Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen (2003)
Warner Home Video
Extras: Documentation in PDF, Bonus Lesson, Bonus Peformance

During the late 80s instructional guitar videos were all the rage, and while the demand may have tapered down a bit, they are still with us today. Well, the age of the shredders is over, and most of these 80s guitarists have disappeared from the scene. However, a few do have staying power, and one of them seems to be Swedish-born virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Best known for his fusion of heavy metal, blues and most importantly neo-classical influences, Malmsteen has influenced legions of guitarists and was the originator of a number of playing techniques – like the rapid sweeps – that became standard fare throughout the rock guitar community.

Back then, Malmsteen recorded an instructional video which has now found its way to DVD as well, and it is here that DVD plays up all its benefits. While it was tedious to constantly rewind passages while you were practicing them, DVD makes it easy with fast, clean rewinds. DVD payer loop points make it even easier to repeat certain passages without even having to touch the remote control, and with many players offering slowed down playback with audio, guitar players couldn’t ask for a better way to learn the tricks of the pros like Malmsteen. You will get to appreciate these features especially during moments when he says ’Here is the same pattern slow’ and yet he is still firing it off at a pace that makes it virtually impossible to follow. ’Slow’ is a very ’flexible’ term after all.

The quality of the material presented here is top notch and since it is indeed Malmsteen performing the licks, this is not some cheap instructional video trying to cash in on someone else’s material. It covers many of the most memorable licks and riffs from Malmsteens best tracks, giving everyone the chance to pick up at least a few new ideas and concepts over the course of it, and maybe even learn to master his technique.

The printed materials the used be part of the VHS release are now included only in PDF format so you will have to print them out by yourself. Well, at least they are there and on the upside, you can print them over and over again, since they may get worn out quite a bit if you work with these materials.

The DVD also includes a bonus lesson for right-hand sweep-picking, performed by Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, although this segment is presented in audio form only. Don’t ask me why… A clip of Steve Morse is also included on the DVD showing off some of his cool technique.

If you want to learn Yngwie’s playing style, if you want to learn more about his technique and scales, this is the instructional video to get. Even if you may still own the old VHS version of it, throw it out and get this DVD because it makes working through the lessons and material so much more enjoyable. $30 is a bit of a hefty price, but it may well pay for itself if you pick out just a single new lick or technique.