Yngwie Malmsteen: How I Write Guitar Solos

Yngwie Malmsteen talked about crafting guitar solos, telling journalist Amit Sharma:

“My solos sound like mini compositions.

“Some guitar players do repetitive things really fast and I always felt that there should be a melody behind it, even if it’s fast.

“People also used to say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe how you wrote that solo!’ And I didn’t write that solo – it was never written.

“Roll the tape and off I go, it’s completely improvised, even on the records.

“If there’s a catchy phrase, sure I will use it live, but more often than not, I play something a bit different.”

Malmsteen also noted:

“When I first came on the scene, way back when, people always used to say two things. ‘Hey man, I can’t believe you have no distortion on your guitar!’

“And I had more gain on my shit than you could imagine, insane levels of it. I just made sure each note is clearly expressed, you do one and then you move onto the next. Don’t let them bleed into each other.

“The other thing people used to say is, ‘You pick every note!’

“I don’t pick every note – if I did that, with the amount of gain I use, it would sound crazy.

“But it’s not all legato either… there’s no real system to it. I could pick every note if I wanted to, and sometimes do, if it’s the sound I’m looking for…”

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