Now, the Mr. Big virtuoso has continued his fine belter-making form with an all-new standalone single, That’s Too Much Like Work!
The track itself has been debuted in partnership with Guitar Techniques, which has teamed up with Gilbert to produce both a 17-minute performance/tutorial video and an exclusive transcription that can be found in the magazine’s latest issue.
In classical Gilbert fashion, That’s Too Much Like Work! takes a relatively tame idea – in this case, the Frère Jacques-inspired melody – and squeezes out every ounce of color and nuance, decorating it with an assortment of bends and vibratos.
The solo, meanwhile, is a different beast altogether, requiring both a guitar pick and a drill to navigate through Gilbert’s maze of twisting pull off-heavy licks and mosaic scale runs.
In the video below, Gilbert breaks down three separate lead lines – including the "crazy lick” from the That’s Too Much Like Work! intro – and discusses the track’s development from a basic vocalized chord progression into the million-miles-per-hour fretboard workout it became.
Oh, and he also talks about the importance of selecting the right drill. Newer ones, according to Gilbert, are no good: the immediacy of the halting spin does nothing for your tremolo tone when the trigger is released. His, a modified Makita, instead slows the spin down, resulting in the track’s siren-esque sounds.
The bulk of the song, however, can be found in Guitar Techniques, which tabs out everything from the main verse/chorus melody to the dizzying 30-bar solo that Gilbert executes using his trusty Makita drill.
In terms of tone, Gilbert told Guitar Techniques he ran through both an early Origin series Marshall – paired with the 12" speaker of a Bluesbreaker combo – and a '70s Fender Princeton Reverb, both of which were wired through a Lehle P-Split to correct the phase.
In the effects department, the track utilizes a Supro Drive overdrive pedal – used in tandem with either the JHS Haunting Mids or PG-14, Gilbert can’t remember which – as well as TC Electronic’s Alter Ego and Arena delay and reverb pedals.
Head over to Magazines Direct to pick up the latest copy of Guitar Techniques, which features a Q&A with Joe Satriani and Frank Gambale, the That's Too Much Like Work! tab, and a lesson on how to nail the guitar sounds of the 1980s.