Pre yngwie neoclassical recommendations?

Ive heard that Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jin Roth and Michael Schenker were pioneers of the neoclassical guitar style but im not super familiar with their music, can anyone recommend some specific songs of theirs, or or other pre yngwie era guitarists who have classical influences, I’d be really interested to hear it, thanks

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Check out Uli here, 1977:

Aside from the neoclassical stuff, he also plays a lick in the opening solo which Marty Friedman has used a million times.


Yes roth’s scorpions work, and Blackmore’s rainbow stuff are the highest quality examples of pre YM neoclassical rock guitar, especially:

Yep, those first 4 rainbow albums are critical. Soooo good. The band just absolutely cooks! Early Genesis as well!


Oh man this is totally my wheel house!

More than anything what all three did was start to break out of the pentatonic/blues confines of 60s and 70s rock lead guitar. Very few guitarists in the late 60s had done this Robert Fripp and Jerry Garcia come mind they either eschewed the blues influence entirely or played more modal or jazz inspired lead lines.

I can’t imagine what this did to guitarists who heard it in 1969

I’ve always thought this lead wise was wildly ahead of its time for 1969. Very arpeggiated and odd sounding for the time and it’s no secret these guys were listening to a lot of the farther out more experimental 60s jazz like later era Coltrane. And a total standout harmonically in the Dead’s catalog.

The Europe '72 version that goes into “I Know You Rider” is inimitable.

The counterpoint between the Jerry riff

And Bob riff is ear candy

Blackmore really starts it with “Child in Time” imo this solo is insane for 1970 and the sweeps at the end while rudimentary by modern standards are the start of his flirting with classical idea and arpeggiation that he would later flesh out on songs like “Highway Star” and the Rainbow songs “Man on the Silver Mountain”, “Stargazer”, “Kill the King” and my personal favorite “Gates of Babylon”

And it’s no secret that Yngwie basically worships Blackmore.

Michael Schenker joined UFO when he was like 17 and recorded this facemelter soon afterward undisputably one of the greatest solos of all time

Strangers in the Night is an amazing album one of the best guitar live albums ever imo. And unlike most 70s “live” albums there aren’t any overdubs as he quit UFO shortly after these shows.

Blackmore on Made in Japan is another classic

Uli on Tokyo Tapes is my personal favorite of this trio.

70s Scorpions is horrendously underrated Uli’s a bit of an enigma he wears a lot of his Hendrix influence on his sleeve especially if you listen to his post Scorpions Electric Sun albums where he handles vocals which are very reminiscent of Hendrix style vox. (Hendrix supposedly influenced Blackmore to switch from using an ES-335 to a Strat as well)

The descending runs in the leads on “We’ll Burn the Sky” are just chefs kiss it’s pretty much my favorite metal ballad aside from Judas Priest’s “Blood Red Skies”

Early Genesis as well!

I’m glad this was brought up Steve Hackett doesn’t get enough credit for his neoclassical tapping years before EVH.


Getting a little OT, but since early Genesis was mentioned: I’ve been pretty obsessed with this tune lately. Crazy that they were all under 25 when they wrote the album.


The run from Nursery Cryme through A Trick of the Tale is insane. Foxtrot through Lamb Lies Down are essentially perfect records. My favorites from the 70s prog pantheon. The only run that’s crazier is Greg Lake on King Crimson’s debut through ELPs Brain Salad Surgery.


Nice guitar playing on this by Uli off of Tokyo Tapes… little melancholic but epic

The Uli lick/run that starts at around :56 sounds very Yngwie-ish to me

Live version of Child in Time (epic singing)

Al Di Meola I’m sure had some influence

Mr Crowley w/ Randy Rhoads


Wow this is exactly what I was hoping to get! Thanks for all the recommendations, I love digging into the archaeology of different styles like this


I love all of this stuff! Al Di Meola is a great mention, I’m gonna have to throw in Race With Devil On Spanish Highway and Egyptian Danza as well. Not really neo-classical but there’s lots of Phrygian shred that was a huge influence on Yngwie:

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Years ago I blind bought Al’s first album at a used record store (must have been a Columbia record club send from years ago that someone never played cause the wax is mint) “The Wizard” still blows me away probably my favorite track from him. Such a melodic awesome song.

Since Al’s been posted let’s talk about John McLaughlin
Whether it be for Miles Davis or his work with Mahavishnu Orchestra he changed the game, absolutely no one played like him back in the late 60s early 70s. I picked up the complete Miles Davis Columbia album collection on CD not long ago and I’ve had a blast listening through it. The Complete Editions for In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew and Jack Johnson are on Spotify if you have a long commute where you can just drive and listen they are excellent. The players are all the cream of the crop as far as jazz fusion is concerned.

I maintain the first incarnation of Mahavishnu Orchestra never hit a bad or boring note. Absolutely perfect on those three studio albums, and live album.

Related to Mahavishnu Billy Cobham’s debut Spectrum has some fantastic back and forth between Jan Hammer and Tommy Bolin, a couple years before the latter replaced Blackmore in Deep Purple.
90s Trip hop fans might recognize this one.

I wish Santana and McLaughlin had done more together. These are so fantastic.

When McLaughlin comes in here, wow he’s so distinct in his phrasing he comes in like a tsunami.

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Yeah regarding Al his vibrato is also pretty even and pitch aware, sometimes a little wide.

There is a lot of fast playing in that live Race with the devil… but I always liked his speed sting at around the 8:31 mark. Reminds me of Yngwie.


Forgot about Holdsworth or as I like to call him a jazz saxophonist trapped in a guitar players body. He’s in that “how is that anatomically possible to play” category with Shawn Lane and Buckethead’s wilder moments.

One of my biggest music what ifs is a jam between Coltrane and Holdsworth.


He was very unique

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There is nothing for me to add to this thread since you all have already posted every example I would have! But it’s so cool to see other fans of early Genesis here, as they are my favorite band of all time.

Not sure if I missed it but Yngwie frequently name drops them, too, as an early influence that led him to discover classical music. I believe in his Rick Beato interview he mentions Selling England by the Pound, but I’ve also heard him mention Trespass as well. The Knife off of that record could even be considered an early proto-metal track in the same way King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man could.

Hackett isn’t on the original studio recording, but he’s on this live version and his solo is killer, even features the Paul Gilbert string crossing lick, albeit he plays it with legato and sliding.


I hear Hendrix more so than Yngwie. Part of that sounds like Little Wing to me.

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Are you referring to the solo from Fly to the Rainbow?
Yes that does sound more on the hendrix side.

My yngwie comment was referring to around :56 of Sails of Charon.

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Ah, okay, got it. My bad. Have you heard Yngwie’s version?


I don’t remember ever hearing that. Sounds cool thanks.

Just wanted to add a few more…

This one has some featured pedal note playing in the solo …

I like the pick scrape/slide he does at the beginning of the solo in this live version of The Musical Box at around 3:45 it almost sounds metal-ish before he quickly swipes back up making another cool sound plus he does the tapping as mentioned

This one is just a cool song


if you ever watch the Banger films “Metal Evolution” in the prog episode Hackett and Fripp were pretty much named as the two biggest prog guitar influences on metal players.

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