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Yngwie Malmsteen: Faster Than Lightning | INTERVIEW

Published 1 year ago on January 9, 2020

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

Many guitar players these days are labeled as a 'virtuoso' or a 'maestro', however, arguably there are none more deserving of either of these titles than this issue's cover artist, Yngwie Malmsteen. Nick Jennison Yngwie Malmsteen: Faster Than Lightning

Many guitar players these days are labeled as a 'virtuoso' or a 'maestro', however, arguably there are none more deserving of either of these titles than this issue's cover artist, Yngwie Malmsteen. With a brand new album titled 'Blue Lightning' out now and a major U.S. tour about to kick off later this month, Nick Jennison caught up with Swedish guitar giant at Handel & Hendrix in London, the location of Jimi Hendrix's 1960s Mayfair flat.

Yngwie Malmsteen is one of the true originals of rock guitar. Like Hendrix and Van Halen before him, Yngwie's arrival on the scene in 1983 signalled a paradigm shift for the instrument - one that was made concrete with the release of his 1984 solo release 'Rising Force.' Almost overnight, legions of guitarists abandoned the amped-up blues-rock stylings of the day in an effort to make Malmsteen's neo-classical virtuosity their own - to various degrees of success. By the end of the 80s, a horde of rock and metal guitarists had successfully copped Malmsteen's baroque-inspired harmonic sensibilities, along with at least some measure of his ferocious chops; shoe-horning diminished arpeggios and rapid picking runs into the mall-rock songs of the day.

But it's not the chops, nor the harmonic and melodic devices that make Yngwie great. As someone who has studied his playing at great length, let me tell you right now that playing the notes


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