Highway Star at 16 rpm

Yngwie-Malmsteen

It’s all rubbish, all you need to play the solo are these two fingers…

Mention of the Learn The Highway Star Solo in Two Years book (see below)  prompted John Tucker to send in this quote from another aspiring guitarist trying to get to grips with the solo, which comes from Brian Tatler’s autobiography (the guitarist of influential NWOBHM band Diamond Head – Dave is his older brother):

 “I would borrow Dave’s Linear Concord 30 watt amp and plug it into a three watt Cellestion speaker that I rescued from an old gramophone. I soldered a jack plug onto it, not having a clue about ohms or impedance, so the speaker would distort horribly, but I liked it. At fifteen I took up the guitar seriously and became obsessed with it. It took me about six months to master the basics, pestering Dave to show me how to play things I didn’t know. I would play every night after school and at weekends, Dave reckoning now that I would sometimes practice six hours a day. I really wanted to be able to play the guitar solo in Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’, but I had no idea what Ritchie Blackmore was up to. I would be upstairs in my own little world, slowing the records down in order to learn the licks. The record player had a 16, 33⅓, and 45 rpm turntable speeds so I could put an album on at 16rpm and it would be approximately an octave lower and half the speed. We also owned a reel-to-reel tape recorder so I could tape a solo at 16rpm then listen to it over and over again on the tape recorder, stopping and learning a little piece at a time. It did, however, take me years to realise that the ‘Highway Star’ solo was in fact double-tracked, and so was impossible to play with one guitar anyway!”

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4 Responses to “Highway Star at 16 rpm”

  1. Not Ingvay Says:

    Hey Invay … they’re hiring at White Castle

  2. Daniel Miller Says:

    It sure ain’t double-tracked on Made In Japan where it is faster and played with equal precision…

  3. Roy Davies Says:

    I can recommend Brian Tatler’s biog “Am I Evil” , as its a great read for those who recall the days of NWOBHM.
    Diamond Head were a close second to Rainbow in my affections during the early ’80s, not least because they were a bunch of local lads!

  4. Max Says:

    Same here! I learned Blackmore’s solos by slowing down the turntable to 16rpm but the pitch was off so it really was a mission of love to stay there for hours.
    I’m due to post a video of Highway Star with the way I think Blackmore actually played it when my wife and kids go on vacation. I have Lazy, Pictures of Home (both solos) and SOTW on my channel for the time being, look up mgalbu on YouTube.

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