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Yngwie Malmsteen was one of the first guitarist to play neoclassical metal. The record "Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force" from 1984, is "the Bible" for the genre neoclassical metal. His music is a fusion between heavy rock and baroque, or like Yngwie says: Baroque’n Roll. But anyway he has composed pure classical works too. With the album "concerto for guitar and orchestra".
Many places with small acknowledgements about Malmsteen says: He is inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore and other heavy guitarists. But in my opinion his biggest musical inspirations is: Nicolo Paganini, Uli Jon Roth, Johann S. Bach, Vivaldi and Tomasso Albinoni.
In my opinion he is one of the best guitarists ever. A virtuose. Feeling, technique and an "avant garde" composer.
Yngwie Johann malmsteen was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on the last day of June, 1963. That same year, the Beatles had just emerged from Liverpool, England, soon to make their mark on music history. But it would be another twenty years before a lanky, tousel-haired Swede with hungry eyes would stand the music world on its head once again. The intervening years before 1983 when Yngwie J. Malmsteen was officially discovered by the music industry provided an environment ripe for the development of a musical prodigy.
The youngest child in a household that included his mother Rigmor, sister Ann Louise, and brother Bjorn, Yngwie had no interest in music as a child. It wasn’t until September 18, 1970, when Yngwie saw a TV special on the death of guitar iconoclast Jimi Hendrix, that a flame ignited in his mind. Seven-year-old Yngwie watched with awe as Hendrix blasted the audience with torrents of feedback and sacrificed his guitar in flames. The day Jimi Hendrix died, the guitar-playing Yngwie was born.
Applying his intense curiosity and tenacity to first an old Mosrite and then a cheap Stratocaster, Yngwie immersed himself in the music of such bands as Deep Purple and spent long hours unlocking the secrets of both the instrument and the music. His admiration for Ritchie Blackmore’s classically influenced playing led him, through his sister’s direction, back to the source: Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart. As Yngwie absorbed the classical structures of the masters, his prodigious style began to take shape. He continued playing for hours each day, often falling asleep draped over his guitar.
By age 10, he began to focus all his energies into music. At school, he also excelled in English and Art. His mother and sister recognized his unique musical gifts and gave him support and encouragement; his mastery of the instrument progressed rapidly, but the missing link between the formal structures of classical music and the flamboyant performance of Hendrix was supplied by the music of another virtuoso, 19th century violinist Niccolo Paganini. Watching Russian violinist Gideon Kremer perform Paganini’s 24 Caprices on television, Yngwie understood at last how to marry his love of classical music with his burgeoning guitar skills and onstage charisma.
Yngwie’s Trademark Style Begins to Emerge
By age 15, Yngwie worked for a time as a luthier in a guitar repair shop, putting his woodworking skills to good use. It was here that he encountered a scalloped neck for the first time when a 17th century lute came into the shop. The wood of the neck was carved out so that the peaks formed the frets. Intrigued, Yngwie scalloped the neck of an old guitar in similar fashion and was impressed enough with the results to try it on his better guitars. The scalloped fretboard was somewhat more difficult to play than a normal neck, but his control over the strings was so improved that Yngwie immediately adopted it as a permanent alteration to his equipment.
About this time, Yngwie began playing in a number of bands built around his explosive guitar style, with long instrumental explorations that tried the patience of a Swedish public more used to the pop anthems of ABBA. Around age 18, Yngwie and several friends recorded a demo set of three songs for Swedish CBS, but the cuts were never released. Frustrated, Yngwie realized he was not going to get very far in Sweden alone, and he began sending demo tapes to record companies and music contacts abroad. One such tape found its way into the hands of Guitar Player contributor and Shrapnel Music founder Mike Varney. Yngwie was invited to record with Shrapnel’s new band Steeler—and the rest, as they say, is history.
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