Instagram and Youtube is filled with shredders that can play most anything, but there are very few, if any, that can create music and play the guitar like David Gilmour.
Why is that exactly?
Because most guitarists don’t know as much about harmony as he does.
Because most players don’t focus on melody as much as he does.
And because too many of you think an audience is moved more by speed and virtuosity than an emotional experience……..
Now now calm down all you Yngwie superfans! I like a tasty 32nd run as much as the next player.
I’m going to show you exactly what I mean. By the end of this article you’re going to have at least 3 clear cut strategies for making licks more like he does.
For most guitarists……
(when you strip down their licks by the notes only)
They may take an E minor pentatonic scale and it’ll look like this:
E – G – A – G – A – G – B – A – B – D – E – D – E – D – E – D – B – E – D – B – E – D – B – A – A – A – A – G – E
Lots of notes! I didn’t take that from any certain lick but hopefully you get the idea…..
It’s really hard to take any of that in.
And it’s very hard to let any of those notes sing or turn into a phrase the listener can remember.
No matter how much we love Zakk Wylde…….
It’s very difficult to remember what some of his fast licks sound like.
David Gilmour would play something more like:
E – A (bend to B) – G – A – E (repeat all phrase except the last E is an F#)
E – G (bend to A) – F# – D# – E
Try playing those notes on your own and see what I mean……
Every guitar player is trained to see the fretboard in patterns.
It helps us stay organized and helps us get lost when improvising or when we play other player’s solos that use those patterns.
However it can be extremely limiting. Most guitar players just see another scale as a new lick to play.
(that’s why many of you have trouble using the modes)
Read this next part carefully……..
SCALES ARE EXTENSIONS OF CHORDS!
With that in mind, you can do more than just go up and down a scale. There’s also more you can do with a scale than play it in triplets, 16ths, and sextuplets.
You can instead think of a scale by its intervallic possibilities.
Go from E to B.
E to A.
E to D.
A to D.
Etcetera etcetera etcetera.
David Gilmour does this ALL the time in his solos, and this strategy is hiding in plain sight.
It’s the key to starting to make your solos more melodic.
The more you know about how chords work, how they create progressions, and how to pick notes that’ll make good melodies and licks over them……
The more of the fretboard you’ll unlock.
Let’s take a look at this progression from the verses section of “Us and Them:”
Dsus2 – Esus2/D – DmMaj7 – G/D
Kind of tricky huh? Floyd uses lots of “simple” progressions but this is them at one of their more complex moments.
I’m not going to dive into the makings of this progression here as that takes more than a quick blog post……
But take a stab at it! What scale would you choose? What intervals would you choose to create at certain chord changes?
What notes will you decide to play over this progression?
The easiest way to start figuring this out is to learn how chords, intervals, and scales work together……
But for now? Just go to a site like allguitarchords.com and look up the arpeggios of each chord across the neck.
Below I’ve added some pics of tabs from three songs……..
Another Brick In The Wall (played over D5):
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (outlines a Gm7b6):
Time Solo Opening Lick/Melody:
Yes there are lots of great licks I can discuss but the best one are in my newest product:
The Art Of Melodic Soloing: How To Play Like David Gilmour From Pink Floyd.
If you’ve ever wanted someone to do more than just play the solos in front of you…….
If you want to know the scales and chord tones he uses…….
If you want to know how to apply them to the chords he’s playing over……
As well as what key phrases to take away from him and use as your own…….
Then I think you should check out my product!
Thanks for reading and I hope this article helped you out.