#1
I've been into Malmsteen for about a month.

1. I still can't play him so who do I start with? I believe his solos are too much to start with... (any idea, please help I want to shred guitar)

2. How does Neoclassical Metal work? I also want to write stuff like that... what composers should I listen to? Or play?

Thanks!
#3
Listen to a lot of classical music and get a feel for the structure of the pieces. Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven...
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#5
If you want to learn about neoclassical metal Yngwie is your man IMO. This is totally my bag, so even though I am not the most experienced guitarist I believe I can steer you in the right direction.

To answer your first question, I am sure you already know that it is a good idea to start small and work your way up with guitar. If you want to learn shredding, you need to take this approach. This is the riff I composed for a song of mine called Hot Virgin Gash for Supper, this riff is how I started shredding merely a few months ago.

Standard tuning would play this 4 frets lower on the high e, B and G strings, although I find it sounds good higher too.

c |----------------------12-10----------
G |-----------10-12-13--------13-12-10
Bb|-9-11-12-----------------------------

First, start with some legato runs (hammer-ons and pull-offs) and sweep pick each string rather than picking every note. These are sixteenth notes, played at a 160 tempo and it took me months of practicing this every single day to play it up to speed and I still cant do it perfectly. Go slow, be patient with yourself, and have a goal in mind. Some would say this is a bad idea, but try playing this with three fingers; I find it much easier than trying to throw in your pinky while there are a max of three notes per string in this anyway. Once you get good at that, try alternate picking every note; I find that once your hands get accustomed to legatoing (a new word!) this riff you can actually start picking out every note almost overnight. I'm not kidding, but it still takes time to get there. If you want to hear me play this like the absolute greatest guitarist that ever was and ever will be, check my profile and look at my Guitar Skills under Shred Guitar. This tab here is the first half of that riff.

I compsed this with Harmonic Minor scales with a shifting key signature (starting in C, shifting to F on the 4th note, or degree in this case) because I wanted to experiment with using the circle of fifths (afterwards I realized I had actually used the circle of fourths lol). In reality, there is only one note difference between this riff and a regular Harmonic Minor in C. In C the top string would play:

c |-12-11-----

If you want the rest of that riff, I will attach a png file of the tab when I am done writing this and you can download it at your leisure. The riff starts with a bunch of C notes on the 9th fret of string #3 (Bb string, or 5th fret of G string in standard tuning). The last part of this modified scale starts on F and ends on the F one octave higher.

To help answer your questions a bit more directly, I would advise you to get Guitar Pro (if you don't have it already) and download Yngwie Malmsteen's Presto Vivace tab off this site:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/y/yngwie_malmsteen/presto_vivace_power_tab.htm

Yes, I know it's actually a power tab, but guitar pro is awesome enough to be able to import those.

Presto Vivace is definitely beyond most people's (including myself) playing ability, but that doesn't really matter IMO. Just memorize the first two bars of this and play it, with all four fingers now, at a painfully slow tempo like 50. If you are practicing daily, you should be able to play this faster than half speed pretty soon. Actually, I just started practicing that about 3 days ago, and I have already played it reasonably well (up to speed at least) at a 90 tempo.

Actually, if you just search for 'Yngwie' under tabs at the homepage at this site you will find these files that are labelled something like 'Yngwie Malmsteen Workshop'. There are two of them, 1 and 2, that would probably be a good place to start.

To try and answer your second question is probably impossible, but I am one to talk because I have only been playing for a bit over a year. What I would suggest is learning music theory and trying your best to apply it to your own work in a manner that just sounds good to you. Ultimate Guitar and Wikipedia have FAR more information on this than I do. For starters, something I think anyone should know is the way the scale works. Not specific scales in question, I am talking about someone pointing to a fret and asking what note that is and being able to tell him "That's a G note". It's really simple, all you need to remember is that there are sharps or flats between every notes except for B and C as well as E and F, meaning that there is no such thing as a B sharp or F flat; B goes directly to C and E goes directly to F. You know, on second thought, I could see the way I am explaining this being quite confusing, so I will just say that I would recommend you to research key signatures, the circle of fourths, circle of fifths and maybe a few scales.

Key signatures just tell you what note the scale you are playing is 'rooted' from, or its starting note. That's it. The circles of fourths and fifths just show you ways to 'link up' scales and chords in ways that make sense and avoid awkward intervals (an interval is the pitch difference between notes) to try and make things sound smoother. The thing you have to remember is that these are just tools, and there are situations where it will be more preferrable to throw theory out of the window in favour of what you think 'sounds better' and go with your intuition. I am sure there are people out there who would tell you to completely disregard what I just told you and just go with your gut, but music theory can show you a lot about the 'vocabulary' of music and neo-classical metal (at least from what I have seen) is almost entirely based around that foundation.

Yngwie Malmsteen uses lots of Harmonic Minor scales and the Phrygian mode (a mode is just another way of saying scale). You'll find scale formulas are often written like: 1,2,3b,4,5,6b,7,8. You'll have to look up musical intervals in order to interpret these (major second, perfect fifth etc.) and it's not really as confusing as it may look. All you have to do is memorize 12 terms for each of the twelve steps in an octave and you can find lists of those everywhere. I would list them here, but I am afraid of giving you so much information that it just causes confusion. Don't get too caught up in theory, just experiment with these 'tools' and see what you can come up with that sounds good to you. If you get good enough with this, you should be able to compose your own things without even touching your instrument because you'll know intuitively that it fits well, although I wouldn't really recommend that personally. Hope this was helpful?

Sorry if any of this seems condescending, you may very well be a better guitarist than I am, but I just want to be thorough and try and inform you of what I know the best I can and in a way that tries to make sense.

Despite all of this, if you want to get into neo-classical metal make it your own. Don't necessarily make something with the intent of making 'neo-classical metal', look at it more like... you are making your own thing with neo-classical metal influence. Do everyone a favour and make it original! Don't restrict yourself with categories, but maybe I am getting too far ahead of myself now.
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Last edited by JimDawson at Jun 5, 2011,
#6
Quote by JimDawson
If you want to learn about neoclassical metal Yngwie is your man IMO. This is totally my bag, so even though I am not the most experienced guitarist I believe I can steer you in the right direction.

To answer your first question, I am sure you already know that it is a good idea to start small and work your way up with guitar. If you want to learn shredding, you need to take this approach. This is the riff I composed for a song of mine called Hot Virgin Gash for Supper, this riff is how I started shredding merely a few months ago.

Standard tuning would play this 4 frets lower on the high e, B and G strings, although I find it sounds good higher too.

c |----------------------12-10----------
G |-----------10-12-13--------13-12-10
Bb|-9-11-12-----------------------------

First, start with some legato runs (hammer-ons and pull-offs) and sweep pick each string rather than picking every note. These are sixteenth notes, played at a 160 tempo and it took me months of practicing this every single day to play it up to speed and I still cant do it perfectly. Go slow, be patient with yourself, and have a goal in mind. Some would say this is a bad idea, but try playing this with three fingers; I find it much easier than trying to throw in your pinky while there are a max of three notes per string in this anyway. Once you get good at that, try alternate picking every note; I find that once your hands get accustomed to legatoing (a new word!) this riff you can actually start picking out every note almost overnight. I'm not kidding, but it still takes time to get there. If you want to hear me play this like the absolute greatest guitarist that ever was and ever will be, check my profile and look at my Guitar Skills under Shred Guitar. This tab here is the first half of that riff.

I compsed this with Harmonic Minor scales with a shifting key signature (starting in C, shifting to F on the 4th note, or degree in this case) because I wanted to experiment with using the circle of fifths (afterwards I realized I had actually used the circle of fourths lol). In reality, there is only one note difference between this riff and a regular Harmonic Minor in C. In C the top string would play:

c |-12-11-----

If you want the rest of that riff, I will attach a png file of the tab when I am done writing this and you can download it at your leisure. The riff starts with a bunch of C notes on the 9th fret of string #3 (Bb string, or 5th fret of G string in standard tuning). The last part of this modified scale starts on F and ends on the F one octave higher.

To help answer your questions a bit more directly, I would advise you to get Guitar Pro (if you don't have it already) and download Yngwie Malmsteen's Presto Vivace tab off this site:
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/y/yngwie_malmsteen/presto_vivace_power_tab.htm

Yes, I know it's actually a power tab, but guitar pro is awesome enough to be able to import those.

Presto Vivace is definitely beyond most people's (including myself) playing ability, but that doesn't really matter IMO. Just memorize the first two bars of this and play it, with all four fingers now, at a painfully slow tempo like 50. If you are practicing daily, you should be able to play this faster than half speed pretty soon. Actually, I just started practicing that about 3 days ago, and I have already played it reasonably well (up to speed at least) at a 90 tempo.

Actually, if you just search for 'Yngwie' under tabs at the homepage at this site you will find these files that are labelled something like 'Yngwie Malmsteen Workshop'. There are two of them, 1 and 2, that would probably be a good place to start.

To try and answer your second question is probably impossible, but I am one to talk because I have only been playing for a bit over a year. What I would suggest is learning music theory and trying your best to apply it to your own work in a manner that just sounds good to you. Ultimate Guitar and Wikipedia have FAR more information on this than I do. For starters, something I think anyone should know is the way the scale works. Not specific scales in question, I am talking about someone pointing to a fret and asking what note that is and being able to tell him "That's a G note". It's really simple, all you need to remember is that there are sharps or flats between every notes except for B and C as well as E and F, meaning that there is no such thing as a B sharp or F flat; B goes directly to C and E goes directly to F. You know, on second thought, I could see the way I am explaining this being quite confusing, so I will just say that I would recommend you to research key signatures, the circle of fourths, circle of fifths and maybe a few scales.

Key signatures just tell you what note the scale you are playing is 'rooted' from, or its starting note. That's it. The circles of fourths and fifths just show you ways to 'link up' scales and chords in ways that make sense and avoid awkward intervals (an interval is the pitch difference between notes) to try and make things sound smoother. The thing you have to remember is that these are just tools, and there are situations where it will be more preferrable to throw theory out of the window in favour of what you think 'sounds better' and go with your intuition. I am sure there are people out there who would tell you to completely disregard what I just told you and just go with your gut, but music theory can show you a lot about the 'vocabulary' of music and neo-classical metal (at least from what I have seen) is almost entirely based around that foundation.

Yngwie Malmsteen uses lots of Harmonic Minor scales and the Phrygian mode (a mode is just another way of saying scale). You'll find scale formulas are often written like: 1,2,3b,4,5,6b,7,8. You'll have to look up musical intervals in order to interpret these (major second, perfect fifth etc.) and it's not really as confusing as it may look. All you have to do is memorize 12 terms for each of the twelve steps in an octave and you can find lists of those everywhere. I would list them here, but I am afraid of giving you so much information that it just causes confusion. Don't get too caught up in theory, just experiment with these 'tools' and see what you can come up with that sounds good to you. If you get good enough with this, you should be able to compose your own things without even touching your instrument because you'll know intuitively that it fits well, although I wouldn't really recommend that personally. Hope this was helpful?

Sorry if any of this seems condescending, you may very well be a better guitarist than I am, but I just want to be thorough and try and inform you of what I know the best I can and in a way that tries to make sense.

Despite all of this, if you want to get into neo-classical metal make it your own. Don't necessarily make something with the intent of making 'neo-classical metal', look at it more like... you are making your own thing with neo-classical metal influence. Do everyone a favour and make it original! Don't restrict yourself with categories, but maybe I am getting too far ahead of myself now.



Yes! You've been the most helpful guy I met! Thanks!

Now, can you or anyone explain to me how to interpret this - 1,2,3b,4,5,6b,7,8 - and how to "make" scales?
#7
I would have said this before, but I didn't want to give you too much in one sitting, its really bad to overload someone who is just learning.

Musical intervals (difference in pitch) are as follows:
You start on your root, 1, and work your way up to 8

it goes like,
root (1),
minor second (m2 or 2b),
major second (2),
minor third (m3 or 3b),
major third (3),
perfect fourth (4),
diminished fifth (5b),
perfect fifth (5),
minor sixth (m6 or 6b),
major sixth (6),
minor seventh (m7 or 7b),
major seventh (7),
and your octave, or perfect eighth (8)

So, to give you an example, lets use the key of E. Picking the E string (either one duh) gives you your root, in this case an E note. If you went up to the twelfth fret, you are moving up the fretboard at an interval of a perfect eighth, or one octave. You just doubled the frequency of what you wewre playing, every time you go up one octave you double the frequency.
Anyways, if you count out the distance of a perfect fifth from E open, you will go up a total of 7 fret positions to get you a B note. You just went from an E, past F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, to arrive at B. A perfect fourth is 5 steps, giving you an A note, etc.

The scale formula I posted earlier is the formula for the Harmonic Minor scale. Now, I want you to figure this out.

The formula is 1,2,3b,4,5,6b,7,8 going with the intervals I just mentioned. These 'numbers' are referred to as degrees and this scale has eight of them. So, the sixth degree of this scale is an interval of a minor sixth from the root. (6b is a minor sixth right?) The fifth degree is a perfect fifth, etc. So, now you have enough information to figure this out:

If I was starting in the key of E and I wanted to play the first, third and seventh degrees of the Harmonic Minor scale what would the tabs for that be? Just three notes, but I need you to tell me what frets those intervals correspond to.

When you understand how this works, you can start 'making' your own scales/chords with precise intervals rather than just 'winging it' If you study pinch harmonics (squealies) you will notice that harmonics always work in intervals of octaves, perfect fifths and major thirds(?). This is useful for music theory. Another thing- people say that if you play something one octave higher it has the same sort of 'consonant' sound to it. This is because the notes on a guitar work in harmonic overtones.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtone
Basically this means that if you are playing something at certain precise intervals, they will have very similar harmonic qualities and you should notice that it just 'blends' together nicely even though your brain perceives it as a different pitch entirely. When you make your own scale formulas, you need to keep this in mind while doing some of your own magic to make it sound awesome. Despite all this theory talk, it really is about what sounds good to you. Did this explanation meet your needs? Oh yeah, if anyone else notices something I have said which is just wrong I encourage you to correct me on it; if my knowledge isn't correct it's useless.
#8
I find getting guitar magazines useful as they often have examples of the style of Malmsteen etc - all you need initially is four bars or so and to play slowly initally to a metronome to get your technique down before gradually knocking the tempo up.
#10
Quote by thePTOD
Listen to a lot of classical music and get a feel for the structure of the pieces. Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven...

Bach and Vivaldi are baroque, not classical. Beethoven made a lot of romantic music in addition to classical. Mozart is classical. YYMMalmsteen, you should check out the various fugues by Bach, they are beautiful and sound fantastic on all instruments.
Last edited by Cojiro at Jun 18, 2011,