Magazine article Guitar Player

Moves like Malmsteen

Magazine article Guitar Player

Moves like Malmsteen

Article excerpt

IN MANY WAYS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN sets the bar by which shred guitarists measure themselves. Whether it's his command of exotic scales, extended scale runs, alternate picked phrases, or blinding sweep-picked arpeggios, Malmsteen's Swedish shred magic is worthy of study for any guitarist interested in improving their speed and technique. This lesson will investigate an area of Malmsteen's fretboard mastery involving the use of quick position shifts and sudden movements along the strings. These shifting ideas and licks allow Yngwie to move between positions with ease and change the direction of a lick or phrase in an instant. These shifts will help you create plenty of new licks and phrases and will sharpen several areas of your playing, including your overall speed, fingering agility, dexterity, and alternate-picking technique.

Ex. 1 features a tricky descending A harmonic minor sequence that will be the basis for this entire lesson. As you play through this example, be sure that you follow the fingering pattern closely and use strict alternate picking throughout.

The next example is a reversed version of this idea, and as you play through Ex. 2, notice that the reversal creates an entirely new challenge for the fretting hand. This ascending sequence of notes incorporates several fingering shifts that can be tricky at first, so be sure to give yourself time getting used to them, and--as before--be sure to follow the fingering closely.

Ex. 3 features a mixture of these two ideas, and it delivers an authentic Yngwie scale sequence as these descending and ascending concepts are combined.

Now that you have a feel for shifting between two positions of A harmonic minor, let's extend this idea by shifting to a third position using a descending sequence of notes. As you can see and hear in Ex. 4, the inclusion of the higher position opens the sound of this phrase, and will help you create a wide range of interesting licks. …

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