“I never wanted to be a violinist. I wanted to play electric guitar with smoke bombs and flash pots and Marshall stacks”: Yngwie Malmsteen says he is definitely not a frustrated classical player

Yngwie Malmsteen plays electric guitar in front a Marshall amp stack
(Image credit: Steve Thorne / Getty Images)

It is often said of shred virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen that he is a frustrated classical violinist at heart, but in a recent interview with YouTube guitar guru Rick Beato, the neoclassical icon points out his issues with the description.

During the conversation [around 6.27], Beato compares Malmsteen’s unique approach to the instrument to that of Allan Holdsworth – the prog/fusion guitarist who said he “wanted to be a saxophonist” – noting perhaps the same is true of the Swedish maestro when it comes to classical violin. Malmsteen, however, disagrees.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.