Ynvgie Rotational Technique application


So i’ve watched the Rotational picking technique video in the Volcano seminar 3 times now, and i’ve been trying to apply it. My top palm is going up and down like the video says but i’m afraid that i’m using more wrist movement rather than using my forearm. Is this wrong? It also seems that my picking hand is going up and down the strings rather than away from them. Once again, I can’t tell if this is right or not.


dunno if there is a “right” or “wrong”. top pros do it several different ways.

In any case we probably need a vid to see whats actually going on. I suspect most of us have a combination of different things happening in our motions.


Sorry for the confusion here. We’ve considered removing that chapter a number of times because what Yngwie really does is a mish-mash of things including elbow, foreararm, wrist, and fingers, and it appears to change based on the phrase he’s playing. So you shouldn’t look at what Ynwgie does and think, aha, that’s “forearm rotation”.

That being said, what I tell you in that video about about what I do in the Volcano seminar playing examples is pretty much accurate to what I do, just that the explanation could be clearer.

…that’s correct! This is what I do, and what most players who use “forearm” do. Exclusively forearm movement would have no wrist and only the arm turning. The Eddie Van Halen tremolo technique is one example of what this looks like. Forum user @qwertygitarr also has some nice clips of his forearm technique up here. Neither of these look like what Yngwie does.

Forearm involvement more commonly occurs alongside other joint motions, again, like wrist and fingers. Here’s good recent example of one of these motions that I use:

Fore more instructions on doing this, I recommend checking out the “Introduction to Picking Motion” talk, starting around 50 minutes or so:

In that section, we talk about forearm, and we are clearer about the ways it mixes with other motions. If what you’re doing looks like the above clip, there’s nothing wrong with that. Technically, you should already know you’re doing it right because it should be fast and smooth.

If it’s not fast and smooth, then keep trying to do it fast until you can get it to happen. These movements are not typically things you “work up to” gradually. They’re more like a coordination thing that you figure out through repeated attempts, like throwing a yo-yo.


Hello Troy! Sorry for asking this as I’m sure you’ve already explained it somewhere, but when I try to use the form you just posted it feels a bit sticky and hoppy. I’m a primary upward player (Vinnie Moore, Andy Wood). What should I look into?


This is one of the scenarios where a posting a video is probably the best route. I’d make a “Technique Critique” thread about that. Typically the solution is training yourself to make a motion that goes into and out of the strings in a straight line. Often a rest stroke helps with that by giving you a target to hit so you know you’re really bottoming out on the downstroke. If it’s some other problem, we’d have to take a look.

Speed is important. The crux of learning new motions is attempting them at a fast enough speed that you can feel when it clicks and is smooth. If it’s not clicking and feeling smooth, then you may be doing something wrong with the motion. Trial and error is always your friend in this process, not slow methodical “note-correct” practice. Smoothness of motion, even if it’s a little sloppy, is what you’re looking for as a first step.

Again, the Pickslanting Primer / Intro to Picking Motion talk and the Volcano chapter have more instructions for hand placement and how to move, what it should feel like, etc.


Thank you for the response. I’m starting to get a grip on downward movements, but mostly with 3NPS patterns. Of course targeting with rest strokes helps quite a lot.

I have already started a thread on my technique at the time, things have improved thanks to your material and great forum. I’ll try to get a better camera and start recording again.