How The Beatles Made David Gilmour a Guitar Hero

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The 1960s British Rock scene was driven by rhythm and blues bands. Pink Floyd also began in the same way, as a rhythm and blues group under the leader Syd Barrett. How David got into the band is a whole other story but it was around the all of 1967.

David was an old-school friend of Barrett’s and joined the band when Syd’s mental health was getting worse. Gilmour then created musical history with Pink Floyd and became as big as his influencers. Like everyone else, Gilmour was preoccupied with the Fab Four. When they took the world by storm in the 60s, Gilmour’s life brightened up.

The way he worked on his guitar style around the middle ground or even the bridge, just shows his talent. His disparate style of playing was something else, he can shred the guitar, has a great soft touch, and is just gifted in the end. Pink Floyd technician Phil Taylor stated something about Gilmour’s playing. He said,

“It really is just his fingers, his vibrato, his choice of notes and how he sets his effects. In reality, no matter how well you duplicate the equipment, you will never be able to duplicate the personality.”

With so many achievements up his sleeves, he is still the same old humble Gilmour. We all know how talented he is, but his humbleness is just up there. Back in 2006, he was voted the greatest Fender guitarist of all time. His response was, “Best ever Fender player will come around again, and it will be Eric or Jimi or someone. You can’t believe that stuff, Much as I’d love to believe I’m the best ever Fender guitar player, it just doesn’t really make sense.”

He talked about how Eric and Jimi were two guitarists who inspired him. He said that the was a great follower of both of them. Gilmour is taken in as a great guitarist of the 70s, even though he joined the band in 1968. David explained that those two were important to him, and helped him become who he is today.

While explaining about his other influencers he revealed some of them. During an interview with Uncut, he stated, “When you start out, you copy, trying to be too original when you’re too young is possibly not the best thing. But I learned copying Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix. All sorts of people.”

Gilmour has always suggested everyone learn from their influencers. He also has stated that while starting out, you don’t always start your own original stuff. You have to copy to grow. Back in 2019, during the auction of his guitars for charity, he stated many more artists who inspired him. He said, “So many players inspired me. I learned from Pete Seeger, Hank Marvin, Lead Belly, Joni Mitchell, John Fahey, Roy Buchanon, Jeff (Beck) and Eric (Clapton) and dozens more. I copied – don’t be afraid to copy – and eventually something that I suppose that I would call my own appeared.”

And the most important piece of his inspiration is The Beatles. His captivating comment during an interview with Mojo in 2015, he said, “I really wish I had been in the Beatles. [They] taught me how to play guitar; I learnt everything. The bass parts, the lead, the rhythm, everything. They were fantastic.”

We can pretty much assume that the Beatles were the ones who taught him to play guitar. They also helped him play every aspect of the guitar as he mentioned. The influence the Beatles had on Gilmour is what made him who he is today.

In the end, the Fab Four were the ones who taught him everything. Young Gilmour got his way out as a guitarist all because of them. In 2006 in an interview with the BBC on Radio 2, he told, “I was an absolute mad Beatles fan,” and we can see it all. He really is a massive Beatles fan.

Watch Gilmour play alongside his hero Paul McCartney at the Cavern Club in 1999.


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