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Super-fast blues guitar with Paul Gilbert
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In this edition in MusicRadar's series of Paul Gilbert video lessons, Paul shows you a super-fast blues lick designed to shake up your playing.
Although the notes Paul is using here are familiar to most of us (he's using the standard blues scale here), there's always more than meets the eye when attempting any of his licks.
Paul starts with an upstroke. This may seem unusual, but it allows him to maintain an outside picking motion as he travels from the second to the third string. This becomes even more important when travelling from the first string, since your pick will be moving in the right direction.
Once you're comfortable moving from string to string, the legato part of this lick will follow. Paul begins with a slightly easier version involving only one pull-off. This is a great way to get your fingers used to the whole technique and has a simple triplet feel (ie, the notes are grouped in threes). Parts 2-4 involve a double pull-off, which is more advanced and more difficult with speed. Avoid using your third and second fingers to execute the pull-offs, otherwise your hand will get into a bunched position that won't help overall speed, fluidity and strength. Instead, use your fourth and third fingers.
A certain amount of first finger rolling (rocking your finger between two adjacent strings to fret each note) is expected at the 5th fret position, otherwise you will end up with unwanted note bleed between the two strings. If you find you're struggling with this lick, you may like to try it higher up the neck, for example, in the 12th position. The frets in this position are closer together and you should find the pull-offs are easier to execute.