What Guitar Does Pink Floyd Use

What Guitar Does Pink Floyd Use?

Pink Floyd were a British band who first had hits during the late 60s with albums like “The piper at the gates of dawn” and “A saucerful of secrets”. And their first chart successful single, “See Emily Play”. Their most successful album “Dark side of the moon” was released in 1973 this album is one of the most commercially successful albums ever. Selling more than 45 million albums worldwide. It reached number one on the billboard top 100 and remained in the charts for 14 years in the USA. In the UK, it reached number 2 in the charts and remained in the UK 100 chart for 364 weeks.

The Pink Floyd Lineup

Roger Waters and Nick Mason met as students at the London Polytechnic and played in a band that rehearsed in a tea room at the London Polytechnic. Richard Wright joined this band and they performed mainly at private functions. They played copies of Searchers hits and some original tracks written by their manager Ken Chapman who was also a student at the London Poly.

The original setup was Roger Waters on lead guitar, Nick Mason on drums, and Richard Wright on Rhythm guitar. After another member joined the band, Bob Klose (who played guitar), led to Roger Waters switching to bass guitar. After a couple of years Syd Barrett joined the band on guitar and vocals.

The band went through many name changes including:

  • Sigma 6
  • The Meggadeaths
  • The Abdabs
  • The Screaming Abdabs
  • Leonard’s Lodgers
  • Spectrum 5

Until settling on the name, The Tea Set. In late 1965 the band changed their name to The Pink Floyd Sound. The main reason for the name change was there was already a band called The Tea Set, Pink Floyd is derived from the names of 2 albums Barrett had in his collection, by 2 blues artists, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

By 1966 they were mainly playing rhythm and blues songs, and some original material written by Syd Barrett. Syd was getting more and more ill every day until eventually, in late 1967 he was replaced by David Gilmour. This made the lineup:

  • David Gilmour
    Guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, occasional bass, lead and backing vocals
  • Roger Waters
    Bass guitar, tape effects, percussion, synthesizers, lead and backing vocals
  • Richard Wright
    Keyboards, synthesizer, lead and backing vocals
  • Nick Mason
    Drums, percussion, occasional vocals and tape effects

In the early days of 68 Syd Barrett was still employed in various roles, including song writer, but he became too difficult to work with and eventually was encouraged to leave.

What Kind Of Guitar Does Pink Floyd Play?

There are 2 guitarists in Pink Floyd, David Gilmour (guitar) and Roger Waters (bass) over the years they have played many instruments.

What Guitar Does Roger Waters Play?

In the early days of Pink Floyd, Roger played a Rickenbacker RM-1999/4001S,since then he mainly plays a Fender Precision Bass. To hear a great example of Roger’s style of bass playing listen to “Money” From the Dark side of the moon.

What Guitar Does David Gilmour Play?

David Gilmour is usually associated with Fender Stratocasters but he has also played:

  • Gretsch 6134 White Penguin
  • Bill Lewis 24-fret Guitar
  • Stock 1955 Les Paul Goldtop
  • Rickenbacker 360 V64 1991
  • Fender American Vintage ’52 Telecaster
  • Fender Double Neck Stratocaster
  • Fender Vintage Series ’57 Stratocaster
  • 1954 Fender Stratocaster #0001
  • 1955 Fender Esquire
  • 1961 Fender Telecaster
  • 1959 Fender Telecaster Custom
  • Ampeg Dan Armstrong Plexi Electric Guitar
  • Gibson ES-355 Electric Guitar
  • 1950s Hofner Club 60
  • 1955 Fender Esquire “The Workmate”
  • Steinberger GL2
  • Ovation 12 String Preacher
  • Charvel, Glendora, 1981
  • Veleno Aluminum Guitar
  • Gretsch G6128T Duo Jet

What Strings Does Pink Floyd Use?

Roger Waters prefers Rotosound Jazz Bass 77 flat wound strings.

David Gilmour uses GHS Boomers on his Fender guitars 10 to 48 gauge, and on his Gibson Les Paul he uses Ernie Ball Earthwood 10.5 to 50 gauge strings.

What Amps Does Pink Floyd Use?

Roger Waters has used a few amps over the years including:

  • Selmer 
  • WEM
  • Hiwatt
  • Ashdown

But for his latest shows he’s been using an ampeg amp. Ampeg are based in New Jersey USA but are now in fact, part of the Yamaha group of companies. They have made guitar amps, Pickups, electric guitars, basses and double basses , but they now specialise in amplifiers.

David Gilmour has used many amps during his recording lifetime including:

  • Hiwatt Custom 100 Head
  • WEM cabinets
  • Fender ’65 Twin Reverb
  • Fender Super Champ
  • Fender Twin Reverb head

 You’ve probably noticed the common theme for all these amps is they are all valve amps. He has gravitated towards Fender amps lately, and to emulate his sound we suggest you go for a Fender Super Champ X2 Guitar Amplifier Combo or the Boss Katana 50 Mkii Guitar Amplifier.

What Effects Pedals Does Pink Floyd Use?

Roger Waters uses a Fuzz Face to achieve that distorted, almost broken speaker sound, Other effects he has used include:

  • Pete Cornish / Roger Waters Pedalboard
    Made exclusively for Roger by Pete Cornish this mirrors the Pete Cornish effect pedal made for David.
  • MXR CSP-026 Handwired 1974 Vintage Phase 90 Pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Bassballs Nano
    Roger used this on” the wall “tour

David Gilmour uses the Pete Cornish Pedal board with some of the following effects:

  • Univox Uni-Vibe
  • Pete Cornish Tone pedal
  • Pete Cornish volume pedal
  • Pete Cornish (ST-2) Treble and Bass Boost
  • Electro Harmonix Small Stone
  • Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
  • MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver
  • Colorsound Power Boost
  • MXR Dynacomp
  • MXR Phase 90
  • MXR Phase 100
  • Cry Baby Wah
Pink Floyd
Craig ONeal, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What Pickups Does Pink Floyd Use?

According to some sources, Roger Waters uses the original pickups that are supplied by Fender. Others stipulate that Roger replaced these for Seymour Duncans, and yet others claim he has Alnico 5 pickups in his Fender Precision Bass.

David Gilmour tends to use the single coil pickups that are supplied with Fender Strats although it is known he replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan SSL-5.

What Chords Does Pink Floyd Use?

In the classic song “Wish You Were Here” the chords used are as follows: Em7 G, A7sus4, C, D/F#, Am/E, and Am. For “See Emily play” the chords used were: G, D, Am, C,E, and A7. Pink Floyd tracks can be broken down to relatively easy chord structures, but it’s the soloing and effects that make the difference. 

David Gilmour uses lots of jazz type chords and shapes, like inverting chords(using the same notes but emphasising different notes) and run downs.

What Pick Does Pink Floyd Use?

Roger Waters uses the Jim Dunlop 1mm pick apart from when playing the quiet bits on tracks like ” Breathe” and “comfortably numb” when he uses his fingers to create a quieter sound.

David Gilmour uses either a Herco Flex .75mm heavy pick or a D’Andrea 354 HV .96mm celluloid pick. There doesn’t appear to be an accurate distinction between these 2 but he has been known to use both in the past.

What Kind Of Music Does Pink Floyd Play?

Pink Floyd play music in the following Genres:

  • Psychedelic Pop
  • Experimental Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Progressive Rock
  • Art Rock

How To Play Guitar Like Pink Floyd

To play “shine on you crazy diamond” you need the following 3 chords Gm, Dm, Cm, Gm with the following notes, Bb, F, G, E for that haunting riff. Followed by a C bass note. This changes from a Gm to a C dorian scale. This takes away the root note from the first position, he starts with the minor 3rd and then the minor 7 th and then the root note, and then he adds a Dorian note into the sequence. This gives us a mysterious sounding chord.

To sound like Pink Floyd on an acoustic guitar, try playing a first and a fourth  progression but in an unconventional way.  Like changing from Em to A like David Gilmour used in “Breathe”, and “Great gig in the sky”. The usual first to fourth progression would be Em to Am, but that sounds too dark, whereas Em to A gives a feeling of hope.

What Age Did Pink Floyd Learn Guitar?

Roger Waters was nearly 20 when he first picked up a guitar whereas David Gilmour was 13 years old when he first started playing the guitar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What acoustic guitar does David Gilmour play?

David Gilmour plays a 1969 Martin D-35 which he has used in the recording studio since 1971.

What kind of guitar does Roger Waters play?

Roger Waters main guitar is a Fender Precision Bass.

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