Re-evaluating playing fast

I learned the guitar riff for You Fool No One off of Deep Purple’s 1974 Burn album. They also do it live in Made in Europe. Blackmore is playing the riff so fast it sounds like a blur. I can’t play it as fast as Blackmore, but when I play it I can hear every note and it sounds good.

That’s the problem with Yngwie. He plays so fast that the ear can’t discern all the notes he is playing.

Is that musical and good?

Not to mention there are a lot of musicians and listeners that get tired quite quickly of that super fast playing. They don’t find it all that enjoyable to listen to.

I know I’m not going in that direction, so I can play like Yngwie or Joe Stump.

I like listening to them. I’m a fan of both of them. But a lot of people are not.

I think it’s important to know when to put the brakes on and slow down.

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Basically he has to emphasis specific notes during these melodic phrases so he is just over embellishing or over ornementating these notes to show off the entire time. I am joking a bit here, but you don’t have to use that many notes. Although he does a very amazing job at it, and at least doesn’t sound to repetitive during a solo take.

I know many won’t agree, but I kind of think he should’ve just rolled with the concerto idea. I thought that stuff was great, and he should’ve kept doing it. Add more to the payroll to help others make an income.

Something I came across recently was trill ornamentation. Different composers used different notation, and created different ornaments for trills. This was something I found interesting. I am not a piano player, J.S. Bach transcriptions of the WTC books sometimes will list these at the beginning depending on the transcriber. I haven’t really looked beyond Bach, but other composers, like Rameau or Scarlatti, and from the comments other instruments like harp they have different kinds.

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Well, once you get used to hearing it the really fast sequences, especially Yngwie’s stuff isn’t too bad to pick out. Yngwie has a pretty specific strategy for the things he does, and actually if you check out Troy’s “Volcano” stuff on this site you’ll see he’s actually covered Yng’s “moves” pretty extensively.

Blackmore’s great, but Yngwie is a whole other level technically. I guess that I would say that if a person doesn’t like the fast stuff, that’s perfectly okay! Gotta run with what you enjoy, right?


I agree with most solo guitar acts. I love when a really great guitarist is reigned in by a band - like friggin Brandon Ellis. In case you aren’t a fan of melodic death metal, here’s his cover of Electric Eye with some very tastefully placed shredding in his rendition of the solo.

Also I’d say Whitesnake with John Sykes were rife with cool examples of crazy shred lines that really just embelished the whole song and wowed you so much because it wasn’t expected. Still of the Night has such a cool build up and that wild alternate picking section.

So yeah, the build up and composition mattters a lot. I feel like early Yngwie had some really solid songs overall that did provide that build up to the solo though.


I go with whatever my mood dictates. Sometimes I’m in the mood for Yngwie’s blazing stuff, sometimes I’m not. Maybe I’m used to it but I don’t find it “blurry” or hard to discern. My favourite players are guys like Andy Timmons, Paul Gilbert, and Andy Wood. They blend beautiful melodies with face-melting bursts of speed. Paul Gilbert’s “Argument About Pie” is one of my favourite examples. He plays some mind-melting stuff in that tune but the main melody and chord progression sounds like it could have been written by Lennon & McCartney.

Watch Yngwie live give a concert on YouTube. Blurry playing. Way too fast.

Blurry playing? Yngwie occasionally has a bad day but when he’s on there are few who do it better IMO, and he will do it all while bounding around the stage, playing with his teeth, doing guitar flips and karate kicks, what more can you want?


To each their own, my friend. We like what we like. When the mood strikes me, I love stuff like this starting around 6:30. I get that not everyone likes it. Heck, I don’t want to hear that all the time but when I’m in the mood for it, Yngwie really nails it.

Joe Stump is right in Yngwie’s category.

I’ve never thought of not-liking playing fast. I love the idea though! It would save me so much time. It would kill my hobby though and I’d need to find a new one. I hear fishing is fun :thinking:


I could never get into hunting or fishing, but my brother loves it. And I could never understand why anyone would want to go ice fishing.


It still blows me away to see him perform on stage. Makes it look so effortless. It’s great to be able to now see these older gigs in such high quality :fire:


Agreed. And he’s never been better than he was here:


i still think this one tops that one. :rofl:


Which category Alcatrazz guitarists?

It’s funny because one of the things people rightly say about all the Yngwie clones is they miss all the slower “feel” bits in between the runs that make Yngwie a great.

I wonder if people told Vivaldi, Lizst, and Paganini that they needed to slow down in their times, that it was all just mindless noodling.

I wonder if it’s the timbre of distorted guitar.

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Mozart’s boss told him his composition had “too many notes”.

Steve Morse took that all the way to the bank.

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As far as speed goes, it’s just one of many articulations available for musical expression. I personally love it! From Chopin and Liszt, to Bach, Wiewianski, Paganini, Beethoven, and don’t forget Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, Django, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Chick Corea etc etc. Speed demons all over the place in a lot of different genres… is it musical? You bet! Is it everyone’s tastes? No. Mileage varies - and that’s okay!


I guess the notes in between were giving him trouble :joy:

To me it’s all about the range one can compose.
All fast all the time makes jack a dull boy.

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It definitely fell out of fashion within Paganini’s lifetime as well, I remember hearing it in a documentary. Seems to be one of life’s eternal debates!

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Liszt didn’t constantly rip up the keyboard. Listen to Consolation No. 3 in D-Flat Major. It’s beautiful. And very slow.

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