Nick Johnston: “The first few Yngwie Malmsteen albums still make me smile. The ferociousness of that playing is still unequaled”

Nick Johnston
(Image credit: Press)

Canadian virtuoso Nick Johnston makes a fascinating case study for any player looking to take their style and sound off road. Here is a player with the chops and influences that could have seen him ensconced in shred, but then there’s a push/pull with him, a musical curiosity that steers his playing towards broader horizons. 

As reveals, the writing does not begin with his Schecter signature guitar, but rather the piano – an approach that helps inform his phrasing, that helps keep it fresh. Young Language brings the piano to the fore, and also his vocals. 

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Jason Sidwell

Jason Sidwell (BA Hons, MA, ALCM) is editor of Guitar Techniques and senior tuition editor for Guitarist who has written and edited over 20,000 articles since 1998. As an educator he is an advisor/guest tutor for UK music academies/examining institutions, a director for the International Guitar Foundation (IGF), author of How to Play Guitar Step by Step (Dorling Kindersley) and extensive tutorials for The Guardian and Observer newspapers. Outside of journalism, he is a busy classical guitarist, performs regularly for theatre productions and has a broad cliental for studio work.