Paul Gilbert explaining shoulder movement for string crossing


Heard another interesting tidbit in the video linked below. Skip to around the 4:45 Mark and you’ll hear Paul describe how he uses his shoulder to get over the string, at least when descending. Thought it might be of interest to some around here.


It seems the shoulder pushes or pulls the forearm to position the wrist to reciprocate over the correct string, so he needs “shoulder push” and “shoulder pull.”

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This is wat Martin Miller also does and what i am practicing a lot lately.
In fact it is stringtracking from the shoulder.


Interesting, and good timing! I was just about to post about how I have much more trouble picking on a single string, as I traverse from thicker to thinner strings. For example, playing “Misserlou” on the fat 6th string is no problem. Playing it on the 1st string is almost impossible, and I have no idea why. I’ve tried adjusting how high I have the instrument… but, perhaps I need to just engage my shoulder!

Any other tips welcome.

You’d think a thinner string would be much easier to pick, but I have more trouble.


Great lil idea by Paul and love the insight into the shoulder movement.