Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday music: Yngwie Malmsteen

Electric guitar with a classical orchestra? Perhaps... if the guitarist is Yngwie [ing-vay] Malmsteen.


Man must have some prodigious finger-muscles; those frets look to be raised about an inch off the neck!

15 comments:

J♥Yce said...

Same fool with the Crucify video? Might be the rockin outfit ~ or inspiration of the spirit(s).

SandMan said...

I have always liked Malmsteen. Amazing fret work!

Never appreciated him quite as much 'til recently when I began learning guitar... and I stink.

Good stuff.

DJP said...

No idea, Joyce.

So, what'd you think of this music video?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I'm trying to get my head around this...

Wow. VERY talented. His fingers are a blur! But I have to admit to being somewhat distracted by the... well, the tight shiny pants.

Gunnar wandered in, sleepy-eyed and said, "He's pretty good but he looks like a hippy."

I can't say as I've ever heard an electric guitar with an orchestra before!

J♥Yce said...

In the greater picture? It reminds of when our eldest son took guitar lessons from a highly recommended and proficient musician(home studio, plethora of instruments, wife taught on a Baby Grand in another room)...a church youth leader wondered now in stance if Emergent/liberal/whatever doctrinally unbiblical. He professed understanding and agreement with our motives concerning guitar lessons until "well into them" we learned that beside our purchased materials he incorporated lessons on learning to play by ear through utilizing his perceived guitar standard of excellence. Translation: being able to emulate those viewed by many, many as top guitarists though not mindful of their hearts being and hands doing for the glory of God. That thinking wasn't profitable.

Yngwie is beguiling in his craft and walk soooooo I'm impressed but not to the positive. It's a Mom/foresight thing?

Rabbit said...

Wow. Amazing! I really enjoyed that.

Looked him up on Wiki and found that Yngwie Johann Malmsteen isn't his real name. He was born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck. I guess Yngwie is easier to pronounce than Yngve back there in Sweden?

hobo soup said...

I say this tongue in cheek, I think that if mr malmsteen would have been around say 300/400 years ago he would have been accused of being in league with the devil. brilliant guitar work showing amazing dedication. Scared the life out of me, I like to think I can play but after seeing this I am useless.

Brad Williams said...

Hopefully, I won't get egged for being a party pooper but...

I thought the guitarist was obviously talented, but I found the sound of the guitar and the sound strings behind him to be jarring. Ugly, in fact. I think that it would have been far and away better if he had performed this on an acoustic. I didn't think that the distortion caused by the electric to match with the orchestra behind him.

To illustrate, I would say that it's like wearing white socks with your suit. White socks are good. Suits are also fine. Just don't mix them. The don't go together.

My two cents. I fear elaborating further will make me look like a culchah snob.

JackW said...

Those are fatter frets than you would normally find on an electric, but that has nothing to do with how hard it would be to fret the strings. There's no requirement to actually touch the fretboard, only the frets. String gauge and scale length determines string tension and fretting difficulty. If you want to find healthy fingers check out a bluegrass guitarist playing a Martin dreadnought using heavy gauge strings. Electrics are MUCH easier to fret.

SolaMommy said...

I'm with Brad. Not lovin' it.

Nicky Bacala said...

I think he is using a scalloped fingerboard, ala John McLaughlin

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Brad said it... I have a hard time merging the orchestra with a sound that reminds me of the 70's. It's the white socks with the tuxedo.

trogdor said...

I wasn't a huge fan, but not because I don't like the guitar/orchestra mix. I just didn't think this particular example was the best one, nor am I a big fan of his.

A few examples of electric guitar (actually, entire metal bands) working with orchestras have turned out much better IMHO. The first I recall really working was this Guns and Roses song (couldn't find a live orchestra version, sorry). Metallica did an entire concert with the San Francisco orchestra, examples here and here. Dream Theater, one of my favorite bands of all timez, writes many of their albums like orchestral arrangements (all the musicians are conservatory grads). Live videos of them with an orchestra are sadly lacking on youtube; best example I could find quickly was here. I think all of them worked pretty well, but YMMV.

I did see Malmsteen in concert a few years ago, on a joint tour with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. He's amazingly technically proficient, but there's something missing artistically - after a few songs, everything of his sounds pretty much the same. About twenty minutes into his set I was ready for it to end, whereas the other two (while not quite as technically sound, they're still amazing) were much, much, much more enjoyable.

One thing that really stood out was how much Vai and Satriani were effusive in their praise for him, regarding him as a genius far better than they, even though the average person (like me) found him kind of boring. A similar thing happens with "comics' comics", who usually aren't very popular but other pro comics go out of their way to listen to them. There are some skills/styles that are really impressive to the pros and insiders, but just don't translate well to the masses. I'm sure we can all think of pastors/authors who fit the same description - incredibly sound exegesis that wows the seminarians, but incredibly boring style to bore the intended audience to tears.

Mark said...

Check out Steve Vai w/ the Holland Metropole Orchestra on the 2005 "Visual Sound Theories" DVD. Here's a link to "For the Love God" on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IrWyZ0KZuk

Randall said...

One of the major criticisms of Yngwie, is that he concentrates, both in writing and playing, on the technical aspects of the music, and not the presentation and passion. He is a modern baroque musician/ composer/ guitarist, not unlike Bach and Paginini. That does not detract from the fact that he is still a true guitar god. Don't forget Yngwie's (Christian) protégé, Swedish guitarist Carl-Johan Grimmark (Narnia)