In 1982, fifteen year-old Paul Gilbert appeared in Guitar Player magazine for the first time, holding a homemade Flying V in his hands, and proclaiming his style to be “Heavy Metal.”
By the age of 18 he had moved to Hollywood, California, won the Los Angeles “Guitar Wars” contest, graduated from G.I.T. (The Guitar Institute of Technology), and started teaching there as G.I.T.s youngest instructor.
At 19, Paul formed the now-legendary shred-metal band RACER X, and recorded his first album with the group. RACER X soon became kings of the Los Angeles club scene, and continued to record melodic, yet intimidating metal music, including the instrumental classic, “Scarified”.
At 21, one of Paul’s musical heroes, bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, David Lee Roth) asked him to join him to form a new band. This band became MR. BIG. Together with vocalist Eric Martin and drummer Pat Torpey, MR. BIG went on to make many classic albums, combining elements of rock, metal, pop, soul, and shred. While in MR. BIG, Paul enjoyed the success of the number 1 hit single “To Be With You”, and the opportunity to perform in sold-out arenas all over the world.
At 30, Paul felt the urge to take complete control over his musical direction, and left MR. BIG to pursue a solo career. Since then, he has recorded over 20 albums of high-energy guitar rock. Sometimes with vocals, sometimes instrumental, sometimes with his mates from RACER X, and sometimes in collaboration with his uncle, Jimi Kidd, singer/guitarist Freddie Nelson, or with drummer Mike Portnoy.
During this incredibly busy and musical time, Paul also managed to become the most sought-after and YouTubed guitar instructor of his time. Paul’s instructional DVDs and magazine columns have become Shred Encyclopedias for a new generation of guitarists. Listen to any fast metal guitar player today, and you’re sure to hear some phrases borrowed from Paul’s “Intense Rock” DVD.
In 2007, Paul joined guitar legends Joe Satriani and John Petrucci for the “G3” tour of North America. Paul was blown away by the enthusiasm of the audience for his guitar music, and this inspired him to do more touring around the world on his own. In the years since, Paul has performed over 250 shows with his band in Europe, Japan, and America.
Paul’s recent touring and recording with MR. BIG has put him once again at the forefront of today’s guitar scene. Paul now enjoys playing shows at the sold-out Budokan arena in Japan, rocking out for massive audiences at European rock festivals like Download, Gods of Metal, and Sweden Rock, or headlining for thousands of fans in South America, the USA, Indonesia, and Russia.
Paul’s passion for teaching continues with his exclusive VIP lessons that he gives while on the road, his yearly GREAT GUITAR ESCAPE camp, and his ONLINE ROCK GUITAR SCHOOL with Artistworks.