“Paul Gilbert, We’re Getting a Lot of Complaints from Your Students”

By Damian Fanelli

Back in March, before his guitar clinic in Guildford, England, Paul Gilbert dropped by Andertons Music Co. to chat with “The Captain.” In the clip, which you can watch below, Gilbert discussed his early days as an instructor at GIT. It seems it wasn’t all roses and sunshine back then.

“My first official teaching job was at GIT, which was fantastic because I wanted to pay the rent and I got to stay in the building, which is an inspiring place to be—the vibe was there,” Gilbert said. “My first gig was doing private lessons. It went great. Then they decided to promote me to a classroom teacher. I taught a class called Single String Technique.

“There was a curriculum I was supposed to go through, and I did. I would go through it as quickly as I could and then say, ‘But check this out!’ and rip through the three-note-per-string stuff I was just on fire with at the time.

“I would come out of that class every day thinking, ‘I. Am. The best. Teacher. In. The. World! I did so well and inspired everybody.’
“A few weeks later, I got a call from the office. I thought, ‘They’re gonna give me an award!’ And they said, ‘Paul, we’re getting a lot of complaints from the students. We’re gonna have to fire you from that class and put you back as a one-on-one instructor.’

“I couldn’t have been more surprised! What I’ve been doing was showing off and not paying any attention to whether the students were actually getting it or not. That was a big lesson as a teacher.”

As we said above, you can watch the entire interview below. Sure, it’s an hour long, but as one commenter said on YouTube, “Paul Gilbert telling the stories and randomly playing is one of the most entertaining things that I could watch all day long.”

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