David Gilmour’s 1976 Ovation Custom Legend 1619-4

This is one of the few Ovation guitars that the band purchased in 1976 in preparation for the 1977 live tour. They found the Ovations to be sturdy and well made, and more importantly, they had built-in electronics and could therefore be easily used in a concert setting.

David playing the Ovation 1619-4 acoustic guitar.
David playing the Ovation 1619-4 acoustic guitar.

This guitar in particular was at first used by Roger Waters but was then re-strung by David in a very unique way, that was apparently inspired by Bruce Welch, a founding member of the Shadows.

I had some friends working in Abbey Road on an album with Bruce Welch producing them, and they had put down a couple of acoustic tracks that he said he wanted to double-track with a hi-strung to thicken the sound of the acoustics.

I decided to work on my own version of it, so I put these different gauge strings onto one of these Ovations.


David ended up stringing the guitar with the following gauges – .10, .12, .09, .11, .16, .10., all of which were of course unwound. The strings were tuned to the standard tuning but the G, D, and A were an octave higher, and the low E was two octaves up.

Comfortably Numb, Hey You

With the guitar strung and tuned as previously explained, David came up with the main melody for “Comfortably Numb”, which the band then refined and recorded for their 1978 album The Wall. He also used the guitar to play the arpeggio part on the song “Hey You” from that same album.

By about ’75 or ’76, we got Ovations that had built in electronics that were very good live. They didn’t feed back too badly. One of the Ovations, the one which I restrung to a self-invented high-strung tuning, became the guitar that I wrote “Comfortably Numb” on. That one is also going in the sale. I think it’s been played on pretty much every live version of “Comfortably Numb.”

David Gilmour : Interview with Rolling Stone on Why He’s Selling 120 Guitars: ‘Everything Has Got to Go


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