Yngwie Practice order

Hey everyone! First post. I just watched through the Volcano seminar, I’ve been trying to learn Yngwie for about 5 years and finally got Troy’s class. Incredible stuff. My question is this:

I’ve watched all the material, I understand the concepts, but I don’t understand in which order to practice the material, in order to achieve maximum results as quickly as possible.

I’ve picked four single string licks (Evil Eye breakdown, fours ascending, shift triplets, six note patterns - positions), and do four reps of 30 seconds with 30 second breaks in between each rep, to a metronome, every day.

I know the next skills include string changes, volcano pattern economy picking, and arpeggios. Are there any licks you’d recommend I start with, or should I just pull a few at random and keep doing what I’m doing?

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Consider looking up the books and videos from Chris Brooks.


Hi and welcome!

I just want to make sure you understand the core of Troy’s system. I got super excited when I came here too and quickly made a wishlist of licks I should now be able to tackle. That’s not exactly how it’s supposed to work though lol! Those seminars aren’t the starting point, they are like a 200 level class in college after a pre-requisite. So we have to make sure you have a solid foundation.

Are you familiar with the main concepts of escape motion? Most players tend to continuously have all their pickstrokes breaks free of the plane of the strings after upstrokes (Up Stroke Escape or USX) OR after downstrokes but rarely either and even more rarely, both. This is important because there are several ways to make your pick move (joint/muscle activation motion) and they are all highly capable, but they also have implications.

For Yngwie’s licks, if you play them exactly as he does, you must have a motion that escapes after upstrokes. If that’s not the case, you’re in for some frustration at the step where you need to change to different strings. You wouldn’t know you’re in for this wrestling match at the stage you’re at, where you are playing on one string only. (BTW that’s super smart of you to tackle that first – you’ll be glad later)

Not everyone can easily do a motion that changes strings after upstrokes though. So you need to determine what your “best” (fastest) motion does. The best test is to tremolo at a fast speed. Somewhere around 170bpm is a good test. Then, film it and see if the pick moves on a diagonal with the upstrokes OR the downstrokes escaping. If it escapes on the upstrokes AWESOME! Move on to your step of finding licks of Yngwie’s that change strings.

Now, if you find out your best motion escapes after downstrokes, then you have to make a pretty tough decision, as that’s incompatible with Yngwie’s system. You’d have to pick one of these three options. I’ve listed them in order of most-to-least ideal

  • Adapt his licks to escape after downstrokes. It’s possible, others have done it. Best choice for the scenario
  • Find another player to emulate that has a vocabulary where string changes happen after down strokes. Tough to swallow, but possibly enough to save you a lot of frustration. To be fair, John McLaughlin and Yngwie, I view as technical peers. They could not play each other’s vocabulary for this very reason though. Yngwie is USX, John is DSX
  • Learn a motion that changes strings after upstrokes. While this is possible, it’s the longest route offered, and there is a possibility that you’d simply not be able to learn the motion.

Learning a brand new motion is hard for most people. Troy’s recommendation is to start with what you’re best at and exploit it. Yes, there are going to be some limitations, but it will get you playing fast patterns in the shortest amount of time. Nearly all of our heroes have some form of a limitation. No one thinks about this because we’re distracted by all the awesome things we hear the player do. Even among the elite players, there are many phrases that they simply would not be able to play if you asked them to. Instead, they’d adapt the musical idea to their technical framework. In some form, it would be a different pattern than what we asked them to play.

Anyway, sorry for the novel I just wanted to catch you before you went down the exact path I did myself, before I realized how things are supposed to work around here lol! If you’re aware of all this, please disregard and proceed on your path. :slight_smile:


wow this is really really awesome. Thank you!!! For the first time that I have seen someone broke it all down.

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Hiya Joe, thanks for the response! I have been religiously DPS when practicing Yngwie, so much so that when I went to practice the outro lick to Fairies where boots (which is impossible to alternate pick with DPS) I was thoroughly upset with Tony Iommi!

I’ll combine string change riffs with my single string practice, and time my tremolo picking speed as well.

And KGK, good call. I have the neoclassical speed strategies for guitar book, but I haven’t touched it in about 6 years. I’ll revisit it and fuse it with the Troy videos to understand the order of things.

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The easiest Yngwie solos to learn are the ones on Alcatrazz’ No Parole from Rock n Roll. Unlike his solo records, Yngwie wrote his solos on that album and as such the lines are a little less “off the cuff” feeling and a bit easier to break down IMO.

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I think Yngwie’s Fire has one of his best ever solos, and I don’t really see it mentioned a whole lot. It has loads of great licks

Was thinking about his Yngwie-specific book and

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I just want to point out that this is already “broken down” very clearly in our instructional material, in lessons like this one:

This isn’t a good enough test. The good news is, the best test is also very simple: the minimum requirement for playing Yngwie, Eric Johnson, George Benson, Doug Aldrich, or any other USX material is the ability to perform a tremolo with USX motion.

Meaning, emulating a USX motion at very slow or medium speeds doesn’t count and is not reliable. It may or may not translate to actually being able to do the motion at real playing speeds. The only reliable test is whether motion actually moves diagonally, with upstrokes escaping, when you play fast.

Also, the pickslant is not what you are looking for. You are looking for the escape of the motion. It must move along a diagonal when performing a tremolo. In other words, it must look like this:

TLDR film your tremolo. If you see upstroke escape motion, you’re good, you can work on USX phrases from any USX player.

If not, you can either figure out how to do a USX tremolo, OR you can switch to playing phrases that match whatever your escape is currently — probably DSX, in most cases.

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I can’t offer too much insight since USX is my natural style, but before I was introduced to what was at the time called Downwards Pickslanting, I was a legato player. The thing that changed everything for me was the famous six-note pattern. I could play that pretty much overnight. It was also fairly easy for me to get the Trilogy head down. Stuff that mixed the escape-hatch pullofffs such as the Black Star lick and the Sword took a little bit longer. So for what it’s worth, I’d focus on the pure picking licks first (6 note, trilogy, volcano, and others are examples from the Volcano seminar). However, I will reiterate again, this method of playing came naturally to me, so the progression I took may not be appropriate for someone who may have a default DSX or neutral pickslant position.

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As someone that did something similar, the best I can offer is reluctant encouragement if you do decide to go down the USX path. Keep in mind, it may take awhile just to get used to it and even more time before you can even USE it comfortably, let alone musically.

I was a sort of 2/3-mixed escape, 1/3 DSX player back in the day, but I never took escape routes or starting strokes into consideration. In fact, it was this site that showed me that that was what I was doing. It wasn’t exactly mixed escape per se, just that I played without a slant and would do the finger/thumb combo escape thing when switching strings. The DSX thing was something I tapped into when I needed to go insanely fast on the fly and my whole picking mechanism had no other choice but to find it immediately. Again, I wasn’t aware of that until this site.

As for my approach… I could have learned EJ solos using DSX, but the D/D/U texture can only be found with USX, (also, I’m stubborn as hell) so I dove in head first. It took me probably about a month just to find a goddamn motion that felt like it was capable, and around the same length of time to get used to it. Now I can play the solo to Desert Rose at full speed, All About You at full speed minus one line that I have around 80% and am about to start tackling Lonely In The Night.

But those did not come easy at all. In fact, and this is the main point I’m getting at, is that practicing the lines themselves didn’t do much for me. So, I spent more time working on the base techniques, for lack of a better word, and it makes all of those lines much more approachable. Like everyone has said, start with the tremolo and build from there. If I just practiced the lines themselves, I doubt I’d be half as far along as I’ve gotten. And I can use those techniques in anything, not just player-specific lines.

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