Seafood and Juggling—
a Love Story
BY PAUL GILBERT
Paul Gilbert purposefully began playing gui-
tar at age 9, formed the guitar-driven bands
Racer X and Mr. Big, and then accidentally
had a No. 1 hit with an acoustic song called
“To Be with You.” Paul began teaching at
GIT at the age of 18, has released countless
albums and guitar instructional DVDs, and will
be remembered as “the guy who got the drill
stuck in his hair.” For more information, visit
• Learn how to “juggle” notes
with hammer-ons and pull-offs
• Combine odd-note groupings
to create longer phrases
• Develop a deep love for fresh
and unusual seafood
I get excited about fresh, good things,
whether they are edible or musical. The follow-
ing phrases are so fresh to me, if they had legs
they would still be wiggling around in the air.
Let’s start with an easy one. Fig. 1 is a
G# diminished 7th arpeggio (G#–B–D–F).
Since a diminished arpeggio consists of four
notes that are all equidistantly spaced, we can
consider any note the root. I like it for its
geometrically appealing shape, and its serious,
furrowed-brow sound. It’s important to visualize the shape before we dive into the notes.
Now that we have a general idea of
where our fingers will go, let’s apply the
phrase in Fig. 2. I am hearing this phrase
as 16th notes, but you will notice groups of
five within a phrase. I like how this creates
slightly unpredictable accents. I also made it
a point to end on a strong beat with enough
time to sustain and do some vibrato.
At this point, I want to insert some
advice on technique.
I recommend you not pick every note.
It’s important to dispel the myth that good
technique requires every note to be picked.
There are so many phrases that I love—
including the ones in this column—where
picking every note would cripple the phrase.
It would be like trying to juggle three balls
while keeping a hand on each ball at all
times—we just can’t do it (but perhaps a
squid could be trained for this trick).
By imitating a juggler, you allow some
of the notes to “float,” and this gives your
Click here to hear
sound clips of
oe oeoeoeoeoeoe oe oeoeoeoeoeoeoeoe
oeoe oeoeoeoeoeoeoe OE
Do you ever find yourself in a conversa- tion about trying strange and exotic
food? Everyone seems to have sampled
something strange at one point or another.
For example, it could be chocolate covered
creepy-crawlies, crunchy deep-fried hopping
or chirping things, large African bird eggs,
fish eyes, chicken hearts, pig brains, or even
cow tongues. There are so many culinary
adventures available to us to try. What a
I like this kind of adventure. But
I’m more interested in a subcategory of
strange food, and that is: Strange Food I’d
Purposefully Seek Out Again and Again
Because It’s Genuinely Delicious. One of
my favorites in this category is squid. While
it’s still alive that is—it doesn’t get any fresher than that! The squid tastes fantastic, and
it’s fun to think I’m experiencing the same
thing that a blue shark eats every day. ˙
44 & oe oe oeoeoeoeoeoeoe oeoeoeoeoeoeoe oeoe oe oeoeoeoeoeoe OE
44 & oeoe oeoe oe oeoeoeoe oeoeoeoeoe oeoe oe oeoe oeoeoeoeoe oe OE Fig. 4