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
«Prev of Next»

Rock Guitar Lessons: Scales - Low Strings

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +




Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Rock Guitar

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

Join Now

information below Close
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.
All right,
we've been working with scales that have
three notes on a string,
two notes on a string, and one note on a
But I wanna do something that has some
different numbers.
So this one, actually has five, and three.
Now, you might initially think, like how
can we do five?
We only have four fingers, you know.
Do we have to get our thumb in there to do
five or how does this work?
But, all I'm doing is taking three notes.
Out of the E-minor scale.
And I'm doing a pattern inside it.
So, I'm using the notes more than once.
I'm gonna start with my pinky on the A.
And I get five notes out of those three,
so I'm going.
That's one, two, three, four, five.
So we're getting five notes.
I'm gonna add three on top on the next
So that's one, two, three.
B, C, D and that's the pattern.
So now we have a nice 16th note pattern.
On two strings, a nice scratchy sound.
And I wanna add one note to that, because
I wanna have a nice accent on one.
So I'm gonna move my pinky up on the end,
so that E there.
So it's gonna sound like this.
One, two, three, four.
There we go.
And you might have noticed that I'm
keeping the first notes kind of quiet.
And then the last note,
I'm really giving more power to, to let
the listener know, that, that's one.
There we go.
Lot's of quiet.
And then loud at the end.
All right, so let's do a bunch of those,
inside of the E minor scale.
Now this is a technique that I like a lot.
Where I'll learn the shapes of the E minor
in all the different positions, on just
two strings.
I think its useful, you know, if I take
the E minor scale on one string,
which would be.
then I'll take it, the same notes, on the
next string, which would be.
[LAUGH] I gotta get the bonus bent note.
So if I put those together, I'm gonna put
'em in sixes right now.
Just so you can visualize.
What this looks like and I, we'll make a
PDF of this for you so you can,
you can look at it visually.
So, each set of six.
Suppose we have the open one.
Using the open strings.
Six consecutive notes in E minor.
The next one is start of the next step, F
So, that's.
And the next one.
It's really useful to look at the
fretboard diagrams,
because you can really see what the shapes
look like.
There's the one starting on A.
These are all staying in the same key of E
minor, just starting on a higher note each
Like that.
Like that.
Then we just repeat up an octave.
Now that by itself is pretty cool
exercise, to just do those sixes.
Now that's a nice scratchy sound, and
you can get that pretty quick if you
practice it.
All right.
All right.
So, those have the potential for some fast
But, I wanna concentrate on this original
lick that we're doing with the five notes.
And the one added on the end.
So we have a downbeat.
So let's play that again.
One, two, three, four.
There we go.
Now the one technical thing I want to
point out is that when we change strings,
from the low E to the A string.
That's gonna be an upstroke cuz this is
all alternate picking.
So when we start with the down, we go
down, up, down, up, down, up.
So that's really important.
So let's try that transition.
Because again, the transitions are the
thing you really concentrate on
for your technique.
So let's see what happens if we stop on
that note.
We'll go one, two, three, four.
One, two.
Just there.
Make sure that's an up.
All right, I think you've got it now.
All right,
once that feels good practice that a lot.
Then you can start adding the other notes
One, two, I'll take it a little slower.
One, two, three, four.
Should end with a down.
Starts with a downstroke, as well.
All right.
Now, let's try taking that in each step of
the E minor scale on the,
on the shapes that we learned.
So, that was started on A.
The next step up would be B.
So, we'll, we'll try that same pattern.
But, this time,
since we started on a higher note we also
end on a higher note.
So, this sounds like this.
Three, four.
All right.
And we'll keep going up.
Let's try the next one.
Start on the note C.
It'll sound like this.
Three, four.
So, this is why it's so
useful to memorize those shapes.
Cuz you're, you can just have your fingers
fall right into those
scale notes instead of E minor.
The next one will be starting on D.
Three, four.
All right, next one starts on E.
Three, four.
All right,
so let's figure out a way we can put these
into a phrase.
I'm just gonna play it really quick and
see what comes to mind so if I go.
[SOUND] So that feels to be like,
almost like a one, two, three,
two, two, three [SOUND].
Yeah, that's cool.
It's almost like six A.
Like [SOUND].
All right.
That's a nice, really chunky lick with
some good spaces in it.
I really like those spaces.
Sometimes if it's just, you know, nothing
but fast picking, your,
the ear of the audience gets a little bit
overwhelmed by all this percussion.
And if you put those stops in there I
think it makes each section a little
more powerful and.
And really let's the audience know that
you're in control of your instrument one,
two, three, two, two, three.
One, two, three, two, two, three.
You know,
I can't resist showing you a variation of
this, that I think really sounds good.
We're gonna do exactly the same lick,
exactly the same technique.
We're just gonna start.
On the D note and
do the one we're already familiar with.
That's part of the,
the exercise we've already played.
So, you already know this one.
And this one ends on A.
Now, instead of going back to the same
strings we've been playing, I wanna start
the next pattern right here.
So, this time, we're gonna go.
So, what happened there?
We're actually playing on the fifth and
fourth strings this time.
Still keeping inside the notes of E minor.
So, let me show those to you.
it's this kind of shape with a half step
and a whole step.
I'm gonna do my sim pattern where I go up
to the next note in the scale.
Right there.
Now we're on the D string.
And I'm gonna modify my left hand shape,
again, to squeeze in the notes.
Of E minor.
this one requires that I shift my first
Cuz I'm gonna get that F sharp note.
That's the note in the scale.
So that one has this sort of move,
with your first finger.
And then, I'm gonna shift up, to that B
And then we again, can start the same
And each one, again, as you can see,
has to change the shape in order to stay
within the notes of E minor.
This one is a two-hole step shape.
Which shifts up a, a fret in position.
the whole thing has to go from here to
Same shape but different fret.
And your last one, we're gonna go up here.
And we'll do the same pattern.
I like this one cuz it's all the same
frets, same fingers.
Now, let's hear this all together.
I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go quick first
just to get it in your ear.
Then we'll slow it down and look at the
Go, one, two, three, four.
that's a serious picks run, I really like
But I do want to come up with an ending
for it.
Well, so let's hear it one more time, and
see how much space we need to fill to make
an ending.
One, two, three four.
Three, four.
So I want to have an ending in there, and
I already came up with one that I'm going
to show you, and this is just a nice
sounding ending, pretty simple to learn.
I'm going to do a quick diminish
And diminish sharpagio, I'm just going to
show it to you,
get it in your ear [SOUND].
There it is, it's all three fret
[SOUND] Down a fret, down a string,
down two frets and down a string, so there
it is.
Same fingers, and we'll do that together.
I'm actually going to do it in triplets
and so it will be.
And then just because I like it,
I'm going to change from minor, to a major
You can hear that.
One, one, two, three in major.
So, it's a little bit complicated, but I,
it's just gonna sound so good that I,
I, I trust you, you're gonna do it.
Here we go.
So, let me play that all together so
you get it in your ear, then we'll slow it
One, two, three, four.
Isn't that nice?
All right, so let's go through this
One, two, three, four
I'm gonna slow it down even more.
One, two, three, four.
And even more, so let's see.
One, two, three, four.
That's a nice riff.
All right.
Let's hear it again, sped up, I'm gonna
put a little bit of distortion on.
Okay, one, two, three, four.
All right,
now I put something called a retard on the
end, where I slowed down that triplet.
So, for dramatic effect,
and I did it because that page is a little
hard for me to play, so
that gave me an excuse to slow it down.
There we go, so it.
Everything worked to my advantage.
I got more motion out of it and I made it
easier to play.
All right.
So, that's an idea for
some things we can do.
To get a nice chunky sound,
a nice strong pick attack.
All alternate picking out of your minor
scale, just on those low two strings, and
then expand it out over all the strings.
I hope you love that pattern.
I use it all the time.
It's a really good one.
All right, I'd love to hear you play that,
and if you're struggling with it,
please send me in, let me know what, what
you're working on, and
I'll help you with ideas and advice and
more variations and we'll, we'll that,
make sure this pick is working, and make
sure you got the right chunk.
One, two, three, four.