Guitar Lessons by Chip McDonald - June 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019


 I was listening to the David Gilmour guitar auction podcast today, and heard him play the 12 string he used on "Wish You Were Here".

 He kinda played an excerpt of the beginning, elaborated on it.  What he did kind of illustrated the origins of the riff.  

 Part of what he did invoked a bit of a stylized ragtime piano rhythm.  An old upright piano, of which the never perfectly in tune 12 string somewhat invokes, would be the conduit here.

 Another thing he did was a sort of Lead Belly quasi-stride piano blues, except it wasn't a pure blues but detoured into a post-early 60's U.K. folky chord voicing territory.

 Very informative.  The first thing he did was the rendition of the opening riff to WYWH, but he played on the accents a little differently.  I interpret these accents as being "within the parameters of ragtime proto-jazz embellishment".  I think he perceives it like that as well, the significant part being while it's related to what Lead Belly did, I think Gilmour is not thinking of the parameters he was operating under (while demonstrating on this podcast) as being "Lead Belly" per se, but...

... a tool in the "toolbox" that renders "Wish You Were Here".

 He's got the ragtime rhythm intent, but also the Lead Belly blues shuffle, and Lead Belly melodic embellishment intent.  As well as the folk voicing influence, which I would suggest was a "silent" influence on a lot of the post-60's classic rock guitar players (Jimmy Page...).

 The point of this post is that he had an operating skill and knowledge base of these elements prior to creating WYWH.  It wasn't a linear "learn this chord, then this phrase" but a combination of things from a "tool" standpoint that he liked.  The result is that the gestalt of Wish You Were Here are those things, and in theory one could take the same toolbox and make other "Wish You Were Heres"; not that you should, but one should realize that you've got to have tools in the toolbox to build something.