Joe Satriani on creating "Strange Beautiful Music"

Joe Satriani is often touted as one the greatest guitarists of all time, but if you ask him, he's still honing his craft.

"I'm still learning," he said. "I'm trying to improve. As you get older and if you're continually working like I do, you get much better at delivering, which is the hardest thing when you're really young."

Satriani caught the music bug as a teenager while growing up in Long Island. A self-taught guitarist, he later attended Five Towns College before moving to Berkeley, Calif., to pursue music on a full-time basis. He ended up becoming a teacher, instructing the likes of guitarist Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Bryson of Counting Crows and Kevin Cadogan from Third Eye Blind. Several Grammy award nominations and albums later, Satriani is putting down his story for the first time.

Satriani's musical journey is now being told in his upcoming memoir, "Strange Beautiful Music," due out May 6.

"On the one hand, being a musician, a writer -- I'm always trying to look inside," said Satriani, who co-wrote the book with award-winning music biographer Jake Brown. "I'm looking inward, trying to pull out the truth, stories - see if I can put it to music. But when you talk about writing it down that's an entirely different process."

Satriani gives a close look inside the studio, providing detailed insight into the making of each of his albums. Among his favorites? His 1986 debut album and 2002's "Strange Beautiful Music."

Fellow rockers provide commentary, too. Brian May, guitarist for Queen, wrote the book's preface, while Sammy Hagar (Satriani's Chickenfoot bandmate), his high school buddy guitarist Steve Vai and Hammett offer additional commentary.

"I was touched, especially Brian volunteering to open up the book for us," the 57-year-old guitarist told CBS News. "I've known Brian for quite a few years and he has got to be one of the greatest human beings you'll ever meet besides just being a vicious guitar player and a great musician."

In tandem with the book comes the release of "Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings," a new box set that features all of Satriani's studio albums, including the compilation, "Additional Creations and Bonus Tracks." The music, which has been digital re-mastered, is available as a standard box set or tucked inside a chrome head. Yes, the set comes inside the figure that's been made into the shape of a Satriani's head. It features removable sunglasses (one of Satriani's signature looks) and holds two USB drives of high-res music. "You literally can hear the music the way we do in the studio before it turns into a horribly-compressed mp3," Satriani said about the package.

Satriani will be on tour this year and is also keen to team up again with his band Chickenfoot, which features Hagar, guitarist Michael Anthony and drummer Chad Smith.

In the mean time, Satriani will continue to hone his craft. "I work on finger-picking quite a bit. I still practice like a student," he said.

But don't ask him to pick up the banjo. He has one at home, but says, "I still can't play it...My son has tried to teach me mandolin. I fake it."

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