Steve Vai is worth a lot more than you think

A casual music fan might find it difficult to get a grip on Steve Vai, simply because the virtuoso's body of work is so vast and many-faceted, yet entirely guitar-themed. As Matt Wardlaw of Ultimate Classic Rock points out, Vai has rocked out with Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, and David Lee Roth, among others. He has built a successful solo career, and is a noted guitar teacher, who has literally broken records. In 2011, he gave a virtual guitar lesson where he managed to instruct no less than 4,455 students in the first 15 minutes alone. How? Skills, that's how.

Vai is so good with his guitar that it even scored him a juicy movie role. In 1986's Crossroads, he played Jack Butler, the devil's own guitar player, who faced Ralph Macchio's Eugene Martone in a duel for the latter's soul. Yes, Vai is so good at guitar that he could convincingly play a supernaturally powered musician, and just to rub it in, he actually played Macchio's victorious guitar heroics as well. 

Impressive as all of this is, it's pretty hard to guess how the job title of "professional guitar hero" translates to one's personal finances. If Vai is any indication, though, it can be pretty lucrative. In fact, Steve Vai may very well be worth a lot more than you think.

Steve Vai has played his guitar to the tune of $14 million

Steve Vai might not have been the main man in his gigs with Frank Zappa and Whitesnake, and his solo career doesn't have too many immediately recognizable mega-hits to its name. However, this hasn't crippled the guitar maestro's finances. In fact, according to wealth estimation site Celebrity Net Worth, Vai's net worth is no less than $14 million. 

Vai's penchant for instrumental pieces that put his highly technical guitar playing front and center might have kept him hidden from people who prefer to keep their guitar heroes playing second fiddle to the singer, but it has also netted him a cool three Grammys. Many of his albums have also charted pretty respectably on the Billboard 200, with 1990's Passion and Warfare peaking at #18. All in all, it looks like Vai has build a life where he gets to do exactly what he wants, in precisely the way he wants to — and has managed to earn a respectable sum of money in the process. Whether his guitar antics hit your musical tastes or not, that's pretty neat.