How to Play Yngwie Malmsteen's "Marching Out" Intro

This lesson was a request from one of my followers in regards to how the picking would work in the pedal tone intro to the title track from Yngwie's album Marching Out (Polydor 1985), using authentic Yngwie-style pick-strokes.

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Ultimate Guitar
How to Play Yngwie Malmsteen's "Marching Out" Intro
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This lesson was a request from one of my followers in regards to how the picking would work in the pedal tone intro to the title track from Yngwie's album Marching Out (Polydor 1985), using authentic Yngwie-style pick-strokes.

Since Yngwie is not an alternate picker and avoids inside picking due to his rather constant downward picking orientation (a.k.a. downward pickslant), it does take a little consideration for those looking to stay within the Yngwie system (which I often refer to as The Yng Way).

Because of his somewhat unconventional string changing strategies and system of picking scales, Yngwie's descending ideas involve changing from higher strings to lower strings by leaving String 1 on an upstroke and hitting String 2 on a down. Inside picking as a rule seldom occurs in Yngwie's linear playing, as discussed often both in my own teaching and also in the great material by fellow Yngwie aficionado and guitar technique analyst Troy Grady. It's fantastic that it's once again cool to talk about Yngwie's playing.

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In the pedal tone device of this intro, we are faced with the question of what happens when we have to change strings after one note instead of multiple notes like a scale run. We don't want to have to create a new system just for this lick, so my preference for the most Yng-like approach and sound is to start with an upstroke for the pedal tone segment. If we view the pedal tone lick as a series of 2-note fragments, this picking DOES stay within the Yng Way system.

For the scale segments, we use the far more textbookapproach of down-up-pull-off. Remember in these segments, even numbers of notes on a string are picked, and slurs are used for any odd number at the end to ensure the system of leaving on ups, starting on downs stays in effect. In the fourth beat of bar 2, you can see I've opted for Down-Up-Pulloff-Down which sets us up to repeat the theme on an upstroke and stays within the evens and odds principle. After repeating bars 1 and 2, we see another Yngwie trademark of repeating the motif in lower octaves before the power chord faux-ending.

In my version on the video, I improvised a B minor scale run which uses the Yng Way concepts of the ascending strategy, string pair position shifts, and the implementation of both hammer-ons and pulls-offs where, if omitted, the picking rules would otherwise be broken. And while I've notated these runs in an easy to read notation style, there's a decidedly "floaty" approach to the timing of the performance to really imitate the push and pull of Yngwie's style. If you want the Yngwie sound and feel, stay with the indicated pick strokes and slur markings, but feel free to try another approach if the Yngwie sound is not what you're looking to accomplish.

 

Chris Brooks

 

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    redwindmh
    Awesome lesson! Can you do the intro to Never Die? I have been failing at learning that for years now!
    miguel-m
    Interesting that you'd start with an upstroke on the 1. I would have started with a downstroke.  Great lesson either way.
    realchrisbrooks
    An alternate picker would definitely start on a downstroke (and I have done it that way in the past personally). Constantly hitting the B and G strings on up strokes is a system-breaker in Yngwie's world, so anything pedal-point related most commonly involves an up on the higher string and a down on the lower string to avoid inside string changes. Thanks!