Dream Theater guitar great John Petrucci takes a seat and picks up his guitar for this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor. The Long Island native takes us through his history, discussing the music that made him pick up the guitar, sharing some of his early influences that helped shape his playing while rocking out some of his favorite guitar riffs.

The sound of music caught Petrucci at a young age, as he recalls, "There were many many garage bands in my neighborhood and I still remember watching these guys play and they were playing ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath and I just wanted to be able to play it on guitar."

Petrucci says he was 12-years-old when he started playing, adding, "I didn’t have a guitar teacher. The neighborhood was my guitar teacher. I would go to any jam session I could, play some blues, jam on Santana songs, jam on metal, rock, whatever I could." According to Petrucci, picking up the guitar playing on his own really helped develop his ear for what was being played.

Being self-taught, there were also those moments of clarity when something finally became clear. He recalls, “I struggled a lot with bending and vibrato. I think it was mainly because I didn’t know what it was. I would try to play these solos and it just didn’t really sound like it. It wasn’t until I discovered bending and vibrato and the way that guitar players like Angus Young and Jimmy Page were doing this that my playing started to sound better."

Digging into Dream Theater's catalog, Petrucci pulls out "Barstool Warrior" as a current favorite. “My favorite Dream Theater riffs are usually the ones that elicit a great crowd response and I just love writing and playing riffs like that, especially live," he admits, while acknowledging that the Distance Over Time track had that feeling right away. He also adds "The Mirror" and "The Dark Eternal Night" among his favorites.

Finishing out this edition of Gear Factor, Petrucci serves up a couple of favorite riffs from his new solo album Terminal Velocity. "Snake in My Boot" comes first, with the guitarist saying he had an idea for a stop that provided "a real Queen or rock ‘n’ roll Joe Satriani type of feel to it with audience participation." A second favorite from the record is "Temple of Circadia," the album closer, which is the only seven-string song on the record and captured his attention due to its energy.

If you want to pick up Petrucci's Terminal Velocity album, it's available to pre-order at this location with the set arriving Sept. 4. Check out his full Gear Factor session in the player below.

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