How to Play A Solo Like David Gilmour

Feeling comfortably numb? We’ve got the best video tutorial on how you can play a solo like the David Gilmour himself. Grab your guitar and practice with us. You’re welcome.

If you’re into smooth, vibrato-infused licks and dead-on slides and bends, this video tutorial is perfect for you. Guitar Zoom’s resident master instructor Steve Stine breaks down the soloing style of David Gilmour, and lets you in on some rad tricks and techniques. With some practice, we’ll have you sounding like the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist. And it’s so easy to follow, you’ll be sending us flowers by the end of the lesson.

David Gilmour – Style Solo

Steve starts off with a rad demo of a David Gilmour-style solo, and continues to dissect the different licks for you:

  • First lick is sliding moving into the 9th fret of the 4th string (essential to the David Gilmour style—he loves ’em sliding elements)
  • Important: do what Steve calls the “Airplane Slide,” where you’re sliding from nowhere, but accurately hitting the 9th and targeting the bend right after. David Gilmour’s accuracy on hitting this dead-on is legendary, so you’ll have to practice on that bit.
  • One of Gilmour’s signature sounds is the smooth, to-die-for vibrato right at the end of the first part. Come off of that, bend up, go down, do a pull off to the 7th and go back to the 9th with that sexy vibrato (Getting too overwhelming to read? Practice with Steve in the video for a blow-by-blow how-to).
  • The first lick: Play 7th on the 3rd string, 9th on the 4th string, then go back to the 7th on the 3rd string.
  • Adding a blues bend is a must to play a solo like David Gilmour. How? You twist the string just a little bit at the very end (see Steve’s demo in the video tutorial for visual reference)
  • Rad Trivia: DG loves putting a ‘wet’ tone in is solo work, such as delays and reverb—check what you can work with using your amp at home.
  • The second lick: do it by going up to the 11th fret of the 3rd string, to the 10th fret of the 2nd string with your first and second fingers, sliding in, going to the 12th fret of the 2nd string and bending a step and a half. That’ll make the 12th sound like the 15th. The last bit: a short 10th, 12th, then 10th with a bit of a blues bend for added flavor. Don’t worry, Steve makes sure you get all these steps correctly in the video. Remember: accuracy is key, so work up that hand-eye coordination.
  • Move down to play 7th and 9th and then bend the 9th up, bring it back down, doing a pull off, then go to the 9th fret of the 4th string, with a little slide-off at the end of the phrase.

There’s more to the David Gilmour solo lesson in the video—make sure you watch it until the very end!

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