Polar Opposites: Andy James playing Yngwie Malmsteen

I came across two interesting videos of Andy James from ~10years ago, in which he covers a certain Yngwie Malmsteen!

The picking strategies of these two players sit at (approximately) opposite ends of the spectrum: Yngwie has a strong preference for upstroke escape (USX), while Andy is pretty much your textbook downstroke escape (DSX) player**

So it’s very interesting to observe how Andy modified some of the licks to make them playable with his technique. Let’s have a look together and decode some of the most interesting bits :slight_smile:

I hope this will be of inspiration to many around here: even if you don’t have all the known picking techniques under your belt yet, Andy is showing us that you can still go a long way by adopting the right strategies!

** To be fair Andy is in principle able to do the occasional upstroke escape (I think?), but as far as I can see he tends to avoid it whenever possible - you may often see pulloffs in strategic places to avoid that.


Man he is such a beast. Gotta say, the thing I was most looking forward to did not happen – the 2 string sweep arpeggios at 2:05 in the rising force clip. He went all EVH lol. Still sounds awesome of course, and Yngwie sounds so smooth if I hadn’t seen so many clips of him playing that passage with sweeps and only heard audio, I probably would’ve thought “oh cool Yngwie is tapping”. It would be really interesting to see how Andy James would play that lick with sweeps since DSX is not very conducive to playing a phrase like that.

Just in case I’m totally not making sense, here’s the passage I’m talking about and how Yngwie does it:


Bonus points for noticing the first AndyJamesization(?) :smiley: