“Typical scale practice is downright damaging for expressive playing… That’s not how singers sing”: Paul Gilbert shows you how to make your guitar solos more vocal and expressive

Paul Gilbert
(Image credit: Future)

GUITAR SHOWCASE 2023: Paul Gilbert exploded onto the 1980s rock scene with his exciting brand of speedy and highly technical soloing. He has been part of two great rock bands, Mr. Big (soon set to embark on their final tour) and Racer X, but has also maintained a fabulous solo career.

In this article, Paul sets out to explain the goal of the lesson, which is to adapt vocal phrases for use on the electric guitar, in order to play with expression. We have notated the seven live performances so you can study the fingerings and try these ideas out yourself.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jon Bishop

Jon Bishop is a UK-based guitarist and freelance musician, and a longtime contributor to Guitar Techniques and Total Guitar. He's a graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and is touring and recording guitarist for British rock 'n' roll royalty Shakin’ Stevens.