Cracking the Code Episode 10: Malmsteen technique vs always picking

Hi, I am going through the amazing “Cracking the code” series and I have just finished Episode 10, where Troy analyzes Yngwie Malmsteen’s technique. In the video, he mentions that Malmsteen uses downward pickslanting and only switch strings after an upstroke as a rule, using pull on/offs and sweeps to honor the rule.

I still don’t get one thing: What do guys like Paul Gilbert and Michael Angelo Batio do? They don’t do legato or sweeping (unless the riff itself is one of those), they do alternate picking on every note, no matter if the pick ends up trapped, and they still manage to not hit undesired notes. They also stress many times on their various lessons that we should always practice with alternate picking (treating it as a discipline) and they have exercises on string hopping specifically designed to train alternate picking without shortcuts.

So, questions:

  1. how do they manage to not trap the pick?
  2. which one should I condition my brain to learn (or re-learn): the always alternate picking or the Yngwie Malmsteen style presented on the video?

Sorry if those questions were asked already, but I couldn’t find the answer. It seems like the first thing people would ask. Thanks

This is loaded, but one of the ways is swiping:

Another is that they use a secondary motion:

No good answer here. It depends how you’d like to sound. People will argue all day which of the 3 guys you mentioned is “better” and to me the answer is “all of them” lol! They each play how they want to sound and none of them cares about the discoveries here (in terms of it shaping their style). We’re lucky enough to know the secrets and make the choices for ourselves.

EDIT: P.S. I forgot to say welcome! There’s so much great stuff to learn here!


Keep watching, this gets covered. There are many, many different ways to play fast lines on guitar, and the Yngwie ‘escape after upstrokes’ thing is only one of them. Looking for “two way slanting” material probably will open up a lot of doors for you related to your question.


9 posts were split to a new topic: Gilbert and Batio’s picking strategies: swiping, string-skipping, legato etc