Zakk Wylde Names The Only Guitarist Who’s More Innovative Than Eddie Van Halen

During a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde reflected on the transition in rock music, especially with guitar playing styles. According to the guitarist, many people thought guitar playing couldn’t go any further after Eddie Van Halen. However, Yngwie Malmsteen came along and carried it even further than the Van Halen icon himself if you ask Wylde.

There’s no doubt that late Van Halen legend Eddie Van Halen is one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Throughout his music career of 48 years, the guitarist was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique as well as creating legendary tracks such as ‘Eruption,’ ‘I’m The One,’ and ‘You’re No Good.’

Yngwie Malmsteen has also gained recognition for his brilliant guitar playing a few years after Eddie. The legendary guitar player is regarded as one of the best ones out there by countless music critics and fans. Malmsteen is also notably known for combining his neoclassical playing style in heavy metal music which made him stand out in the 1980s.

As for the question of which of these splendid guitar players is better than the other, it actually depends on who you’re asking. Since both Van Halen and Malmsteen are among the many lists of greatest guitarists of all time, it’s challenging to ask another guitar player their favorite.

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde, on the other hand, picked who carried the guitar further during an interview without actually being asked. According to him, people thought the guitar was in its best shape in the mid-1970s until Eddie Van Halen came along and made it better.

After the Van Halen icon, fans thought the same thing as Eddie was the best thing that ever happened to guitar in rock music and it couldn’t have been better. Once again, they were wrong as Yngwie Malmsteen blew everybody’s mind by improving guitar if you ask Wylde.

During the interview, Wylde said:

“Hair metal was awesome. The guitar playing and musicianship. I mean, just look at it. In the mid-’70s, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, guitar can’t go any further.’ All of the sudden, King Edward Van Halen arrives and just blows the planet apart.

And then, all of the sudden everyone is like, ‘Well, that’s the end of that. It can’t go any further than this!’ Then Yngwie Malmsteen comes out and it’s just like, you’ve gotta be kidding me, man.”

There’s no way to know if Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen is better than one another. However, one thing is for sure, both guitarists highly influenced the guitar playing in rock music for the better as well as inspiring those who followed their lead as guitar heroes.