David Gilmour’s Guitars and Gear

David Jon Gilmour was born on 6 March 1946 in Cambridge, England. He is mainly known for his work as the lead guitarist and singer of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. David joined the band in 1967 as a fifth member next to Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, David has worked as a producer for various artist, and has enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist. He has been also actively involved in several charities during his career for which hes been rewarded with Order of the British Empire. Rolling Stone magazine ranked David number 14 on their list of the greatest guitarists of all time.

As for gear, David is mostly known for playing Fender Stratocaster(s). Perhaps his best known guitar is a 1969 model with black finish and matching pickguard, which he started using around 1970. In the 80s he mostly relied on 57′ Stratocaster reissue models, and on his solo album he 1995 Fender Esquire nicknamed “Workmate”. One piece of equipment that is perhaps David’s signature thing is the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, which he used extensively over the years.

David Gilmour’s Electric Guitars:

1960s Fender Telecaster

Fender 60s Telecaster white rosewood David got this guitar as a present for his 21st birthday (1967). In David’s own words: “I started out on a Telecaster before I joined Pink Floyd, and it was the first really good guitar I had.”.

David’s Telecaster had a white finish, rosewood neck, and white pickguard. He used it with the band Bullitt, and it was his main guitar in the early days of Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, the guitar was lost due to an airline company’s mistake and never recovered.

1960s Fender Stratocaster

Vintage White Fender Stratocaster 60s This appears to be one of David’s earliest Stratocaster guitars. He supposedly got it from his bandmates around 1968, and used it until it was stolen in 1970.

The guitar was an early to mid ’60s rosewood Strat with small headstock and white body finish.

1969 Fender Stratocaster

David Gilmour Fender Stratocaster Black This has been David’s main guitar for the most part of his early career. He bought it at Manny’s guitar store in New York in May 1970 during Pink Floyd’s North American tour, because he needed a new guitar after his old one was stolen along with the rest of Pink Floyd’s rig just couple of weeks earlier.

This guitar has gone through many modifications over the years. First and foremost, it wasn’t even originally black but it was repainted at the Manny’s from it’s original sunburst finish. In the 70s David fitted it with a rosewood neck from one of his guitars, which he kept on up until 1978 when it was replaced with Charvel maple neck with a Fender logo.

David also installed XLR connector for the guitar’s input to reduce the noise generated by Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face which he was using at the time. Not entirely satisfied with the results, he decided to install a Gibson PAF pickup in the middle position, which required drilling holes in the body and the pickguard. Not willing to part with his original Fender single-colis, David bought a black pickguard, and installed the old pickups there. He eventually swapped the pickguards, and installed a DiMarzio FS-1 in the bridge position, and later replaced it with Seymour Duncan SSL-1.

In it’s current state, the guitar is fitted with a 1983 Fender c-shaped maple neck, 1971 Fender pickups in the neck and middle, and a SSL-1C (SSL-5 Prototype) in the bridge. It styles the black pickguard, and a 5-way switch instead of the original 3-way pickup switch.

If you wanna know all the details about David’s black Strat, Pink Floyd’s technician Phil Taylor wrote a book called The Black Strat: A History of David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster which explains all there is to know.

Here’s a short interview with David Gilmour featuring his Black Strat:

In the mid 80′ David replaced all his Strats with Fender 1957 reissue models. He donated this particular guitar to Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas where it was on display until 1997 when David requested it back. It was restored by his technician Charlie Chandler, and David used it ever since. It has been played for the first time at Pink Floyd reunion in 2005.

1984 Fender Stratocaster ’57 reissue

Fender Stratocaster 57 reissue David Gilmour Gilmour’s main guitar during post-Roger Waters era with Pink Floyd. The body was finished in Candy Apple Red and the guitar was fitted with a maple neck. David supposedly bought the guitar at the London Warehouse where he also got a several other ’57 reissue models (including a cream-coloured one) which he continued to play throughout the ’80s, up until the most recent days.

Most of David’s 57 Reissue models were re-fitted with three EMG active pickups.

1954 Fender Stratocaster #0001

0001 Stratocaster This Stratocaster has a white body, maple neck, gold plated pickguard and hardware. David bought it in mid 1970s from his guitar tech Phil Taylor, who previously got it from Seymour Duncan. The guitar supposedly goes back to Leo Fender himself, and it is one of the most unique vintage Stratocasters out there.

Although the name suggests otherwise, this is not the first Stratocaster ever made because the prototypes were already been made before this one, but it is certainly one of the first production models.

David played the #0001 Strat on the 2004 Strat Pack show that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster, but for obvious reasons he likes to keep it safe at home rather than carry it on tours.

Here’s a short interview with David featuring the #0001 Stratocaster (starts at 2:11)

Double-neck Stratocaster

Glimour double neck Stratocaster This was a custom made guitar by Dick Knight with two standard Fender necks. David wanted to be able to play both normal guitar and slide on the same instrument, so the both necks on the guitar were 6 strings, but the lower neck had higher action on the strings for slides.

The guitar was used during the spring US tour in 1972 but later abandoned.

1959 Fender Telecaster

1959 Fender Telecaster Custom Gilmour Used on “Dogs” from the album Animals from 1977. During the recording sessions the guitar was equipped with a Gibson PAF (neck), which was replaced with a single-coil for the following tour.

1955 Fender Esquire “The Workmate”

1955 Fender Esquire Workmate This ’55 Esquire was used on the recording of David’s first solo album, and during the “The Wall” recording sessions. It has a custom fitted neck pickup which was installed by Seymour Duncan – who sold this guitar to David in the first place.

David nicknamed this guitar “The Workmate” because of its worn looks.

Fender Telecaster ’52 Reissue

Fender Telecaster Cream White Pickguard Maple David used this Telecaster on the 87/90 tour with the Pink Floyd for the song “Run Like Hell”. The guitar was tuned to dropped D for that particular song, and David had another similar Telecaster with standard tuning which he used for “Astronomy Domine”.

1955 Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Bigsby Goldtop Goldtop model with P-90 pickups and a Bigsby vibrato bridge. David used this guitar to record several guitar parts on “The Wall” album and the solo on “Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)”.

 

Bill Lewis 24-fret Guitar

Bill Lewis 24-fret David used this guitar during “Meddle” and “Dark Side of the Moon” recording sessions.

Gretsch Duo-Jet

Gretsch Duo-Jet David Gilmour playing Comfortably Numb on his Gretsch:

The origins of this guitar are unknown. David supposedly used it on some of the songs from his first solo album,

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David Gilmour’s Acoustic Guitars:

Gibson J-45

Gibson J-45 One of the first acoustics that David was seen playing. This was around the time of “Atom Heart Mother” album in 1970, and David can be seen playing in on one of the gigs in San Francisco that same year.

’80 Gibson J-200 Celebrity

 Gibson J-200 David used this guitar for live performances of “Wish You Were Here”  during the 1994 tour, and uses it nowadays as his main onstage acoustic.

He actually owns two of these guitars – one tuned to standard pitch and the other tuned to D,A,D,G,A,D for “Poles Apart”.

Martin D-35

Martin D-28 This has often been referred as David’s favorite acoustic guitar.

Taylor 712CE

Taylor 514C David’s main acoustic during 2001 and 2002.

Here’s a video of “Wish You Were Here” featuring this Taylor:

Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4

Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4 Used on the Comfortably Numb recording sessions.

David Gilmour’s Guitar Amps:

– Hiwatt DR103 100W
Used with WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers. David started using these amps in 1969, and still uses them today.

– Fender Twin Reverb Amps
Used around 1972.

– Yamaha RA-200 Leslie Amp
Used around 1977.

– Fender Twin Reverb II heads and 100-watt Marshall 4×12 cabinets with Celestion speakers

– Gallien-Krueger 250ML amp

– 1959  Fender Bassman Reissue Amp

David Gilmour’s Guitar Effects:

– Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
Probably David’s best known effect pedal. It’s been used on many songs,  including the solo for the Comfortably Numb.

– The The Pete Cornish Effect Board
This was a custom built pedalboard for David. Here’s a list of some of the effects it had:

Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face 
– MXR Phase 90
– MXR Phase 100
– MXR Dynacomp
– MXR Noise Gate/Line Driver
– Univox Uni-Vibe
– Electro Harmonix Small Stone
– Electro Harmonix Electric Mistress
– Pete Cornish (ST-2) Treble and Bass Boost
– Cry Baby Wah
– Pete Cornish Tone pedal
– Pete Cornish volume pedal
– Colorsound Power Boost

David Gilmour’s Guitar Strings:

GHS Boomers Custom (gauges are .010, .012, .016, .028, .038 and .048.)
– Ernie Ball Earthwood light gauge strings for Acoustic

David Gilmour’s Guitar Picks:

– D’Andrea 351 HV  .96mm Picks

If you want to know even more about David Gilmour’s gear please check gilmourish.com