Yngwie Malmsteen’s Guitar Story : “DUCK” Fender Stratocaster
This 1972 vintage Stratocaster, nicknamed the Duck by Yngwie, is easily most celebrated of Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitars. He bought the guitar in the late seventies, in his native sweden, from a drummer auditioning for his band. “it’s not my favorite Strat,” the neoclassical shredder says, “but for some reason it’s one of my best sounding ones. it’s been my main guitar since’78.”
Malmsteen used the Duck almost entirely when he played with Steeler nad Alcatrazz in 1983. The guitar has also appeared on the covers of numerous Malmsteen albums and is the one he used to play the solos on his Grammy nominated Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force, from 1984. He played the guitar on all his tours until he retired it from roadwork in 1995.
Like most of Mlamsteens Stratocasters, the Duck is fitted with Dimarzio HS-3 pickups in the bridge and neck positions, with the original pickup still in the middle, and the standard Fender bridge. The maple fingerboard was scalloped by Yngwie himself in 1980.
The guitar has seen more thant its share of use and abuse over the years. in 1987, while Malmsteen was performing in Anchorage, Alaska, “an overenthusiastic fan threw a half empty one liter bottle of Jack Daniels onstage and hit the 17th fret so hard, it popped right out of the wood, “he recalls. He subsequently had the guitar refretted with Dunlop 6000 frets.
However, much of the guitar’s damage has been inflicted on it by Yngwie himself. “The hadstock hass broken off at least six times, and i used to put my cigarettes out on it all the time,” he says. “I’m not very kind ti my guitars. SOmtimes i’ll throw my guitar high into the air, bt spotlightly may i get my eyes when i try to catch it. So rather than let the guitar break my hand, i let it crash onto the floor.”
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