Yngwie Blues Picking and Pedal Note Lick



Firstly, has anyone looked at the way Yngwie picks the pentatonic scale?

In this clip at 3:21 he blazes through a couple of pentatonic licks which sound really aggressive but it also looks like hes using a bit of legato especially towards the tail end of the lick.

Again, in this clip it looks like he uses a lot of legato and a combination of different pick strokes, probably a mixture of alternate and sweeping but I was wondering if anyone had looked deeper at this, as there are next to no videos on Yngwie blues licks, which is a shame because they sound so good!

Second part of my question is regarding the Yngwie pedal note lick, I tried to work out a way to play it using the typical Yngwie method but it seems to me the only way it can be played is with pure alternate picking, which means having to incorporate some outside picking.

You can see a great shot of Yngwie’s hand playing this lick at 8:54 in this video:



Yngwie is a great bluesy rock player when he wants to be. He does this all from the upstroke escape aka “downward pickslanting” approach, which means, for one thing, lots of downstroke sweeping to get to the next higher string. The one addition is that you’ll see an occasional downstroke escape, i.e. to hit a higher string on an upstroke, as many blues licks do. You can do this with some finger involvement or a slightly different wrist motion, or a little forearm, or perhaps a little of all of the above.

Yes this all alternate picking, downstroke escape, upstroke escape, and so on. We’ve discussed this on the forum before (search feature if you get a moment). What you’re trying to do here is have the downstroke string changes clear the higher string, and the upstroke string changes clear the lower string. This means the pick actually travels in two different directions. And you want to do this in such a way that there is no repeated muscle usage.

Yngwie appears to use a combination of wrist and forearm for this, but with the long sleeves in the classic REH video it’s harder to see this. There are some live clips where it’s a little more visible. In general, you can also do this with nothing but wrist motion, which is the way players like John Petrucci do pedal-type licks. How does the wrist move in multiple directions? Well, glad you asked! Here’s a quick lesson how the wrist can move at different angles:


Really appreciate you taking the time to reply Troy! And thank you for all your hard work, it’s drastically changed my playing for the better over the years :smile:. I’ll check the video out!


I remember years ago reading an interview with him where he claimed - bragged, essentially - that he was actually a really great blues player, and that a lot of people would be really surprised if he ever did a blues album. “Bullshit,” I remembered thinking.

Then, he covered “Red House” on the G3 tour album, and sure enough, it was awesome. :smile: Gotta give the man credit where it’s due, he may talk a big game, but he can back it up, too.


He could play every note of Deep Purple’s Made In Japan in his youth which at the time was one of the most virtuosic guitar rock albums. He could play the standard blues-rock 70s guitar god stuff note for note and the classical influence entered the picture when he started to grow bored with blues based rock. Yngwie talks about it in the first bit of the famous “more is more” interview.


Yngwie said in an interview recently that his next album is a blues album.

The interview is here and he talks about it @ 23:30:

Seriously, though, you really have to be an Yngwie fan to watch an interview like this…


So the first song from Yngwie’s coming blues-rock album just dropped. It is called “Sun’s Up Top’s Down”. Monster chops there, again.


haha, love Yngwie, but to hear him say “singers dont matter” lol…I wish he’d poll his fan base about that


Cheesy as hell… but no one listens to Yngwie for his tasteful, understated, soulful chops. I thought it was an absolute blast. I’m seeing him in a small venue in NH with a few buddies a few months from now, and I am stoked.