 25/Nov/15
Rob would you consider starting a page for Tommy Emmanuel? He's very well known in the guitar world. There's a myth online that he's 6 ft 2 and your rival site has him at that Click Here He's nowhere near it, see him with Ritchie Sambora at the end of Click Here The camera angle is in Ritchie's favour and he looks a bit taller there but I think they'd be about the same height if level. Surely no more than 6 ft.
Manny said on 3/Oct/15
Joe sattriani is 5"8 vai is at least six foot and he wears boots so may be 6"1 or 2
Trevor said on 23/Sep/15
Dad saw him in concert and took photos. My dad is 5 foot 10. He was taller than Steve Vai...Vai is more of a 5 foot 8
Waghner said on 22/Jul/15
He could be seen as 185cm guy with normal dress shoes with at least 2cm, i think 183cm barefoot is correct for him just like what have google said, however his slim figure and "sometimes" big ridiculous boot could possibly stretch him to be 6'2 guy
Arch Stanton said on 4/May/15
Even sitting down in a chair he looks so tall, compare him to Nathan East who isn't small either! Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 4/May/15
2:05 too.
Arch Stanton said on 4/May/15
Rob have you got a photo to add? See 0:30s range here especially 0:38 from a distance, keep in mind John Petrucci on the right is around 5'9.5-5'10, Click Here do you agree that Paul Gilbert can give off a even taller than 6'4 impression? At times he can really look near 6'6 to me. His skinny build I guess accentuates it but he looks like a giraffe at times compared to the others!
[Editor Rob: don't know about 6ft 6 but he is very tall.]
slickster7 said on 12/Feb/15
Saw him performing live in Glasgow, UK, last year and he was, imo, in the 5ft 11 - 5ft 11.5 range. He was wearing footwear with no heel, incidentally.
Arch Stanton said on 8/Nov/14
@George I'd guess somewhere in 5'9 range as he tends to wear big boots like a lot of rock stars do which can make him seem taller at times.
George said on 6/Nov/14
Anyone know how tall Doyle Bramhall II is? He looks shorter than Clapton but he's hard to nail!!
Arch Stanton said on 28/Aug/14
Yeah I think Scofield might be a big 6'3" range guy, possibly even 6'4", similar proportions to James Taylor and bald LOL. I saw a video of him from the 80s last night and he looked in that 6'3-6'4" range. Robben Ford is about 2 inches shorter so 6'1-6'2" for him seems about right but he can look taller because he's rake thin.

Anybody know how tall Pat Martino is? 10 ft tall as a player anyway, arguably the most difficult guitarist to play like, an absolute monster.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/14
Click Here

Leaning there but actually seeing him next to strong 6'4" Paul Gilbert and if he stood straight Timmons might even be near 6 ft 1. He's in tall range though rero, whatever the case.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/14
@Rero From what I've seen I think Timmons is likely somewhere around 6 ft, he looks to me in that 182-83cm range. I vaguely recall seeing him and Vai in an 80s concert and Vai being a bit taller although I wasn't taking too much notice of their heights!

Yeah Rising I find it hard to believe he's barely a flat 6 ft. It might be his boots and posture but he generally could pass for 6 ft 2 although seeing him next to Paul Gilbert that's unlikely. 185 is probably a good shout but he looks taller because of his rail thin frame. Ultra skinny guys really start to look frail and ill over 50. Of late he's been looking a bit creepy with the Gary Glitter style glasses and gauntness.
rero said on 4/Aug/14
what height andy timmons is?

please tell me
RisingForce said on 11/May/14
Looked tall when I saw him 7-8 years ago, at least 6'1" and possibly closer to his claim, but I didn't notice what kind of shoes he had. I'd guess whatever he usually wore on stage around that time.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Apr/14
Robben is a few inches shorter than John Scofield. Not sure on Scofield. He often looks a big 6'3-6'4" guy and has the sort of head and build of a guy that height, but then can look shorter than other guy and look nearer 6'. Guitarists are not easy to estimate height of!
Arch Stanton said on 27/Mar/14
Rob do you agree that Robben Ford gives off a tall impression by proportions Click Here ?
He looks a gangly guy on stage but seeing him stand next to Larry Carlton who I have pegged at around 5 ft 11 (although I think anything from 5'10-6' is possible, he looks a weak 6'1" guy like Vai.
[Editor Rob: yeah I'd say in tall range]
Arch Stanton said on 27/Mar/14
Na in looking Robben Ford looks a similar sort of height to Vai 6'-6'1", he just has that similar long gaunt look about him which gives the illusion of 6'3".
Arch Stanton said on 27/Mar/14
Guys anybody know the heights of the following. Here's some of my guesses of some of my favourites:

*Allan Holdsworth (6'1.5" peak)
*Larry Carlton (5 ft 11)
*Robben Ford (near 6 ft 3)
*Doyle Dykes ( 5 ft 10)
*Tommy Emmanuel ( 6 ft 1)
*Chet Atkins (6'2.5?)
*Joe Pass ( 5 ft 9)
*Pat Metheny (6ft?)
*Jeff Beck (5 ft 9)
*Robert Fripp (5 ft 7)
*Lenny Breau (5 ft 8?)
*Paco de Lucia ( 5 ft 10)
*John McLaughlin ( 6 ft 1)
*Al Di Meola (5'11.5 ?)
*Andres Segovia (5 ft 7?)
*Sabicas ( 5ft 6?)
rkc_cat said on 24/Mar/14
@Blaze: Check out that pic I mentioned on my previous post. Vai could have been about 185-186 cm on his prime, but nowadays he's 182-183 cm, there's no doubt. A 6' listing would be most fair, since he's certainly around that mark.
Cosmo said on 22/Mar/14
1.84 - 1.85
Blaze said on 21/Mar/14
Steve Vai is 186cm, 187cm peak.
Yngwie is 190cm, 191cm peak.
Blaze said on 21/Mar/14
Steve Vai is 186cm, 187cm peak.
Yngwie is 190cm, 191cm peak.
rkc_cat said on 12/Mar/14
@Arch: Absolutely! Guthrie is my current favourite, but nobody can beat Mr Holdsworth's knowledge and legato. Martino is a beast too!

On the topic of Vai, I just found a pic that confirms my estimate. I can't post it here since it's from a FB profile and isn't mine, so I think it'd be wrong to post a link here without asking him, but if you look for Jason Wilding you'll see it since it's public. Jason works at Wampler (some of the best pedals in the market IMO) and is 6' on the dot (as claimed by himself and confirmed by pics with other people I know), and in that pic he's standing next to Vai and as I expected, they're very similar in height, and Vai even looks a fraction shorter than him. So this pretty much settles all the reasonable doubts, Steve is in the 182-183 cm range, no more and no less.
Arch Stanton said on 9/Mar/14
Jazz guitarist Pat Martino is a monster too, I've learned a great deal from him. Reminds me of Jonathan Pryce.
Arch Stanton said on 9/Mar/14
Guthrie's arguably the best electric player due to his flexibility of styles and technical prowess at the moment, agreed although in terms of theoretical knowledge and innovation I don't think anybody can beat Allan Holdsworth. He's on another planet!

Yeah I've been watching the Crats on youtube a lot lately and I think Guthrie looks about 6 ft. He looks it next to Gilbert who as you say is likely a strong 6'4" barefoot. Gilbert looks near 6 ft 6 in good shoes and with his skinny build.
rkc_cat said on 11/Feb/14
@Jack: I was there too! I couldn't meet him after the show this time, but he definitely isn't 5'10" at all. Look at the video posted here of him and Gilbert and you'll see he's 5" shorter than 6'4.5" Paul at most. Also, I did meet him last year (along with Bryan and Marco) and we were the same height: he had 0.5" of advantage on me with his boots, and I'm 6'0.25", so he's 5'11.5"-5'11.75". Also compare him with Bryan Beller; Bryan is a legit 5'11" and Guthrie is always a bit taller than him. Maybe you thought he looked shorter because Guthrie has TERRIBLE posture, but I guarantee you he's at least 5'11.5". Anyway, he could be 4' for all I care, he's still the best in the guitar & piggy business for me xD
Jack said on 9/Feb/14
I seen Guthrie play last night in Barcelona, we were the same height after the show so I'd put him 5'11, 5'10 without the boots.
rkc_cat said on 8/Feb/14
It's been a long time since I last posted here! Now I can confirm that Gilbert is definitely over 6'4". There's a pic of him with 6'2" Nick Johnston in NAMM and Paul appears over 2" taller than him, so I'd definitely put him solid at 6'4.5".
By the way, I'm seeing The Aristocrats again tomorrow, I'll try to take a pic with them for reference after the show if I have the chance.
Arch Stanton said on 8/Nov/13
Yeah you're right Govan does look about 6 ft I think with strong 6'4 Paul Gilbert Click Here Looks about eye level, I don't think he looks under 6 ft in comparison.
Dany said on 7/Nov/13
I recently met Vai before a show with a group of fans where he said that he's had 2 back operations...that could perhaps affect his height and posture these days in his younger days..he was wearing flat shoes at the time and to me he appeared to be 6'. Maybe just a tad over that. I'd say 183-184 cm.
rkc_cat said on 3/Nov/13
@Arch Stanton: Holdsworth used to be a very solid 6'1" I believe. But nowadays he might be closer to 6', he's certainly lost some height, but that's normal at his age.

@Jack: He is. I said here some time ago that I've seen him live a few times, and even went to a masterclass with him, so I've even had the chance to shake hands with him (quite large hands, by the way, eventhough he's no Gilbert size-wise). On the masterclass he was wearing normal dress shoes, and I was wearing a pair of standard Converse-type shoes, so he had about 0.5" of advantage over me. I'm a shade over 6'0.25", and he was pretty much my height at the time, so without the footwear I'd put him at about 5'11.75". A weak 6', no more and no less, pretty much like my main "inspiration" Govan.
Arch Stanton said on 26/Oct/13
Any idea how tall Allan Holdsworth is anybody? He looks like he'd be 6'1"-6'2" to me but seeing him next to Satch looks more 6 ft.
Jack said on 16/Oct/13
I think Vai is more a 6'0" kind of guy. Check this photo with him and the Frank Zappa band from way back; Click Here If Zappa claimed he was 183 cm himself, then Vai may be 181 or 182 cm? I suppose it's all in the massive shoes that Vai wears and his build that make you think he's much taller.
Arch Stanton said on 5/Sep/13
Anybody here met Bireli Lagrene? Looks quite short to me, but not as short as his drummer. I'd guess he was somewhere around 5'6", maybe 5'7". One of the most intimidating guitarists ever though. Him and Andreas Oberg are just monsters.
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
He looks quite long legged here don't you think:

Click Here
Arch Stanton said on 13/Aug/13
I know, it came as a surprise to me too. He could be a Richie Sambora rock star 6'2" of course, but he did look near it as I say next to the others.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Aug/13
Rob have you heard of Tommy Emmanuel? He's an absolute gem of a guy. The best acoustic guitarist in the world and a very funny lovely guy in general. Pure entertainment watching him. Check this out: Click Here . I was surprised to hear he is supposedly 6'2" but he did look near it compared to Frank Vignola (roughly 5'7") and several others.
[Editor Rob: haven't heard of him, at a glance I wouldn't have thought 6ft 2]
Rick said on 19/Jul/13
I met him in person. He's a solid 6 foot, probably 6'2 or 6'3 with those big platform boots he wears. I'm a solid 5'9 and I was around 5 inches shorter than him while he was wearing boots and I was wearing regular Vans shoes.

He's a very skinny, lanky guy. He probably looks a lot taller than he really is.
Arch Stanton said on 2/Jul/13
Paul Gilbert has about 4 inches on Steve Vai. He could be 6'4.5"-6'5". Click Here
He looms above guys like that!!
Arch Stanton said on 2/Jul/13
Probably 6 ft 4 and roughly 160 pounds I'd say.
Arch Stanton said on 25/Jun/13
Click Here

Rob, pause at 7:32 Rob, Yngwie is right of centre all in black, Doug Aldrich left of centre with the gold top guitat around 5 ft 11 and Paul Gilbert is the lanky fella on the left with the red guitar.He looks extremely tall to me, would you agree?
[Editor Rob: he's a skinny guy aswell, probably no less than 6ft 4]
Arch Stanton said on 25/Jun/13
Click Here

Paul Gilbert looks extremely tall. He towers Doug Aldrich who himself has about 4 inches on Joe Satriani. Aldrich looks around 5 ft 11 but I honestly think Gilbert looks around 6 ft 6 here. He looks much taller than Yngwie how looks 6'1 tops here not in his usual boots probably.
Arch Stanton said on 16/Jun/13
Bassist Billy Sheehan looks a legit 6'2" range guy and I noticed he has minimum 1.5 on Vai. makes him looks about 184cm. Possible he is 6'2.5", or Vai is in fact nearer a flat 6'.
Arch Stanton said on 20/Apr/13
Well, I initially thought Guthrie was a lanky 6'2" er. similar build and appearance to Justin Hawkins who amazingly is only 5'11. But i have seen some photos of Guthrie looking 5'10-5'11 and others of him looking proportionally 6'-6'1" so I guess 6 ft even is probably right as you say. Yeah I had a feeling Minneman was probably really tall and yes, Paul Gilbert looks a genuine 6'4" guy no doubts.
rkc_cat said on 13/Apr/13
I have a pic with Minneman and he's a pretty tall guy for sure. Looking at the pic he had 3 solid inches on me, so I'd say he's about 6'3.5", almost as tall as Paul Gilbert. They're pretty similar physically (and talent-wise!).
And I'd guess Timmons at 6'1" by the pics and videos I've seen of him, though I haven't had the chance to meet him yet; if I remember correctly he claimed that height a long time ago and I think it's pretty accurate. He looks similar to Alex Skolnick height wise to me, who is 6'1" for certain.

Guthrie is hard to use to gauge height because of his bad posture and use of camper-style boots. As you've noticed he can look as low as 5'11" up to almost 6'1" at times. I can relate to him, since I'm just fractionally taller than him and have the same posture problems, so depending on what I'm wearing and the time of the day I can look as low as 5'11.5" and as tall as 6'1.5". Back problems are a real pain in the arse (and back).
Arch Stanton said on 12/Apr/13
Any idea how tall Andy Timmons is? I'd guess 6'1.5"-6'2 if Guthrie is 6' and he clearly has 1.5-2 on him.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Apr/13
Steve Vai's use of E lydian remains a major influence on me. I've been working out chord inversions of things like E major 9 and E lydian chords with the raised 4th (A sharp) and it sounds superb with reverb on clean.
Arch Stanton said on 12/Apr/13
Of course I've heard of Jess Lewis, Guthrie and Alex Hutchings videos always turn up the videos her and Lex did. She has an amazing tone agreed with such tiny hands quite scary really. OK I believe you Guthrie is 5'11'.5-6 ft. What about Marco Minneman? he's German I'm guessing he's probably taller?
rkc_cat said on 25/Feb/13
@Arch Stanton: Govan is 100% a weak/flat 6', pretty much like Vai nowadays. There are pics of him and another guitarist called Rob Chapman and another young talent called Jess Lewis (check her out if you don't know her, she's great!), look for them. I've known Rob personally and he's 6' on the dot, and as you'll see the height difference between him and Jess is pretty much the same as between Guthrie and Jess, considering camera angle and posture. So by those pics he could be anywhere between 5'11.5" and 6'0.5".
Also, if you compare Guthrie with his Aristocrats' partner Bryan Beller (who by the way can also be compared with Vai, since they've played together for a long time), you'll see he always looks taller than him, but not much more than 0.5". Since Bryan is a legit 5'11.25"-5'11.5", it makes sense to think Guthrie is indeed about 6', and the same can be said about Vai (though I agree that he could have been close to 6'1" 30 years ago).

What I find a bit weird is that pic you posted of Govan, Kotzen and Howe. I have no idea about Howe's height, but I know for certain that Kotzen is 5'11.25": that's the height he was measured at when he was asked 7 years ago, and the height I thought he was everytime I've met him. The thing is, he often wears heeled boots, so he could actually be close to 6'1" in that pic. Add to that the fact that Guthrie's quite a bit behind them, and it starts to make sense for him to appear 2-2.5" shorter than him despite being 0.5-0.75" taller.
Tempest said on 22/Feb/13
What's with all these tall estimations for these guitarists? Steve Vai is a skinny 5'10" barefoot.
Arch Stanton said on 19/Feb/13
Not convinced Guthrie Govan is 6 ft. I initially thought he was near 6'2" but I think he's more 5'10"-5'11.
John said on 10/Jan/13
I met him in person in December. I'm 6 ft 1 in and I was taller. I'd say he's about 6 ft now, maybe 6 ft 1 in peak, much taller on stage with the big boots he sometimes wears
Arch Stanton said on 10/Nov/12
6'6" with the hair though LOL!
Arch Stanton said on 9/Nov/12
Click Here

Rob if the guy on the left (legendary guitarist Lawrence Juber) is 5'11" ish I think how tall is the guy on the right, 6'4" without the hair maybe?
[Editor Rob: that'd be a fair guess]
Arch Stanton (Shaun) said on 1/Nov/12
I watched a Vai concert in HD earlier actually in which he is wearing a full length black coat with Arabic embroidery and exaggerates his long thin frame so he appears 6 ft 3 minimum.
Arch Stanton (Shaun) said on 1/Nov/12
Learned some cool outside playing the other day, C minor blues jam C minor 7- F 9 progression and as it hits the F 9 chord descending from the top F to the 9th which is a G in a whole tone scale and also throwing in a G flat 9 to F 9 passing chords and playing part of a whole tone scale raised half a step and intergrating them chromatically. much more sophisticated sounding than boring old C minor pentatonics!!
Arch Stanton (Shaun) said on 1/Nov/12
Click Here

And having chicks that hot on your arm, yes its depressing alright. Yeah Guthrie reminds me of the typical long haired guy who works in the city music store and embarrasses every customer when demonstrating the guitar and equipment. I've been there, trust me! Very technical and astonishingly fluent, like they've been playing non stop since birth..
Arch Stanton (Shaun) said on 1/Nov/12
"As you may have guessed now, part of my username comes from Richie Kotzen!"

no, it hadn't even twigged, rkc doesnt't exactly make me think Ritchie Kotzen. Judging by his colouring I'd say his natural hair colour is probably medium to light brown, it looks a little too obviously dyed jet black. looks impossible in that photo for Guthrie to actually be taller.
rkc_cat said on 11/Oct/12
That's a tricky pic, Kotzen must have been wearing very big boots there. He's actually 5'11.25" on the dot, he said so himself in his official forum a couple of years ago, and in person he looked that height to me too; he's one of the few celebrities I know that is 100% honest on this matter.
As you may have guessed now, part of my username comes from Richie Kotzen! Guthrie and him are my favourite guitarists. It's a bit depressing to see them live and knowing I'll probably never play half as well as them :P
Shaun said on 10/Oct/12
Click Here

Kotzen's nearer the camera but I think he looks a similar height proportionally to Chris Cornell 6'2"-6'3" range. Guthrie in that photo looks like a typical 5 ft 11 guy, maybe 5'11.5" I think 5'11-6' range for him now actually.
Shaun said on 10/Oct/12
Cool! I'd love to jam with Guthrie but he's make me feel like Noel Gallagher LOL in comparison. Yeah I'd have guessed 6 ft 1 but as I say very difficult to tell with guys who look like him who naturally give off a long look because of their build and long hair. I think he looked a bit shorter than Richie Kotzen in a gig they did though I think. I'm guessing Kotzen is 6'2" ish.
rkc_cat said on 5/Oct/12
@Shaun: You're lucky, I've met Guthrie! He seemed like a legit 6'. A friend took a pic of us and he was about 0.5" taller than me there, but he also had about 0.75" of footwear advantage. I'm about 6'0.5", so I guess 6' sounds pretty much right for Guthrie.
Shaun said on 3/Oct/12
Guthrie is probably shorter than he seems and might be 5 ft 11 like Justin Hawkins, he certainly looks like a Hawkins brother. Justin and Guthrie have the "I'm a lanky scrawny 6 ft 2 rock star with bad teeth and hair" thing going on which adds 3 inches LOL.
Shaun said on 3/Oct/12
Anybody know how tall Guthrie Govan is? I'd guess 6'-6'2", but he's similar build to Justin Hawkins.
Rod said on 11/Sep/12
Vai could be a bit taller than 6', but then that would make Billy Sheehan 6'2.5. I think it's fair since Sheehan does look close in height to Paul Gilbert, who is most definitely a 6'4 guy. What do you think Rob?
Not that tall said on 5/Sep/12
I actually met him in person and I'm 100% sure he is 6ft max, nothing more. I know many more people have said this. And, in fact, he also looks like 5ft11.5 but it's something around 6ft and probably a little bit under.
Henkka said on 9/Feb/12
Both Malmsteen and Vai love to wear big boots, but still
Click Here
Malmsteen is 6'1", and he's 1" taller than Vai. Also, in that pic I posted here last month of him and Gilbert, he looked 4" shorter than Paul in my opinion.
I wish I had taken a pic when I met him, but yes, rounding up he's 100% 6'.
Godred said on 8/Feb/12
Notice you`ve dropped to 6`1 from 6`2,drop another inch and you will have nailed him.
[Editor Rob: it is probably nearer than his own claim]
Fredrik said on 15/Jan/12
By these days Vai claims 6". Back in the 80's everybody used to claim being taller
Shaun said on 13/Jan/12
I was just going to write a 1000 word essay about the Lydian Augmented scale over a D flat 7 sharp 11 chord, an A augmented triad and arpeggio over a D 9 sharp 11 chord and an F whole tone scale resolved to E major and then give my list of 100 top guitarists which makes Rolling Stone magazine look like the piece of uneducated musical crap it really is in its listings which ignore the proper accomplished guitarists like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Larry Carlton Joe Pass, Paco de lucia etc and rate Jack White and Keith Richards at the top... LOL.

OK then, Vai is 5'3" and wears 12 inch lifts which make him look really tall...
Henkka said on 11/Jan/12
@Frazer: You're right, probably this isn't the best place for discussing that :P

Anyway, I'll say it one more time. I've met him twice personally, and he's not a hair over 6'.
Frazer said on 10/Jan/12
seriously, im a guitarist and i have to say, leave the 'best guitarist' arguements and discussions for youtube. I came here to see how tall he was, not your thoughts on his use of modes. christ...

But yeah, tall guy, my friend met him and said he was around my height (6'2)
Henkka said on 5/Jan/12
@Shaun: Sure! I don't know if it's my computer or the video itself, but the volume is pretty damn low! Anyway, I think you're right, that intro is mostly in A major, and he definitely uses many chromatic runs as a bridge between intervals. Towards the end of that part he goes a bit into B# major too. I'm not hearing any diminished scales though, I think. I could be wrong, though. My theory knowledge is a bit rusted, I have to admit it (in fact, because of college, I haven't been able to study at all in the last 2 years).

Regarding Becker, I don't know, he's not one of my favourite, but I admire him, even if only for his strength. Also, he's technically and musically very impressive coming from such an unorthodox background, in my opinion.

Eventhough, if what I want is speed (with musicality, of course), Jeff Loomis is the first man for me, always Click Here
Shaun said on 5/Jan/12
Yeah but if he's 150 pounds that's probably why he always looks much taller. But he did supposedly claim 6'2", maybe his height in boots?

Henkka I need your help.

On Room 335 Click Here can you tell me what scales he's playing from 0-0:50, especially 0:40-0:50. You see I'm developing my skills as a jazz player and I've seen a lot of players do those very fast runs off key. Is it a combination of diminished and chromatic scales? Could you let me know, I'd appreciate that. The key is in A major I think.
Godred said on 4/Jan/12
Still don`t think he`s over 6 ft flat barefoot,big boots can make a hell of a difference to perspective.
Henkka said on 4/Jan/12
@Shaun: Thanks! Govan and Kotzen have been my biggest inspirations to guitar playing for the last years. Appart from being plain awesome, I'm still amazed at how easily they can play anything from any genre, and still add their touch. I've seen very few guitarists who can pull it off.

Also, regarding the height issue (in this article it might even seem out of place with all these guitar conversation! LOL), since I'm meeting Govan in March I'll have more information. Just from the pics and videos I've seen (that means, all I've been able to find!), my current guess would be around 6', because of the way he looks next to Marco Minnemann (a legit 6'4", looks almost like a Gilbert clone!) and Bryan Beller (between 6'1"-6'2", he's about half an inch shorter than Vai in boots, and about 2"-2.5" shorter than Minnemann). I'll keep you informed!

And about Vai, yeah, I agree he can look taller, but in fact we're very similar, both in height and weight! But I guarantee you, both times I met him I had almost an inch on him. He could very well be 6' because it was in the morning and then I'm a bit taller than what I said, I didn't think about that until now. But he's definitely not over 6' anyway.
Shaun said on 4/Jan/12
Click Here

Here's a MAB tribute to Randy Rhoads. He's like a machine in parts. Some of his shredding runs sound like the dropping of bombs or something. He's insane. Undisputable Shred God. That doesn't make him the "best" but when it comes to pure shred and 80s metal nobody beats this guy. I'd guess he was 5'11" ish although he wears huge rocker boots.
Shaun said on 4/Jan/12
Steely Dan is a band. Here's a performance on Letterman: Click Here
Shaun said on 4/Jan/12
Wow, Alex Hutchings. Larry Carlton level isn't he. I've never understood what the hype is about Jason Becker, anybody who is anybody in the guitar world seems to rave about him but I really haven't seen much from him except a tapped Bach piece and a big shred.
jtm said on 4/Jan/12
no more than 6'0.
Shaun said on 3/Jan/12
Wow you've got great taste Henkka. Govan is awesome, looks like Justin Hawkins LOL. Richie Kotzen is a fantastic singer and player and he's got the exact look as well. Damn it, however hard you practice there's always someone who just has everything, the whole package.
short man syndrome said on 3/Jan/12
I'm no expert on Vai but from photos he looks tall and pretty lanky. Could well be as tall as 6'2.
Henkka said on 3/Jan/12
@Shaun: Yeah, I haven't listened to Steely Dan for some time now, but he's really cool. I like that Metheny and Hancock video a lot, thanks!
Check out this one. It's just a demo, but you get the idea. He's terribly underrated in my opinion, one of the best modern jazz guitarists Click Here

I've never paid much attention to Carlton's height, but now that I'm looking at it I've found several pics of him next to Tak Matsumoto (love him too), who's 5'5", and I think Carlton looks around 5'10". He probably 5'11" on his prime.

@RisingForce: Damn, I forgot MacAlpine! He's awesome too, and of course Gilbert is a must. I also enjoy Michael Romeo quite a bit, eventhough I only listen to Symphony X from time to time.
From that neoclassical school, my personal favourites are Jeff Loomis (ex-Nevermore) and Stéphan Forté (Adagio). And of course, let's not forget Jason Becker!
Shaun said on 3/Jan/12
MAB reminds me of one of those mushrooms in the Mario computer games LOL. Well JTM my estimates for everyone one of the 14 challenges so far have been pretty good and I've narrowly missed out on points on quite a lot of them because of some very close ones. And my estimates of many celebs are usually very similar to those highest on the scoreboard so your "wrong as usual" is not exactly true. Have you measured Vai barefoot then to prove what you think? I haven't really looked at many photos to judge, I'll agree in the Gilbert photo provided he's not standing on a step he looks near 6'. But the impression I've always got when watching him is this is a noticeably long and thin guy who appears to be easily over six foot. Maybe its his super skinny frame and boots which have been creating the illusion. At times I think he can even look very tall range. But if I stand against a door and see where 5'11" comes on it I would be astounded how much film imagery could distort somebody's height His body length looks much more than 5'11".
Shaun said on 3/Jan/12
@Rising. Oh I'd much rather listen to Satriani out of all of the shredders. but I believe MAB is the most technically proficient electric guitarist and fastest, that doesn't mean I think he is musically the best. There was a string skipping tapping arpeggios on one of his DVDs once and I still can't nail it as quickly as him.
RisingForce said on 3/Jan/12
jtm, how tall do you think he is? I said at least 6'1" or 6'2", but didn't notice footwear. If he was wearing boots with a significant heel, then I'd agree with Brad's 6'1" estimate.

As far as the guitar playing conversation, I agree with you Henkka about Michael Angelo Batio. I'm in awe of his technique, but don't really listen to him. As far as shredders, Yngwie, MacAlpine and Gilbert are my favorites. Really like Michael Romeo too.
Shaun said on 3/Jan/12
You like Steely Dan Henkka? Click Here Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock. That's a cool number its in like F blues and then D flat lydian dominant to D 7 sharp 9 or something and then back to F again. Metheny stoops a lot but I don't think he's very tall. Sort of a mini Bryan May LOL.
Brad said on 3/Jan/12
6' 1". Wears those 1989 boots. Open G, Gibson, Keith Richards 1968.
Henkka said on 2/Jan/12
@Shaun: Hahaha I wish more people nowadays knew of Carlton! Paco de Lucia is also great, of course. If you like more classical oriented guitarists check out David Russell, he's my personal favourite from the kind.
Yeah, technically MAB is a beast, but as you say, there's a lot more to guitar playing than playing as fast as you can (Rusty Cooley is another example of this). For that reason he's never appealed much to me. And for that reason Guthrie Govan is my absolute favourite, the man has it all and can play all genres flawlessly! Though jazz impro is obviously his strongest point.
I also get what you say about Holdsworth, it's a bit hard to get into him. He's one of my favourites though.
Also, if there's a tone king, for me it's (appart from Govan, and Kotzen's lead tone) Andy Timmons.
jtm said on 2/Jan/12
risingforce and shaun are wrong as usual.
Shaun said on 1/Jan/12
Rob how tall does Vai look to you? Maybe its his rake thin build and boots but to me he looks close to this. I can buy 6'1" maybe but 6' or less seems very low for a man who can often look real lanky.
[Editor Rob: I've still to look at him, I only added at what the found claim is.]
Henkka said on 1/Jan/12
@Shaun: You've got good taste, I also went through that phase,eventhough I enjoy more Malmsteen than MAB, I have to admit. Now I'm more into fusion jazz (in fact, I'm working in a jazz rock fusion quartet at the moment). If you haven't, check out Alex Hutchings, Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe, Al Di Meola, or the timeless Larry Carlton. Also, even if just for the sake of his versatility, Richie Kotzen should be mentioned in all guitar threads.
Lou Gubrius said on 1/Jan/12
Nah, always looked in the 5-11 plus to 6 ft range from pics I've seen over the years. Surely there are pics with him and Roth showing similar heights (w/ Roth probably an inch or so shorter I would guess).
5'8.78133457345 said on 31/Dec/11
Rob, I think he's 6' on the dot, with boots he looks very tall next to Satch, but never like a giant. Vai's bassist Billy Sheehan is a legit 6'2 and he ALWAYS looks at least a full inch taller than Vai in boots. Now Paul Gilbert is 6'3.5 and he definitely looks consistently taller than Sheehan for a hair over an inch. If Vai were 6'2 Billy should be at least 6'4 and Paul should be 6'5.5, which is ludicrous. Vai looks real lanky, but nowhere near 6'2.
Shaun said on 31/Dec/11
I've learned a few things from Vai I must admit, not personally though obviously. Like E lydian and sus 2 arpeggios and major 7 arpeggios. A few years back I was heavily into Vai, Malmsteen and Satriani but nowadays I'm more into jazz and classical. Malmsteen is terrribly overated he just recycles the same harmonic minor, phyrigian dominant and diminished arpeggios back and forth at a ridiculous speed. The shred master in my opinion is Michael Angelo Batio.
Henkka said on 31/Dec/11
Look, here's Steve next to Gilbert

Click Here

Paul's got 4" on him. Definitely he's not 5'11" at all, like I said, he's in the 5'11.5"-6' range, but he can look taller because of his built and the boots he usually wears on stage. He also has very big hands and long legs, everything helps. The first time I met him I also expected him to be taller, but I was surprised. He's a really nice guy, that was expected though. If a bit eccentric.
Henkka said on 31/Dec/11
@Shaun: Yeah, I've been lucky enough to meet him the last couple of times he's come to Barcelona! He's a great teacher!
I've also met Richie Kotzen, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert and Alex Hutchings. And I'm meeting Guthrie Govan in March (I'm really stoked for it, he's my favourite guitarist). What can I say, I love learning everything I can from the best when I have the chance! :P
Like I said, I do think he's 6'2" in the boots he usually wears on stage, but on normal footwear he was shorter than me, so definitely not over 6'.

If you want to know too, I can also confirm most heights of the guitarists I mention are correct. Satriani is 5'7.5", Kotzen is a legit 5'11", Gilbert is definitely in the 6'3.5"-6'4" range and Hutchings is around 5'10".
Godred said on 30/Dec/11
6 ft flat
Shaun said on 30/Dec/11
5'11" for Vai in all honesty is ridiculous, same height as David Beckham? No way. If I met Vai I simply can't imagine him being shorter than me regardless if he's 50 pounds lighter. He just looks too lanky. I'll agree he can look as low as 6'1" at times next to Satch, Petrucci and Gilbert but probably its posture. But granted some skinny 5'11" rock stars like Justin Hawkins can look 6'2" range at times. But Vai surely has to be near what he claims, he stands out as being a tall long thin guy and at times in big boots can look very tall.
Shaun said on 30/Dec/11
Well I think he's 2-3 inches shorter than Paul Gilbert who is at least 6'4", real lanky. Could be 6'1.5" but his 150 pound frame makes him look taller.
Shaun said on 30/Dec/11
Awesome, thanks Rob. Hey Rising Force I miss you on here. He can look 189-190cm at times I think but his 150 pound frame and boots he often wears make him seem taller. Barefoot he must surely be close to 6'2". @Henkka Master classes with Vai? Are you kidding me?
Henkka said on 29/Dec/11
Definitely not 6'2" at all, maybe with boots. I've had a couple of masterclasses with him, and he's not over 6'(eventhough he can look it). I'd say 5'11.5"-5'11.75", because both times he looked about an inch shorter than me, and I'm 6'0.5". Also, like I said on the Frank Zappa's article, he wasn't that much taller than Richie Kotzen, who is certainly in the 5'11"-5'11.25" range.
RisingForce said on 29/Dec/11
Met him in '07. Not the nicest guy when I met him, but was a lot taller than me. Would've said at least 6'1" or 6'2".

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