How to play the "Marching Out" intro by Yngwie Malmsteen
This video was a request from a customer who purchased my lesson course The Yng Way, which is a systematic blueprint of the speed picking strategies of guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen. The request was in regards to how the picking strokes would work in the pedal tone intro to the title track from Yngwie's album Marching Out (Polydor 1985).
Because of his string changing strategies and established 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 demonstrated in great detail in my course and also in great resources by fellow Yngwie afficionado and guitar technique analyst Troy Grady. It's fantastic that it's once again cool to talk about Yngwie's playing.
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 text-book like approach of down-up-pulloff. 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 pickstrokes and slur markings, but feel free to try another approach if the Yngwie sound is not what you're looking to accomplish.