This is a public version of the members-only Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert.
Join Now

30 Day Challenge
Video Exchange Archive
«Prev of Next»

Rock Guitar Lessons: A Minor Pentatonic 1

Video Exchanges () Submit a Video Lesson Resources () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Music Theory
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Tools for All Lessons +
Collaborations for
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert.

Join Now

Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Rock Guitar with Paul Gilbert. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Rock Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Log In
All right.
Are you ready for some fast playing?
The first thing I want to do is introduce
to you the concept of notes per string.
And we already played a lot with the
pentatonic scale.
And the pentatonic scale on guitar is
typically played two notes per string.
So if we look at that scale.
There's two notes on every string.
And we can count them.
One, two.
One, two.
One, two.
And so on.
Now, that's not the only way you can play
a scale.
There's three note per string scales.
You know, where you go one, two, three,
one, two, three, one, two three.
There's one note per string,
phrases you could do.
You know, there, there's every combination
that you can think of, pretty much, for
how many notes you can have on a string.
And it, it really effects the kinda
techniques you have to use
to get from string to string.
And it also effects the rhythmic phrases
that tend to come out of those shapes.
And so I want to concentrate on one at a
time, and
show you what kinda things you can get
from it, and show you how to play it.
So let's start with a simple one, that's
extremely useful, I love this one.
It is two and then one, two notes per
string and then one note per string.
And I'm gonna do it in an A minor
pentatonic scale.
So we're going to do two notes [SOUND]
starting with our pinky, and
then we have the one note.
And for most of these exercises, I'm going
to it both descending and ascending.
So I'm just gonna start at the top, I'm
gonna go down and back up.
And loop it.
So this is gonna sound like.
Simple enough.
Two notes on a string, one note on a
string, start on a high note,
go up and down.
Let's listen again.
I'm gonna speed it up a little bit so we
get excited about it.
One, two, three, four.
that's a pretty cooking sixteenth note
We, we can make it.
It really has a lot of speed potential.
You go one, two, three, four.
So that's, that's really cooking.
All right, now let's look at the picking,
because I'm not picking every note.
I think that's very important.
I could pick every note.
But to me,
that's more difficult, and it stiffens up
the sound a little bit.
It actually stiffens, stiffens up my, my
whole, my shoulders
You know I just have to physically I'm not
as comfortable with that.
And I want to be comfortable because I
think shows in the music.
So what I did was I put in a ha, or a pull
So I pick a note.
And I pull off.
After that, I pick the next note with a
down stroke.
So there is two down, two down strokes,.
With a pull off in the middle.
We've done this technique before, so.
This should be something that's pretty
comfortable to you.
Two down strokes with
a pull off in the middle.
All right.
After that, we have an up stroke.
And, that's the lick.
Then, after that, you just loop it.
again, I think you've done this enough
where it's gonna come pretty easily.
But, this is such an important lick that I
want to take some of the details
and into account.
Now first of all the picking motions are
exactly the same as a gallop.
They're familiar.
[SOUND] I know you can do that if you just
play a scratchy gallop.
[SOUND] With your strumming technique
that's gonna come easily at this point.
Also we've done gallops on single notes.
We can do that as well.
But this one, the trick with the gallop,
and we have to aim it at two different
Instead of staying on a single string.
We're actually using our second
downstroke on a different string.
So we're going.
it's still the same rhythm as the gallop.
But instead of being on one string.
Our second note [SOUND]
is on the B string so we go dun da dun da
Now see.
There we go.
All right so that is the secret.
That's really what makes this work is
Pattern of picking and not picking
And now I've really broken down the
details, but my hope is that you've
practiced the gallop enough before hand
where this is going to be intuitive.
It's going to already feel good because
you can go.
And the motions are exactly the same.
The downstrokes are the same.
The upstrokes are the same.
They all fall in the same place.
The only thing is aiming one of those,
the second downstroke [SOUND] on the B
string instead of the E string.
And we've even done that before.
So this is all stuff we've covered.
I think you should be able to do it so
let's try it.
Again, I like to practice these by putting
a nice stop at the end so we,
we can nail the ending.
Let's do that much.
All right, let's look at the picking.
That's the picking.
So that'd be.
Down, down, up, down.
Three, four.
All right.
You got this.
Let's loop it a little bit, a little
slower though.
Cuz looping it always, we, we suddenly get
rid of that rest.
One, two, three, four.
All right.
So, the whole thing of it,
again, I think your left hand is gonna get
this incredibly easily.
It's just a matter of making sure that you
have that,
those exact pattern of strokes on your
right hand.
And the pull off just in the right place
on the second note.
Now, the thing I like
about this pattern is it makes it really
obvious to the listener where one is.
Every time that C note comes up.
You can accent that note,
you can make it louder.
You can really send the message via your
guitar of the beat is here.
It's almost as powerful as a foot stomp.
So that's what I like about this.
It's a very strong rhythmic sixteenth
All right, let's speed it up one more
time, let's see what happens.
One, two, three, four.
Again, so make it indestructible.
We want to have control of the, over the
We want to be able to make it quiet and
Let's practice that.
That makes it,
that makes things exciting when you can do
that kinda dynamic control.
All right so that is two one, two notes in
a string and one note in a string,
and anything that you find that has that
same pattern.
I mean you can change it to.
And it doesn't really matter so
much what the notes are, it just matters
how many notes are in the string.
And you can do all kinds of variations.
I wanna go on right now to the next one,
which is two, two, this time we have two
notes on the string,
[NOISE] which we did before and this time
we have two notes on the next string.
[NOISE] And we're gonna go down and up all
the way.
Now all
we did was add one note to our pattern,
but it changed the rhythmic feel of this.
Before we had 16th notes, which is sets of
One, two, three, four, one, two, three,
four, one, two, three,
four, one, two, three, four.
But now we have sets,
of six.
One, two, three, four, five, six, one,
two, three, four, five, six, one, two,
three, four, five, six.
So these are 16th note triplets and, and
this is a really useful lick.
If we're getting 16th note triplets.
Let's check it out again and see how it
One, two, three, four.
There's so
much speed potential in this thing.
We can really speed it up.
One, two, three, four.
That's pretty cookin'!
And again, I'm using a lot of hammer ons
and pull offs to make this happen.
Let's take a look.
So, I'm taking advantage of that first
one, let's see,
I'm gonna play it a little bit so I know
what I'm doing.
All right.
So I'm going, I'm almost doing a shuffle,
like du, du, du.
Which actually goes along with a triplet.
That's kind of nice.
All right.
Now this one,
the pattern is going to be down, down, up,
up, down, down, up, up,
down, down, up, up, down, down, up, up, I
And that's what it is.
So you have down, pull off, down, and up
and we're on up.
Now because this note ends with an up
stroke, the frays end with an upstroke.
And because it starts with the down.
We do have one place where two
notes are picked in a row when we loop it.
So we have,
right there.
Two notes were picked in a row.
But the rest of them, there's always a
space between,
because we're left hand is adding
hammer-ons and pull-offs.
That's kind of nice.
It gives our pick a rest.
This is such a useful lick.
So please work on this one.
Do it in time, so you know you're
controlling the time.
All right,
so let's speed it up a little bit.
now if you're having any problems with
this, again, do our similar technique,
just take a section of it and stop.
Still do it in tempo.
One, two, three, four.
That's the way to practice.
Get it comfortable.
So it feels good.
You can breathe.
You can close your eyes.
You can point.
All right.
Anything you can do just to make this
When it's indestructible you can begin to
speed it up.
Let's see how quick we can get this thing.
Let's see.
That's pretty cookin'.
All right, so there's one more I want to
show you.
And this one is two, two, one.
So we have two notes on a string.
Just like we did.
Two notes on a string [SOUND].
Just like we did.
And then one note, again these are all
under the pentatonic,
minor pentatonic scale.
All right.
So that's what I want to do.
I want to go down and I want to go back
Now these.
We added one note but again we changed the
rhythmic flavor of this.
This is again sounds to me more like
straight sixteenth notes.
It's in groups of four again.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.
This is incredibly useful lick.
It gets us over three strings and that's,
that's a big challenge for guitar.
To, to have to cross that many strings in
that short of period of time.
And there's a really easy way to do this
and that is the fact that we got pull offs
to help us make the picking easier.
The first three pick strokes are all down
Going down the pulloff, down and a pull
off, and another down.
So it just feels like you're doing three
down strokes.
Down, down, down.
Right on the down beats.
[SOUND] So that, that should be pretty
This is, this is really a nice lick to
play so far, nothing weird about it.
[SOUND] You do, your fingering wise, I do
recommend that you use your pinky for
the first two strings [SOUND] and your
third finger is all set up [SOUND]
to play that slight change in the shape
the ability to coordinate these two
fingers to play different threads
is really gonna come in handy for this
lick and others to come.
So definitely use these last two fingers.
Let's work on the transition.
Which is, when the lick turns around and
starts to ascend,
we have to do an upstroke immediately
following that last downstroke.
All right, so that's the big transition.
And we've done that before.
That was in.
You know that same.
Same exact technique.
We've done this a lot, all right.
So it should be familiar.
So down, down, up, one, two, three, four.
It's just like going [SOUND].
It feels just like a strum.
One, two, three, four.
That's for your picking.
All right.
And the next thing we do is a hammer-on.
Let's just try that much.
One, two, three, four.
then were going to add one more upstroke
[SOUND] on that last A note.
So this will be one, two, three, four.
So again,
the picking I think is gonna be the part
we really have to concentrate on.
And that's down, down, down, up, up.
And the ups are the syncopated beats.
So this is all falling into the same
pattern as a strum.
Going down, down, down, up,
up, down, down, down, up, up.
You can almost strum it.
I'm gonna throw caution to the wind just a
And we're gonna do big strumming motions.
There might be some noise from it,
but I just wanna show you how the strum
fits into this.
Feels just like I'm going.
So that's the rhythm that you're picking.
All right so it
does take some work to go from strumming,
which you're hitting a lot of strings.
To aiming these, these motions at an
individual strings.
Now that's really the challenge.
Best way to do it?
Play it slow and take it in small
So let's take this whole thing, but
let's stop at the end to give us time to
get ready for the next one.
So we'll go like, one, two, three, four.
One, two, catch your breath.
All right, that should be easy.
Down, down, down, up, up.
what I want to do is add the first note of
the next one.
All right, that's great.
That last part
[NOISE] is gonna be up down [NOISE].
I'll just, makes it happen when you loop
Three, four.
There we go.
Once that becomes habit,
you can begin to speed it up a little bit.
One, two, three, four.
I always like to stop.
It shows that you have control of
You know, if you're in this vortex of fast
looping solos.
Like, help me.
How do I escape?
You know, eventually you have to find and
end, and that's a good end.
All right, so this is such a good lick.
Let's try this again, I'm gonna crank up
the distortion a little bit.
One, two, three, four.
All right so
I've given you three extremely powerful
I wanna just review.
We have the two and one.
Two notes on a string and one note on a
I gave you the two and two,
two notes in the string, and two notes in
the next string.
More of a triplet feel.
And I gave you two, two and one.
can be expanded to all kinds of cool
things, and that's what we're going to do.
But there's even more of these, that I'm
going to show you next.
But I would love to hear you play these,
and I want you to practice them a lot.
Because they're really the core, of so
much important and useful fast playing.
All right.
One, two, three, four