ArtistWorks Music Series—Artist Bio Series: Paul Gilbert

In this week’s episode of the ArtistWorks Music Series podcast, our cofounder Patricia Butler sits down with legendary shred guitar virtuoso and ArtistWorks electric rock guitar instructor, Paul Gilbert, for the first installment of our new Artist Bio Series.

In the “Bio Series” episodes of our podcast, Patricia will be chatting with members of our world-renowned faculty about their lives, careers, and experiences that led them to become the master musicians that they are today. This week, Patricia and Paul Gilbert discuss Paul’s childhood obsession with music, the joy of getting his first guitar, his experience teaching at the Musician’s Institute, the formation of Mr. Big and Racer X, and more. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can listen here at ArtistWorks.

LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play rock guitar from a master musician like Paul Gilbert? Try a free guitar lesson now!

Patricia and Paul naturally kick off the conversation by starting at the beginning with Paul’s childhood. Paul describes his desire to become a musician even as a young adolescent, how he was drawn to listening, and loved the energy of rock ’n’ roll music in particular. He also outlines his early struggle with formal private music lessons — a struggle which ultimately led him to put the guitar down for a number of years. Fortunately, that didn’t distract from his love of music or musical development.

“A lot of times, the metaphor I use for playing music is archery, where you have the bow and the arrow and you shoot at the target,” Paul explains. “You can be great at the bow and arrow, but if you’re not looking at the target, your arrows go off into nowhere. In those early years, I may not have been playing, but I was focused on building the target.”

After reacquainting himself with the guitar and years of playing, Paul’s love for the instrument not only deepened but so did his desire to share his musical knowledge with others and teach. He and Patricia go on to outline Paul’s experiences teaching rock guitar in the mid-1980s as the youngest instructor in the history of the esteemed Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA.

“Musician’s Institute called me and said ‘hey, we’ve heard a lot of good things about you, we’d love for you to teach here,’” Paul explains. “They needed rock teachers because most of the guitar instructors there at the time were teaching jazz-fusion. This was the era that birthed shred, and what I was doing was cutting edge.”

To learn more about Paul Gilbert, his life, musical career, and approach to teaching, listen to the full podcast here:

If you’re interested in studying electric rock guitar and learning even more about Paul’s approaches to developing as a guitarist and musician, check out his online guitar lessons right here at ArtistWorks!


On the ArtistWorks Music Series, CEO Patricia Butler speaks with master musicians across all genres who teach at ArtistWorks. Join them as they dive deep into topics like becoming a musician, playing at all skill levels, and the journey of learning music.

Looking to dive into more music podcasts? You’ve come to the right place. Investigate previous episodes where plenty of topics are explored with fantastic, hand-selected, and knowledgeable guests.

Tune in for new episodes released every other Wednesday on all platforms, and don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show!

Want to get started on overcoming the roadblock on your musical journey with our online music lessons? Try out some free sample music lessons with any of our master musicians and learn from the best!



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