Watch Yngwie Malmsteen turn a vintage 1959 Gibson Les Paul into a shred machine

There are not many repositories of ridiculously tasty guitar work on the internet that can match the sheer sensationalism of Yngwie Malmsteen’s YouTube channel, and now the neoclassical shred legend has treated us to yet another clip of his trademark style of awe-inspiring playing. 

However, rather than playing his tried and trusted Fender signature Strat, or even his recently acquired Jimmy Page Fender Dragon replica Telecaster, the electric guitar virtuoso instead opts for a Les Paul – more specifically, he opts for a vintage 1959 Gibson Les Paul

The much sought-after Les Paul in question, which has probably had it fairly easy over the past few years (no doubt residing in a collector's case or on display somewhere), was energetically awoken from its slumber in a blaze of high-gain glory, and transformed into an absolute shred machine by Malmsteen.

Without knowing what had hit it, the highly desirable model was soon playing host to a series of jaw-dropping two-hand tapping sequences, silky fretboard-spanning scale lines and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them lead exchanges.

In 58 seconds, the Swedish wizard seemingly plays more notes on the vintage axe than it has experienced in its entire life, and is left, unsurprisingly, feeling very satisfied with the six-string.

“Nice guitar,” quips Malmsteen, who clearly hasn't even broken a sweat after ripping through a barrage of rapid-fire lines. A fairly tame reaction, given the coveted axe in his hands…

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.