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John Petrucci grew up on Long Island, Kings Park to be exact, where he, John Myung & Kevin Moore all attended school together. He started playing guitar at the age of 12 (After a brief fling at age 8 when he noticed his sister got to stay up late for her organ lessons. His little plan didn’t work out being that his guitar lesson was after school, and soon lost interest.) He quickly realized his influences and was determined to reach their level of ability. Some early influences include Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads, Iron Maiden, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Yes, Rush etc. As the rise of thrash & metal hit John expanded his influences to include bands like Metallica & Queensryche. Needing more of a technical challenge, his fingers demanded adapting the hammering speed & melodic style of players such as the Steves (Steve Morse & Steve Vai), the Als (Allan Holdsworth & Al DiMeola), Mike Stern, Joe Satriani, Neal Schon & Eddie Van Halen.


His musical education began with a great music theory class he took in high school. Being primarily self taught, he did receive a few lessons when he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he learned jazz composition and harmony. While at Berklee John and John Myung who was also attending, met Mike Portnoy and started a band called Majesty which would later turn into Dream Theater. John has recorded 7 albums with Dream Theater, and has also been involved in several side projects


John 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." John is notable for frequent use of the seven-string electric guitar, which he says he uses a writing tool, taking advantage of the extended range for heavier riffing (The Mirror) and to play extended range runs as part of a solo (This Dying Soul). Moreover, Petrucci often combines his metal shredding technique with a slower, emotive soloing style. He has cited David Gilmour as an important influence.

Petrucci is the only band member to have contributed lyrics to every album. He has written lyrics for at least three songs for every single album. These include, among others, Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper, The Spirit Carries On, The Great Debate, In the Presence of Enemies, and Through Her Eyes. Petrucci uses real-life experiences for lyrical inspiration, which includes songs as The Count of Tuscany, A Nightmare to Remember, Wither, and Endless Sacrifice.

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