REVIEW: Guitar Center Sessions – Paul Gilbert

22 Jul
Paul GilbertLord Of The Thighs – Aerosmith
Paul said Aerosmith “is much easier to play than Bach.” I totally agree. In fact, as I watched him play I was thinking to myself “I can play that. Sure I can. No problem at all.” Do you know what else is “much easier to play than Bach”? Make-believe.

TAKE AWAY: This guy’s good.

Rock Island Line – Johnny Cash
Paul duplicated the slapback echo on this tune manually by using a tasty double strum/pick technique. He also entertained us by signaling the V chord with a big ol’ country (read as facetiously awkward) turning motion.

TAKE AWAY: This guy’s good. So is his sense of humor.

Highway Chile – Jimi Hendrix

After rocking this tune Paul demonstrated the classic rock-n-roll arm swing technique “the legends” use to play one string while keeping the other five string silent. Your mileage may vary.

TAKE AWAY: Paul passed on two Gilbert family guitar playing traditions: mute the strings with your palm, and practice all the time. I’m pretty sure I won’t forget those.


At this point Paul took several questions from the audience, supplementing his answers with examples as needed. Most of the questions were good; however, even after Jason reminded the audience to ask relevant questions, one dooshtard just couldn’t sit on his show-these-people-how-much-I-know-about-gear “question” any longer. Of course, Paul was super nice about it and did a really good job of answering the guy’s incoherent statement.

Light My Fire – The Doors

Paul and the group ended the Session with an extended version of “the best song in the world.”

TAKE AWAY: to keep from playing the same licks over and over, do variations on small themes/phrases. Play the same rhythm a couple of times in a row but with different notes. Then mix up the rhythm and introduce scales to the phrasing. When jamming with other people, keep your ideas fresh by playing a variation on the last thing you heard the other person play.

GoGo Ray, Paul Gilbert, Tyson Leslie

From left to right: GoGo Ray, Paul Gilbert, Tyson Leslie

Final thoughts

Overall, this was a super-fun and informative experience for me.  As I expected, I found Paul very humble, down-to-earth, and genuinely interested in seeing others advance. His incredible ability to play in so many different styles shows just how musically deep and amazingly talented this cat really is.

So if you’re a guitar player in the Kansas City area who missed this free clinic with a guitar legend, then you = stupid.


2 Responses to “REVIEW: Guitar Center Sessions – Paul Gilbert”

  1. Jenn July 23, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    This is a truly exceptional clinic review. Thank you so much for sharing these priceless minute details with us, Chris. You Rock!

  2. mattstorm August 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Awesome article!

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