Guitar master Yngwie Malmsteen spoke in an interview with Justin Beckner from Ultimate-Guitar, and revealed the biggest misconception about himself.

He said that contrary to what people think, he’s playing with feelings. Here’s the statement:

“Listen, if you want to write a book that will make people feel engaged and you want to paint a picture with words, if you don’t know the grammar and you haven’t mastered the language, it’s pointless.

So it’s rubbish, it’s fucking bullshit when people say, ‘I play with feeling.’ That’s OK, I play with feeling too. But if you don’t have the technique and the knowledge to covey this feeling so that other people can understand it…

When I play, I put my whole soul into what I play, but what I play is also very, very, very correct. It’s one of those things where you can be a classical musician and play by sight reading or you can be extremely well educated in theory and improvise with the knowledge that you have.

So you will improvise something and people will say, ‘That’s amazing, when did you write that?’, and you’ll say, ‘I wrote it now.’ Improvisation is the genesis of composition. All great compositions were improvised.

But that improvisation cannot be formed unless you have the capability to do it and the knowledge of theory. Otherwise, you’re just taking a guess. If you want to really express a note and you don’t have the perfect vibrato and intonation, then you don’t have the ability to take that note and bring it somewhere.

Like Paganini said, ‘One must feel strongly to make others feel strongly’ – so it’s like somebody is writing the most amazing solo but it’s in Greek and you don’t understand Greek. You need to converse this thing and give it to people in a way they understand.

Music is a universal language. If you want to play free-form jazz where there are no rules, but in Western style, music has certain rules that are pleasing to the ear. They’re very simple, it’s all mathematics, you know, that all it is. You know that – I’m sure.”

Click here for the entire interview.