Carbondale, Illinois, that's the name of Paul Gilbert´s hometown and there is where he was born (6th november 1966). Paul first picked up a guitar at the age of 5, even though it only was a toy guitar it surely started his interest for music. His main influences back then were bands such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Another huge influence he had was his blues-playing uncle, Jimi Kidd.
Today Paul is not only one of the fastest metal guitar players out there but also considered to be among the most technical ones.
Three years after Paul was born in Carbondale he moved to Greensburg, Pensylvania where he lived for 14 years. Apart from his toy guitar he got his first real one when he was six years old and as many others do he started to play at home for himself. But soon he got frustrated beacause he didn't know how to play "the right way". For instance, he used only upstrokes and played only with his middle finger. So, he began taking lessons from a local guitar teacher. This didn't last to long though, since he wasn't allowed to play the songs he wanted.
It was quite obvious that music was his big interest, because by the age of 14 he joined his first band, Missing Lynx and shortly after that his second band, Tau Zero. But Paul was growing and needed to move on with his life, staying in Greensburg wasn't an option. Therefore in 1984, he went to Hollywood, Los Angeles to attend at the school Guitar Institute of Technology, known as G.I.T.
Neither was there any doubt that he was going to turn into a great guitarist, because 1985 he won the LA Guitar Wars (19 years old!). This is his entry:
During Paul´s time at G.I.T he met the bass player John Alderete and the drummer Harry Gschoesser which together with the singer Jeff Martin created the band Racer X. The same year as Paul started to teach at G.I.T Racer X had their first album done, Street Lethal. This was their big breakthrough and not long after the realease they were known as the fastest and loudest metal band around. Racer X were really doing well and in 1986 they added another guitarist to their arsenal, his name was Bruce Boulliet and was a student at G.I.T. Later on Gschoesser was replaced by Scott Travis, another very skillful drummer. 1988 Paul left Racer X.
Racer X was undeniably( or is, becuase they had a reunion in 1999 ) a succesfull band. Some of their most famous tunes are "Technical Difficulties" and "Scarified".
1989 Paul together with the bassist Billy Sheenan started a new project, that project was the band Mr Big. Mr big also included Eric Martin as the vocalist and Pat Torpey on the drums. It didn't take too long before they got their first album done, also called Mr Big and after that they went on their first tour in U.S. Their third album and also their real breakthrough was the album "Lean Into It" and was recorded in 1991. This is when the band really started to gain som status and fame all around the world, especially in Japan, where they also toured a lot. The reason for their breakthrough was most likely thanks to their biggest hit, "To Be With You" which reached the #1 on many toplists around the world.
In 1997 Paul left Mr big to continue with a solo career, he was replaced with the guitarist Richie Kotzen. Five years later Mr Big disbanded.
Paul uses only Ibanez guitars and he has his own signature model as well, the PGM 301. The PGM 301 is a white maple necked guitar designed for fast playing with its thin 5 piece wizard neck. It's not hard to identify the guitar due to it's characteristic f-holes painted in black on the white body. Paul preferd his guitar without a tremolo so that is why the guitar isn't equpied with a tremolo system.
There are many other guitars in the PGM signature series but all with the uniqe f-holes. Such as the PGM 300 that looks exactly the same as the 301 model except it has a tremolo system.
Regarding amplifiers, for a long time Paul only sticked to Laney amps but after touring with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci during the G3 2007 he changed his mind and started to play with Marshall amps instead.
- Street Lethal (1986)
- Second Heat (1988)
- Live Extreme, Volume 1 (1988)
- Live Extreme, Volume 2 (1992)
- Technical Difficulties (1999)
- Superheroes (2000)
- Snowball of Doom (2002)
- Getting Heavier (2002)
- Snowball of Doom 2 (2002)
- Mr. Big (1989)
- Raw Like Sushi (1990)
- Lean Into It (1991)
- Raw Like Sushi II (1992)
- Bump Ahead (1993)
- Japandemonium: Raw Like Sushi 3 (1994)
- Channel V at the Hard Rock Live (1996)
- Hey Man (1996)
- Big Bigger Biggest: Greatest Hits (1996)
- Deep Cuts (2000)
- Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (EP) (1991)
- King of Clubs (1998)
- Flying Dog (1998)
- Beehive Live (1999)
- Alligator Farm (2000)
- Raw Blues Power With Jimi Kidd (2002)
- Burning Organ (2002)
- Paul the Young Dude/The Best of Paul Gilbert (2003)
- Gilbert Hotel (2003)
- Acoustic Samurai (2003)
- Space Ship One (2005)
- Get Out of My Yard (2006)
- Tough Eskimo (limited edition EP) (2007)
- Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar (2008)
Related GMC Lessons
A few GMC lessons related to Paul Gilbert.
--Axelsson 19:54, 16 May 2008 (CEST)Filip Axelsson