David Gilmour’s Self-Criticism On His Guitar Technique In Pink Floyd

Considering Pink Floyd’s massive success and popularity worldwide, David Gilmour‘s masterful guitar playing is almost impossible to ignore as one of the defining factors. His guitar work is one of the essential ingredients of the Pink Floyd sound. For many avid music lovers and critics, Gilmour is among the top guitar players of all time with his exceptional talent and melodic tone. His playing is an impressive fusion of various genres, such as rock, blues, and jazz.

Many Pink Floyd classics like ‘Comfortably Numb,’ ‘Time,’ and ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ are remembered with Gilmour’s characteristic guitar work. He might not be the fastest or most technical guitar player, yet he has his own instantly recognizable signature style. His soulful and melodic tones lay among the most prominent features that distinguish him from the other players. Everyone has opinions, yet Gilmour also had a few words to say about his guitar playing.

What Did David Gilmour Think About His Guitar Technique?

While David Gilmour’s playing style is rooted in blues, what sets him apart from the other guitar players is on-target note choices that transmit the emotion to the listeners. It affects the audience to such a degree that it allows them to experience the conveyed feelings openly. From the technical side, his playing is about precise string bending, careful choices of space and rests, lyrical vibrato, and excellent intonation.

In a 1983 interview with Guitar Heroes, the interviewer asked the guitarist whether he thought of himself as a technical player. David Gilmour responded by saying that he did not have technical virtuosity. He even found his guitar-playing technique ‘laughable’ at some points. The guitarist stated that he developed his unique style, which didn’t require him to apply too many methods.

The guitarist explained that he improved the techniques that were useful to his playing rather than forcing himself to be technical in every part of his playing. He knew he would never have a fast style, yet he still had a signature style that developed with practice over the years. Gilmour also added that his primary intent was to be always melodic while presenting his guitar work.

The interviewer asked:

“Do you think of yourself as a technical player especially?”

Gilmour replied:

“No, no, definitely not. My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, which creeps around. I don’t have to have too much technique for it. I’ve developed the parts of my technique that are useful to me. I’ll never be a very fast guitar player. I don’t know what to say about my style. There’s always a melodic intent in there.”

While he received praise for some special techniques he has been using in his guitar playing, David Gilmour doesn’t think of himself as a technical virtuoso. The guitarist even showed openhearted self-criticism by describing his playing as ‘laughable.’