My jam with Paul Gilbert. Mr. Big jams with Mr. Fastfinger… Actually I felt more like I was Karate Kid in Crossroads. Almost related, check out this guitar playthrough video “Wax on – Wax off” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP754bXJ6uU
Paul was coming to do a clinic in Helsinki and I was asked to participate. To jam with him. I admit the idea sounded a bit scary, I had to say yes. You don’t get too many chances to jam with your heroes.
incredible Tuomas Rauhala and Jyri Helko on Drums and bass. These guys rocked the whole night with Gilbert!
Paul is one of the idols of my youth. He has had a huge impact on my playing and technique. To me Intense Rock on VHS was the ABC of many techniques and fretboard concepts. I used to work many hours every day on those licks when I was around 15 years of age. And yes Paul is still one of the best players on the planet.
Before the clinic Paul gave me two options, jam in E or D. I chose D, and that was pretty much all i knew before hitting the stage.
There was no chance to check the amp berore hitting the stage. Tone on the amp sounded like what Ralph Macchio would have preferred, but it wasn’t quite to my personal taste. When you get on stage, you can’t tweak the knows too much, you play what you got. As always, the tone did affect my playing.
Damn exciting to be on stage. The jam was filled with drama and dynamics, I sure played some strange notes, a bit too much of hybrid picking, blah, blah.The trickies momens during this jam were the moments when Paul played and I listened. The great tempation is to start thinking of all the licks you can next pull out. But I knew this, it usually sounds very bad and out. So I just waited and listened what Paul played, then when it was my time to play, I reacted to his playing in real time.
Ofcourse afterwards I’ve been thinking of all the possiblities what I could have done there on stage. Standing next Paul Gilbert I felt like contrasting stuff to his playing, I didn’t feel like I want to start speeding. I learned all the basics of alternate picking from Gilberts Intense Rock video backing in the early 90’s. I guess that is the reason why especially alternate picking felt very difficult here!
But there is no going back, this is what happened on the moment.
Hope you enjoy this!
If you’re new to my music, please check out:
Paul Gilbert. Jussi Häkkinen for organizing the whole event. Tuomas Rauhala and Jyri Helko for amazing job as the rhythm section.
Extra thank you:
James Spectrum for pulling out his Zoom recorder and kindly recording the audio for me. Jussi from Gloria for shooting this video, especially with such a short notice!