How the hell do you tremolo pick like EVH and Yngwie Malmsteen?

Sometimes I think if I burn one instead of breaking it then it might actually help me. I have to sacrifice one like Jimi and Yngwie did. ROFL i am joking by the way, or am i? :smile:

Yngwie actually does this in his fastest playing on one string

and also this:

“Ok here…here’s…here’s one…here’s one!”

It starts as rotation then elbow creeps in. Subtle.


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That was supposed to be a pic of my guitar break, I think I uploaded wrong … haha

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Let me see if I can find some footage of his more wrist variation. He does the very light angle version of the gypsy way i thought. Or am i wrong?

Oh yeah sorry, for the most part he does a lot of rotation. I think that is his primary motion for scalar stuff. Arps/economy we get the thumb/finger flex-stension, then when he goes really fast on one string (tremolo), elbow creeps in, sometimes. I’ve heard plenty of people who are very into Yngwie comment on the similarity of his picking to gypsy stuff. Not as arched wrist of course, but he does a lot of muting so his hand has to be in the position it’s in.

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Yeah it’s very similar to gypsy in many ways, just the resting point is often on the bridge or strings for noise control, but the mechanic is very similar for sure

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I want to get it beyond this into the Django gypsy jazz slide chromatic thing. Sometimes I come across players who are so incredibly accurate at hitting each note as they slide that it is unreal.

This guy has a great lesson on how to properly do it with the fretting hand to help with the synchronization of both hands. The main take away that helped me was how he kinda leans his finger into the motion, and supports it with his index finger. He talks about this around 12:30. I know though I can guarantee if I do this alot in my living arrangements someone will definitely break my guitar cause they will get tired of hearing me do it. :smiley:

My experience with learning rotation, FWIW:

I could always do a fast rotation in the air with my right forearm, but it took me about a month to convert that into a fast tremolo that was reliable. I can do it easily and maybe never get exhausted. (I tested it once and stopped after 5 minutes because I didn’t feel any fatigue at all and I figured there was no practical application to go any longer. I don’t play those kinds of songs :metal:t5: :japanese_ogre: :skull_and_crossbones: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :skull: :jack_o_lantern: :crossed_swords: :coffin: :metal:t5:)

I couldn’t do it in the air with my left hand at all. Not fast, not even slow. My approach to bending and vibrato was sloppy and based on wrist extension rather than rotation, so I decided to see if I could learn how to rotate fast with my left hand somehow. I isolated the muscles by starting very slow (40 bpm quarter notes), and eventually started speeding it up. I practiced it for 30 seconds at a time, about 10 times a day. It took me about 2 weeks until I could do it fast and reliably. That was maybe 4 years ago. Once I got it working, it never felt like there was any danger I would lose it again. (I think it’s just like flaring your nostrils, crossing your eyes, or raising one eyebrow: once you’ve isolated the appropriate muscles you don’t forget how to do it.) It’s not as fast as my right handed rotation, and it gets exhausted pretty quickly: after about 60 seconds or so it starts to get a bit uncontrollable.
I mention this for two reasons:

  1. It can be learned, but it may take some time to get it started and the tail may be very long.
  2. My vibrato and bending were immediately and dramatically improved after this experience, which was my goal in this case.

For me it doesnt feel like some muscle stressed fatigue, but I fatigue to where I cannot do it back to back. I have to wait a minute or two, maybe its the blood flow getting flooding into the arm from the gyration. But it isn’t the same feeling as a muscle fatigue for my body.

Same here. With my right hand I can rotate pretty much forever. With my left it just stops being coordinated after a while. It doesn’t feel like muscle strain. It just feels like I can’t control it anymore.

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Back in my formative years, that type of vibrato was what I arrived upon when I finally felt it started to sound “good”. And even though it’s not as fast of a movement (for me, anyway), it’s the only motion I’ve ever made in my life that feels similar to the rotational tremolo. Oddly it took me a while to get the rotational tremolo down, and I’m naturally right handed too. I still notice occasionally that the motion will change when I start engaging the left hand more (synchronized play as opposed to just a tremolo melody)


I am pretty sure is nervous system fatigue. There are tapes where Eddie does the tremmlo unbelievably fast, Troy has some of that in his video

I think this is Ed on a “substance”. I’ve noticed physical speed coming from alcohol or weed, and I know Ed did a little bit harder stuff. Nothing beats consistent effort though…

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This is probably the right way to think about it, because the motion feels like what you do to try to ease tension before doing something physical for sports. Like shaking out the nervous butterflies.

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