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 - Mid 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 on the low strings
doing a minor scale.
Now, I wanna work with the middle strings.
And I wanna show you one of my favorite
that I found in a classical piece.
And, let's just play it.
Here is the melody.
So, that's a nice melody.
It, for me, it just has a nice sound.
And this is an,
an awesome picking exercise.
It's it actually starts as two notes on a
So, this is still alternate picking.
Down, up, down, up.
Then it does one, one.
One note per string.
With this shape.
So we're doing, let's, let's just take,
we'll print this out as a PDF too so you
can see the shape.
And then we've got the one, one.
And then we have two on a string.
So most of it is two notes per string, but
it has that, that one, one in the middle.
I'll do that super slow.
One, two, three, four.
Actually, I wanna take it in sections,
because I know the spot, that we need to
concentrate on for a transition.
And that's gonna be this, we wanna go.
Because we have to get used to a finger
there, where, we're sorta getting in the
pattern of doing the third finger and
the pinky, like this.
to break out of that we have to get used
to doing.
On the same string.
Cuz it's basically going.
Like that.
One, two, three, four.
All right.
The next note is an upstroke on the next
string on the A note.
So here it comes.
One, two, three, four.
All right,
now this is a tricky one cuz you gotta
cross the string pretty quickly.
I'll slow it down.
One, two, three, four.
You got it.
Even slower.
[SOUND] One, two, three, alternate
All right, you've definitely got it now.
[SOUND] And then, there's two notes at the
[SOUND] Played those already, down, up.
Here we go, the whole thing together, one,
two, three, four.
All right,
now I wanna make sure that you're doing
alternate picking.
So we can even exaggerate those motions.
I'm not,
not so worried about playing perfectly, I
just wanna make sure that,
that I'm in the groove, almost like a
That's one way to check that you're
alternate picking is that it falls
into that groove.
Three, four.
All right, now this is a great lick for
speeding up so the more you practice it,
just find the spot where you're
This is a little bit of a, of sort of a
coordination challenge for
your left hand at first.
So, don't worry about playing it super
fast right away.
Just find the speed where you can play it
perfectly and just sit there for a while.
You know, you can tap your foot.
Make sure you can breathe.
Look around.
Close your eyes.
Then you know you've got it.
Then you can speed it up a little bit.
See how far you can take it and still keep
that confidence.
Three, four.
Maybe try muting it.
Trying opening it up and
going back and forth.
That's when you know you've got it and
you're ready to speed it up a little more.
One, two, three, four.
The thing
that you can do next is the same thing we
did last time.
Is we're gonna find the minor scale, the E
minor scale.
On the middle strings this time.
So, you know, if,
if you look on your PDF you can see the
shapes of where those notes are.
But this is a great way to memorize them.
Find a pattern, and just change the shape
of the pattern,
each time, to fit the notes of the scale.
So I'm gonna show you these two, one at a
We already know this one, the first one.
That's just in the fifth.
Go down to the fourth.
And you can see that our shape changed.
This first one had a, a whole step shape,
and a half step shape.
This one has two whole steps.
Up this high
on the fretboard I often use my third
finger to do play whole steps.
the second finger is perfectly acceptable.
Whatever you're comfortable with.
I'm not gonna be strict about that.
Now the next one,
is a great challenge for your left hand.
Because it has this shape,
again we have to put this shape to fit in
to the E minor scale.
So on top we have a, a half step shape.
But on the bottom.
We have this big four fret stretch.
So it goes between just a one fret stretch
and a four fret stretch.
So that uses all your fingers,
you really have to use them there.
And it's a great challenge for the
coordination of your left hand.
That's the first half of the lick.
Then we have.
I'm walking you through this one again cuz
this one is a little tricky.
Then we have the next note.
we're using these two middle fingers to
play there.
Two more notes and
their gonna be pinky and first finger.
That's the end.
Three, four
Now as technically
challenging as that is I love the sound of
it, that's such a good sound.
Such a nice melody inside that one.
And it will really.
Train your fingers to do some great
There's, there's a lot of technique that's
inside that,
that particular shape [SOUND].
All right after that,
they only get easier.
So our next one.
Again I'm gonna put this, this chord in
your ear.
And that's the next one.
So it's a whole step.
[SOUND] On minor third shape, three frets,
[SOUND] and
then we have [SOUND] that C there.
[SOUND] So these are really different,
there is a little shape variation in the
I'll just do it slowly until we get it.
Three, four [SOUND] all right.
And the next one.
[SOUND] That one looks.
Exactly like the one we had up here, but
it's just down here, in,
in the seventh position.
Then we have another whole step shape.
Here I encourage the second finger,
because the frets are further apart.
So it helps you to reach, make that big
reach to use the second finger for
the whole, for the two whole steps.
And one more.
And then I'm just gonna end with
a major chord.
Even though this is a minor scale,
to me it feels good to end in major.
Sort of a, the classical thing to do.
So, let's listen to these all together in
I'm gonna play a little fast first cuz I
just wanna get the sound in your ear.
So, one, two, three, four.
And I did that retard again,
where I slowed down a little bit, and it
gave me time to get to the chord.
Let's hear that one more time.
One, two, three, four
All right.
That's a nice sound.
That's a great way to learn the shapes of
the E minor
scale on the two middle strings.
Let's do it super slow together once.
One, two, three, four.
Now, I love those notes, but
the way I played it was very uniform.
I didn't do, put much dynamics in, and I'm
really missing that.
My ear is craving some dynamics.
So let's crank up our guitars a little
bit, and let's try muting it.
So I'm gonna go a little quicker, and.
[SOUND] Let's see.
One, two, three, four.
Yeah, that one made me smile,
that one had a little more cool, a cool
sound to it.
Let's try it one more time, I'm gonna do a
little quicker, maybe open it up towards
the end, do a little less muting and
dynamically come up.
One, two, three, four
There we go, and
now we're starting to make it emotional
and musical and powerful.
So there's some ideas for you in the
middle strings.
This is a great 16th note lick, it uses
the shapes of the three note
per string scale, but arranges them in
such a way where.
It looks like two notes per string, but
you know, after you end up using
all those shapes in every position, you
use all the notes so they're all there.
In E minor.
And I'd love to hear you play this one.
Try it super slow at first, because
there's some wild fingerings in there,
make sure you get the notes right, and
enjoy the sounds,
this is a good sounding pattern.
I like it.
A one, two, three, four.
One, two, three, four.