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Paul Gilbert on pentatonic legato patterns

Check out this video lesson with free tab from the ex-Mr. Big/-Racer X man

See all Paul Gilbert video lessons

One of the fundamental principals of Paul Gilbert's playing is his use of patterns. In this video lesson, Paul shows you how using patterns to shift the same idea around the neck can make playing fast passages far easier.

To begin with, you should be able to see the familiar A minor pentatonic scale lurking beneath Paul's lick; if not, familiarise yourself with the scale and get practising. The pattern itself is eight notes in length, and is essentially repeated in the same manner across the remaining strings. All Paul does is take the basic pattern and move it up one string. Your only job then is to compensate for the shape of the scale and adjust your fingers accordingly.

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It can be helpful to think of the pattern in two parts. Since the first three notes involve a hammer-on manoeuvre and the next five use pull-offs, it's useful to split these apart and practise them on their own.

You'll notice Paul uses the fourth finger frequently during this lick and you should too: it may feel awkward if you're not used to it but it's almost impossible to reach the high speeds using the third finger where you should be using the fourth. The first pattern is particularly useful for strengthening the fourth finger, as is the part played on the first and second strings.

You can get free tab for the lick in the picture gallery here. For more information on our guest teacher, visit the official Paul Gilbert website.

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