Malmsteen was born in Stockholm, Sweden, as
the third child of a musically-inclined family. At age seven, he
saw a television news report on the death of Jimi Hendrix, an
event which had a profound impact on his musical path. To quote
his official website, "The day Jimi Hendrix died, the
guitar-playing Malmsteen was born". At the age of 10 he took his
mother's maiden name Malmsten as his surname, slightly changed
it to Malmsteen, and Anglicised his given name Yngve to "Yngwie".
Yngwie also created his first band "Track On Earth" at the age
of 10, consisting of himself and a friend from school on drums.
Malmsteen was a teenager when he first encountered the music of
the 19th century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini, whom he cites
as his biggest classical music influence.
Through his emulation of Paganini concerto pieces on guitar,
Malmsteen developed a prodigious technical fluency. Malmsteen's
guitar style includes a wide, violin-like vibrato inspired by
classical violinists, and use of such minor scales as the
Harmonic minor, and minor modes such as Phrygian, and Aeolian.
Malmsteen also cites Brian May of Queen, Steve Hackett of
Genesis, Uli Jon Roth, Alex Lifeson of Rush, and Richie
Blackmore of Deep Purple as influences.