Pink Floyd’s guitarist’s style is melodic, tasteful and brims with feeling, but always underpinned by a blues sensibility, says Les Davidson.
Les Davidson brings you two full solos in the style of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.
USUALLY IN THE STUDIO IT’S THE FIRST TAKE THAT YOU KEEP BECAUSE AFTER THAT YOU JUST START TO REPEAT YOURSELF David Gilmour
This giant of rock hardly needs introducing. Since replacing Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd in 1968, Gilmour has carved his place in musical history as the self-appointed leader of Floyd who led the band to stadium success with albums including Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were You Here and The Wall.
Born in 1946 in Cambridge, by the age of 10 David had discovered his interest in music via Bill Haley and Elvis Presley, both of whom inspired him to borrow a neighbour’s guitar, which incidentally he never returned. He has said that blues giant Leadbelly, folk figurehead Woody Guthrie and Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin were all big influences on his early playing.
David went to the same school as original Pink Floyd guitarist, Syd Barrett. They became friends and started to make music together. Roger Waters went to another local school. It came as no surprise that after Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd, David neatly stepped into his shoes on six-string duties.
David Gilmour has always had an underlying blues feel and note choice no matter what style of music he has played, so he has rightly earned his place in this column. He has always and continues to command respect amongst his fellow musicians: Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, John Martyn, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend are just some of the people who have asked David to add his playing to either live performances or recordings.
I’m in regular tuning and using a heavy pick for both these examples. David uses both a pick and legato in his playing, in order to give each note a specific voice and make each one ‘speak’. When playing these two solos, you should focus on string bending accuracy, vibrato, general timing and feel. Take your time and, most importantly, have fun!
David Gilmour with his famous maple-necked black Strat