Check it out. We’re bringing this video of a Paul Gilbert lesson into the limelight because we are of the mutual opinion that he’s really good at articulating aspects of the guitar well into words and giving an appropriate demonstration.
In this particular lesson he covers the importance and application of rhythm.
It’s a bit of an oldie, but it’s a damn goody and if you haven’t seen it before then… well… I guess we’re the first to introduce this to you. Don’t thank us. Pay us.
Watch as he builds from a simple rhythm and keeps adding notes while maintaining the rhythm. The possibilities with this technique are pretty much endless and can eventually be used to build an entire song.
Talk about a writers block buster. If you’re finding yourself stuck in a rut this might be a good thing to try out.
Even more importantly, Paul outlines the intricate dance you can weave out of a rhythm by sprinkling in notes, and maybe even start building out a melody. Dangerous stuff.
Down to the point.
As for a play by play sports announcer aproach to this – the big point that is stressed in the video is rhythm matters in more ways than just having a sense of timing. Playing a flurry of 1/16 notes at 350 bpm is fine and all, but don’t expect anyone to accuse you of being an interesting guitarist.
Mr. Gilbert, looking uncharacteristically well groomed save for that cowlick on the back of his dome piece, started simple with a muted rhythm and gradually added leads which followed the rhythm he was playing.
While Gilbert is pretty much inhuman as a guitarist the point still stands strongly. Changing notation and sexing it up with rests will at least blur the lines between creative and uncreative so if you happen to suck and want to fool your audience with more ease then there’s a good place to start. If you happen to rock then things like this can help make you rock harder.
In addition to the trade off of melody and rhythm Paul Gilbert’s widely revered for his technical mastery. Among his many skills he’s possibly most well known for his smooth and seamless string skipping prowess which has been known to cause spontaneous combustion on hapless listeners. That’s right. The friction of his own fingers on strings causes others to burst into flames.