Watch the SECTION 1: Background online guitar lesson by Angus Clark from Play in the Style of David Gilmour

David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd after they were already pop stars in England. He had performed with Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett previously, and knew the guys in the band through the scene in Cambridge. They were playing psychedelic pop, where the guitar was responsible for lots of atmospherics and was meant to generate a lot of space. It wasn't a traditional lead player's scene, it was more experimental.

These roots are interesting to look back on, as now Pink Floyd are considered a classic rock band, and David Gilmour is one of the most lyrical voices on the guitar that the genre will ever see. In this setting, the guitar takes a more traditional blues-based role as a lead instrument. That's what most of us think of when we think of playing like David Gilmour.

As with most British rock players, the roots are the same: They learned the formal elements of music in school or in choir, then learned pop tunes from America like the Everly Brothers and Elvis, and then they fell under the spell of American blues players, usually one of the Kings: Albert, Freddie, or BB. And while I may be simplifying and demystifying this legacy here, I do not intend to diminish it in any way. It is magical.

I can't speak to whether David was an amazing lead player taking a back seat while a “no solos” aesthetic pervaded the psychedelic pop scene in the late 60’s, who finally got to spread his wings when the Floyd eventually reinvented themselves on “Dark Side of the Moon”, or if he hadn't really developed the technique until the music they were making called for it. It doesn't matter. We have an amazing catalog to cherry pick from for this course. Enjoy.