David Gilmour, the lead guitarist for Pink Floyd, is often known for his minimalist approach to soloing. Although it is true that Gilmour‘s picking hand isn’t doing a lot during many of his solos, his fretting hand is very busy. Gilmour’s left hand is rolling great vibrato and pushing precise bends. Mastery of these techniques is often undervalued by neophyte guitarists and yet coveted by pros.
“Time” is a great example of Gilmour’s spare, tasteful style and boy do these notes sing. The solo in this tune kicks in at 3:30. Although the entire song is very good, the solo is fantastic and deserves special attention.
Rather than play a flashy, rapid-fire series of notes, Gilmour uses excellent phrasing and pacing to create an artful solo that is more impressive in its composition than in its execution. Gilmour remembers what guitar the is for: to make music – to please your ears. Too often, guitarists rely on flash and speed rather than substance and musicality. Not Gilmour. His spacious solos always have weight and meaning. Nothing is wasted and every note counts.
It’s funny how Gilmour plays fewer notes than any other guitar hero and yet he says way more. So next time you play a solo, think about David Gilmour. Try to play a little less and you’ll say a lot more.
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