Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour is one of rock music’s greatest melodic lead guitar players. He has written some of the most memorable hooks and solos of all time. Gilmour’s solos always seem to have the perfect pacing and he has a massive sound worthy of the soaring lead lines. In this lesson I will take you through a short David Gilmour inspired solo that will teach you licks to get a bit of the Gilmour sound in your own playing.
The solo begins with a whole step bend. Slow bends and releases like this are a David Gilmour staple. Like many of the other big bends in this lesson, I rake the strings into the bend (while muted). This adds a bit more edge to the bend and really helps me get the note to ‘bloom’ more like Gilmour can.
The second lick moves from A minor (I) to D minor (IV). The line begins with an ascending arpeggio that leads toward landing on the 3rd of D (F) in the second bar. The slides at the end of the first bar are easier to pull off with an overdriven lead tone to help add sustain.
The second half of the lick includes a double stop slide based around a Dm7 shape and ends with another big sustaining whole step bend and release and a slow bend on the last bar. On the last bar, I reach the target pitch halfway through the measure.
The third lick moves to the upper range of the guitar with some interesting bending ideas. The bends in this bar are all half step bends. The first half step bend is from B-C and targets the 3rd of the A minor chord. The second and third bends are half step bends (pre-bend on the second) targeting the 3rd of the E7 chord (G#). A common technique in David Gilmour’s playing is to target major chord tones like the third with his big sustaining bends. This helps add to the lyrical feeling many of his solos have.
The fourth lick begins with a minor pentatonic triplet idea that repeats four times. Repetition is a common technique in rock guitar solos. It is a good way to keep up the intensity in longer solos.
The second half of the lick includes double stop slides and bends. The bends in the fist two bars are two note bends which can take a bit of practice to get both notes sounding in tune (and even then they are a pain). Unlike similar bends that I did in a few country guitar video lessons, both notes in this bend go up a whole step. The lick ends with a similar idea played down an octave using slides instead of bends (which you can also do up and octave instead of the bends.
The last lick starts with a common sounding minor pentatonic blues run. The second bar targets uses sixths to target chord tones from the E7 (G#, E, and B). The solo ends with another sustaining David Gilmour bending idea based around the A minor pentatonic scale.