Welcome to the first part of our David Gilmour player study! In this five lesson series, we will be learning an awesome solo that helps demonstrate how Gilmour uses bends, vibrato, double-note rhythms and minor scale notes. These techniques are crucial to mastering his style, and tackling a solo is the best way to see these skills in action. This is a great sounding, and challenging, solo, so take your time and enjoy it!
This cool solo is inspired by "Comfortably Numb"-era Gilmour. It includes a lot of Gilmour's signature sounds, such as the two tone bends, pentatonic runs and usage of minor scale notes. We will be breaking the solo down in detail over the next four lessons, so be sure to listen to the whole thing a few times before moving on!
Let's go over the first three licks in the tab, which highlight how David Gilmour approaches bends. We are in the key of B minor and for these first three licks we are using pentatonic shapes 1 and 2. The pentatonic shapes are as follows:
As we go further through the solo, you will need to use the tab to nail each lick. In this lesson we are looking at licks 1, 2 and 3 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you master these licks before moving on.
As we progress to lick 4 of the solo, we start to see usage of minor scale notes rather than just the pentatonic scale. It is crucial you know how the minor scale relates to the minor pentatonic, which is something we cover in great detail in our intermediate lead course. For this lick, we are using pentatonic shapes 1 and 5, with minor scale notes on top! Remember that the Bm pentatonic scale has five notes (B, D, E, F#, A), whilst the full Bm scale has seven (B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A); all you are doing is adding C# and G to the scale! The shapes look like this:
Lick 5 is the most challenging in the solo, it is quick and quite complicated! Essentially, it's a blues scale run using the B blues scale. The run ends on the B root note of the A string, which is where pentatonic shape 4 sits in this key. Here are the shapes to illustrate this more clearly:
In this lesson, we are looking at licks 4 and 5 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you master these licks before moving on.
Lick 6 takes us to another classic Gilmour sound, where we double up the notes of the pentatonic scale and add in a repetitive rhythmical phrase, to create an awesome sound. In terms of scales, we are back in pentatonic shape 1 in Bm, as shown below.
In this lesson, we are looking at lick 6 (its position is marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you master this lick before moving on.
For the final three licks of the song, we need to be able to clearly visualise both the pentatonic and full scale shapes. We are essentially starting in shape 1, but a full octave up from the 7th fret shape. We then gradually move down to shape 4, based around the 14th fret. The shapes for the final two licks are as follows:
In this lesson we are looking at licks 7, 8 and 9 (their positions are marked just above the tab). Once you master them, you can start piecing the whole solo together! Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help you perfect the entire tune.
When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along with. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!