Transcription: Yngwie Play Loud! Movement 1

I have nearly completed my work on the instructional Magnum Opus of Yngwie Malmsteen: Play Loud! (just part 1 of 3 for now):

There’s a few lines I intend to transcribe and some cleanup before it’s totally complete, but figured I should share progress in the meantime. (Before you ask about parts 2 + 3, they’re being worked on but you’ll have to wait).

I first got these videos on VHS via Japanese import, only to find myself in awe of the playing and intimidated by the level of difficulty. If I was hoping to learn to play like Yngwie at the time, this material was not really the magic key I was looking for. In retrospect, I think I was searching for the wrong thing if I expected Yngwie to just hand over the Keys to the Ferrari.

Yngwie also is not very clear verbally on the mechanics of his technique. I honestly believe him that he never thinks too much about how it works. I believe he focuses on the result for the ear, and the necessary motions just happen instinctively. This type of subconscious muscular control is true for most athletes and virtuosos. Being able to explain is one thing, but Yngwie really shows us how to Do It here. He’s in top form ; the examples and demos are fire :fire:

The Transcription booklet from Young Guitar was accurate to a degree. It got most of the right notes, but failed to show the actual picking technique Yngwie used, assuming most scales and sequences to be pure alternate picking with 3 note per string patterns. This gives many incorrect (simplified) solutions to both the right and left hand patterns Yngwie is using in this video. My transcription attempts to go beyond fixing errors, to decode the entire solution to all of the picking and fingering challenges. You want the Keys to the Ferrari? Here they are. :racing_car:

The tools we’ve discovered (via CtC and other Yngwie studies) in the 20 years since this video was recorded have shed a lot of light on his technical system. I think this work deserves to be re-evaluated as a fantastic source document of Yngwie’s playing, vocabulary, and technique. I hope this transcription will help get you a little closer to the volcanic virtuoso neoclassical chops of your dreams.


Great work dude! Was just watching a little bit and never noticed before how he goes full Gypsy Forearm when demonstrating his tremolo technique :open_mouth:

There’s a lot of similarity with Yngwie’s technique and the gypsy tradition going back to Django. The whole approach to forearm rotation, downward pick slanting, ascending sweeps, and using downstrokes for most string changes, all are basically the same except there’s more muting needed for electric guitar so the wrist has to be slightly less flexed.

Great work @LuckyMojo, you should do this professionally and publish a book with all your great Yngwie transcriptions. It would be way better than some of the other tab books out there.

Thanks @SlyVai

This is all an independent project at the moment. I would not publish a work for profit without working with the Artist first. But if Yngwie or management wanted to reach out about a publishing deal I would be interested :wink:

Wow! Super impressive @LuckyMojo! Very well done. This must have been a massive amount of work. So much good stuff in there to absorb and enjoy. Thanks!

I’ve been on a huge Yngwie kick lately, so this is timely. thanks for the work and effort.

Does Yngwie normally play the pedal tone lick with hammer on/pull offs? Ex 28. I’ve always tried to alternate pick them, but I can never get it as smooth as Yngwie.

Here is the original video as soundslice won’t play on my phone. This completely depressed me after watching again, I thought I was starting to get fast with the one string licks. I’m nowhere close to Yngwie though, many more hours of practice needed.

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Wow… I am stunned. This is fantastic!

You are a GIANT among men!

You are not alone! :slight_smile:

What I do to check how close I am to Yngwie is record myself playing the lick and then put it through a two step evaluation:

  1. sync it to the original Yngwie recording to see if it is actually as fast as he is playing it
  2. Slow my recording down to listen for errors - swipes, choked notes, mis-picks etc.

This is the only way I have found that reliably test my playing against his.

I have found that executing his licks as cleanly as he does is astonishingly difficult. Getting the speed while playing sloppily is not hard - playing the licks as he does - very hard.

I suspect there’s a lot of variation in how he plays these pedal licks - sometimes picking all the notes, and other times using a combination of legato and picked notes as on this example. Personally I think the legato approach is his ‘secret sauce’ for making these really fluid sounding.

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I listened to Marching Out and Odyssey over the last two days, and it does sound like he is slurring (legato) on the pedal tones, now that I’m listening for it. The solos in Hold On and Heaven Tonight both sound like the first four notes have some legato, like the video.

@Interestedoz, I sometimes wonder if there are some physical differences that prevent me from playing as fast as Yngwie.

  1. he uses very light strings and a heavy pick so picking requires slightly less force than the heavy strings I use (I use 10s and YJM uses 8s).
  2. Yngwies very slight forearm rotation picking style is very different to my pure wrist picking motion. I feel like I reach my physical limit sometimes on how fast I can move my wrist and therefore how fast I can pick.
  3. maybe the jumbo frets help to make his left hand fast.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just worried I will never get there and it’s useless trying unless I have the same equipment and picking motion. I get close but never maintain it.


I don’t think Yngwie has always used .08s. Back in the '80s it was probably very hard to find strings lighter than .09, and he was playing faster and cleaner in Alcatrazz and his early solo records than in the late '90s. Also, he can pick as fast on the low E string as the high one, so I doubt string thickness or tension has very much to do with it.

Forearm rotation, combined with motion of the thumb joint, is IMO the big differentiator in Yngwie’s technique vs other players. I don’t think it necessarily means you can’t play as fast with a wrist mechanic, but it has a much bigger impact than the type of strings or frets he’s using.

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I remember reading an interview in Guitar World in 1988 where I first learned about Yngwie playing .008s. The reason he gave was that it makes extreme bends easier:

Here’s a link

The article actually says that he “still” uses .008s implying that he’d been doing so for a while.

I agree that it probably doesn’t have much impact on how fast he can pick.

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There it is. I stand corrected!

I remember reading at the time (early/mid 80’s) that Yngwie used 8-38’s and it was only later that he started going heavier on the lower strings.

Forgetting picking for a moment - can you play his licks legato? If you can, then my view is you can most likely learn to play the licks picked as fast as him.

I’m quite a fast player - but Yngwie’s top speed is greater than mine. If I really push I can get to some of his really fast Alcatrazz licks - but because I am at my speed limit the accuracy is really hard to replicate as I am pushing so hard to get the speed.

Actually, slight deviation here, but no I can’t play the 6s lick as fast as him using legato only, but its probably because I’ve always had a weakness coordinating my ring finger and pinky together. If I play 6s 5,6,8 instead of 5,7,8 I can do it much faster.

Not sure if it’s just me, maybe because I always favoured the 5, 6, 8 shape and never really worked hard on the 5, 7, 8 shape to build up the control.

Now I’m on an Yngwie kick I’m working hard to improve that but is a common problem do you think?