Al Di Meola - My childhood hero that I rediscovered

I know there is an Al Di Meola chapter on the Antigravity, but I haven’t seen many threads here about him, even though he’s “the” guy in terms of alternate picking everything in lead playing. Of course in order to do that you need the 2WPS system, but still I think he’s a prime example of that style.

My dad put on a live show Al did with Paco De Lucia and John Mclaughlin when I was little and even though I was blown away by all of them, I really loved Al’s style. I think it was the moment that inspired my love for guitar, virtuosos and picking technique. The next years I rarely listened to his stuff because I was more into metal (still am) and because I felt kind of frustrated to listen to someone THAT good! :laughing:

Luckily nowadays I often enjoy his music, loved his latest record as well. I would really like to see him live before he retires. The most magnificent thing about him is that he’s 64 years old and still performing at the highest level. (cough cough Yngwie cough cough)

Anyway, enough of my rambling writing. This is my favourite Al Di Meola song, followed by a nice mini guitar lesson that has some very apparent 2WPS moments.


Al’s not going to retire; he’s managed to keep expenses low, but not that low.

Check out his REH video, its great

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I think this is a great post. His earlier career was marshall on 11 with a les paul with super distortions … then he got tired of the ringing marshall and decide to rip our head of one more time, with Al and Paco, just in case we forgot … then, he got bored of that and got into synth guitar and then Piazzolla and world music and complex timeforms … video should start at 3. Umbras 20:49 … try to play that on your guitar (!!!)


Wow, what a performance. Al is one of a kind. He came to Athens 2 years ago and I missed it. I hope it doesn’t haunt me forever. He came to Mykonos a few days ago but I can’t afford that island. :laughing:


I also love Al’s playing but I think it’s important to demistify some things:

This is widely believed but not true :smiley: If you watch his REH video, he plays several 1-note per string patterns as U-U-D or D-D-U. I also vaguely recall some economy-like picking patterns for some of his medium speed phrases with wider intervals.

There’s also a lot of swiping in his fastest playing, sometimes quite obvious.

All this is not to say that he is not great, but to avoid unrealistic expectations we might have about ourselves if we try to imitate his style! (<— not sure if this was a proper sentence :laughing:)


Haven’t paid much attention to his playing in video format besides the CTC stuff, I will take a closer look! He certainly has a lot more up his sleeve than alt.picking.

Hi Bill. I saw him in Helsingor in Denmark. It was great. I even got his autograph :slight_smile:

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I will hijack my own thread, but has anyone spent time with Al’s material? Where should I start looking for material to practice?

I’m also getting an acoustic soon, hope it helps.

Resurrecting a snoozing thread here. I’ve been on a bit of a Di Meola kick recently. There are a few good books of his tunes taken from his lead sheets that are available; I picked up some of them recently:

“Al Di Meola: Music, Words, Pictures”

“Al Di Meola: Original Charts 1996-2006 Songbook”

" Al Di Meola - Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody"

" Al Di Meola Solos"

" Al Di Meola - Cielo E Terra"


I was a HUGE Al fan in college. I was fortunate enough to see the G3 reunion tour at UofM and I’ve seen Al solo four times. His picking drew me in, but I really liked the latin feel. I felt that he lost some of the fire in the 90’s while he was exploring world music. I liked it, but the metal head /shredder in me wanted to hear him at least blaze a little bit. What I didn’t understand was that he was in his cross picking phase and polyrhythms, so it was still technical, just not in the way that I wanted.

As far as music books, there is a great version of Friday Night in San Fransisco, like Cielo E Terra, it’s in standard notation, so you have to be able to read music, but it’s spot on. There is also a Japanese tab version of Friday Night that you can find on Ebay, it appears to be accurate, at least from what I have seen of the demo pictures.

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