Are Scallops Important For Malmsteen Fluidity?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by narad, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    Awesome video.

    I think it's cool how Malmsteen is back to being respected after a long period when everyone seemed to pounce upon him as a has been regurgitating the same solos over an over.

    Being the archetype neoclassical shredder is a pretty cool bag.

    I used to have an ESP FR-27 guitar. It was scalloped from the 12th to the 27th fret. Quite a cool axe, wish I still had it but traded it away to fund something else. The scallops really make for easy fretting and bending of notes.

    Given that Yngwie already plays with a light touch, he probably finds it easy to play even lighter than that with the scalloped board. Since speed is his thing, seems like a good deal.
     
  2. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    This is what I was trying to say before. Fluidity comes from technique, not the equipment.
     
  3. ajsfreily

    ajsfreily SS.org Regular

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    Not sp important. It helps grabbing the strings easier, for example when bedning, but intonation, especially with chords is more difficult. It is a matter of taste.

    Having said that, having higher frets, bigger fret wires makes it easier in general to play.

    A common misunderstanding back in the days, was that it was actually harder to play fast with scalloped, which is not true at all.
     
  4. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I know what you mean. I never got the hate. What I REALLY didn't get, however, was how Yngwie's existence immediately invalidated any other attempts at being a neoclassical guitar player.

    Not that there weren't some terrible imitators, but I distinctly remember someone saying they'd never listen to Michael Romeo of Symphony X because--to paraphrase--'if I wanted to hear neoclassical wank, I'd just listen to Yngwie'. Being a big Symphony X fan even to this day, I didn't understand how that's all you could get out of Romeo's guitar playing.

    'Neoclassical' was definitely a dirty word for a while.

    Man, I had no idea this type of scallop existed. I never even realised Ritchie Blackmore used scalloped boards...did he start using them after Yngwie did?

    Here's an image I found via the Gear Page, for the curious...

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yeah, I don't know how long he has been using them. I think he's been playing longer than YJM, so maybe he has been using them longer. I mean, scalloping has been around since the dawn of time, so there are probably lots of players who have used them. BUT, the Blackmore style is likely better for the lower frets. And a used Blackmore strat is a few hundred dollars cheaper than a used YJM strat.
     
  6. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Blackmore is definitely the earlier of the two players in general. However, Yngwie claims to have come up with the scalloped fret idea independently (in a well-rehearsed story of which I'm sure you're all aware, involving a luthier's shop and a 16th-century lute featuring some form of scalloping).

    Yngwie was undoubtedly the one to popularise scalloped frets. I guess my question would be whether one of the persons influenced was Ritchie Blackmore or whether he came up with the idea independently, too.

    As for the practicality of it, yeah, I think you're right. The proper technique for your fretting hand is to place your finger right behind the fret wire, not in the middle of the fret. Therefore, the deeper and closer the scallop is to the fret wire of the adjacent fret, the more useful it will be.

    That could be another reason why the Blackmore style would be better for the lower frets. Finger placement actually matters on frets 1-12. Frets 12-24, not so much.

    Interesting idea to scallop the board that way in any case.
     
  7. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    Just thought I'd put in this quote feom Yngwie that I read today:
    "When I grew up, there was no TV, nothing. The guitar could be my whole life. The kids today have Internet and TV and games and all that stuff."

    Quite inspiring! I need to get all this extraneous stuff out of my life and start practising like I did back in college.
     
  8. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    Whelp, verdict is in:

    [​IMG]

    Overall, not as much of a difference as I was expecting, both in the ease of bending/vibrato, and in the difficulty of chording without going sharp (or my ears suck).

    On the pros, one thing I did like was how "guiding" the higher fret scallops are, since they're basically a tunnel for your finger and you can perceive that more than I had expected. I also thought big bends in the higher frets were easier, as well as crazy vibrato up in that range.

    I found chording to be mostly the same, but weird stretch chords where my pinky or a finger flatting 2+ notes would often cause a dead note somewhere, they mostly all range out. That to me is the biggest advantage right now to me, though a situation that doesn't come up too much when playing electric. Though I did find some situations where you want to add vibrato to chords to be difficult -- I guess I'm used to leveraging a bit of the board in those situations. And the high e string can slide off the board super easily given that between the radius and scalloping, almost all of the ledge to support it is gone.

    The guitar itself was a great example of a Malmsteen strat I thought -- materials seemed great, and the finish was in a good state. It had the DiMarzios, probably HS-3s. They were low-ish output and had me fighting a bit for getting a lead tone feeling. Would probably want to swap for the SD Furies or something hotter. Amp was a IIRC a TSL 2000, wasn't really a fan. Action was also pretty high, and strings were maybe 9s. Take all that for what it's worth.

    It'd be cool to have one around, but wasn't blown away. Inclined to put big frets on my 20" strat instead, but maybe if this guitar ever gets down to $1200-ish, I'd consider it.
     
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  9. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Isn't Malsteen quite famously a massive Blackmore fan? Down to the white strats with scalloped boards and dressing the same. He 100% got the scallop idea from wanting to be Ritchie Blackmore.
     
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  10. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Wouldn't be the first time Yngwie embellished a story. Having said that, while Yngwie does acknowledge Blackmore as a formative influence, he does not claim Blackmore inspired him to try scalloped frets.

    I just spent 15 minutes googling for more info and unfortunately most of the discussion about this is 10-15 years old at this point and suffering from a serious case of link rot. I couldn't find a definitive answer for when Ritchie Blackmore started scalloping his fretboards, nor John Mclaughlin or other early users. None of these guys wouldn't have started out using a scalloped board, so it is important to distinguish when they started playing or recording music from when they started using a scalloped fretboard.

    Maybe a Ritchie Blackmore fan would know the answer. It isn't something that seems to be widely available on the internet, however.
     
  11. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I just cannot see the YJM Strat as any shade of white. I’ve always referred to it as yellow. There’s just no way my brain will process what as “vintage white.”
     
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  12. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    I like blonde
     
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  13. AndyB

    AndyB SS.org Regular

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    blackmore started scalloping his guitars in the late 60’s. He specifically has stated 1966 in some interviews. He used sandpaper initially in order to mimic an old classical guitar that had a super pitted fretboard
     
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  14. Dyingsea

    Dyingsea SS.org Regular

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    Just my .02 the thing is though once you play a scalloped board for a while you don't quite notice it but your feel and technique will change. Going back to a regular board will really shine on the light on that after playing one for a while. Again it's not a sudden 180 but the differences are there and can be quite dramatic between the two depending on how one plays.

    Best way I know to say it is does an LP sound like a strat? no. Do they sound like guitars? yes.
     
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  15. jwoods986

    jwoods986 SS.org Regular

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    Did you try one of the EJ Strats for comparison? That's an interesting condradiction - the loose feeling YJM with 9s and scallops vs. the stiff-as-a-board strings of the EJ with 10s and 5 trem springs installed.

    I have a cheap G&L Tribute strat that I'm thinking of scalloping from the 12th fret up, has anyone tried these guys? http://www.dccustomguitars.com/scalloping.htm

    If you scroll down to the middle of the page, there's a pic with the caption "Yngwie style full scallops for one of our OEM customers". There's only one OEM guitar with a fully scalloped neck (Jems are 21-24) and those are definitely large 70s Strat headstocks w/ bullet truss rod, so I'm assuming this company scallops the YJM necks for Fender??
     
  16. MatiasTolkki

    MatiasTolkki Burn In Agony

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    Yngwie claims to be the owner of everything, even moreso that Gene Simmons. Scalloped frets existed before yngwie, and I think even Uli had them before Yngwie.
     
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  17. dreamchaser

    dreamchaser SS.org Regular

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    Early 1980s with the Sky guitars for sure.
     
  18. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    No. I’m sure it’s just some small luthier who asked him to do it for a customer.

    And if it were me, I’d probably just order a new neck from Warmoth before I’d send mine in to him. I have 2 things I’ve sent off to people to work on that I still haven’t gotten back. No way in Hell I’d trust a one man operation with anything other than money and a PP buyer protection these days.
     

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