What is with the David Gilmour obsession?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Flouncingfleasbag, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Flouncingfleasbag

    Flouncingfleasbag Supporting Member

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    Not trolling, I swear, I honestly don't understand it. I'm sure I'm gonna get some irate responses over this, that's ok.Most curious to hear a less angrily reactive infatuated view point, and a more 'just regular' infatuated view point. Thanks.

    He's not a particularly impressive guitar player to me. I get that he used effects very well, and had clever note placement, but so did Hendrix, and I think it would be very hard for anyone to genuinely argue Gilmour even lives in the same dimension as Jimi; other than based on their taste alone.

    Don't get me wrong, Gilmour is a very accomplished guitar player and Floyd ( I had every album) was one of my favorite bands as a kid, but I do not understand the amount of idolatry surrounding him. He basically plays/played slow, white guy blues thru delay and modulation. He is not exceedingly harmonically clever, nor does he wow me with soulful playing ( my opinion, but I think it's a solid argument)

    I guess if you are really into the soaring guitar rock solo thing, he embodies that, but so do so many other players from that time period, and frankly, they have more command over their instruments.

    Again, not trolling, just don't know what everyone seems to find so exciting about his playing that other famous guitar players of the era don't do just as well or better.

    P.S. not a Jimi vs. Dave thing here, just the obvious example.

    P.P.S. when I say obsession, I do mean obsession- I am not asking about the casual fan- I am asking about people that build whole DG pedal boards/rigs....I guess I should have been more clear on that, sorry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. WorkinSteamin

    WorkinSteamin Member

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    always wanted to do this...

    :munch
     
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  3. Ferret

    Ferret Supporting Member

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    His fans find his playing deeply soulful. So do I. So I guess they and I respond vey differently from you. What else can a say? Difference in taste is not all that uncommon.
     
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  4. Flouncingfleasbag

    Flouncingfleasbag Supporting Member

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    Totally valid.
     
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  5. Jazzandmore

    Jazzandmore Gold Supporting Member

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    Hmm, it seems like discussions like this are nearly impossible on TGP before it goes off the rails.

    It would be nice if the conversation could maybe touch on his influences, how he made his approach different/unique from his peers, etc.

    But I see this unfortunately quickly becoming :boxer:fisticuffs

    I’m not a Floyd fan per se, but I find his tone to be something I really like. It’s funny I can only really think of one solo, but what stands out to me is the phrasing with bends and the space he uses.

    But I’ve listened to very little of his work to really know what I think of his playing style overall.
     
  6. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    He's got a less-is-more approach. What you don't play is as important as what you do play.

    He's got great taste, tone, and technique. A lot of "Greats" don't have all three. Sure, his technique is not in speed or flash but he does have plenty of it and he was more inventive than a lot of guitarists.

    No big deal if you are unimpressed. There are other guitarists many here consider "Greats" that don't impress me.
     
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  7. joevacc

    joevacc Supporting Member

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    His phrasing is uniquely beautiful. He has a musical elocution that expresses on an personal level to his admirers. There is a mastery of effects and musical electronics that cannot not be dismissed... His ability to express feelings within simplicity are endearing and joyful. He is complete control of his instrument and that translates musically.

    Floyd’s studio albums are favorites of mine but if you want to hear Gilmour one should listen to the live performances critically imho.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  8. Jazzandmore

    Jazzandmore Gold Supporting Member

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    Could you flesh out the “more inventive” part? Are their folks he borrowed stylistic ideas from as he developed, and who would be peers of his that maybe had less speedy approaches but weren’t as original or inventive with their ideas.

    Also, what are a few songs you would say definitively capture what you like about his playing style?
     
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  9. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    The interesting thing is that (arguably) 2 out of those 3 elements are subjective in nature.
     
  10. ghostnote

    ghostnote Member

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    I don't get the obsession either. I really like Gilmour's stuff with Floyd, and especially his solo album but I think you are right. He is not in the same league as Jimi. But then, who is ?
     
  11. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    One mans soulful is another mans snorefest, that's how it is. I like Gilmour a lot.
     
  12. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Everything he plays is so tasteful, melodic, and fitting for the song. I think it is really hard to do that so consistently. I was listening to him the other day, something from the Wall, marvelling at how difficult that is.

    He's not a guitar hero type, but he sure was integral to the Pink Floyd trip and sound so many around the world get off so much on.

    And yes he plays with a lot of feeling, all the time. I think he is very soulful too, but I am betting the OP has a certain idea of what he thinks is soulful, like a blues master or someone. He's a rock player, not a blues player.

    He doesn't have what Hendrix or Jeff Back have/had.

    He certainly creates a strong atmosphere when he plays. I like that he plays with balls too.

    There is no comparison between him and most weedly wankers. Every note he plays is meaningful.

    He also plays things that are immediately relatable. It's never obscure or inpenetrable. And yet it all has "musical integrity", for lack of a better term.

    I don't think he was infuenced by much of anybody in terms of studying them. I don't think he studied guitar, really. I think he absorbed things via osmosis. I think he just started playing lead because the band needed him to. I just think he is gifted to do what he does. He does his own thing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  13. pepedede

    pepedede Member

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    perfect note choice, tone and phrasing. that's it.
     
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  14. MickeyJi

    MickeyJi Member

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    Yeah, well, you know, that‘s just like your opinion man! :boxer:argue
     
  15. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    Well… it is possible to find recordings of many Greats with objectively poor taste, tone, and/or technique. ;)

    But yeah, they are subjective. :D
     
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  16. whackystrings

    whackystrings Member

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    I love Gilmour's slow bend notes over top of epic chord changes. The way he articulates his notes never seems self-indulgent, gratuitous, or self-important. I think people can connect with that.
     
  17. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    For me, its fairly simple, he's the guy that made me pick up a guitar in the 1st place, and over the years, I have found myself going back there trying to figure out what he's doing.

    The first solo I ever tried to learn note for note was from Brick In the Wall Pt2, and some parts of it still have me flummoxed.

    I think overall, for me, it's his phrasing and his inventiveness with "gear". He seems to not only play choice notes on a guitar, but also sculpt a soundscape that seems to perfectly fit the context of the song. He didn't just record a dry guitar, and let the studio guy do the rest, he does it all himself. So he's quite a pioneer in this respect and a lot of latter day guitar heroes have borrowed from his lexicon of gear wizardry... particularly his use of delays and modulation.

    I totally understand why not everyone can get into his "music you can't dance to". I also think there are other great guitarists and pioneers out there, but it's impossible to "study" all of them.

    For what it's worth, for their soul and phrasing, I also like:-
    Jimi Hendrix
    Jimmy Page
    Angus Young
    Eddie Van Halen
    Richie Sambora
    Johnny Greenwood
    Andy Summers
    Mark Knopfler
    Duane Allman
    Steve Rotheray
    Joe Walsh
    Eric Clapton
    Billy Gibbons...

    ... to name a few.

    There are guitarists I admire, and I am supposed to like, but their playing is beyond me in this lifetime...

    YJ Malmsteen
    Nuno Bettencourt
    Paul Gilbert
    Al di Meola
    Jeff Beck
    Vai/Satriani

    etc
     
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  18. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    I'm not a big fan of his, but I cannot deny his talent. He plays singable melodies, has a fantastic ear for good tones, is an occasionally great songwriter, and did I mention he's really great at picking the right tone for the song?

    Having said that, my two favorite Gilmour moments are first, his acoustic licks at the beginning of WYWH, where I can hear fingers on strings, and what I think is his most ferocious solo, from "Dogs" (go to 13:25):



    Not to say his other highlights aren't great, just that to my mind these two put him in the pantheon. SOYCD is up there, too.
     
  19. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    I'd say his use of effects/tones, use of the studio, arrangements, and how his playing/approach could be minimal while the productions and arrangements became quite complex. In many cases, the part would not work without the effect/tone and/or the record would not work without the arrangement. There are a lot of interesting guitar layers in Pink Floyd's catalog. Some of it's obvious. Some of it isn't. They pushed the envelope wrt what could be done in a recording studio. You might hear a record and there will be twice as many actual guitar tracks as you thought there were. This is part of his sound. Most of the guitar parts don't require flashy playing, but the parts have the desired effect and it works well in the context of the music.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  20. Ramboorider

    Ramboorider Member

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    On one level I agree - Gilmour was/is just one more pretty tasteful British blues/rock player, but was surely no Hendrix, Beck, or even Clapton in terms of imagination or chops. But I can’t take that too far, because to me, BB King was one of the great guitarists of any area, and anyone can do an approximation of his stuff, just somehow with a lot less feeling and touch. I can’t say my love of B.B. is all that different than the way a lot of people feel about Gilmour. I never thought he was that great, but I sort of get how some folks do.
     

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