July 24, 2020

Guitar World: David Gilmour's tone on Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb

Guitar World takes a look at the gear that made the tone of David Gilmour's famous Comfortably Numb solo:

Gilmour’s performance on the song’s two solos are master classes in phrasing and tone, showing how something that seems simple on the surface can actually be quite sophisticated and complex when one analyzes the finer essential details. While the solos are the main focal guitar parts of the song (and hence this article as well), acoustic and pedal steel guitar tracks also contribute notable roles.

Gilmour played a ZB SS10 10-string pedal steel processed with a long, repeating delay and reverb for the intro and first verse, and an Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 with modified “Nashville” tuning (with a high E replacing the low E and octave-up A, D and G strings replacing the regular A, D and G) provides the acoustic guitar rhythm track on the choruses and remaining verses after the first.

For the solos, Gilmour played his iconic black 1969 Fender Strat into an amp setup that was essentially a smaller version of his stage performance rig, consisting of a 100-watt Hiwatt half stack and a Yamaha RA-200 revolving speaker system, with the Hiwatt and Yamaha run in parallel.

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