So you like Pink Floyd? Well, that is very, very awesome! As a fellow Floyd fan, we would like to welcome you to the fold, and seeing that the question of how to play like David Gilmour, the band’s guitar master, was what brought you here, we might as well answer it.
We will focus on both the musical and sonic aspect, as we discuss both David’s guitar tricks, as well as his gear of choice, or the gear that sounds like his gear of choice. There are plenty of intricacies to master here, so you better come prepared. Let us kick this thing off now!
The less is more attitude applies
If Mr. Gilmour’s guitar playing lies anywhere even remotely to your zone of interests, you know that Dave is not a shredder, of at least no a typical type of shredder. He always puts not just emotion, but the song first, and so should you.
In order to play like the Pink Floyd guitarist, you will need to learn to focus on the song and the effect it delivers, and then convey that emotion through your rhythm guitar performance and solo parts.
Bends, slides and other tricks
David’s style is characterized by perfectly intonated bends, meticulous slide and overall great precision. That’s the thing about Gilmour’s style – the man is very precise and articulate, leaving not that much space for improvisation, but forcing you to think about every little detail you play, as every note has its spot and meaning, and every screw up can cost you dearly.
You could say that the very essence of the man’s playing lies within soulful blues expression with accurate string bending, and high awareness of rests and space marks, packed with top-notch intonation and almost a lyrical vibrato.
To check out a clear demonstration of Gilmour’s renowned two-step two tone bend, check out such Pink Floyd classic tracks as “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” or “Another Brick in The Wall, Part II.” On the other hand, for a demonstration of his sliding and blues driven bits with those 1/4 note curls, make sure to investigate tunes like “Comfortably Numb” and “Money.”
Sure, a good ear can take care of learning all the musical bits of Dave’s style, but there is only so much an improper gear can take you. So right now we’d like to present you with some of the key elements of the man’s gizmos, and how you can acquire them for a full or a budget friendly price.
If you are into the budget league, all you will need is a Squier guitar, a smaller Fender combo amp, and nothing but a single pedal. This will get you a decent sound. The full-on blowour option is far more intricate, as well as expensive, resulting in nearly $3,000 of costs, as opposed to $550 costs of the affordable option.
So, for the budget friendly option, you will need a Squier Vintage Modified 70S Stratocaster guitar that comes with a street price of $250, along with a Fender Mustang III V2 Combo amp, featuring a street price of $230, and a Jim Dunlop GCB-95 Cry Baby Wah, available for around $80.
Now in the full-on blowout scenario, you will need a bit more. Specifically, you will want to look for a Fender Standard Stratocaster guitar, available with a street price of around $500, an EMG DG-20 David Gilmour prewired pickups and pickguard set that your can $299, a Fender ’68 Custom Twin reverb effect that will cost you $1,300, an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Deluxe pedal for $119, a Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer for $99, an MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus and Vibrato at $130MXR, a Carbon Copy Delay that will set you back $150, and a Dunlop 535Q Multi-Wah that features a street price of around $150.
Conclusion – How to play like David Gilmour
Thus we steadily reach the end of our journey together and the point where you will have to start utilizing the good ole “practice, practice, practice” routine by practicing your buttocks off, as well as acquiring a few pieces of proper equipment.
It is also a point where you should start questioning your final goals – are you OK with just sounding like Uncle Dave? Nothing wrong with that, and many can’t even reach that plateau, but if you are yearning for more, feel free to consult some of the other guides, equipment and reviews listed on our site to continue your musical trek further. Get busy with that guitar now!