• The Telecaster gear guide

    Although David is mostly associated with the Stratocaster, he has always been a big fan of Telecasters. His very first “Floyd” guitar was a Telecaster and over the years, David has recorded and performed numerous songs with this classic guitar.

    The article takes a look at all of David’s Telecasters, from the blonde he used when joining Floyd to the Custom Shop model seen on his latest tour. You will also learn more about David’s more famous Telecasters, like the 1959 Custom used on Dogs and the legendary 1955 Esquire, seen on the About Face album cover. Crank Run Like Hell on your iPod and enjoy!

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44 Responsesso far.

  1. Robin says:

    To Lucas: If your trem is wobbly, your best bet is to spend some cash and get a callaham bridge… they are amazing. Tight, so you can do Gilmour-esque wobbles, and they sell shortened arms, like on DG’s strat!

  2. Lucas says:

    Mate, your site very nice, loved it and it is really helping me with my gear. But there’s an article here where you say “place a ball-pen spring in the arm’s hole and it will get fixed”. I did it, and now my tremolo arm does not enter the hole, and I’m not able to take the spring off, what do I do now? Thank you,
    Lucas

    [You need to make sure it’s the right size… Before you slip it into the screw hole, make sure it fits around the tremolo arm. If it’s completely stuck, take the guitar to a guitar tech and I’m sure he’ll have the tools to get it out. Instead of using the spring you can also just use a thin layer of tape. – Bjorn]

  3. Yaniv says:

    Hey Bjorn! I’m looking for a distortion pedal… I have a T-Rex Mudhoney and I love it very much, but it sounds more like a fuzz and not a dist. It has a very specific sound – warm, sweet, brown with endless sustain, which is fine of course, but I just can’t get it to work for certain songs. So I decided to get another distortion unit.

    I was thinking about some kind of big muff, but i’m honestly confused about them! I understand they are very colorful – there is green big muff, yellow big muff, blue big muff, black big muff, white big muff, and maybe more… I have no idea which are still being made and which are vintage, which are good and which are not, how much each cost and so on…
    I tried the new US reissue at a shop and I was dissapointed… too boomy. I didn’t like it. I understand I should not judge all the big muffs because of that one. Which is recommended?

    I also considered a RAT. What RAT do you use? I heard the new rats or more agressive which I don’t like… I also have a Keeley dealer really near me, and I think about getting a Keeley-modded RAT. What do you think about it?

    Thank you!

    [The Muff jungle can be a bit confusing, I know. The first rule is: stay away from both the EH/US and Sovtek (black) reissues. As you point out, they sound too boomy and lack the beautiful harmonics. You can search EBay for either a vintage Electro Harmonix, the 1971 “triangle” or the 1973 “ram’s head”. Both are quite expensive and rare but they do pop up from time to time. You should also check out the yellow/Civil War (mistaken for blue) and the green Sovteks. Both are based on the 1973 “ram’s head”. I also recommend the BYOC Large Beaver, – a “tringle” clone…. awesome sounding. Now, the main difference between the “triangle” and the “ram’s head” is that the latter has a little more gain and a slightly darker tone. The “triangle” might need some additional mid EQ boost, but both sound great and ideal for any Gilmour Muff tone.
    The RAT is probably one of the most versatile distortions ever made. The tone sounds equally good on low volume as high and you could use it for anything from mild overdrive, creamy distortion, Muff and even a fuzz. I have the RAT 1… I think it’s discontinued. The RAT 2, which Gilmour used on PULSE, has slightly more gain but I wouldn’t call it more aggressive. The Keeley model is modified to sound fatter and the tone is smoother. Definitely recommended! – Bjorn]

  4. Greg says:

    Hi all, love reading these comments, it’s so good of you Bjorn to comment on each entry as you do. As this thread has gone all over the place, I don’t mind so much being slightly off-topic on telecasters, but it is on stratocasters so…
    I just got the 84 About face dvd off ebay and I was rapt to see his main guitar was the white / blonde strat as shown in your ‘about face’ gear link, which I forgot about until I saw it with my own eyes. You see the only strat I have with all single coils looks identical (but prob will never sound as good) and is a Fender Squier made in Japan one. I feel I have a guitar that looks like one David likes, if that makes sense, even tho he never used it in Floyd, did he?
    Is there any connection to that strat and the early blonde strat you picture he started out with in your guitar section?
    Do you like DG as much in his soko stuff as you do his Pink Floyd stuff? I love some stuff off his first solo lp ‘DG’ very Wall type solos.

    [The blonde Strat seen at the Hammersmith Odeon concert in 1984, was also used during the first months on the Momentary Lapse of Reason tour in 1987, – with EMG pickups fitted to it. the guitar is one of the 6 he bought prior to the About Face tour, among them the reds he used during the 1980’s and 90’s. Please read more in this article. This is not the same guitar he used during 1968-1970.
    I like his solo stuff very much, especially the first album from ’78 and of course On an Island. He has some really cool sounds on that first album, – Mihalis, Raise My Rent etc. – Bjorn]

  5. Ben says:

    someone lucked out on that sound city amp, anything under 500.00 is a good deal! I saw Roger Waters last September and was very impressed with both Snowy and Dave Kilminster. Roger has never hired a guitarist to “sound” or mimic David Gilmour. Each one has had a different tone, different vibe, and sort of incorparated their own sound to the show while maintaining the intigerity of the original song. Hey, Eric Clapton’s not a bad replacement for DG! Bjorn, you may need to add a forum section ….like you don’t have enough to manage!!!!

    [Too bad about the amp… I’m glad you enjoyed Waters’ show. It’s a matter of taste and the fact that his recent tours has been so successful speaks for it self. The debate whether these guitarists replace Gilmour does not have one answer I think. On one hand, you expect any of the Floyd members to sound like Pink Floyd but, on the other hand, Roger has been doing his thing since 1984, and it sure isn’t a Pink Floyd show any more, – it’s a Roger Waters show. All this being said, I can’t help but feeling a little distant to the whole thing. I still don’t understand why Roger doesn’t tour with a complete Amused to Death set! – Bjorn]

  6. Pavan says:

    I plan on picking up a DE-7 off of eBay soon. Do you think I need a Compressor. I might go pick up a Dynacomp… any other recommendations…

    [A compressor is always a valuable tool to tighten your distortion tone and to beef up the cleans. As a rule, I’d say Dynacomp for the 70’s tone and Boss for the 80’s and 90’s. The old Boss CS-2 pops up on EBay from time to time, and if you find one I definitely recommend it. The new CS-3 works just fine too, but it’s a little colder sounding than the CS-2. – Bjorn]

  7. o says:

    When will the clip from your concert be up ?

    [In a week or two. We’re pretty busy with Airbag at the time… – Bjorn]

  8. Deck says:

    Bjorn,

    I have read on John Roscoe’s Tone from Heaven website that David Gilmour asked to Pete Cornish to update his 1999 pedalboard with the compulator, and that he used it in 2004 during the Strat pack concert for the first time (live).

    [Yeah… you’re right :-) Thanks! – Bjorn]

  9. Pavan says:

    When did he start using the Compulator?

    I have an awesome (some what) set up now

    Guitar: 2006 Candy Apple Red Standard MIM Stratocaster
    FX: Tube Driver(Volume Boost) -> Sovtek Muff (Black)-> Electric Mistress
    Amp- 15watt Fender Rumble Bass Amp

    I use the TD for the rhythms, and kick in the Muff for Solos. It sounds awesome!!!!
    I know I need to get a new amp….
    Besides that, Any suggestions?

    [David started using the Compulator with the new Cornish board he used on the recent tour (not the album). Great rig you have there! I definitely recommend a delay unit… always been an essential part of David’s sound. Check out the Ibanez DE-7. This is a great budget pedal with a convincing tape sim feature. If you want to go up a notch, there’s the EH Memory Man or the T-Rex Replica (which David used on the last tour). And there’s always the Boss pedals. – Bjorn]

  10. Pavan says:

    wow look at this lap steel!

    Link: EBay, Fender lap steel.

    looks like David’s!

    [Great! This is a newer model than David’s. Sure would like one! – Bjorn]

  11. Pavan says:

    Hey Bjorn do you have any info on the gear David used on the Run Devil Run album with Paul McCartney?

    I know he used the Esquire and the Gibson Lap Steel, but what about the pedal board?

    [I think he used the Cornish board seen on the Meltdown/acoustic shows in 2001/2002. This was made for him in 1999. Mostly he used Boss CS-2 compressor, Chandler Tube Driver and some delay, possibly MXR. – Bjorn]

  12. Sylvain says:

    Bjorn, it’s not the same subject but have you got some Pink Floyd vinyls ? If it’s the case, it would be cool to create a new article or a new post just to show us your collection. I’m saying that because I think Pink Floyd’s covers album are the greatest (with some other bands…) in the pop/rock world.
    Thanks,
    Cheers.

    [Yeah… I have all the albums and a bunch of old bootlegs on vinyl. They’re all packed down in my basement… – Bjorn]

  13. I think now you could work on an article about david’s acoustic guitars, huh? I already read the Tone Heaven article some time ago, but I’m sure you could go a little further on this topic. ;)

    K.

    [Your suggestion is placed in the “great ideas” box! – Bjorn]

  14. yaniv says:

    Well, it’s not a forum here, but I got to disagree with you on the Snowy White thing. I think he is a really good guitarist and I was really happy with his performance. He has a great sound (even though he plays a les paul, and I agree it’s not a real gilmourish sound, but it is still a lovely warm sound), he has a great feel (better than Kilminster, for sure!) and I got to admit that it was nice hearing him improvise on CN, after the entire show copied the record note-by-note (with the exception of Set The Controls). So his playing wasn’t gilmourish, but it was still great. There’s no need to be so firmly fixed about every note – After all, gilmour itself improvize at his solos today!

    I was really dissapointed by Dave Kilminster, though. While he got the notes right, he didn’t have enough feel in his playing… and he is a poser too :-).

    [Well I haven’t said that Waters’ guitarists need to play David’s stuff note by note, but IMO they could do a better effort in trying to capture the “vibe”…. The whole Floyd spirit. Kilminister doesn’t have either the tone nor the feeling. He does the solos note by note tho, but without the tone it sounds boring…. and as you say he’s a poser…. ugh! I guess you can ask Snowy to sound more like Gilmour, after all he is Snowy… a legend. Nevertheless, I don’t like his style… never have. I think Doyle did a great job. He had the feeling and at times, the tone… Too bad he’s not in the band anymore. – Bjorn]

  15. Sylvain says:

    A video with David and his first Fender tele in France :
    Link: Astronomy Domine, Bouton Rouge, Febuary 20 1968.
    Maybe some people here haven’t seen this video yet.
    A+

    [Great clip! – Bjorn]

  16. Sylvain says:

    And what’s about your tele, Bjorn ? A japanese 62’s custom…I’m curious to hear how she sounds. Can you tell us a little bit more about the price and the sound.
    Thanks,
    Bye !

    [Yeah… my Tele. Well I had it for about 5 days until I realized that both pickups were producing this horrible microphonic feedback, so I sent it back and the store has spent 3 weeks waiting for new pickups from Fender. I’m getting a bit tired… BUT the guitar felt extremely nice, – almost as I’ve had it for years and that’s rare. It sounded very nice to… bright tops and fat lows (the feedback was only kicking in at high volumes). Definitely recommended and I can’t wait to get it back! – Bjorn]

  17. Fernando says:

    I went to a Roger Waters concert last month and I can say that I was more dissapointed with Snowy White than with Dave Kilminster. Indeed Kilminster didn´t dissapointed me ´cos I never expected him to play or sing as Mr. Gilmour, he used a Ritchie Kotzen Telecaster which didn’t sound “that” different than an Stratocaster.

    Snowy played on a Les Paul, to that my taste sounded “to un-gilmourish”, I simply didn’t like his solo in Mother, he even missed some notes.

    Bjorn, I know that you didn’t like Kilminster when you attended the RW concert, but I can say, that at least here (Santiago de Chile) he played better than Snowy White.

    [Well I totally agree. I’ve never liked Snowy… even when he was touring with Floyd. Kilminister does a fairly good job but I think he sounds like someone who is trying to nail all the Gilmour stuff instead of capturing the feeling and sound. – Bjorn]

  18. Pavan says:

    No! I was going to jump on that Sound City!!

    Don’t Outbid me!!!!!!!

    ~Pavan

    [I already have one :-) Good luck! – Bjorn]

  19. Leandro says:

    Colin,

    Check this one out…. Link: Sound City 50Plus on EBay.

    Bjorn, sorry for using this as a forum…. just wanted help :-)

    Best Regards, Leandro

    [Great! Looking good! Highly recommended! – Bjorn]

  20. Collin says:

    Bjorn,

    I’m going after a Sound City 50 Plus as well, but I can’t find any that are not overpriced… I would love to find some on the cheap.

    Collin

    [They pop up on EBay quite often…. anything up to about 600$ is acceptable. – Bjorn]

  21. Jeff from Wisconsin says:

    Bjorn-

    Great reading as usual!

    Why the change from the Humbucker to the single coil on his ’59 Tele? I’m sure there was a slight change in tone, but did it have anything to do with how massive the ’77 shows were in comparison to the ’74-’75 shows and the type of sound equipmnet that was used. Maybe the single coil reacted differently?

    [I haven’t found any info on that… Also, I can’t remember seeing or hearing him use the neck pickup on Dogs. – Bjorn]

  22. Jim says:

    The esquire is also seen on “Don’t” on the David Gilmour Live DVD (and, I believe, on the Leiber and Stoller DVD).

    Great article. Your site keeps getting better and better and I agree with the person above that your graphics are excellent as well.

    [You’re absolutely right about the Tele! Thanks for your compliments! – Bjorn]

  23. Ben says:

    When I was hounding you for amp suggestions, was thinking of asking if there were plans on an article about the Tele’s. I guess ” All good things come to those who wait.” applies two-fold here at Gilmourish. Of all of David’s guitars the 59′ Custom is by far my favorite. I’ve owned two Tele’s so far, a Sunburst, Highway 1 (which I foolishly sold!) and my 62 Custom. Before I bought Harriet (custom) I was on a guitar bender, wanted everything that I came in contact with! Now I have to force myself to pick up her other siblings. Anyways, I apoligize for gloating! Bjorn, thank so much for this article. I’ve been waiting for this since I joined the site and you delivered brilliantly AS USUAL!!

    Forever Thankfull,

    Ben

    [Thanks a lot Ben! Thanks for your support! – Bjorn]

  24. Ernest Peske says:

    Let me dream too ;-))

    …maybe I should find some good sponsors to invest some money for a couple of concerts here in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany (a huge “Floyd country”)!
    Imagine you guys, with some good Female backing vocals, a sax player, couple of light FX… etc. :-))

    (P.S. I really liked the way you arranged the sax solo for guitar, sounds cool)

    Cheers,
    Ernest

    [Thanks! Depending on what kind of show we’re doing, we use backing vocals for some of our shows and just a band setting for the “old school” shows. We’ve never used sax tho… works nicely with just a guitar. – Bjorn]

  25. Sylvain says:

    Good work as usual !
    Bjorn, I would like to ask you a question :
    You said “The Pink Floyd Experience” is Norway’s numero uno Floyd tribute. Who gave you this “appellation” ? How does it work ?
    And I shall now come to my main question : you’re more or less popular, so do you play sometimes in other contries ?
    In France, there’s a good Floyd tribute band (but, sincerely, not as good as you) who plays sometimes at l’Olympia (David played there too, it’s a famous concert hall in Paris) and last time I had a dream that you played there…but maybe it’s just a dream…
    A+

    [Thanks! Our Norwegian fans – the ones who’ve seen us live – has labelled us the best Floyd tribute in our country. We’re very proud of course :-) We haven’t played in other countries and I doubt we will… We would very much like tho but it seems that every country has at least 4-5 Floyd tributes and unless you’re as huge as Aussie Floyd or whatever, no promotor will risk their money to hire a foreign band. But who knows! – Bjorn]

  26. Rick says:

    Hi Bjorn! Great post and so many useful informations once again…I’ve noticed you have a RAT stompbox in your pedalboard: since I’ve never heard anything about that, and you used it on recording the Money solos, I’d like know what kind of effect it is (I suppose it could be a OD/distortion unit)…all those fuzz/od/distortion units are drving me crazy!! :)
    thank you!

    [The RAT is a classic distortion that appeared in 1979, right after Boss introduced the DS-1. IOM this is one of the most versatile distortions available. The sound is creamy without the slightest hint of fuzzy overtones, – perhaps best described as a 1970’s Marshall in a box. It’s sounds equally good in your living room at low volumes as on a stadium. I have the vintage or RAT 1 model. The RAT2, which is available now, is slightly more aggressive. Definitely recommended! – Bjorn]

  27. Ryan says:

    i have a question about tremolos…see i have a standard strat i got about 4 years ago from my mom and it was my first real guitar so i love that thing to death and i don’t want to get rid of it for something else…but its got some quality issues with it so i just wanted to upgrade it a little…iv already changed the pups to 54’s but the trem int that stable so i was looking at the vintage trems on a ebay store….will i have any trouble with sizes or is it one size fits all?…plus iv been dealing with uneven frets and so i would also like to get a new neck that’s a bit more playable but im totally lost on that subject also

    thanks in advance

    Ryan

    [Well, at least between Fender’s the tremolo size is universal. I also recommend checking out Callaham Vintage Guitars for good quality tremolo systems. – Bjorn]

  28. Nate says:

    I just got an American Series Telecaster…picked it up this weekend! It sounds awesome and it feels fantastic… way better then my Mexican Strat. Unfortunately being left handed I can’t get a deluxe without going through the custom shop and spending way more that I have. They’re so pretty!

    [Congratulations Nate! Please feel free to send me a pic! – Bjorn]

  29. tim says:

    hello bjorn
    nice article.nice to see something for tele fans.can you get the “seagull” effect in the mid-section of echoes with a tele.
    tim

    [Hm…. good question. I haven’t tried that. I have no idea… – Bjorn]

  30. Leandro says:

    Hey Bjorn! I forgot to ask you……how it went your gig at koppang? Did you record it?…hope you played dogs hehe…

    BTW I sent you an e-mail

    Leandro

    [Hi! The gig went great! We did a desk-recording of the show but I have no idea how the quality is. Usually, when you don’t get to mix it with an audience source, the sounds is a little “platsic” if you know what I mean. Anyway, I guess we’ll be posting one or two songs on our website. Unfortunately we didn’t play Dogs… – Bjorn]

  31. pinkfloydfan1 says:

    u know theres hardly no info about the custom shop fender telecaster you should add a pic and a closeup of the neck

    great read by the way

    [I’ll see what I have. – Bjorn]

  32. pinkfloydfan1 says:

    Finally ha ha .

    also bjorn waswatching a bootleg dvd of the wall live and i noticed dave had a lanely amp head in his rig do you know anything about this

    [Laney? Are you sure? He had a Mesa/Boogie head in there, but I’ve never seen or heard anything about a Laney. Do you have some pics? Which date was this? – Bjorn]

  33. yaniv says:

    Fantastic! very good article… BTW i think that the telecaster was used in the 2006 tour for “Astronomy Domine” too.

    Thank you!

    [Thanks! You’re right about that… I forgot. – Bjorn]

  34. brett says:

    OMG, i was thinking about requesting you making an article like this! Thanks man, keep up the good work on site!

    -brett

    [Thanks Brett! – Bjorn]

  35. i’ve just bought a telecaster and i tell you that is a great guitar

    i would like to see an article about the dark side of the moon
    and about the les paul goldtop
    with great photos as usual! great images and a great article too
    (I’d never noticed to body binding on the “Dogs” tele too)

    thanks for the complete information

    MAURI

    [Thanks and congrats with your new Tele! You can read about Dark Side here and you’ll find info about the Les Pauls in the Wall and On an Island articles. But I’m always working on new articles and any tips is much appreciated. – Bjorn]

  36. Aaron says:

    great article, great photos. it really hits home with me because i play a two tone sunburst american tele similiar to david’s.

    [Thanks! Please feel free to send me a pic of your guitar! – Bjorn]

  37. ChrisZ says:

    Thanks for the article. I’ve always wondered how you prepare graphics. This one, connected with the article, is again a good piece of work. And those wallpapers – they are great.

    [Thanks! I’m just fooling around with Photoshop using a picture of David and adding filters and graphics ontop. The layers are manipulated and I use some custom brushes for final effects. Glad you like it :-) – Bjorn]

  38. Ernest Peske says:

    Great solos for Money Bjorn! Amazing how digitals recording & FX sound! ..would love to hear it live, using your syomp boxes :-)
    I am going to the Roger Waters concert (Belgium) in less then two weeks, and I know allready I will be disappointed by the way these two guys (“Dave Minister?” & Snowy White) will interpretate all the David Gilmour solo’s: using different guitars and just play the basic stuff of Gilmour and using their own effects…
    Roger should’ve give you a call ;-)

    Good luck tonight, with your concert.
    Cheers, Ernest

    [Thanks Ernest! Our concert went very well! At least it’s always fun to see a Floyd on stage…. Hope you manage to enjoy the concert but I know how you feel. – Bjorn]

  39. Ryan says:

    coooooool iv never really had a chance to play many teles… only while im in the guitar shop… but great job on the post man…im inspired to start saving for a good tele. Hows the rosewood neck on yours? does it have a nice feel?

    [Definitely recommend a Tele. It’s a different guitar than both a Strat and Les Paul… The neck on my ’62 custom is very nice. Perfect radius and the rosewood adds a nice warm character to the tone. – Bjorn]

  40. Agent Fox Mulder says:

    Sorry, I have a little confuse. Astronomy Domine on Pulse CD ?? He used Tele ?? It’s sound very much like Red Strat.

    [Nope… that’s a Tele. I saw that while they played here in Oslo and I have numerous interviews were Phil Taylor talks about the two Teles on the tour and how one was tuned down for Run Like Hell and one was used for Astronomy. – Bjorn]

  41. Agent Fox Mulder says:

    Thanks, Bjorn.

    I think you forgot that he used custom shop tele on astronomy domine too.

    It strange that he used his red strat play astronomy domine in 1994 tour. Why he didn’t use Tele?

    Do you have an idea about pedal that he used on fat old sun solo ? (OAI Tour 2006 Version) Is that Tube Driver or P-1?

    Thanks for this wonderful article. :-)

    [You’re right! I forgot that…. Thanks! He did use a Tele on Astronomy in ’94…. the ’52 reissue. I pretty sure he used the TD on Fat Old Sun. It’s a distinct overdrive tone… not distortion. Fat Old was definitely one of the highpoints in Albert Hall. He went crazy on the solo! – Bjorn]

  42. Leandro says:

    As always…cool info….there´s some interesting things to read.

    I just love that ´55 esquire hehe

    Best Regards

    Leandro

    [Thanks Leandro! – Bjorn]

  43. Collin says:

    Bjorn,

    Yet another great article, and another great excuse to pester you about my potential rig ;). I should have mentioned that I already have a Boss BD-2. This really shouldn’t change your suggestions much, I wouldn’t think…

    Collin

    [Thanks! The BD-2 is definitely a favourite :-) – Bjorn]

  44. MikeR says:

    Great article. I’d never noticed to body binding on the “Dogs” tele.

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]