Yngwie Volcano Pattern Critique

Hello. This is my first ever USX #technique-critique video. I am playing a lick from the Volcano Seminar. The lick I am playing is the “Volcano Pattern”, although I am playing it in a different key and position on the fretboard.

What I would like feedback on

In general, what do you think of the playing here? What can I do to improve this lick? What would be good to work on to get into playing more USX phrases? What do you think my next steps would be for improving my picking technique? I have quite a few DSX phrases in the tool box at this point. Maybe it would be beneficial to work more on mixed escape and DBX phrases?

The lick is only played at 100 bpm, six notes to the click, in this video. In the seminar Troy is probably playing the lick closer to 130 bpm if it is subdivided into six notes per click. When I try to speed the lick up, it starts to get sloppy and the notes don’t sound as good. Any ideas for improving the speed of this lick without the accuracy going out the window?

Well first, how long have you been working on doing this?

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I first learned the lick quite some time ago. I put it on the shelf for a while to focus on DSX phrases. I started working on the lick again only recently to change things up a little bit.

Well I think since it has been so recent, that time really is what it needs. I know you have goals of going faster with it, but directional picking like that tends to already be a faster technique from the get go, particularly from a picking hand perspective, so slowing down to really make sure you are syncing well with both hands is really the key to nailing economy lines like that, and making them sound really clear and distinct. Maybe not exactly the answer you were looking for, but true in my experience with it. Also, starting with two string phrases than maybe four, is a pretty good way to train this.

I think as far as the clip, it sounded good. As far as which licks to practice for USX, really the answer is any lick. So long as you work around the limitations of USX or any single direction escape for that matter, you can transform any lick you want to learn into a USX friendly lick.


Here, here is another Yngwie lick that he uses quite a lot. It’s the far beyond the sun lick. Of course it’s really good for USX, particularly because it forces the left and right timing to be synchronized when you use the pulloff’s and odd even grouping splits on strings in order to always escape on an upstroke (the timing and flow is everything or else the lick does NOT sound good and is a clumpy clumsy mess).

Here’s how it sounds (well with me playing it at least, I’m certainly not Yngwie):

Here is the notation with the picking pattern.


Looks like the picking strokes are off on the 4 beat of measure 1 and the first beat of measure 2. I think it is happening cause of the alignment of the pulloff from beat 3 to beat 4.


It was. It put the down stroke on the pull off of the previous beat. It’s fixed now.


Hello. Sorry for the delayed response. I got busy with something earlier today.

@Fossegrim thank you for your critique and for sharing that lick. Much appreciated. Yes, I’ll definitely have to make sure to spend time practicing slowly. How slow would be ideal? Like half of my maximum clean tempo?

So I wouldn’t really go at a percentage of max, but more so pick a speed that you can play it at that is easy to focus on making it even and smooth. It should just flow. Really listen to it rhythmically. Here is an example of it at a slower tempo. It’s actually pretty difficult to lock at a slower tempo as there is a tendency to rush the consecutive down strokes. making everything even is key. By the way I don’t know what the actual lick is so this may have used more of the scale than what you played.

Then the next thing I would do is work it to speed in 12 note chunks. Here are the first 12 notes slow then faster:

Then start connecting the chunks bit by bit until you have a lick that flows


Okay, sweet. That sounds like a really good idea. Thank you.