And speaking of Dave...

>> Sunday, March 02, 2008

I'd like to try to get some work done today, so I'm not planning on posting much here. In fact, the plan when I walked up the street for brunch and then to the coffee shop was to embed a YouTube video and get down to things. But what to post?

Well obviously the news about Gilmour and Crisis provides the obvious cue, doesn't it? Head over to YouTube, and it just happens that the first video that comes up in a search is a clip of Gilmour playing Pink Floyd's Grammy-winner, "Marooned" at a celebration of the Fender Stratocaster's 50th year. Playing his 001, no less--Gilmour has long been the proud owner of the Strat bearing serial number 001 (it's not really the first Strat built or necessarily even the first Strat off the assembly line, but it is number one).

Things you might note: first, Gilmour is introduced and joined on stage by Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera, another great guitar player. Second, this being a celebration of the Fender Strat, the director actually got a lot of nice shots of Gilmour's hands--often in concert video, they go for lots of shots of the stage or crowd, which is great if you don't much care what the musicians are actually doing. Which brings us to the third thing: one of the signature things about Gilmour's style are those big, swooping, three-finger bends. He'll actually start a note on a bend, sweep it up to another note and then drop the note down to a resting position beneath where he started. I.e. I might play a high "A"-"A#"-"G" by starting on the 3rd string, 14th fret, moving my fingers up to the 15th fret, and then moving my hand back down to the 12th fret. Gilmour might play the same three notes by starting on the 3rd string, 12th fret with the string bent to raise the pitch up to an "A," bend it a little more up to the "A#," and then drop the string back to the "G," the resting position of the 3rd string fingered at the 12th. That's because I suck and Gilmour is awesome (it's no big deal; David's probably never won a DWI trial). But the result, you'll note, are these smooth, continuous, singing phrases that sound more like a human voice rising and falling than individual notes being played--a staple of Gilmour's solos (cf. "Comfortably Numb" for a classic example).

Anyway, enough gum wagging (or finger poking, in this medium, I guess). David Gilmour playing "Marooned"--watch his beautiful, beautiful hands:


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