JOE: Cool question. I’ve always loved to play and enjoy practicing. On the road everybody’s got their laptop out looking for a wireless connection and I’m over in the corner of the dressing room playing away. In my younger days, I played continuously 6-8 hours a day at least and that continued on when I was gearing up for my early solo recordings. I still practice all the time -- at least 3 to 5 hours a day when I’ve got a day off. And at Berklee, I’m there 3 full days a week (when I’m not touring) with a guitar in my hands playing and teaching high tech shred/speed metal anywhere from 6-10 hours/day. I feel very blessed that I spend everyday doing what I love and I’m always trying to improve as a player and overall musician.full interview
MER: Can you read sheet music as quickly as you can play?
JOE: I can read. I really only read when helping my Berklee guitar students trying to develop their reading skills and I also play various classical things on my own: Bach violin sonatas, partitas, inventions, Paganini caprices, etc. I have used sections of classical pieces in my recordings and sometimes I’ll just work on a classical bit because it’s a different kind of discipline than Hard Rock/Metal/Shred stuff and always quite humbling. But I’m not a monster sight reader by any means as what I do doesn’t require it, but it’s a nice skill to have.