Paul Gilbert teams up with Guitar Techniques to debut his latest fretboard masterclass, That’s Too Much Like Work!

It was a busy 2021 for electric guitar mastermind Paul Gilbert, who released both Werewolves of Portland and a collection of shred-ified Christmas classics, ‘TWAS.

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.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.