For some guitar players, playing fast and mean is the goal. Guys like Yngwie Malmsteem and Eddie Van Halen come to mind when I think of blistering fast fretboard work, but for me, it was always the slower, melodic guitar players that captured my imagination the most. This is why David Gilmour of Pink Floyd is one of my all-time favorites.
Let us know who is your guitar hero in the comments!
Why should I care about David Gilmour?
Rolling Stone named the Pink Floyd frontman the 14th greatest guitar player of all-time thanks to his “fiery” solos and “funky” rhythm. I would have put him at least in the top 10 simply due to the greatest guitar solo ever on The Dark Side of the Moon’s “Time.”
The guitar solo in “Time” was epic in every sense of the word. It seemed like Gilmour’s tone was from something out of a sci-fi orchestration. Each note carried for what felt like ages thanks to liberal use of reverb and echo. It was unlike any guitar solo I had ever heard at the time (pun intended).
Up until that point, my guitar vocabulary was full of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, but Gilmour’s tone was too smooth and effortless to ignore. I wanted to play like that! Attempting to play in the style of Gilmour would show me a number of useful tricks.
Pink Floyd Showed Me More Ways to Bend
I think a lot of guitar players get caught up in big bends, but Gilmour also uses half-step bends and vibrato to accentuate every note. As you may already know, bending and vibrato simply adds emotion and complexity to even the smallest parts.
David Gilmour was Pretty Funky, Too!
I listened to more Pink Floyd and discovered the funky side of rhythm thanks to “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” The rhythm guitar in this song is infectious and once you learn how to play it, it’s difficult to stop. It’s a simple riff played with DM - C - G - F barre chords.
Playing funky songs is always a fun way to practice barrre chords and strum patterns since they’re usually up tempo and energetic so you won’t get bored.
Great Use of Effects Pedals
Gilmour is known for larger-than-life solos but one may argue that this is all due to his pioneering use of effects. His use of delay has influenced countless guitarists like U2’s The Edge.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely wanted to get my hands on some effects after I sat through 20 minutes of “Echoes.” I probably spent a good week or two just scraping the strings of my guitar or bending strings and trying to get weird sounds out of it. Because it was edgy and it was like Pink Floyd, dude!
Every now and then I attempt to re-learn how to play the solo to “Time” or bust out the old rattle my way through “Breathe,” and “Wish You Were Here.” I’ve learned all sorts of little tricks from trying my hand at Pink Floyd. And you can too!
What do you think? Who’s your list of guitar heroes? Is David Gilmour on that list?