Its classic Yngwie though he plays it all down like its nothing.Anyone remember his lesson video from the late 80s or early 90s? the very first one? it took 30 years but I can sort of watch it now and know what hes talking about…doesnt mean I can play it though …yet LOL! I do like when he says “now slow…” on that first video and its still fast
Lol you’re on the ball man, watching it.
Great interview. A very matter-of-fact discussion of what went on (and what’s going on) inside Yngwie’s head. I especially like his thought on the term neo-classical. He couldn’t care less…he’s playing what he likes and screw everyone else.
I’m not a fan of his chosen style of music. I can’t help but admire his attitude and commitment to what he likes. Plus, watching his fluid technique is fun.
You know years ago I’d never believe the “I didn’t look at my pick I didn’t look at my hands” stuff but seeing as I kind of accidently “discovered” Hetfield’s style of downward picking with forward escapes while in high school seemingly accidentally without anyone showing me I kind of believe it. Sometimes it just happens.
Great interview! Lots of fun to watch!
Just finished it, excellent interview. I like “this” Yngwie a lot
Sometimes, we have to take what he says with a grain of salt, but he said a lot of things that interested me.
- His choice of string gauge being intentional so that the tension felt similar on all strings (he mentioned the treble strings always feeling so much harder to bend than the bass strings)
- Many times recording solos he’d do one, maybe 2 takes and that was that, he didn’t even listen back (not 100% I believe him here lol)
- How much gain he uses! I’ve heard Gilmour say he thinks the perfect amount of gain is when things start to feedback unless you “control” it. Back when I played “real” amps, I’ve had a similar experience.
- Just how tone conscious he is in general
- Just how intuitive he is about everything. There’s always some purpose behind the decisions he makes that set him on a particular direction. And he said many times in the interview “this didn’t happen overnight”
- Rick asked to see a pattern that would help his picking, Yngwie played the “Yngwie 6 note pattern”. What does Troy tell everyone to do once they get a tremolo going? Hmmm…he tells them to play some pattern that stays on the same and almost always follows that with “like the Yngwie 6 note pattern”
To add to this the big takeaway I had is he didn’t obsessed over notes per string he was trying to play things he heard by ear on guitar and he naturally played that stuff in a way that fit his picking style but all of this was subconscious.
That’s why it would be awesome for someone who actually understands technique to ask Yngwie the hard questions:
“Why do you finger your arpeggio patterns the way you do?”
“Can you play them a different way?”
“Are there any licks you have to start on an upstroke?”
“Are there licks where in places you add a single hammer/pulloff on one string?”
These are all very leading questions obviously lol! But it would be cool if he had a story on any of them. I’m fascinated by all the amazing players and it’s sort of like chicken-or-the-egg as to what begat what. Did they assume a particular posture that made their escape trajectory what it is, or were they playing specific licks, that just so happened to need changes after upstrokes (or downstrokes depending on if it’s a USX or DSX player) and the technique grew from that??? Not that any of that really matters, it just interests me.
I think its difficult for non guitar players to listen to Yngwie because they can’t comprehend it, as a guitar player you can listen to his latest “Parabellum” and get into it and even live you could take someone who doesnt know who he is and they would be impressed. Except maybe a Country music fan LOL! The last Yngwie show I was at was in a small club last month and the bartender was handing out earplugs because of the wall of Marshalls… I’m assuming Yngwie sets them all up as a backline but then ajusts how many he uses for the venue size. I didn’t use plugs but to me he wasn’t that loud and, you’d miss out on the tone with earplugs. But it just goes to show how many in the audience really don’t know whats going on in regard to Yngwie and his show. I’m just real glad hes still out there playing live
Perhaps I’m reading your intent wrong. But that sounds a lot like saying the audience is too dumb to ‘get it’.
Nearly 200 years after Mozart died, and longer still for Bach and Beethoven, people with no musical knowledge beyond using their ears continue to respond to their music.
You don’t need to understand it to like it.
I enjoy Yngwie from a technical and attitudinal perspective.
I ain’t never liked the genre and sound that is Yngwie. I really kind of hate it.
Let’s not be under any delusion. Popular music has devolved over time. Mozart was the pop music of his day. Now he and his contemporaries are barely heard outside of the intelligentsia.
Now we have this.
What the actual eff did I just see? I am slightly horrified now… please let me know when the giant asteroid is coming, I’d like to be under it when it hits…
The devolution of music is very real. I think it’s a lot to do with short attention spans.
I really like the part where he talked about classical music being an inspiration and about being able to use it in a rock context. I think Yngwie is just as good at writing riffs as he was innovative in other aspects. Amber dawn, evil eye and big foot to just name a few, most would be famous for just one riff.
It’s a misconception that Mozart was the pop music of his day. Nobility and aristocracy ruled then. Mozart composed for patrons. He wrote music others asked and paid for.
Was his music popular? With nobility and the aristocrats, sure. But this was during the same time the events leading up to the French Revolution were happening. (Yes - I’m aware Mozart lived in Vienna.) Commonfolk didn’t have the scratch to attend those concerts. Even if they did - how would they be able to identify with music written for and paid for by people they had zero in common with? Not only that - people they actively resented.
The common folk played their music. The music we’d call folk songs, ballads, etc, while using instruments they could obtain and play. They couldn’t afford to attend concerts where kings, queens, lords, ladies, and the well-heeled mingled.
Let’s also not forget, left to his own devices (of a sort), Mozart wrote high-brow stuff like Leck mich im Arsch (German for “Lick me in the arse”).
This is something that perplexed me in my teaching days; enthusiasm, practice-time, diligence, they all play a role obviously. But some people just felt comfortable in a position that lent itself to playing effectively. Then there were others who seemed doomed from the start, especially those with the dreaded back-bend at the first knuckle by the fingertip . . .
To me it seems YJ had a vision and was prepared to use whatever worked and maximize the impact of that. I was always too idealistic, it had to be strict alternate picking (or whatever) and when that didn’t work I gave up.
Great interview, I’m saving most of it for later but YJ rocks, as always.
There is also the “death of melody” component. When I was in some music history classes there were people who were raised on rap that “couldn’t listen” to classical music because it “wasn’t rhythmic” enough. Basically the ability to enjoy music from a harmonic content standpoint has diminished. This probably ties into the decline of jazz.
I’d argue this is primarily an American phenomenon but due to the influence of the pop music industry here on the world it sort of trickles down elsewhere.
Look at the most popular forms of metal in America in the last 20 years, nu metal, and the djenty/metalcore stuff. It’s all primarily rhythmic.
Eminem is arguably the most popular rapper in the world, why, because he has hooks in a lot of his songs?
Interesting video. If I had to think about it, the decline of music is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s either been a general decline and / or an increase in general awareness of the prevalent ignorance as well.
Can’t say for sure without good data, my intuition tells me ignorance is constant, we can have the marvel of the internet and people are even more misinformed than ever.
The music industry in the LP/Cassette boom seems to have sprouted as a new phenomenon and generally run by, if I may say controversially, initially better educated and genuinely passionate people, but as the hordes of Business Management graduates grew, there was more emphasis on quantity over quality.
I"m at an age where I realize people are sheep for the most part and have always been extremely gullible. The efficiency of greed has diminished the quality of content in general, it’s easier to sell cha cha cha nonsense over say something with a more nuanced harmony.
I think there has always been a constant percentage of us who can think critically and even that ability is selective. I’m very tempted to veer off into tin foil hat territory, and have derailed my current thought process. Better quit before it turns into a full blown rant
This is true of the record industry several people have talked about how weird bands like proto stoner metal Sir Lord Baltimore (their album Kingdom Come was produced by Mike Appel, Bruce Springsteen’s original manager) were on majors in the 70s because there were genuine music fans working in the labels then before it was just a sea of MBAs. The “Such Hawks, Such Hounds” documentary about the doom/stoner metal scene talks about this a bit. It’s why every genre after the 80s has the
initial craze → saturation → self parody → fall from grace into obscurity, trajectory cycle.
glam, grunge, nu metal, gangsta rap/g-funk, 90s country/pop country. you name it.
As I said before, calling the audience stupid is ridiculous. That’s what we’re doing here.
We discuss music as free expression, then turn around and lament the audience’s ‘loss’ of musical intelligence or big business’ interference.
It sounds a lot like “back in my day…” or the pop equivalent to Jazz snobbery.
I think what we’re really upset about is that popular music isn’t our (or your) music.