Paul Gilbert talked about his passion for guitar, as well as the instrument’s decline in sales in recent years, telling All Talk during a recent interview:
“I realized that so many musicians – what makes them great is that they love music, they’re passionate about it.
“And not everybody has to be the same. I happen to love chords, which is why I love to learn them. But somebody like B.B. King – I remember that famous interview with him where he’s sitting with U2 and he’s saying, ‘I’m not much good at chords.’ He sort of chose his battles.
“If somebody asked me advice, they’re asking advice from me. So I can’t help but try to turn them on what I love about music. The other thing I would say – I realized that I really am from an era – the 70s. The guitar players that got me into it were the guys that were playing then.
“And the thing I realized – a very specific thing when it comes to playing guitar is I love the thumb-over guys. The guys that play with their thumb hanging over the neck. If you look at any photo of Brian May, or Jimi Henrdix, or Mick Ralphs, or Robin Trower – their thumbs gonna be hanging way over the neck.
“And the thing that made me realize that is that recently the trend has been the thumb-behinders. You just can’t get good strong vibrato and bending that way. You might be able to do other stuff, but you can’t play like the guys from the ’70s with your thumb behind the neck.”