Paul Gilbert Style Shred Exercise in 'A' Minor

Hey guys. Here's a good exercise to build some speed shredding in triplets Paul Gilbert style!

Ultimate Guitar
Hey guys. This lick really helped me in my early shred years. It's a basic Paul Gilbert style shred lick in the key of A Minor/G Mixolydian. I wanted to focus on a few things in this exercise. Firstly the shredding is in triplets and grouped into 6 note patterns. Working on shredding in triplets (or just 3 note per string patterns) is very important as I've found it to be the most common shredding style that comes up in most guitar solos. The key thing to practice and be aware of is that you're picking each string an odd number of times. I've often tried to avoid going down the "economy" picking road. Let's say we have 3 notes on the 6th string followed by 3 notes on the 5th. The 6th string you'll be picking down, up, down then on the 5th string up, down, up. Practicing the string changing and starting on an "UP" stroke feels weird until you drill it enough times. This is a common problem my students have had when they're trying to build up shred speed. Let's have a crack at the exercise below.
Another thing I wanted to focus on in this lesson was palm placement when doing a slightly muted shred passage. A lot of my students, and various other guitarist I've met have had difficulty keeping and even dynamic and attack on all strings when they are doing a lengthy, 6 string shred passage. Instead of muting the strings where you start and then turning your wrist when changing strings, I've found than dragging my entire palm to the next few strings keeps everything sounding even. It also feels WAY less awkward. Enjoy the exercise guys! Happy Shredding!
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By Chris Zoupa

31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is literally one of my warm-up/practice patterns.
    ... as opposed to figuratively being one of your warm-up/practice patterns..?
    Forgive me for not speaking this language perfectly. The right word would have been exactly I guess?
    No, you got it right. It's funny because people tend to misuse the word "literally" when they should be saying figuratively. In this case, you did use it right, but saying literally implies that there would be a situation in which it would have "figuratively" been one of your warm-up patterns. You could have just left out the word literally altogether and the sentence would have been fine.
    Like this guy^ said, you used the word right. I think "actually" would have been the best choice of words, however. "this is actually one of my warm-up/practice patterns"
    You can use the word "literally" as a hyperbole. In that sentence he uses the word to emphasize the fact he uses this as a warm up. You guys admit he is right while still trying to correct him. You could have a problem if he used the word literally in a figure of speech, but he literally uses this as a warm up and you are all literally stupid.
    Thanks Chris for another awesome lesson. The exercises you post always make it to my warm-up routine.
    He explains (in some video on Youtube) that he would pick the three notes on first string, then on the higher string he would only pick the first note and hammer-on the rest; He would repeat this technique as went down the strings.
    It doesn't really sound like Paul Gilbert. Needs more string skipping.
    Not sure if serious, but Gilbert plays pretty much this in the end of "Technical Difficulties" (Racer X).
    this is my sitting on the couch warm up run. learn to speed pick it = people think youre better than you are
    Sorry if I missed it, but what's the reason why you choose to do alternate picking regularly instead of economy picking?
    It makes it easier to play the 3rd triplet. For me, it's easier to start with an up stroke on the 3rd triplet then go to the next string with a down stroke.
    This exercise really helps. I can actually play a lot faster so sweeping is a bit easier for me now!
    Good lesson, straight to the point and reminiscent of his licks in Technical Difficulties and Colorado Bulldog
    Chris, you should talk about "Hexatonic" 3 octave scales and how great they are for breaking outta boxes, getting around the neck, and shredding.
    Quote @ 1:23 - "I take it up the octave again" Had me in stitches! Love the lessons Chris, as a fellow Melbournite I'll have to pop down and check out your band one night.