By Andrew Catania
A former member of ‘Racer X,’ and the co-founder of ‘Mr. Big’, Paul Gilbert has much more to his stake his claim, that eventually saw him rank 4th, in the Guitar One Magazine’s list of the Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time. He has also made into the Guitar World Magazines, the list of the 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Times.
Paul Gilbert is a prominent, and sound name in the music sphere, specifically in the rock and heavy metal genre. His penchant for veering off from the conventional techniques, trying improvisations and his natural curiosity to experiment outside the prevalent, and well-grounded trends, compels him to test his expertise in a variety of genres.
Having a firm knowledge of the tactics, techniques, and intricacies of a variety of instruments, such as bass, keyboard, harmonica, and percussion, Paul Gilbert eventually settled to play the guitar. His techniques are finely calculated, intricate, have great depth, and utmost attention to detail. It is this precision of his shredding style, that makes even the loudest of tones fall smoothly onto the eardrum, and makes one experience ultimate musical ecstasy.
Paul Gilbert’s playing style is unique and unbelievably complexed to be true. His one mere shred occurs with such force that few can match. Playing on fretboards, similar to those used by his contemporaries, his exceptional command over the chords sets him a class apart from the rest.
Lightning fast, dense, dynamic and fluctuating with aesthetic and carefully-handled nuances, Paul Gilbert has enchanted millions of rock, and metal enthusiasts worldwide, through his vibrant and addictive tones. His technique is neat and has a ferocious frequency which is squeezed out at an overwhelming speed. Besides that, his immense control over the length, the graduation of tones, and prolonged picking without taking an anchor or bridge is a worthy testament to his incredible and extraordinary skills. No wonder he is ranked among Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Rusty Cooley and other legendary names that have redefined the rock and heavy metal genre.
Paul Gilbert’s signature style has evolved through his self-taught, and experimental approach. He mentions the work of notable legendaries including Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi, Jimi Hendrix, Yngwie Malmsteen, Kim Mitchell, Steve Clark, Akira Takasaki, Jimmy Page, Robin Trower, and much more as his inspiration. Being a keen observer and a quick learner, he attempted to learn, and master each’s technique, and improvised to include a fusion of his own. It is because of this, that he’s equally famous among the fandoms of other heavy metal legends, as his style reflects a flavor of his prime influences while maintaining its signature essence, and uniqueness.
While he’s ranked at an unparalleled stature among other heavy metal virtuosos, Paul Gilbert, experiments and composes his music in a variety of genres, including pop, metal, rock, funk, and blues. The speed, versatility, efficiency, timeliness, and seamless control visibly rule over all genres that he plays. His fusion of fast picking, combined with legato, and his precise-to-perfect staccato-picking, is a powerful depiction of his nonpareil excellence and is a sure-tell sign that the milestones he has set in the heavy metal genre, will demand a lot from his predecessors to come close to matching his legacy.
Mr. Big’s new record, Defying Gravity, will be released on July 7th, 2017 via Frontiers Records.