How to Play a Great David Gilmour Solo (By Learning a Terrible Version of One)

David Gilmour performs live with Pink Floyd onstage at Ahoy in Rotterdam, Holland in February 1977
(Image credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)

Of course, one of the best ways to learn more about guitar technique is by watching a master - like David Gilmour, for instance - at work. 

You can also learn a lot though, by hearing someone attempt to emulate a master, and fail miserably.

Such is the conceit of YouTuber The-Art-of-Guitar's new video, in which he demonstrates a flawless version of David Gilmour's stunning solo on Pink Floyd's 1979 classic, "Mother," before playing it again, terribly, with a number of technical mistakes.

Even if you're not a massive Gilmour or Floyd fan, learning about the technical no-nos presented here will help you avoid them like the plague in your future solos. 

According to the video, the eight ways you can mess up the pristine solo are by having weak finger rolls, not leaving space, forgetting the slides, no vibrato, not using string raking, skipping hammer ons and pull offs, under-bending or over-bending, and - of course - bending out-of-tune.

You can check all of them out in the video above.

For more on The-Art-of-Guitar, stop by his YouTube channel.

Jackson Maxwell
Associate Editor, and

Jackson is an Associate Editor at and He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.