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John Peter Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an Americanmarker 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, Metropolis Pt. 2: 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. In 2009 he appeared in the No. 2 position (behind Dave Mustaine) in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.


Petrucci first played guitar at the age of eight years old when he noticed his sister, who was taking Organ lessons at the time was allowed to stay up past her bed time to practice. He soon dropped it when his plan failed. At age 12, he began playing again when he was invited into the band of his friend Kevin Moore, who would later become the first keyboard of Dream Theater. Petrucci began to practice in earnest. He was 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.

Petrucci attended Berklee College of Musicmarker in Bostonmarker with childhood friend John Myung (bass), where they met future bandmate Mike Portnoy (drums). These three in addition to another childhood friend of Petrucci and Myung, Kevin Moore (Keyboards), formed the band Majesty, which would later become Dream Theater.

While Dream Theater is what Petrucci is most commonly associated with, he is also a part of the project band Liquid Tension Experimentand has appeared as a guest on several records by other artists such as the Age of Impact album by the Explorer's Club.

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 guitar tour, 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".In 2007, John Petrucci went on G3 tour again, this time with Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert.

Dream Theater bandmate Jordan Rudess revealed in an interview that Petrucci is a practising Catholic. Petrucci is married to Rena Sands, a guitarist in the all-female heavy metal band Meanstreak, and they have 3 children, Samantha and Reny (who are twins), and Kiara. He is also an avid fan of bodybuilding and dedicates much of his off time to weight training.

John Petrucci won the "Guitarist of the Year 2007" award recently in Total Guitar Magazine.

He is a voting member of NARAS.

Musical style

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." On one of his guitar lesson videos he states that James Hetfield of Metallica had a great influence on him. He has also cited Steve Morse as a major influence. On top of this, he is influenced by the emotion-driven guitar playing of David Gilmour. He has performed alongside such other players as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Paul Gilbert on the G3 tour six times.


Studio albums

  • When Dream and Day Unite
  • Images and Words - Mesa Quad Preamp, Mesa Triaxis/2:90, Marshall JMP1 for Metropolis Pt.1, Roland JC120 for cleans.
  • Awake - Only album to be quadruple layered. 2 takes using Dual Rectifier, 2 takes using Mark IIC+
  • A Change of Seasons - Mark IIC+, Mark IV, TriAxis
  • Falling Into Infinity - Dual Rectifier, Mark IIC+, Mark IIB, Mark IV, TriAxis
  • Scenes From A Memory - Mark IIC+, Mark IV
  • Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence - Mark IIC+, Dual Rectifier
  • Train Of Thought - Road King Series I
  • Octavarium - Road King Series I, Mark IV, Lone Star
  • Systematic Chaos - Lone Star, Mark IV, Dual Rectifier
  • Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Lone Star, Mark IV, Mark IIC+, Mark V
  • Suspended Animation (solo cd) - Roadking Series 1, Mark IIC+
  • Liquid Tension Experiment - TriAxis, 2:90 power amp
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 - Mark IIC+, Mark IV


  • I&W Tour - 2 Triaxis Preamps (one for backup), 2:90 power amp, Mesa Abacus+Mesa Midi Matrix for switching
  • Scenes From NY - Triaxis, Dual Racktifier, Mark IIC+, Mark IV, Formula Preamp, 2:90 power amps
  • Live At Budokan - Road King Series 1 (x3), Lonestar (x2)
  • Score - Custom Built "Nunya" Preamp, Formula Preamp, mesa 2:100 power amp, 4 Mesa 4x12's and 4 Mesa 2x12's. Midi switching by Steen Skrydstrup.
  • 2005 G3 Tokyo - Dual Rectifier (x2) Road King (x2)
  • 2007 G3 tour - Mark IV (x2), Formula preamp
  • 2007 Systematic Chaos Tour - Mark IV (x2), Lonestar (x1). TC Electronic 2290, M3000, Eventide Ultra Harmonizer, Jim Dunlop rack wah & various stomp boxes. Midi switching by Axess Electronics
  • 2009 BC&SL Tour Mark V(x3), Dunlop Rack Wah, TC Electronics M3000(x3), Eventide,


Year Title Label Notes
1989 When Dream and Day Unite MCA/Mechanic First Dream Theater studio album.
1992 Images and Words Atlantic/ATCO Again with Dream Theater, introducing the new lead singer James LaBrie.
1993 Live at the Marquee WEA International First Dream Theater live album.
1994 Awake EastWest The last Dream Theater album with Kevin Moore as keyboard player.
1995 A Change of Seasons (EP) EastWest Dream Theater EP, introducing Derek Sherinian as new keyboard Player.
1996 Working Man Magna Carta A Rush tribute.
1997 Falling into Infinity Elektra Last Dream Theater album with Derek Sherinian.
1997 Dragon Attack CNR Music A tribute to Queen
1998 Guitar Battle Viktor Various Artists
1998 Liquid Tension Experiment Magna Carta Project with Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin
1998 Once in a LIVEtime Elektra 2CD recorded in Parismarker, Francemarker.
1998 Age of Impact Magna Carta Explorers Club
1998 Wicked The Orchard Jon Finn Group
1999 Liquid Tension Experiment 2 Magna Carta Second album with Liquid Tension Experiment
1999 Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory Elektra Jordan Rudess as new keyboard player for Dream Theater, the band's first concept album.
2000 An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess Sound Mind Music A live album with keyboard player Jordan Rudess
2001 Feeding the Wheel Magna Carta Jordan Rudess solo album, Petrucci is featured on guitar.
2001 Live Scenes From New York Elektra 3CD recorded in New Yorkmarker, U.S.marker.
2002 Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Elektra Dream Theater's first studio double album.
2003 Train of Thought Elektra Arguably Dream Theaters heaviest release to date.
2004 Live at Budokan Atlantic Dream Theater 3CD/2DVD combination recorded in Tokyomarker, Japanmarker.
2005 Suspended Animation Sound Mind Music First solo album.
2005 G3: Live in Tokyo Sony Plays on G3, with guitarists Steve Vai and Joe Satriani
2005 Octavarium Atlantic Dream Theater's last album with Atlantic Records Group.
2006 Score Rhino Entertainment 3CD/2DVD recorded at Radio City Music Hall on April 1, 2006 New Yorkmarker, U.S.marker.
2006 Blood of the Snake - Derek Sherinian Inside Out Music Played guitar on first track "Czar Of Steel".
2006 Loudspeaker - Marty Friedman Mascot/Avex Special guest guitarist
2007 Systematic Chaos Roadrunner Records First album released under Dream Theater's new contract with Roadrunner Records on June 5, 2007.
2008 Chaos in Motion Roadrunner Records A live album documenting the band's 2007/2008 Chaos in Motion and Progressive Nation tours.
2009 Black Clouds & Silver Linings Roadrunner Records Released on June 23, this is Dream Theater's tenth album.


Year Title Notes
1993 Images and Words: Live in Tokyo
1995 Rock Discipline - VHS
1998 5 Years in a LIVEtime
2001 Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York
2002 Rock Discipline - DVD
2004 Live at Budokan
2005 G3: Live in Tokyo
2006 Score
2007 Chaos in Progress: The Making of Systematic Chaos
2008 Chaos in Motion Released September 30, 2008. Documents the band's 2007/2008 Chaos in Motion and Progressive Nation tours.
2009 A Rite Of Passage
2009 Wither

See also


  2. The Dream Theater official FAQ
  3. The Official John Petrucci Web Site
  4. Total Guitar Magazine UK, December 2007 p.45

External links

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