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How To Sound Like David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

David Gilmour, like his Pink Floyd predecessor Syd Barrett, played a Telecaster initially, but he soon became one of the first British rock guitar legends to favor the Fender Stratocaster and to create a signature sound with the instrument. His parents bought the Tele for David's 21st birthday, and he played it for a year (including on the Saucerful of Secrets record) until it was lost by an airline.

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Upon officially joining Pink Floyd, Gilmour purchased a custom Stratocaster (the first of many) at a Cambridge music store. During the early Pink Floyd years, Gilmour played a Strat almost exclusively, taking full advantage of its wide tonal palette and vibrato bar in his style. He used a Lewis 24-fret electric guitar on rare occasions for its extended range, as in the solo of "Money," and continued to employ a Tele sporadically in the repertory. Gilmour strung his electric guitars with Gibson Sonomatic strings made of a customized light-top (using the standard E and B for the B and G) and heavy-bottom set gauged .010, .012, .016, .028, .038, and .050. He used a Herco heavy-gauge pick.

David Gilmour's earliest amp setup with Pink Floyd consisted of a Selmer 50-watt head with a 4×12 speaker cabinet. By 1970, he found his signature sound with a stack made of Hiwatt 100-watt heads with WEM 4×12 cabinets. The Hiwatt/WEM combination can be heard conspicuously on Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon. In the studio, he sometimes added a Fender Twin Reverb combo amp with two 12-inch speakers to his lineup for certain parts, as on Dark Side of the Moon.

David Gilmour's early Floyd effects consisted of a Binson Echorec tape delay (like Barrett, he used this device from his first days with the band), a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzzface fuzz box, Uni-Vibe pedal, Vox wah-wah pedal, a DeArmond volume pedal, and Leslie and Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker cabinets. The latter were routed through the output sections of Hiwatt heads and then to WEM 4×12 cabinets. In 1972, his effects boxes were mounted in a custom cabinet, and his array of processors grew to include a second Binson Echorec and a second Fuzzface, an MXR Phase 90, a Crybaby wah-wah, an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress flanger, Big Muff fuzz, an Orange treble and bass booster, and a custom-built tone pedal.

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