While doing a bit of research on an upcoming story about noteworthy Deep Purple covers, we were reminded of this live 1992 performance of "Smoke on the Water" by Yngwie Malmsteen. Note that Malmsteen also sings on this version, doing double duty by handling the original roles of Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore.
Check out this video created and posted by the gang at Spin. In the clip, which was posted in November 2013, Yngwie Malmsteen teaches Spin senior editor — and self-declared guitar novice — David Marchese everything you need to know to shred like a guitar god.
For today's Flashback Friday video, we're dropping in on Yngwie Malmsteen, circa-1984. Fans who got to see Alcatrazz perform in the early to mid-'80s were treated to bits and pieces of Malmsteen's mastery in pretty much every song — but especially when he took his extended solo breaks.
My sister gave me Fireball for my eighth birthday, June 30, 1971, and that day my life forever change. I knew immediately that I was going to be a guitarist for life and there would be no turning back. It's like one minute I was a kid playing with cap guns, and then someone handed me a fuckin' nuclear bomb! My life was never the same, to say the least.
Spearheaded by Yngwie Malmsteen and Randy Rhoads, inspired by Uli Jon Roth and Ritchie Blackmore (and Bach, Mozart, Paganini, etc.) and taken to its heights by Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Tony MacAlpine and the other early Shrapnel Records artists, the neo-classical period in modern rock guitar was a time of previously unimaginable technical progress and harmonic inventiveness.
The notion of sweeping (or raking) the pick across the strings to produce a quick succession of notes has been around since the invention of the pick itself. Jazz players from the Fifties would use the approach in their improvisations, and Chet Atkins was known to eschew his signature fingerstyle hybrid-picking technique from time to time and rip out sweep-picked arpeggios.