Here's an interesting video from a magical place called YouTube—and magical time for guitarists called 1990. It's a pro-shop clip of guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen going Strat shopping at a second-hand and vintage gear shop in London. As Yngwie gets out of his limo, he passes two men on the street. One of them asks, “Who’s this, Bon Jovi?” Awesome.
Lately, we've been going through some of the older Guitar World videos on YouTube—and we've been finding some pretty unusual (and often quite cool) stuff. Such as this 2008 video titled "In the Studio with... Yngwie Malmsteen."
For today's flashback video, we're dropping in on a young Yngwie Malmsteen, circa-1984. Fans who got to see the Graham Bonnet-led Alcatrazz perform in the early to mid-Eighties were treated to bits and pieces of Malmsteen's mastery in pretty much every song—but especially when he took his extended solo breaks.
After all, the pentatonic scale is nearly ubiquitous as a cornerstone of modern rock lead playing. And fours is a common rhythmic grouping, especially considering that most rock songs are written in 4/4 time. As a result, we hear pentatonic fours patterns in rock leads all the time, especially in keyboard and horn parts.
Of all my musical influences, classical violinist Niccolo Paganini has to be on top of the list. Though he lived in the late 18th century (long before image became as important in the making and marketing of musicians as their actual music), his extreme personal magnetism coupled with truly mind-boggling technique made him the world’s first bona fide rock star.
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.
Check out this video that was created and posted by the gang at Spin. In the clip, Yngwie Malmsteen teaches Spin senior editor—and self-declared guitar novice—David Marchese everything you need to know to shred like a guitar god.