New Malmsteen Masterclass

1 hour of Yngwie talking about guitar, gear, technique, influences, etc. He seemed more relaxed and willing to share in my opinion, he’s gotten more used to the artist-audience internet interaction, probably because of the pandemic. The playing is very good and he even played a Les Paul during a technical example. Still sounded 100% Yngwie. :grin:


Thanks for posting this!

I love Yngwie, amazing player and he’s hilarious!


Yngwie is great! It is noteworthy that he doesn’t defer questions about his picking technique to CtC or perhaps Chris Brooks. YJM acts as if his picking is a mystery—and perhaps, to him, it is—but a lot of scholarship has gone on in this area, to be sure! :smiley:


I don’t know how much he actually knows/cares about Yngwie picking mechanics scholarship lol


Great video, thanks for posting. Only watched a few minutes of it but his answer about how he developed his picking technique, i.e. never once thinking about it — I have no problem believing that. This is especially believable when you look at how many picking motions he has and how seemingly arbitrary all the combinations are. There are least, I’d say, four or five distinct alternate picking motions here, mostly forearm/wrist/finger blends, but even a little elbow occasionally. And it’s not clear that any of them is really the “main” one. They all just pop in and out for different phrases.

Then you have the sweeping motions, including some that go across multiple strings , and of course the 3nps scale one with the thumb wiggle which is its own animal.

Yngwie is an especially Yngwie-osyncratic player, but the greats who are all self-taught, like EVH with his various motions, all have these idiosyncratic tendencies.


I agree, but do we have any indication of how much this (if at all) has changed over the years (decades). Some of the audio clips of his teenage years are astonishing/scary - the speed accuracy and fire are off the charts! And also given that he had to re-develop his picking abilities after a brutal Ferrari smash up have all these picking motions always been there? Have some appeared gradually or relatively recently?

I think that the elbow thing started to appear in his playing in recent years, same for Petrucci. It may have to do something with aging.

True, but Petrucci has explicitly mentioned it before didn’t he? He got it from Rusty Cooley (I think they are friends…), so less of a gradual thing for him I’d say… take your point though…

This is a great video - i can’t help but smile when I see him playing and he comes across as a genuinely funny guy. Someone asked about his strings / action and he said it’s “not very high… maybe 5mm on the high side and 6mm on the low”. Errr… yikes. I know he uses silly light high strings and super heavy low but that is pretty ridiculous :slight_smile:

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I think it’s always been there. He uses it on the Alcatrazz '84 live in Tokyo concert, and I put a short lesson on it way back when in the Volcano seminar:

Not that it’s super significant on its own. I was just trying to show that these players all have a sometimes weird variety things they do because they’re all self-taught, unlike what we may sometimes think “correct” technique is supposed to look like.

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Lots of great players were faster or more ferocious when they were younger— Eddie Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, etc. This is so common that the car crash really may not have anything to do with it. Maybe kids are just flashier, faster, and more technique-focused.

Yngwie’s motions were always a mish mash of wrist, forearm and fingers. They could be different in some way now compared to pre-crash. But if they are, it’s not super obvious, and still within the same small-ish territory of joint motions. It’s not like he went from wrist to elbow like Steve Morse does occasionally.

Oof I hope that’s not a thing!

I could see it being as simple as when you’re Some Unknown Kid With A Guitar, you have a lot more to prove than when you’re Yngwie Malmsteen or Paul Gilbert or Joe Satriani, so you tend to feel like you HAVE to bring your A game when it comes time for your lead break. Once you have the luxury of having the reputation of being as close to a household name as a shred guitarist is ever going to get, you have a bit more wiggle room to dial it back a little and - not that 16th note sectuplets don’t get my heart racing - focusing a little more on musicality and feel and whatnot.

I’ve always been struck by that when I go back and listen to those early albums of the guys we call greats today - they sound like they have something to prove. Later on, once they’ve staked out the boundaries of their particular style, they can explore that territory in a little more nuance, and there’s some pretty cool stuff that can come from there… but there’s always something thrilling listening to a solo of a guy who wants the world to know who he is, even if they don’t know it yet.


For sure, this is completely real. That certainly applies to PG who seems to actively avoid anything that sounds like his old playing at this point.

Yngwie is maybe a different case. He’s not slower, if anything, he only plays very fast now, doesn’t pick as many notes any more, and when he does, it’s less clean. So it’s just kind of a blur of stuff. I don’t know if it’s an ADD thing, or what.

If we ever do an interview with him the trick will be getting him to play at 90% speed with breathing room. Not 50%, but just a tiny bit slower where stuff cleans up and has a defined beginning and end.


I’m glad the video sparked some discussion. To be honest, I just watched it while eating dinner, for fun. Something like “a virtual evening with Yngwie”.

He played well, he told some good stories and tried to give some more detailed answers to questions.

Prime Yngwie ('83-'90) was something else. Super clean, less gain, more note definition and some amazing songs as well.


the trick will be for him to turn down the enormous amounts of delay and reverb he uses now.

he’s still a great player, and i love him, but prefer his earlier sound and playing

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I read where Yngwie said the accident affected his picking hand… he said that he was glad it wasn’t his fretting hand.

he was definitely a different player after the accident. no question.

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I’ve seen him use it on the Alcatraz japan video, especially on the low string long runs.

That would be a historic moment Troy! I really hope it happens sooner than later.

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