Awhile back, Paul Gilbert shared a simple but effective upstroke picking exercise on the No Guitar Is Safe podcast, which you can watch below.
“It’s the upstroke exercise that will improve not only your speed and your accuracy but your tone and rhythmic groove of the string,” Gilbert says.
The exercise consists of a one-bar shuffle groove followed by a one-bar triplet rhythm, performed on one string at a time. Gilbert also demonstrates a cool downstroke exercise using pinch harmonics. Take a look at the video for the complete exercise.
This clip is part of Jude Gold’s two-hour interview with Gilbert, featured on the No Guitar Is Safe podcast. In it, he talks about his days teaching guitar at Musicians Institute when he was barely old enough to vote, his pioneering West Coast shred band Racer X, landing a Number One hit song with Mr. Big, getting his first-ever Guitar Player cover story and the making of his album, I Can Destroy.
And of course, he does plenty of jamming, talks technique and delivers a very cool cover of the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes,” complete with an excellent impersonation of Michael McDonald.