Yngwie Malmsteen Says He Changed The Entire Guitar Playing Technique

Yngwie Malmsteen recently posted a video on his YouTube channel answering questions regarding his influences. The guitarist explained that he isn’t inspired by guitarists who were inspired by classical music but by the classical musicians themselves. He stated that he changed his guitar playing technique because of these classical musicians.

Malmsteen had stated a couple of times that his musical influences are Bach, Vivaldi, and Paganini. He started to play music at a very early age, and coming from Sweden, he wasn’t exposed to too much rock and roll when he was in his teens. Unlike his contemporaries, he couldn’t follow the rock and roll trends. Hence, he developed his own style, not caring about what was actually popular.

In his recent interview, he responded to whether he was influenced by guitarists who were also influenced by classical music. His reaction indicated that it was a different case. Even though he loved guitarists who were inspired by classical music, what he is doing with his guitar is completely different. He stated that he threw out the entire guitar playing technique and applied violin’s.

Instead of harboring classical music vibes in his compositions, he composed with classical music. He went further to state that when he heard Genesis, he wondered what the tunes they’re using were and, he went on to research why they don’t sound like typical rock and roll. Hence, after his research, he started to adapt to a violin-playing technique on the guitar. Malmsteen also claimed that nobody does what he is doing on the guitar.

Here is his explanation of his technique:

“What I did, was took the entire guitar playing technique, threw it out the window, and I applied the violin technique. No one ever did that before. There is absolutely no link. My classical influence comes from originally hearing Genesis, wondering why do these tonalities happen that are not the standard rock and roll. I realized it was all Bach-influenced stuff, that’s what I like. My classical influence is one hundred percent from Johan Sebastian Bach, Anthony Vivaldi, Niccolo Paganini, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, so on.

My classical influence does not come from other guitar players. Let’s make that perfectly clear. Having said that, I love Uli, I love Ritchie Blackmore, I love Billy Gibbons, I love Angus Young, Brian May. I think they’re all amazing guitar players. I have a lot of respect for them; I’m not knocking them one way or another.

I am saying that my style is originating from classical violin, Vivaldi, Paganini. The structuring of my music is much influenced by Johan Sebastian Bach. Not by somebody that is influenced by Johan Sebastian Bach.”

You can watch the interview below.