Eddie Van Halen Would Play Musically Senseless Stuff Unlike David Gilmour, According To Joe Satriani

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During a recent interview with Face Culture, Joe Satriani stated that Eddie Van Halen would sometimes play musical stuff that didn’t make sense, unlike David Gilmour, but he still found a way to sound it fun.

Both Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour are considered among the best guitarists of all time, but they certainly have different styles from each other. Eddie brought a fresh approach to the traditional guitar by introducing innovative techniques. He was best known for his mastery of two-handed tapping, which allowed him to add a new and exciting element to his playing. He had a unique timing following his high-speed playing.

On the other hand, David Gilmour is famous for his impressive and well-structured guitar solos. He has this technical perfection in his playing, and all the notes he is playing are intentional. Besides his rhythmic and melodic sound, he also adds his personality to the guitar. His solos are excellently compatible with the atmosphere and mood of the song.

During a recent conversation, Joe Satriani compared these two guitar legends by saying that they both have different approaches to the instrument. Satriani explained that Eddie Van Halen would sometimes play musically senseless stuff, unlike David Gilmour, who has a structured playing, but it was still fun to listen to. Maybe his solos wouldn’t mean much on their own, but they had perfect harmony with the band’s sound. Thus, Satriani stated that there are no strict rules in music, and Eddie Van Halen understood that well.

Joe Satriani’s statements on the difference between Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour’s playing:

“It’s very different than Pink Floyd, the way David Gilmour would approach a song. All equally valid but uniquely different. The odd thing about Eddie is that sometimes he would play stuff that didn’t make any musical sense but made sense in terms of how much fun it was to listen to. When you heard the whole band, you went, ‘Oh, that’s so much fun.’ But if you go back, and let’s say, you learn it note for note, you go, ‘That doesn’t make any sense at all.’

There are no rules in music; there’s just cause and effect. That’s really what it is. I think he understood that more than most people. He would never get held back by any kind of preconception that there was a rule that stopped you from doing this cord, that note, or whatever. He just went with what felt right and what sounded right, and his sense of timing was probably the best I’d heard in decades. When he came along, I was like, ‘Wow, that guy’s got a right hand of doom.’

You can watch the full interview below.