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Yngwie Malmsteen





deanhills
This guy must be one of the most versatile and gifted electric guitarists around. In total control of his music instrument and all of the notes come out fast and perfect all of the time. I like what he has done with some of the classics too - the one below is titled Paganini but ends up with Bach - my favourite of the two:



I like what he did with Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water too .... I think it's better than the rendition of Deep Purple's .... this guy is REALLY gifted ....

Ankhanu
Can not stand this sort of wankery.
Malmsteen is in the upper echelon of these types of players, for sure. He's exceptionally talented and skilled, but, the end result is utter drivel. It's impressive, to be sure, but, musically, it holds about as much water as a colander. No heart or feeling whatsoever, just speed and notes.

The pursuit of high tier technique is a pitfall that many fall into in many forms of expression/art, losing meaning while mastering greater heights of proficiency. There are very few who are capable of maintaining the focus required to master an instrument and not lose sight of what that mastery is supposed to produce... Jazz musicians seem a little less prone to this than rock musicians, but it still happens. If you'll accept the metaphor, it's like they sell their soul for mastery.

He's also a phenomenal example of a player who has not evolved one jot. He's still trying to be the same guy/player he was in the 80s... and it's just not working anymore.
liljp617
There are only a handful of guitar players around today who capture the emotion, excitement, mystery, expression, and thrill that Malmsteem does. The first video isn't a pure shredfest at all -- he's clearly playing with some structure and attempting to lure the listener in with the various dynamics and different phrasing.

Honestly, I used to feel the same way about early classical music when I wasn't all that experienced with listening to music. When I listened, I got nothing out of it except the impression these were giant groups of people who focused purely on technique and played whatever the paper said. But you listen to it more and more and you start to see that there's a hell of a lot more to it than mindless playing of an assortment of notes.

He's by no means my first choice of listen, but I don't think saying he just stands up there doing nothing but playing fast is a fair assessment. I've always thought that was a terrible criticism of Malmsteem and others in the area of neo-classical/speed metal. There are clearly tons of people who do feel something from his music. And of course, he feels something in that style and genre of guitar. I don't think it's fair to imply his music is soulless.
menino
I think Yngwie is highly talented guitarist as well. But to say he is just a better guitarist than most, is technically correct, but I guess he has inspired a lot of people nontheless, Ankhanu.
I think music comes from deep within, even if its copying a composition of someone else, you have to really feel the music to be able to play it again, and its a rarity that it can be only played from the brain completely.

I like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani and Santana as well, and I used to like Slash, mainly for his guitaring in G 'n R. I'm not too much of a fan of Malmstein, but I do think he is a great guitarist, and fast as well.

Thanks for the post Deanhills. I had almost forgotten about Malmstein, until now. I haven't gotten to listening much to music lately.
standready
I have a couple of his older CDs here. Going to have to pop them and give a listen.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
No heart or feeling whatsoever, just speed and notes.
You MUST be joking. This guy IS passion. That is what sets him apart, as well as his perfect notes. I'm not as much into his ballads, but works like the one below are completely passion.

Ankhanu
deanhills wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
No heart or feeling whatsoever, just speed and notes.
You MUST be joking. This guy IS passion. That is what sets him apart, as well as his perfect notes. I'm not as much into his ballads, but works like the one below are completely passion.

I certainly don't deny that he has energy, but I wouldn't say passion, real emotional passion. The guy is all ego; most shredders are... and that just doesn't do it for me. He sits with other shredders like Steve Vai, Buckethead, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, etc. as being fantastically talented, but, ultimately musically boring with moments of some intense greatness. Add in megalomania and they almost become unforgivable Razz

It's almost cliche for musicians like me to dislike players like Malmsteen, but, I simply don't dig him, nor the genre. It's not jealousy of their skill, though I wish I could play as effortlessly as they do... but I find they tend to lack taste. Look at someone like Jeff Buckley, he was a pretty good guitar player and understood the importance of subtlety in creating an emotional piece, something that goes beyond energy into something actually creative (and I'm not just talking creative in terms of getting a different sound out of the instrument). Players like Malmsteen are kinda like singers like Beyonce other popular pop divas: all power all the time... They're incredibly talented and popular, but don't seem to really get the subtlety of music, nor the power of silence.

I admit that when I first started playing, these guys blew my mind. They're like a punch in the gut showing you what can be done on a guitar technically, and can be pretty inspiring. A lot of new players get awestruck by them. But, I find that a lot of people eventually get over the initial awe and start recognizing the derivative nature of the music and the lack of grace, and move on to more interesting, more accessible and meaningful styles of expression, rather than instrumental masturbation. Obviously not everyone grows out of it, and some just love it, but, it's not for everyone.
Ankhanu
Don't get me wrong, Dean, this is an entirely subjective topic. Players like Malmsteen (and yeah, I purposely use the word "player" or "performer" rather than "artist") have their place, but it's not a place I care for... others do. There isn't a right stance here, other than a personal one.

Hell, I know people who are heavily into and passionate about stuff like goregrind (and those examples are particularly melodic forms of the genre) and noise, but it just doesn't turn my crank... They take their noise seriously and it is the outlet they use for personal and emotional expression. I doubt most people would get it, though Wink They would argue all day and night as to its merits and superiority over other genres, but, in the end, it's subjective and personal.
deanhills
Ankhanu wrote:
Don't get me wrong, Dean, this is an entirely subjective topic. Players like Malmsteen (and yeah, I purposely use the word "player" or "performer" rather than "artist") have their place, but it's not a place I care for... others do. There isn't a right stance here, other than a personal one.
Think I got it. Different horses different courses.

To a certain extent you may be correct about his lack in evolving over the last number of years. As though the originality in his creativity had gotten less than usual. Particularly trying to do solos that he is not really good at, as his real gift is the guitar. Who knows, maybe he could have fallen into the trap of trying to create for business reasons, i.e. what the audience wants, rather than what he is gifted in.
tidruG
Ankhanu wrote:
I certainly don't deny that he has energy, but I wouldn't say passion, real emotional passion. The guy is all ego; most shredders are... and that just doesn't do it for me. He sits with other shredders like Steve Vai, Buckethead, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, etc. as being fantastically talented, but, ultimately musically boring with moments of some intense greatness. Add in megalomania and they almost become unforgivable
Remember 2 things:
  1. Music is subjective. What may be emotionless display of ego for you might mean something emotionally to me.
  2. Joe Satriani doesn't shred in all his tracks. He does it a fair bit, but not in everything. In fact, I was expecting to hear only shredding when I started listening to him, but I got a lot more 'music' instead. For example, "Searching" actually fits its title. I really get the feeling that I'm looking for something hard to find when I listen to that track


Quote:
But, I find that a lot of people eventually get over the initial awe and start recognizing the derivative nature of the music and the lack of grace, and move on to more interesting, more accessible and meaningful styles of expression, rather than instrumental masturbation.
Possibly true. You will get bored of it and move into simpler things. It's possibly the same reason why a lot of heavy metal listeners eventually end up liking jazz. It has more to do wit you than with the musicians. Their level of dedication to their music remains the same.

Quote:
Hell, I know people who are heavily into and passionate about stuff like goregrind (and those examples are particularly melodic forms of the genre) and noise, but it just doesn't turn my crank... They take their noise seriously and it is the outlet they use for personal and emotional expression.

When you dismiss other forms of music (or anything else at all) in such a condescending manner, it really makes you come across like a snobbish jackass. So basically, what you seem to be saying is more like "Yeah, I know it's subjective, I know people enjoy different forms of music, but personally, they're idiots and have no sense of music at all."

My post, I recognise, may be going off-topic. But what I wanted to highlight was that anything to do with creativity (or not), be it music, literature, paint or sculpture, has an element of subjectivity to its appreciation. I recognise that there are certain artists who seem to have achieved universal acclaim, like Van Gogh or Picasso, and even they have their detractors. Personally, I don't like rap music. I think their lyrics are mindnumbingly stupid, repetitive and not very clever at all. But I've come to realise that people actually like that kind of music. They like the music and not just the rap/hip-hop culture.

As for Yngwie Malmsteen, I'm not really a fan. I've listened to very little of his music. I don't really care much for shredding, to be honest. But like Ankhanu said, some of my friends who were beginning to learn the guitar treated them (Malmsteen, Vai, Satriani, etc) as Gods.
Ankhanu
Yep, all subjective; we all make our choices in these matters, and yes, it is an exclusionary, even snobbish process... obviously we feel our choices are right/superior, that's why we made them Wink I recognize that my comments regarding Malmsteen are entirely my own opinion, and are sweeping generalizations, but, honestly, I can't be arsed going through his extensive library to find and critique the gems hidden within; that would be too painful for me to bother with, and I do have some experience with his work from which my opinions are based.

For the record, my use of "noise" above was not derogatory, it was, in fact, a genre classification (noise and/or noise-core)... those that I know that are into goregrind are also into noise and noise-core Razz
Blummer
I really have no idea, whether he's bad or good. The thing I know, he's got a good technique and his music does not lack emotions, I mean it has some feeling in it.
liljp617
You seriously just placed Satriani, Vai, and Petrucci in a category of "egotistical shredders?" Come on -.- Have you even listened to their music other than the odd YouTube video here and there? Have you ever watched a single interview by any of them? They're some of the most modest guitarists around.

You can't honestly listen to things like Whispering A Prayer, I Know You're Here, Lotus Feet, Made of Tears, Flying In A Blue Dream, If I Could Fly, Revelation, Searching, almost ANY Dream Theater song, and dozens of others and cast these guys off as "egomaniac shredders."

Joe Satriani is almost purely a blues rock guitarist. Petrucci is almost exclusively a progressive metal/rock guitarist, as is Vai. These players are incredibly far from the genre of "shred guitar." The things you claim they don't understand, they clearly do understand, and likely much better than the vast majority of musicians around. You're telling me a guy who has given private lessons to some of the most prominent, well-known guitarists in music today doesn't understand music or his instrument? You're telling me a guy who taught himself into Berkeley School of Music doesn't understand music? You're telling me a guy who writes orchestral performances doesn't understand music? Give me a break "/ If anybody has the ego, I don't think it's them...
Ankhanu
liljp617 wrote:
Joe Satriani is almost purely a blues rock guitarist. Petrucci is almost exclusively a progressive metal/rock guitarist, as is Vai. These players are incredibly far from the genre of "shred guitar."

I wouldn't say that their blues/rock/prog/metal roots take them out of the shred category at all. There are different forms of shredding, not all of it is all 1/64 notes all the time... Being a blues man doesn't negate the possibility of also being a shredder (these aren't exclusive categories).
liljp617 wrote:
The things you claim they don't understand, they clearly do understand, and likely much better than the vast majority of musicians around. You're telling me a guy who has given private lessons to some of the most prominent, well-known guitarists in music today doesn't understand music or his instrument? You're telling me a guy who taught himself into Berkeley School of Music doesn't understand music? You're telling me a guy who writes orchestral performances doesn't understand music? Give me a break "/ If anybody has the ego, I don't think it's them...

Not what I said at all. They all clearly understand music theory and their instruments... I said I find their product boring, which is not the same as saying they don't understand theory. Complexity, theoretic brilliance, etc. don't always (often?) translate to beautiful or interesting music, though it may be intellectually sound.
There are many, many symphonies that, quite simply, suck. The ability to write orchestral performance does not, in itself, mean that someone is writing good music. But then, what is good is exceptionally subjective, and is malleable. I don't necessarily think what I thought was good when I was a kid is still good, ya know Wink
Ankhanu
Malmsteen rig rundown
Insanity
I agree, he can play fast, but if you compare him with people like Clapton or Hendrix he has none of their feeling and soul.
deanhills
Insanity wrote:
I agree, he can play fast, but if you compare him with people like Clapton or Hendrix he has none of their feeling and soul.
I don't think he should be compared with Clapton and Hendrix. He is a class in his own. I do agree that in some of his performances, especially the ones where he is going really fast, he is more technical than expressive of feeling. It may sound a bit mechanical. But there are some of his performances that are very passionate. Such as this one for example:
Robert_Redbeard
I was in love with this guys playing from the moment I heard it. I have several videos of him teaching his techniques too. Very down to earth guy and funny if you get his humor. I actually have a song that I have been working on that is directly inspired by his style.
liljp617
Insanity wrote:
I agree, he can play fast, but if you compare him with people like Clapton or Hendrix he has none of their feeling and soul.


Or you just don't connect with it in any meaningful way?
foumy6
I think that he would be better if he wasn't so full of himself.
deanhills
foumy6 wrote:
I think that he would be better if he wasn't so full of himself.
Can't agree with you more. This guy has an ENORMOUS ego. Think it has to be his worst stumbling block.
Ankhanu

This is basically what I hear when I hear most of Malmsteen's stuff... all skill, little music.

Sheehan is a pretty big name in the bass world, and has played with some big acts. That said, he sure can wank, can't he?
deanhills
No kidding! Sheehan is technically very talented. Malmsteen does go on sometimes on a technical rant, however there are some good presentations too. I must say however I prefer his older presentations, particularly when he was in Europe and maybe his first few years in the US to current.
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