• Classic tone: Comfortably Numb

    Comfortably Numb is by many regarded as Pink Floyd’s finest moment. It’s a masterpiece in every way and not least because of David’s legendary guitar solo. In this article we’ll examine David’s tone and hopefully you’ll get some ideas on how to create your own killer tone too!

    David wrote the chords and melody during the recording sessions for his first solo album in 1978. It’s not documented why it wasn’t used or why Roger wanted it on his project. Roger’s lyrics are based on several real events that happened to both him and Syd in their childhood and as touring musicians.

    David Gilmour - Classic Tone Comfortably Numb

    David far away on another planet in Amsterdam 2006.

    The recording of the song for The Wall caused a lot of tension between Roger and David. According to an interview with David from Guitar World in 1993 the issue was Nick Mason’s drumming. David though the first version was too sloppy and liked the second slightly tighter take. Roger disagreed but won eventually. The demo from the first band sessions also includes David’s fuzz chords on the verses, which came back on the 1980s and 90s live version but was not included on the album.

    The guitar solo

    The guitars were recorded sometime early autumn 1979. David used the Black Strat for the two solos and the power chords during the main solo. The guitar still had the DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup but was newly fitted with a custom Charvel maple neck. There are different reports on what effects David used for the sessions. The first demo recorded by the band – sans the orchestra – includes a MXR Phase 90 but this was ditched on the final version. Some sources also suggest that he used an Electric Mistress flanger but I’m having a really hard time hearing it.

    The main effect of course is the Electro Harmonix “ram’s head” Big Muff fed into a Hiwatt DR103 head with a WEM speaker cabinet and a Yamaha RA-200 rotating speaker. The Yamaha is mixed slightly lower than the Hiwatt adding a rich sort of undefinable character.

    David explained to Guitar World in 1993 how the solo was written: “I just went out into the studio and banged out five or six solos. From there I just followed my usual procedure, which is to listen back to each solo and mark out bar lines, saying which bits are good. (…) Then I just follow the chart, whipping one fader up, then another fader, jumping from phrase to phrase and trying to make a really nice solo all the way through.”

    It’s hard to tell why a guitar solo becomes so famous and loved by so many. Perhaps it’s the beauty of a perfectly written rock song or the contrast between the gentle voices and the climatic end. It’s by far one of the most aggressive solos David’s every played but not so much due to his playing or technique but rather the mix and the sound of it. The track is doubled and slightly delayed making it sound like two guitars and the tone is compressed and gated to make it sound even more edgy and “in your face”. I often go back (or forward) to the film version of the song, which is mixed with even more presence and volume. You can really feel the guitar cutting right through your spine.

    David has always been fairly true to the album version when performing the song live. The first solo is sort of a signature and David rarely goes beyond playing it note by note. The main solo, in contrast, is a long jam piece where David brings out all the ammunition. Still, he keeps some of the signatures and improvises around them. One of the more familiar parts added in the mid 80’s is the so-called “waving part” at the end of the song just when the mirror flower opens up and shoots beams of light throughout the stadium.

    The “waving part”

    I must admit that I just recently learned how to play this bit. I’ve been doing it wrong all the time (thanks napnap1234)! Anyway, the trick is to use tons of delay to make it sound bigger and more dramatic. David increases the volume on the delay just for this bit and then lowers it again for the rest of the solo.

    I’m afraid my English is pretty bad but hopefully you’ll get the idea. For this clip I’m using Fender CS 69 pickups > green Sovtek Big Muff > Boss BD-2 (modified) > Boss GE-7 > Boss DD-2 > Marshall 5210 50W solid state.

    Pick the E string on the 17th fret and the B string on the 19th. Pick the E first and simultaneously bend down the tremolo arm one whole note. Pick the B string and bring the arm back up to pitch.

    The rhythm guitars

    While David played the acoustic guitar on the second verse and main guitar solo, session guitarist Lee Ritenour handled the duties on the chorus. All acoustic parts were played with an Ovation 1619-4 steel string with a so-called Nashville tuning or high-strung tuning, – the A, D and G string being the high strings from a 12 string set. It’s not known why Ritenour played the part but notice how the strumming follows the strings melody (ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba). By strumming up and down in a strict pattern rather than the usual random strumming you’ll get a much more defined melody and the chorus seems to flow better. Try strumming up and down randomly and you’ll hear that the chorus changes character completely and almost turns into a cheesy sing along.

    There’s also a pedal steel (apparently a ZB) on the intro and during the first verse.

    Getting the Comfortably Numb tone

    David’s tone on Comfortably Numb is perhaps THE tone every fan strives to replicate. The magic and the myth of it all often overshadow the fact that the setup is pretty basic and straight forward. It’s a cliché but the tone is mostly in David’s fingers and his ability to play a fairly easy solo with such power and expression.

    Guitar and pickups

    Comfortably Numb is one of those songs that could be played on a number of different pickups and still sound awesome. David mainly performs the song with either vintage single coils or the more modern sounding EMGs, which with some imagination could be mistaken for P-90s or low output humbuckers like Gibson Classic 57s. It depends on which tone you prefer. It’s hard to get that fat Delicate and PULSE tone with vintage single coils but IMO it’s even harder to get a true vintage tone with the EMGs. I use Fender CS69s, which gives you that classic Wall tour 1980-81 and Remember That Night tone and by adding a Boss GE-7 set to slightly boost the mids you can get very close to the PULSE tone as well.

    I have always loved these versions. The first one is from the Colombian Volcano Relief Concert at Royal Albert Hall, London UK, Febuary 9 1986. It’s a bit over the top at times, especially with Simon Phillip’s drumming, but David’s tone has an almost celestial feel to it. The guitar is a Charvel San Dimas with an EMG humbucker. The second clip is from the Knebworth Festival on June 30 1990. Great playing by David and his hair is priceless!


    As always I recommend a tube amp that doesn’t have too much mid range and the ability to stay clean even when you crank the volume, – Hiwatt, Sound City, Reeves, Marshall Plexi and JCMs, Fender Bassmans and Twins… the list goes on. It’s become a mantra on this site but David’s Hiwatts has a huge impact on his tone and the effects are carefully layered on top for subtle nuances. Tube amps are expensive but it’s an investment that’ll last a life time.

    Don’t be intimidated by the scale of David’s rig. As long as you’re not playing in football stadiums a 50w head with a matching cabinet will be more than enough. If you’re only playing at home you’ll manage with even less.

    It’s often a problem getting the desired tone from a Big Muff and the solution is very simple: volume. The louder you play the smoother it gets. What happens when you crank a tube amp is that the tubes gets very warm and saturated and unless your amp has a habit of distorting you’ll get a tone that’s nicely compressed with tons of dynamics just on the verge of bursting into overdrive madness.

    Pedals like the Big Muff, Colorsound Power Boost, BK Tube Driver etc are all designed to be used with tube amps and the magic happens when the amp and pedal reacts with each other. David also adds a booster or mild overdrive after the Muff to add more volume and character. This doesn’t really make the Big Muff sound more aggressive but it helps smooth out some of the harsh harmonics and add a richer character.

    Solidstates or transistor amps can give you a great tone as well and the same “rule” should apply, – make sure that it can play loud without distorting. As described below you might need to add an EQ or a booster to compensate for the lack of the typical tube tone.

    General amp settings

    I recommend that you always use the front inputs on your amp. If possible, try to combine the inputs with a small patch cable, – upper normal and lower bright/brilliance and plug the guitar cable into the upper bright/brilliance. This will add brightness and presence without loosing the lower ends. General settings for both tube and solid states should be: bass 50%, treble 50-60%, mids 40% and the master at about 1/3 of the channel output. If the inputs are combined set the normal input volume a hair higher than the bright input volume.


    As talked about above, David’s effects setup for Comfortably Numb is quite basic. Good sounding pickups and a powerful tube amp requires 4-5 effects at most. If you’re playing at home using a small solid state with a volume suitable for grumpy neighbours you might need to add a couple of effects to compensate for loss of sustain and dynamics.

    Setup recommended for tube amps:

    1. Warm, slightly dirty tone for PULSE
    BIG MUFF (Sovtek/P-2/G-2) – gain 50-100%, tone 20-30%, volume 50-60%
    OVERDRIVE (Tube Driver/Tube Screamer) – gain is depending on how aggressive the pedal is, – you want a mild overdrive, about 30-40%, tone 40%, volume 50-60%
    DELAY – moderate volume and feedback and about 550ms time.
    – Although not required I would also add a compressor (placed first in the chain) for a bit more attack and sustain. If you’re using vintage style single coils I’d also add hint of mid boost with an additional EQ for that boosted EMG tone (placed after the overdrive). For authenticity you could also add a subtle chorus (placed infront of the delay).

    2. Bright, punchy tone for Animals, Wall and On an Island
    BIG MUFF (“triangle”/”ram’s head”) – gain 50-100%, tone 40%, volume 50-60%
    BOOSTER/OVERDRIVE (Colorsound PB/Boss BD-2) – gain, this should be as clean as possible without getting thin (find the sweet spot before it breaks), tone 50%, volume 70%
    DELAY – moderate volume and feedback and about 550ms time.
    – For authenticity you could add a flanger, preferably the Electric Mistress (placed in front of the delay).

    Setup recommended for solidstate amps:

    compressor > distortion > overdrive > EQ > chorus/flanger > delay

    I usually recommend not to use a Big Muff on solid states or when you’re playing at home with a low volume. It’s hard getting a decent tone and you’ll often end up with something that just sounds thin and fuzzy. The RAT is an extremely versatile distortion that sounds great in any setup. I would also stay away from using overdrives and boosters designed for tube amps, like the Tube Driver and Colorsound Power Boost. Often they will react just like the Big Muff. The Boss BD-2 and an Ibanez/Maxon Tube Screamer are versatile substitutes. You might also realize that you need to set the gain slightly higher than the typical tube amp setup.

    So there you have it! I hope I managed to cover most of the topic. Next time we’ll sink our teeth into Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

    – “The Wall”, original recording 1979
    – “Is There Anybody Out There – The Wall live 1980-81”, official live album 2000
    – “Delicate Sound of Thunder”, official live album 1988
    – “PULSE”, official live album 1995
    – “Remember That Night”, official DVD 2007
    – “David Gilmour live at the Hammersmith Odeon”, original concert video 1984
    – “Under Construction”, bootleg (The Wall demos 1979)
    – Numerous bootlegs from 1980-81, 1984, 1987-90, 1994 and 2006
    – Guitar World magazine interview with David Gilmour 1993
    – “The Black Strat – A History of David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster” by Phil Taylor
    – “Comfortably Numb – A History of the Wall” by Vernon Fitch and Richard Mahon

238 Responsesso far.

  1. GP says:

    Nice reading gents.
    Wondering if anyone out there has any insights into getting the heavy/thick tone he uses on a Katana MKII?

  2. Eves Jefferson Surban says:

    Great stuff Bjorn. I’ve been following your website for a while now since I’m also a big fan of David Gilmour and Pink Floyd.
    I’m trying to get somewhat closer to his tone.

    Im a beginner and uses Orange Crush 20, along with strat and an EHX Soulfood. I wonder if I could use the Rams Head Reissue or should I just really go for the RAT distortion/overdrive.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hey Bjorn, something that I’ve always wondered about and have never been able to find a good answer to is why did they play Comfortably Numb at a distinctly slower tempo in ‘87-‘90 and ‘94 than on the original recording and as played during The Wall tour and on David’s 2006 and 2016 tours? Do you happen to know?


    • Bjorn says:

      I have no idea. I’ve never seen David talk about this. I think the 87-90 version was very much just a continuation of how the song was played on David’s 84 About Face tour, which indeed was slower, heavier and more vocal driven than the 80-81 version, which was more a Waters performance. For some reason, David decided to use the 84 version for Floyd as well but he seems to have gone back to a more authentic sound for his recent solo tours and not for just CN but for most of the Floyd tunes.

      • Jeff says:

        Yesterday I did come across something that did mention he wanted a heavier, grittier tone to the song. I guess that has a lot to do with it.

        I’m glad hat he did go back to a more authentic sound, as you said, not just on Numb but for most Floyd tunes. Thankfully no more “woo hoos” on Money. As you point out in your pieces, his tones in 87-90 are very dated to that period, gated drums as an example. Also, he’s a fine drummer but I always thought having Gary Wallis was more of a distraction than a benefit to the music.

        Perhaps going back to the Black Strat as his main guitar was part of that. I do happen to love the tones you can get from EMG’s and actually just got a ‘new’ used strat myself with the intent of eventually putting in EMG’s. Although, lately I’m listening to Gdansk and especially Live at Pompeii a lot more than either DSOT or Pulse, simply because I much prefer those versions and his overall tone, specifically at Pompeii. Even for songs written originally with the Red Strat, like Sorrow and What Do You Want From Me, I think sound stronger on Pompeii.

        Thanks for your great work, as always!

        • Phil B says:

          I am with you Jeff. I like PULSE and DSOT, but Live at Pompeii is much more “in your face” if you know what I mean :D

          Obviously the Red Strat, the Doppolas and the big delays created that very warm, mid-rangy sound on PULSE, which makes me feel I am there live perhaps, but also far away, because the overall sound is mixed very even, with Dave’s guitar occasionally almost drowning in the mix.

          On Live at Pompeii it feels like you are right in front of the stage getting hit by Dave’s amp sound pretty hard. It’s just a much more raw and aggressive sound with less delay and Dave’s guitar is higher in the mix than on PULSE, too.
          It comes down to preference and what one likes more at the end of the day ;)

  4. Michael says:

    How I got my Gilmour tone was
    joyo Dyna comp (worst compressor ever)
    Because it’s pretty mild the comp only had 2 seconds of sustain huge volume drop
    I had the sustain almost full attack 1:00
    Volume at Unity
    Next pedal a decent one tube screamer clone JAH gain I had about 11:00 tone 11:00 volume slightly above Unity bass boost on
    Next pedal big muff nano it was/still is awesome
    But considering the gain was a bit harsh I had the sustain about 9:30 tone was about 11:00 volume at 1:00 chorus boss ce5 mix 4:00 rate 11:00 depth 1:30 hi filter 12:00 lo filter 12:30 boss dd3 delay mix 10:00 feedback 12:00
    Delay time 400 amps I used an amp simulator
    Called the rp55 comp 1justso it can sound like its getting push more amp Fender twin style bass 3. Mid 4.Treble 5. Gain set at the edge of breakup reverb used a little bit of reverb to make it sound like pulse
    Well this took me forever

  5. Ian Hamilton says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’m wondering if you know of, or would consider doing a short tutorial video for a key riff in David’s 2nd solo for Comfortably Numb (Pulse version) (starting at 3:56 in this YouTube video), similar to what you did for the “waving” portion a few years ago. Really trying to learn the Pulse version, and this part just sounds so cool. Thanks in advance!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPdlJFDpU6o

  6. Adam says:

    I don’t see mention of the Alembic F-2B preamp – wasn’t that in use on the Wall sessions?

  7. Baron says:

    I am trying to figure out how to eliminate the Strat “twang”. No matter what position I use on the pickups I still have the nagging twang. It’s not smooth like my LP. No setting on anything seems to dial this out. I’m starting to believe it is my pickups that may be the issue because I can plug my LP into this setup and it sounds perfect but the Strat is just way too twangy. The Strat currently has custom built 1968 style Fender Pickups (similar to what would have been in Hendrix’s white Strat).

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, it is a Strat so it won’t sound like a Les Paul :) Strats with vintage style, mids scooped pickups, like you have, will sound twangy so if you don’t like that, you might want to look into hotter pickups, with more mid range and an overall darker tone or… get a second Les Paul :) You might also want to consider pedals that are designed to emulate a hum bucker-ish tone, like the OCD and RAT.

      • Baron says:

        Well when you listen to Gilmour’s album tone for the song it seems smoother and less twangy. Maybe production? IDK. But his live sound often does sound a little more twangy. I guess it’s just a matter of what sound you’re going for and adjust accordingly.

        • Bjorn says:

          Depends on what guitar and amp he’s using but I wouldn’t say that his Strat tones are overly twangy…

          • Baron says:

            I guess “twangy” may not be the best term. Strats just have, what I call, a more “raw” sound. Whereas Les Paul’s seem to be much “smoother” sounding. Gilmour’s album tone seems to be much “smoother” and really less “strat” like. But listening to some of his live stuff I can hear that rawer tone of the strat that even all his effects doesn’t completely smooth out.

            • Bjorn says:

              Well, twang is a term used to describe a tone with little mid range, punchy lows and a bell-like top. This is typical for Telecasters and the more vintage sounding Strats. Twang is more noticeable with clean tones and emphasised with compression. I think that what you are describing is the characteristics of single coil pickups, which do sound very different from humbuckers. It’s just the nature of the pickups. David’s Black Strat feature a Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup, which is closer to a humbucker and his red Strat, feature EMG SA pickups, which has more of that humbucker flavour.

  8. Richard Petzold says:

    Hey Bjorn, you’ve done a great job!
    What effects would you recommend to use on an effectboard like the Line6 Pod HD500? The same as for the solidstate amps?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Richard! Not sure I understand your question… you mean pedals in addition to the HD500 or what effects on the HD500 you should use? What tones are you looking for?

      • Richard Petzold says:

        I meant the effects i should use on the hd500. I tried to create a nice sound for the comfortably numb solo but it sounded too thin. I used a compressor, a classic distortion and a noise gate…

        • Bjorn says:

          I don’t own a HD500 so I can’t give you any specific settings. Switch off any amp simulations if you’re using the HD500 with an amp. Set the master or global input/outputs to match your direct signal to the amp. Set your amp up for a fat clean tone. This should be the platform for your effects. Between the effects I’d go with either the Big Muff or the RAT (classic distortion). They’re not dead on what David’s using but they should provide the closest match. I’d also use a mild chorus for a slight modulated tone. Add a delay as well, with moderate effect volume, 5-7 repeats and 700ms time. I wouldn’t add much more than that. If you think the RAT sound thin, then try to add some EQ around 200-250Hz. Hope this helped.

  9. Randy Barger says:

    I was under the impression that the pickups on that Black Stratocaster is as follows Bridge pickup was a Seymour Duncan SSL Middle pickup was a Reverse Wound Fender 69 & Finally the Neck pickup was a Fat 50. Please tell me if this is the correct pickup configuration ? I am about to have one Built by Fender Custom Shop. Please help. It is very important to get this correct. Thanks Randy.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Randy. David’s original Black Strat is loaded with Fender 1971 pickups and a custom wound Duncan SSL1c. The Fenders would be similar to the current Custom Shop 69s. The Fender NOS and Replica Stratocasters feature a slightly different set, by demand from David. The neck is a Fender Fat 50s, the middle is a custom wound, which I assume is fairly similar to the 69 and the bridge is a Duncan SSL5, which is more or less identical to the SSL1c.

  10. Joe says:

    Very informative thank you… In a bedroom setup what would u replace big muff with??

    • Bjorn says:

      You could go for a Muff with boosted mids, like a Sovtek or one of the many clones. You could also go for something more versatile, like a RAT or the excellent Evolution from Buffalo FX.

  11. Paul says:

    oh Im also waiting on the arrivl of 3 pedals. DG-2, BYOC Triangle (too busy to build my kit lol), and Buffalo Rams head. Which of my big muffs would be best here? Still with Musket or use another?

    Also for Hey You (Pulse version) which peals would you throw together?

    Btw using your tip for DSOT Comfortably Numb today I was able to get very close. Mrs is away in Melbourne so I subjected the neighbours to nice loud tones. It really rocked with the tubes opened up a little, first time Ive got the Laney to 30% volume, lol.

    [I think all three will suit the amp. The Musket is the most modern sounding and perhaps closest to PULSE, while the two others are better suited for the Animals/Final Cut era. – Bjorn]

  12. Paul says:

    Thanks Bjorn. No worries with late replies I know you have a life, lol. Reminds me of that guy way back I am the Sea, lol, getting angry with you not replying right away, lol.

    I think Ive pretty much nailed the tone, your input was invaluable. Loving my SSL-5 in bridge. Only thing is there is more noise now than before in postions 1, 3 and 5. So not sure if its meant to be so. But way less noise in 2 and 4 so I think the noise cancelling is working. Ddi you find more noise with the SSL-5 than with 3 x 69s and positions 1,3 and 5?

    [Thanks Paul… I guess I did it again :) The SSL5 is considerably hotter than the average single coil so there will be more noise. A good tip is to shield your guitar’s cavity with copper foil. Does wonders! – Bjorn]

  13. Paul says:

    Hey. Sorry forgot to say, still on the Laney L5T.

    [Sorry for the late reply. You could use either the clean channel or the drive on your amp but try using the drive for these tones. Use the Hi input and the bright mode, with the gain at 8:00, bass 10:00, treble 9:00, mids 1:00 and the tone 3:00. I’d use the Musket paired with the CS2 and the CE2. This should give you a start and you need to tweak this to match your setup. Hope this helped :) – Bjorn]

  14. Paul says:

    Hi Bjorn, just wondered if you could give me suggestions about which pedals to combine from that I gave for the DSOT Comfortably Numb sound. Im learning the main solo currently. Also some setting too if you don’t mind for any of the stuff you have used. I know that these are not set in stone etc just a good starting point that I can tweak and Im sure you’ve played it on a similar setup etc. ;-)

    I have the Strat with CS69s and SSL-5 in bridge position and the following pedals:
    CS-2, Musket (will have a BYOC Large Beaver triangle once I get round to building it), OCD, Throbak Booster, CE-2, ElecLady (Im not sure if Im hearing chorus or flanger on that version – still haven’t attained good effects pedal ears in my limited time playing the guitar).

    Thanks as always for your valuable time. And the great site!

    [Hi Paul! What amp are you using? – Bjorn]

  15. jim says:

    Hey Bjorn !
    Thanks for your awesome reviews :)
    Concerning the tremolo having it flat like Gilmour does the waving part as you’ve shown it ..is done the same way ? from a step lower to a higher step
    Thanks cheers!

    [It’s done the same way. You don’t need to pull it up any further than flat. – Bjorn]

  16. Matt says:

    Woah! I didn’t realize that Rick sang Roger’s part on Gdansk. Thanks for reminding me Bjorn. I was listening to the CD, not watching the video:) Well, that makes it even more provocative I think. As now I think Rick was mocking Roger’s voice on Gdansk as we all know that Rick also has a great voice, like David’s, and is quite capable or real singing. I guess we’ll never really know the answer to any of this, but my new theory, which you just helped crystallize, is that both David AND Rick were mocking Roger during Numb at Gdansk – all while also creating one of the best live Numb performances of all time:) Catch you later Bjorn.

    [Well, I don’t think they did mock him. Not in the way they sang it anyway. They just have different ways of singing. To be honest, as much as I think Rick singing Roger’s parts was moving, I think the range was a bit too low for him. – Bjorn]

  17. Matt says:

    Hi Bjorn. I am listening to the amazing version of Comfortably Numb on “Live at Gdansk”. I think I might have had a slight epiphany that you might have noticed yourself, or at least I think you will get a laugh out of. One of the many great aspects of the tune is the contrast between Roger’s vocals on the verses and David’s vocals on the choruses. One could argue there is a “release” between Roger’s provocative but nothing special voice to David’s beautiful voice as the song toggles between the verses and the choruses. I think, on Gdansk, David pushes this even further by having someone with even a worse voice than Roger sing (croak:) the verses, to even add more contrast between the verses and choruses. And because of the legendary bitterness between Roger and David, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say he did this intentionally. A very clever musical way to assert through further deepening the vocal contrast, in arguably his finest guitar as well as vocal performance of his career, that he indeed was, and still is, “The Voice and Guitar of Pink Floyd”. Catch you later Bjorn.

    [Interesting observation :) I thought it was very moving that Rick sang Numb considering the fact that Roger threw him out of Floyd during the Wall. – Bjorn]

  18. Howard forton says:

    Hi bjorn. I just read this article again. Great stuff. I’ve spent time with my new pod HD 500x and splitting the stereo signal from my strat with a very short delay panned left. Slight very slow pitch modulation on other channel. Muff model with equalization to fatten. Delay. Noise gate. Effects loop; wonderful Maxon phase tone, electronic orange moon vibe and keeley 2 knob compressor. Into a mixer and powered Monitors. The sound is huge!! And IMHO as a bedroom player closer to what I was looking for than my mono blackstar amp. Hopefully encouragement to bedroom doodlers like me that you don’t need a Hiwat stack and a mass of expensive analogue gear. Which I once had lol!!Having great fun playing guitar and loving Gilmourish as much as ever. Cheers, Howard.

    [Thank you Howard! Absolutely, you don’t need a whole lot of gear to get great tones. I have tried and used just about every sim out there but always come back to the Line 6 stuff. The old POD X3 is still my main tone processor for recording demos. – Bjorn]

  19. Ben says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I have a Big Muff with Tone Wicker, Ibanez TS808 and a Marshall DSL40C and I was just wondering if you could help me with something’s.

    My Big Muff sounds quite harsh when I turn up the amp loud, especially when the tone wicker switch is engaged. Is this because of the amp? I realise Marshalls are known for being bright, middy amps and the stock Celestion Seventy 80 speaker is very good in this amp. Or do I need to invest in a smoother Muff pedal.

    Also when I boost the Muff with my Tube Screamer it does seem to get rid of the majority of that harshness but there is like a volume drop or maybe the mids get scooped, it’s just not as ‘in your face’ as it is with just the muff. Is their anything I can do to keep the volume the same?

    Thanks in advance

    [What are your amp settings? If the amp’s too bright then Muffs can sound pretty harsh. The Seventy 80 speakers also have a lot of upper mids, which can sound too bright for some tones. Tube Screamers aren’t that suited for boosting Muffs because they have too much mids. The volume drop you’re experiencing is the Muff choking up and you get too much gain and mids. Try using a booster, like the Boss BD2, with less mids. – Bjorn]

  20. George says:


    Do you know if that song was recorded with metronome?

    I have tried to find the exact song’s time in BPM but it has been almost impossible, it is between 126 and 127 BMP but the time metronome always changes in the middle of the song.

    I have made the measurement of the song using cubase.

    [I’m not sure. It may be mentioned in some source I have laying around but I would guess that it’s not. Most of their earlier stuff, if not all, was recorded without. I know Bob Ezrin was a fan of using click tracks with Alice Cooper and Kiss, so he might have insisted on Floyd doing that as well. – Bjorn]

  21. Yaron says:

    Hi Bjorn. First I want to thank you for all the good stuff you have put here. I use the site and I recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about David who I consider the greatest of all. Not because of speed and technique but for his ability to hit one note which will be important in the piece and makes the difference !
    The tone I get is aggressive and not soft and I can’t find the right setting
    My setup is (watch dials setting)
    Strat Eric Johnson
    Amp fender deluxe according to your setting above
    Dynacomp compressor (10 and 2)
    Little big muff (50, 50,,70)
    Ts1 (2,10,50)
    Electric mistress (9,9,9)
    Ds3 (12,12,12)

    I also have hum in this sequence
    Anything you recommend ?
    Thanks in advance Yaron

    [Thanks for your kind words, Yaron! It’s always hard to recommend settings because tone doesn’t just come from the actual settings but the combination of pedals and how the amp responds to this. The Deluxe can be a bit bright and boomy so in combo with a Muff you might want to moderate the settings a bit. Also, the Little Big Muff is a nice sounding Muff but perhaps a bit too aggressive for David’s tones. I think the essence here is to be careful with the treble and also, try to lower the gain on the Muff to open it up a bit. Hope this helps. – Bjorn]

  22. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks for your help! After reading and watching your reviews about D Allen’s pickups, I have bought a loaded pickguard with the Echoes set. It seems very good and versatile, not only for Pink Floyd/Gilmour tones. I was really impressed by the demos! And as I don’t have a lot of time actually, it will be faster and easier to put up on a black Squier Vintage Modified Strat 70′s.

    You are right for the EQ. I will investigate a bit deeper the settings of my Fender amp, and it will be enough for the moment. I have seen other demos of the ElecLady, and indeed sometimes it sounds well even with gain pedals. So I still have a doubt, maybe I will buy both a chorus and a flanger, and try different settings…

    I’m also considering to buy a tube amp soon, I really loved demos about the Bugera V22. What a sound, and very affordable! A lovely vintage look and a lot of options to try.


    [I think you’ll be very happy with the Echoes set :) – Bjorn]

  23. Alexis says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First of all, thanks a lot for all your work on this website that I’ve just discovered a few days ago. It really helps beginners like me to choose the right gear, to build our tone and understand David’s techniques and tricks. I’ve learned a lot of things!

    I plan to extent my gear to be a bit closer to David’s tone on Comfortably Numb. As I read your review, I need your opinion about my choices. I add that I play on solidstate amps, a Fender G-DEC 3 Fifteen at home, and a Vox Mini 3 (first gen) when I’m out.

    1) Guitar
    I have an American Standard Strat (SSS, can’t remember the year of production but I’m sure they’re not Fat 50’s PUs) with RW fretboard. This is my first guitar and a gift from my parents, so I don’t want to make modifications on it for the moment. I also have a Squier Classic Vibe 50’s (maple fretboard, original PUs). What I’ve planned was to buy a Squier Vintage Modified Strat 70’s (black model) or another Classic Vibe 50’s (white, close to David’s #0001 model) and replace the PUs with the same models as the DG NOS strat, and achieve some further modifications. In your opinion, which one is the best choice?

    2) Compressor and delay
    I already own a Boss CS-2 (black label, MIJ) and a TCE Flashback X4, which are really good pedals so I think there is no need to discuss about! ^^

    3) Distortion
    I have a Boss DS-1 (recent model, my first pedal), I find it versatile but I’m not sure if it fits the role as well as a RAT distortion. So I plan to buy the Mooer Black Secret, is it a good idea?

    4) Overdrive
    I usually play with a Danelectro CTO-2, often as a clean boost. Would the Mooer Blues Mood be better in this place? Also, I don’t really understand if the overdrive, on this song and solidstate setup, is used in this way, or just as a clean boost…

    5) EQ
    I will buy a Boss GE-7, which is the best guitar EQ on the market I think.

    6) Chorus/Flanger
    My bigger dilemma! Originally I would buy a Boss CE-2, but it demands a large budget, so I looked for other/cheaper solutions. If I choose a chorus effect, I will take the Mooer Ensemble King. But if I choose a flanger effect, I hesitate between EHX Deluxe EM (actual models) and the Mooer Eleclady. After reading your review on the Eleclady, it appears that it has some “issues” with distortions. So I really don’t know what to choose, because I have in mind PULSE tone, but I would keep a “classic” gear (especially for the guitar, I think I will go to EMG later).

    As you can sea I have a lot of questions and projects! Haha!

    Thanks in advance for your answers, good luck for your solo album, and please continue your great job on this website!


    [Thanks for your kind words, Alexis, and welcome to the site!
    1. My favourite combo are D Allen Voodoo 69s for neck and middle and Duncan SSL5 for the bridge. That’s spot on. You’ll find reviews here on the site.
    2. OK
    3. Yep.
    4. The Blues Mood (or Boss BD2) can be set up for both clean boost for your cleans or for boosting gains or as a dedicated overdrive. Very versatile.
    5. OK. EQ’s aren’t a must. It’s better to make sure you got the right settings on your amp and pedals. If you do need to use EQ it should be used with care and for specific applications.
    6. The ElecLady is in my opinion the best Mistress clone on the market and even better sounding than the current EHX Deluxe, which is much darker sounding than the late 90s model. With a bit of tweaking the Eleclady works great with gain pedals as well. – Bjorn]

  24. Norman says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Could you please suggest a method for setting up a chain of pedals. If I have for example a cs2, Colossus, BD2, Elec Mistress, flashback, Laney Cub12R. Theres a lot of knobs that all affect the tone and I have no idea where to start.
    Would I be correct in assuming you would turn them all off but say the colossus. Get that sounding right and then progressively turn on and adjust other pedals individually (while the previous ones are still engaged).
    I have the gain on the Laney at about 3 (thats where I think its starting to distort). and the volume at 3 to 4 (bedroom level). When setting up the colossus and the bd2, what levels of gain and volume should I be aiming for on each of the pedals.
    I’m also toying with the idea of getting a large beaver. Is this worth getting also – is it better/worse than the colossus.

    [Pedal settings depends very much on your guitar, the pickups and the amp. It’s also about what pedals you combine and ultimately, what tones you want. Check out this feature for some tips on setting up your pedals. – Bjorn]

  25. Rob says:

    Hey there Bjorn – I’ve been digging through the comments here without seeing an answer to this one, but I’m sorry if I’ve just missed it. I’m struggling a bit in finding the right delay and tone settings for the ambient slide parts that hit on the first beat of the song and glide through the first verse. You don’t see many people talking about this subtle line – mostly about the solo (rightfully so) – so I thought I’d check here. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    [Hi Rob! Sorry if I’ve missed this. David usually sets the long tempos at around 700ms but you can also do a tap tempo for the opening and slides. Set about 4-5 repeats and a fairly high volume. – Bjorn]

  26. Angus says:

    Wow amazing stuff bjorn! I have a big muff with tone wicker and I was looking at getting the Boss BD 2 as a booster, do you think that’s a good move? If so what settings should I have on both pedals? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

    [Yep, that would work. Settings always depends on your guitar, amp, in what environment you’re playing etc. Check out the settings suggested in the feature and tweak your way aouround that :) – Bjorn]

  27. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I don’t have a tube amp at the moment, I use a Fender Frontman 10G and a Little Big Muff. Would you recommend the Large Beaver and a booster, do you think they would go nicely along with the Frontman 10G?

    [I haven’t tried the 10G so I can’t really tell how it behaves with a Muff but speaking in general, I would recommend something a bit more versatile than a Muff for smaller amps and solid states. Muffs tend to sound bright and harsh on low volume levels and solid state amps and in most cases you’re better off with a Rat for distortions and maybe a Folltone OCD, Ibanez TS9, or similar, for overdrive. – Bjorn]

  28. Robert says:


    Great thread (6 years in the making…). I often wonder at what point do you feel the Muff and Overdrives are substantial enough to warrant purchase on a small amp setup. what I mean is, if I have a Laney Cub and play at around 4-5 Volume, do you expect the Muff and Overdrive to be utilized to their potential (not full potential I know), but do they really effect the tone at such volume and wattage levels?

    [Depends on what models you choose. You can do lots of things to compensate for the tonal characteristics that you lose from playing at lower volume. On the Cub, try setting the mids at 7 and roll the tone down to 2. Increase the volume on the Muff to about 70% for a slight boost. This will create more of a cranked tube amp effect. Set the booster up for a clean boost with unity volume or just slightly above. Let the Muff handle the gain but use the booster more as an EQ opening up the Muff a bit. Tweak your way around that and you should be able to get some very nice tones. The other approach is to go for something a bit more versatile like a RAT distortion and many a BD2 or OCD overdrive. – Bjorn]

  29. Cem says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’ve only just discovered this site, and I spend a lot of time (maybe even too much time :) ) reading and watching reviews (over and over again at times). In my opinion this is a wonderful site to learn all sorts of things not only about David Gilmour’s gear and tone but also a lot of useful information and tips on pedals, amplifiers and guitars in general, so thank you.

    I also have a question: Is the Fulltone Fatboost a versatile replacement for the Colorsound Powerboost?
    Thanks a lot!

    [Thanks for your kind words, Cem! The Fat Boost has a darker tone and a hint more mids but otherwise it’s a nice alternative to the PB and similar boosters. – Bjorn]

  30. Filipe_Ferreira says:

    Can you say me the 505II guitar patch for comfortable numb?

    [Don’t have any experience with that one… sorry. – Bjorn]

  31. Neil says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great site – there’s more information on here than I will ever be able to make use of! Very impressed by your dedication and accuracy.

    Also really impressed with the brief but informative ‘waving part’ tutorial. I’d always avioded it, but armed with your knowledge, Im going to give it a go! (I’d always called it the ‘screaming part’ because when I hear it I think of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ – a random aside for you!).

    Wondered if you could assist with another Comfortably Numb phrase which I cannot begin to fathom. The part I’m referring to is on the ‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’ recording and starts at 6.25 into the song. Im pretty sure it starts alternately picking the e and b strings, but at 6.28 it becomes sonic madness (I call it ‘the wobbling part’) before returning to something more understandable at 6.32 until the end of the phrase. Im sure he’s must be using the whammy bar, but how…. Im stumped. Any tips/ educated guesses/ uneduacated guesses thoroughly welcome!!

    Keep up the good work! It’s a fantastic resource you’ve created.

    [Hi Neil! Thanks a lot for your kind words! The part you’re referring to is played on the E string on 14th fret with pull-offs from 17th. It’s the combination of a random pull-off pattern and heavy wiggling of the term arm that’s creating the effect. Hope that helps :) – Bjorn]

  32. Denis says:

    Hi Bjorn just like to say that as I am a huge Pink Floyd fan. This website just makes me feel as if the band is still alive and playing. Also a special thanks to all you guy who post just positive stuff on here. This site is one of my fav sites if not the #1.

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Denis! – Bjorn]

  33. Brian says:

    Bjorn – as it’s not active I’ll post here! Five years I’ve been coming here and I just found your PODx3 tones — only trouble is, I put my XT Live up for sale last week. I downloaded your patches and tried them yesterday with some backing tracks — now I want to withdraw from selling the “Live”. The tones are outstanding. If you could possibly er “find the time” to do an “Echoes” patch, I would be most grateful! I will hit the Donut button this week. Won’t be much though!

    Oh and PS… There’s always a wasp to upset the picnic, a swipe of a damp t-cloth should do the trick!!

    [Ha ha, yes I know :) I don’t really use the POD for Gilmour tones anymore. I’ve been planning to update the feature but I have other stuff I want to post before that. On a general note, I’ve managed to get a pretty cool fuzz tone using the MesaBoogie rectifier sim set for almost clean and the Fuzz Face. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  34. Pete says:

    Thanks Brad for the accurate appraisal of the recent posts. Apparently the relative anonymity of the internet and the lack of actual human contact makes many people forget their manners and the fact that Bjorn has a life with many things taking up his time. They should be thankful for the information that he has given us. I’ve made many purchases based on the reviews that Bjorn has made, and couldn’t be happier with what I’ve got.
    Bjorn, do you leave those comments up as an example of poor etiquette?

    [Perhaps I should delete them. Then again, if someone acts like jerks then they should be aware that this is an open forum. I delete everything that’s too impolite. Thanks for the support! – Bjorn]

  35. Stephen Ford says:

    Seems like I missed some action on Gilmourish while I was busy studying…Hope the sea’s have calmed down. It seems that that may actually be a pun. In any case PEACE to all. Bjorn, thanks again for everything and hope you get the Echorec soon!!


  36. Brad Roller says:

    Dang I agree with other Brad lol he hit the nail on the head well. I have been coming to this sight for about 8 years and this community has never insulted one another, especially the guy who provides the dang site.

  37. Keith says:

    @BRAD, Nicely said!

  38. Brad says:

    Whoa! Two very “entitled” sounding posts (the one by I AM THE SEA is simply inexcusable) above–what’s going on??

    Last I checked, I didn’t have to pay any kind of fee for the pages and pages of useful information on this site–not to mention personalized responses from Bjorn to just about any question, no matter how big, small, silly, or already-answered.

    I’m sure Bjorn has nothing else to do with his time but to tend to every facet of this site, exhibiting boundless patience answering repetitive, lazy, and sometimes nonsensical questions, not to mention the work of simple site maintenance, producing timely content, and the hours put into gear reviews and their corresponding videos.

    But I guess when you get to be as big and important as I AM THE SEA (who the f are they again?) you get used to people asking “how high?” when you say “jump.”

    I for one, am amazed and grateful every time I get a response to a question on this site, and I’d be just as happy with the answer if it took three weeks to arrive.

    I truly hope this recent trend of self-centered a-holes demanding this and that does not continue, as I wouldn’t blame Bjorn for saying, “you know what, this just isn’t worth it.”

    So if you find yourself feeling a need to offer a critique of a free backing track that doesn’t exactly live up to your divine standards, maybe you could at least sound a little grateful for the fact that a free backing track exists at all–or maybe go make your own f-ing backing track.

    Or if you find the quality of your “tone” depending on immediate, pro-bono consultation on how to operate your boss pedal, maybe you should find another line of work or recreation, despite how how many legions of I AM THE SEA fans that would no doubt disappoint.


  39. Brad Roller says:

    Idk what “I am the sea”‘s problem is but he needs to go on somewhere. Gilmourish has never been a place where we talk to each other in that manner. Learn some respect sea and go on somewhere else if you can’t be respectful. Bjorn, ignore idiots like that. You do great and people like me appreciate the time you take out of YOUR day to answer us and help.

  40. Keith says:

    What is up with the attitudes some are displaying in this site lately? I can seriously say that Bjorn and I have had a few misunderstandings, mostly semantics, that were exactly that, misunderstood, but always ironed out, maybe ” I am the sea.”, is the same guy who ragged in the CN backing tracks, but were I you Bjorn, I’d not give these blatant jerks the benefit of turning Gilmourish into a shredding post for their miserable lives. I have felt privileged to have so many,( Too many at times), of my posts put in the recently posted column, and still have a post from almost two weeks ago sitting in moderation, but if you never get to it, I certainly wouldn’t show my ass over it. To: I AM THE SEA, and THE DIVIDING LINE, if you don’t like the service, go somewhere else. Mr. RIIS, does this as a hobby, not a necessity, and spends HIS
    MONEY, HIS TIME, AND HIS KNOWLEDGE, teaching people , even those like me, who after 30+ years, didn’t think I needed to learn this stuff.( Boy was I wrong!) He recieves little for doing so, and more times than not, comes out of pocket to provide this invaluable service to all, even complaining idiots! So, if you don’t get tossed,( as I would do, because I’m not as nice as Bjorn!), next time, politely send your question again, or a post mentioning when, and where you posted. You will recieve an answer as soon as the man finishes his Job, his gigs, his recording, his reviews, answering his emails, playing with his child, being a husband, and running the best website on the internet. That’s a normal day for him, so in case he misses something, GIVE HIM A FREAKING BREAK!!!!

  41. I Am The Sea says:

    a fucking week for an answer that never came,
    not bad.

    [WTF do you mean by that? Do you think this is some 24/7 service with hordes of people working just to serve you? Think again… – Bjorn]

  42. Keith says:

    You know Fred, I was thinking the same thing! Maybe Napoleon should make some “correct” backing tracks for all of us. He seems to know what goes where! Or he could learn to word his posts a little more gratefully to our wonderful, and very helpful host!

    Peace to all, Keith

  43. Fred says:

    Napoleon, a bit harsh?

  44. I Am The Sea says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    with my band we’re playing the whole “Wall” album live, and my setup is very close to David’s during the 80 81 tour, now that being said the tones I get sounds really good, you know all that Muff plus Powerboost plus El.Mistress plus RT20 stuff; but right now I’m wondering, since I own a Boss CE2 Chorus, I was wondering if it would be of any use to incorporate it in the effect chain.
    My effect chain is running stereo with a Hiwatt stack and a Fender (RT20 dedicated) solid state amp on the side.
    Do you think that I could incorporate the CE2 in the signal chain, just to make it even more accurate in replicating the original tone?

    [Sorry for my late reply. Depends on how accurate you want to be. The CE-2 was released after The Wall so David didn’t use it for the album or the first part of the tour. However, he did feature two during the second leg of the tour in 1981, probably for creating a wider stereo effect with one in each split. The second option is to have just one in one of the splits, like he did on the 1994 tour (he also had one in the main chain as well). – Bjorn]

  45. Napoleon says:

    Bjorn, can you find or make a new CN backing track, one that’s closer and more accurate to the song? The one that you have, and the one that everyone uses, is terrible. The synth strings during the solo section doesn’t sound right at all and shouldnt even be there, and the drum fills during that part are atrocious.

    [I’ll post whatever new tracks I find. – Bjorn]

  46. Diogo says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’m curious. What do you mean “one of the tracks is slightly delayed”? One of them has a bit of delay in it, or one is slightly ahead of the other?

    [If you listen to the main solo it has a wide stereo spread but it was recorded in mono. There are several way to achieve a stereo spread but I’m guessing they either used a delay, which were panned to the oposite side or, and most likely, that they duplicated the track panned each slightly to each side and moved one of the tracks slightly. This will create a doubling effect similar to a very fast delay or chorus. I’m not quite sure how they achieved this on tape, if they did it, but what you can do is to feed the main track into a sub track and pan both of them. Again, they might also have used a delay. – Bjorn]

  47. Gabriel Coronado says:

    Hi, do you know why did Dave changed the FS-1 for the duncan pick up…?????
    was there a tecnical problem or something else happening????
    I’m asking ’cause I found easier to get “the wall tone” with that dimarzio, the duncan is a little bit diffrent… I think it has more output and mids; and it makes harder to get the wall tone… althouh them bouth are a very good pickups they are not so similar…
    thanks for your time… seya…!!!!!!

    [Sorry for my late reply. I’m not sure why he replaced it. He did a lot of changes to his rig and tried all sorts of stuff in the late 70s. According to Phil Taylor’s Black Strat book, they ordered a handful of custom wound pickups from Duncan and decided on the SSL1c, which became the SSL5. – Bjorn]

  48. Mac says:

    Got an older version of Fender G-deck 15W amp with a “Think Floyd” preset (adjustable) Comfortably Numb sound. It’s very versatile with headphones on (the speaker in these combo amps are not so good). For me it nails the sound!

  49. Derek says:

    I am currently learning this song and it’s so much fun to play.

    Here’s a run down of my equipment, Jackson soloist slat 6, Eganter tweaker 112 combo, TC electronic flashback delay, TC electronic Dark Matter distortion used as a boost, MXR Dyna comp and I’m waiting on a byoc large beaver rams head.

    Without cranking the amp I’m having a hard time getting anywhere close to the tone I need for this song. I have twin girls seven months old, and my wife isn’t super keen on having me crank it up.
    Any suggestions?

    [I’d set the amp clean and use the Dark Matter for your distortion. The gain from the pedal and the hot pickups in your guitar should be enough even on very low volume. See this feature for some amp set up tips. – Bjorn]

  50. Keith says:

    So, I know the expression pedal can be programmed to control various parameters, so you’re saying to set it to control the dry/wet mix, and turing the mix up will increase the volume of the delayed signal. Is that correct? I knew you could set the pedal to control different things, but didn’t read enough about that to realize it would control the effect knob.
    Thanks again, Keith

    [I haven’t tried it my self but I would assume that you can assign master effect volume to an expression pedal. – Bjorn]

  51. Keith says:

    I never thought I’d be playing this song, but it looks as though I will at least be making a go of it. One question has already hit me. When you speak of delay volume, I’m curious if theres an easy way to control the volume of my delays since neither the DD-20, nor Carbon copy have a volume knob. Upon reading the manual, I think the only volume control on the DD is whether I output at -20dbu, or +4 dbu, is there a way I can control the delay volume with what I have? Maybe some volume pedal connection? Help me Obi -Wan, I want to make a good first impression!
    Thanks, Clueless in Virginia!

    [The DD20 has a master level or effect level located top left (but you knew that) but in order to control the volume during a song you need to pair it up with an expression pedal. There’s a CTL jack in the back. – Bjorn]

  52. Jeremy Hammond says:

    Please check out this cover of Comfortably Numb I put together:

    [Thanks for sharing Jeremy! Nice playing :) – Bjorn]

  53. Norm says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    This is probably a silly guitar 101 question, but when I play some notes eg 9th fret 4th string, other strings seem to resonate along with it (without being picked) eg 1st string. The unpicked string remains resonating while I continue playing other notes. Sometimes this can sound kinda cool, but mostly its detrimental as the pedals seem to pick up on the older background note ie like an over length sustain and ends up contaminating the sound. Is this normal or is it the guitars hardware. Is there ways to reduce the effect. Turning the guitars volume down helps but I’m wondering if this should be happening in the first place.
    Std Fender Mex HSS Strat /musket/bd2/flashback/laney cub12.

    [Could be a number of reasons why this happens but the construction of the Strat and the way the bridge operates, will cause some resonance. It will be more noticeable on some guitars that others. I’d take the guitar to a good luthier and have him look at it. Could be the neck needing a slight adjustment or you might want to look into replacing some of the hardware or the neck saddle. Or, you might just have to live with it. – Bjorn]

  54. Gary says:

    I recently purchased and built the BYOC Large Beaver and Mammoth’s ( guitarPCB ) Colorsound Power Booster kits. My question is from the guitar to the amp what is the correct order for the BYOC and Power Booster. I am also using a Marshall JVM410H/1960 Cab and Fender Strat with Fat 50, CS69, and SL-5 pickups. The remaining pedals are MXR Dyna Comp and Carbon Copy delay.

    Great Site,
    Thanks, Gary

    [There’s no right way of arranging the pedals but I prefer this: guitar > dynacomp > LB > booster > carbon > amp. – Bjorn]

  55. Demetris says:

    Hi all,

    Norman you can search for lick library on youtube. Also they also have a website (http://www.licklibrary.com) where you can buy their official dvds. But i think you will be ok with the clips on youtube.


  56. Norman says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Could you recommend any sites that accurately teach how to play Comfortably Numb (and other songs). I have had a look around on the internet and there seems to be no consistency, likewise with tabs… Your site is a fantastic resource and much appreciated thanks. Have you ever considered adding step by step video lessons to this, showing how to play the songs or possibly also how to set the gear up (ie fine tuning, how to determine pedal settings etc). Thanks again for your help

    [Thanks for your kind words, Norman! I haven’t found any such sources myself. Sorry. – Bjorn]

  57. Chris says:

    Love the site, Bjorn. Whenever I’m getting ready to start a new Gilmourish project, it is always my first stop. Thanks for all your hard work researching and reviewing everything Gilmour


    [Thanks a lot, Chris! – Bjorn]

  58. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Ive been chasing after that Comfortably Numb tone forever, and this article really opened up my eyes. Im having just a few problems though. A few days ago I sold my RP500 because the tones were just pure shit. With the money I got a BYOC triangle (per your advice, still on the way to my home), a Deluxe Electric Mistress, and I dug out the ‘ol BD-2. Plugged in my trusty Les Paul with the Phat Cats, and was very disappointed. The BD-2 completely dominates the Mistress, and it sounds horrible out of the Fender Champ 600. Coupled with that famous EHX volume drop it was just a recipe for disaster. So I dont know when my BYOC comes will it just further shit on the tone or smooth it out? Another question. You highly recommended the DD-2, and as much as I would like to get it, I’m afriad Ebay sellers are taking advantage of its vintage status, and jacking up the price. Plus, most of the ones on there look so beat up I cant bring myself to buy them. Im looking for a good all around pedal suitable for all eras, and not too expensive. Other pedals in the DD series worth looking into? Or should I get out of that Boss mentality and look somewhere else?
    Like Ive said many times before, your site is a Godsend for me. I don’t buy anything unless its reccomended on here. You and our mutual friend David Gilmour inspired me to start playing the guitar again after a long 4 year hiatus. Thank you so much for everything you do for us Gilmour freaks around the world.

    [Hi Yoel! Thanks a lot for your kind words! Glad you enjoy my site :) The Mistress is quite dominating. That’s just the nature of the effect. The BD2 can sound quite bright and fizzy but try different settings and don’t be afraid to roll the tone all the way down. I think the “problem” is your amp. The Champion 600 is a great amp with a classic Fender tone, no doubt, but it’s designed for practice and fun. I don’t think you should expect your Gilmour pedals to sound like you’re using a Hiwatt stack. You might experience that the Large Beaver sound quite harsh and brittle on the amp. The BD2, set after the LB with a warm clean boost, might help smoothen things out. Check out this feature for more tips on overdrive and distortions on different setups. In regards to the delay. Check out the TC Flashback. That little pedal has lots of different modes and great tones. – Bjorn]

  59. SARDAR says:


    Job done excellently

    Bro i need the original or the best possible tabs for both the solos. Where can i find them. I am pretty sure that you are the right person for this question. Please guide me in tn the best possible way.


    [Thanks! I think the tabs in the Wall and Echoes – Best Of books are pretty accurate. – Bjorn]

  60. James says:

    I really played around hard with my rig tonight, which is a decent quality DG type thing.

    I wanted to share the settings….as it was as close as I have ever got…

    OAI tone

    Demeter Comp- Compression 60% vol 45%
    Cornish P1 Vol 40% Tone 30% Sustain 70%
    Cornish ST2 Bass 100% Treble 55% Gain 70% Vol 50%
    Cornish TES- 1k tape mode 150ms 2 repeats
    MXR System II Delay 600ms parallel mixed 4 repeats 100% mix

    (into Hiwatt DDR103 and Yam RA100)

    Pulse- As above, but 60% sus on P1 90% gain on ST2 and also add chorus on Hiwatt channel Vol 45% depth 60% speed 45%

    Hope this helps.

    [Thanks for sharing! – Bjorn]

  61. Jamie-Rhys says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Because I am on a tight budget, what Behringer Phase Pedal would you recommend?
    Thank you.

    [The Ph9 is based on the MXR Phase 90 while the Vintage Phaser is a take on the EHX Small Stone. Both sounds pretty good. – Bjorn]

  62. Jamie-Rhys says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    What would be better for the Gilmour tone, a Behringer Vintage Analog Delay or the Behringer DD400 Digital Delay?

    [Between the two, I think the DD400 would be most suitable. The Analog only goes to 300ms, which isn’t enough for most of David’s stuff. – Bjorn]

  63. Paulo says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    First of all, congratulations for your excellent job! I’ve been learning guitar just by myself, without any lessons or professors, because it’s just a hobby, and i don’t want to spend lots of money in equipment. My amp is a VOX VT20+(birthday gift) and my guitar it’s a Squier Strat CV50. Recently i’ve bought a Digitech Bad Monkey and a Green Big Muff pi clone and, following your instructions, i’ve put guitar->muff->BadMonkey->amp (clean). The sound that i’ve got it’s a kind of fat, and changing the order of the pedals, i’ve got a sound more agressive. My question is, if you know my amp, which amp modulation should i choose, maybe AC30, Fender 57 Twin…?
    And sorry about my english, but i’m not very fluent

    Best regards from Portugal

    [I’m not that familiar with teh amp so I can’t really tell. I usually recommend that you bypass the sims and just use the clean amp as a basis for the pedals. I don’t know if that’s possible on the VT20. Both would do I guess but if you want David’s tones you need to set the amp fairly dark with the treble rolled down to about 35-40% and increase the mids a little. Do some tweaking until you get a desired tone and add the pedals on top of that. Keep in mind that when you’re blending two gain pedals, you need to be careful with the amount of gain so that it doesn’t get too muddy. – Bjorn]

  64. Chris says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I can nail the second solo pretty good with my GT6 but having a bit of a time getting the tone on the first solo. Any tips from you or fellow gilmouish fans?

    also, wondering if you a fan of Alex Lifeson at all… he’s my second favorite. The Solo on La Villa Strangiato is one of my all time favorites for the tone and dynamics in the way it builds from subtlety to really letting loose at the end then back into a nice tight 6/8 rhythm pattern.

    [Hi Chris! I haven’t heard much of Lifeson but perhaps I should check him out :) Anyone has any experience with the GT6??? – Bjorn]

  65. Keith Clarke says:

    This is my second attempt at this comment, and the first time I’ve used my PC for posting. My “smartphone” just cut this wonderful story off halfway through, so, here we go again! As I’ve told you before, I’ve known Lindy Fralin for 30+ years, since way before he started making the worlds greatest PU’s. Yesterday moring, I called the shop to talk PU’s for my Rodriguez Strat, that is buing built to as close to the Black Strat as possible. Chuck, Lindy’s #1 guy, and the guy who sold me my first gear 34 years ago, answered, and said Lindy wasn’t in yet, but did I have questions? We talked about preamp tubes, and PU’s for quite some time, when I said, “What I want, are the closest thing I can get to David Gilmour’s PU’s in his Black strat. Have you heard of this guitar?” He said, ” It’s funny you asked, because I do all shipping/ receiving, and I opened a package some time ago, with a note that read, original pick ups, David Gilmour, Black Stratocaster, please wind stock.” Well, as you can imagine, my jaw hit the floor, and I simply said, those are the PU’s I want!!!
    He told me that he’d have Lindy call me when he got in, and about two hours later, Lindy called, and when I asked him, I couldn’t believe he had absolutely no memory of those pick up’s! He explained, “Chuck, and the other guys do all the stuff in the shop, alll I do is wind PU’s from the minute I walk in, to the time I leave, I’ll check the computer.” He came back and told me he had no Gilmour stuff in his files, so in a moment of clear thinking, I said, Try Phil Taylor. Boom, Phil Taylor, some long address in the UK, only notes,Rewind stock, set of old Strat pick up’s. I knew then, that Chuck was indeed telling me the truth, but here’s the funniest part! Lindy rewound the pick up’s, and shipped them to Phil Taylor, and when he was checking his files, he noticed they were never paid for, and Phil/David, still owes him a hundred buck’s. Next time you talk to Phil, give him a little fun jab about not paying. Lindy said he was sure it was a simple mistake, and that he was sure Gilmour was a very tasteful gentleman, and would pay the bill. I hope you found this story as fun as I, as I enjoyed the conversation, and the fact that I KNOW WHERE TO GET THE EXACT SAME PICK UP’s as THE Black Strat!!!
    As usual Bjorn, Thank you for this forum, and all the advise, and wisdom you have shared with me. I’d love to meet you someday!
    Sincerely, Keith

    [Wow! Great story! Thanks for sharing! – Bjorn]

  66. Ken Newman says:

    Hi Again Bjorn,

    You are absolutely right. My Big Muff is the red/black model and it is LOADED with gain and mid-range. That, coupled with the fact that it has an enormous footprint, is leading me to look at The Musket for my board. LOVE everything about that box. Seems like it might be a better choice than The Rat, and offer more versatility. (And while my Boss OS2 is a great, versatile pedal, it does have this tendency to pick up radio stations. Now if it picked up Radio Gilmour, I probably wouldn’t complain…)

    Also agree about the Tube Screamer. Going to keep that on the board for other applications, but I just found a used BD2 for $50 that I just can’t pass up …. (Is there a 12 step program for people like us? Stomp Boxers Anonymous??)

    Thanks again. Honestly, I don’t know how on earth you keep on top of all of this. Seems like 5 full time jobs…

    [Well, ask my wife what she thinks :) I deleted your other post and will anser all your Qs here. I’ve never experienced interferance noise from Boss pedals but I guess it can happen. Be sure to use properly shielded instrument and patch cables and switch off any nearby electronic devices such as computers, tv, phones etc. That being said, adding an overdrive with a distortion/fuzz require that you’re very careful with the total amount of gain. The Musket is indeed a great pedal. Very versatile and works equally well on bedroom and stage setups. I’m afraid that your sickness can’t be cured… I’ve tried many times without any luck LOL! – Bjorn]

  67. Ken Newman says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First of all, THANK YOU for your incredible generosity. With the information I found on this site, I showed up at our band’s rehearsal last night and mentioned in passing that it’d be fun to try ‘Comfortably Numb.’ I had a few chord charts, passed them around and we started. I got halfway through the first guitar solo and my lead guitarist stopped playing, walked over to me in shock and said, “WTF?!! When did you …? How did you …? Your guitar has NEVER sounded that good. :D

    Now, truth be told, I did have a new tube amp (A Blues Junior NOS), but it was more about the settings on my stomp boxes (all thanks to you) that fried his brain. (Always great to surprise the s*** out of somebody who thinks they know ALL your tricks.

    Anyway, I DO have a question. I’m playing a custom Tele style guitar with SD59s double coils. There’s a switch on the tone pot that allows me to make them both singles. The chain is (currently) as follows: Boss CS3 – BossOS2 – Ibanez TS9 – Boss Super Chorus CH-1 – Boss DD7. I actually have an old Big Muff Pi (circa 1982). Was going to replace the OS2 with that. Do you think this will work with the Blues Junior? Or am I better off replacing the OS2 with a Rat or MXR Distortion+?

    THANKS Bjorn

    [Thanks for your kind words and for sharing the story!
    The Blues Jr is fully capable of handling a Big Muff. Your old, I assume it’s the red/black model? These has a lot more gain and mid range than what I’d normally recommend for David’s tones so it can be a bit too… especially with such hot pickups that are on your Tele. You might need to roll down the gain a bit and have the tone around noon or possibly higher. As I’m sure you know, Dvaid always uses an overdrive to enhance the Muff but the TS9 might be just a tad too muddy to do this. Set it up for a fairly bright clean tone, place it after the Muff and try how they sound together. If this doesn’t sit right then I recommend a more transparent booster like the Boss BD2, which is great for this purpose.
    See this feature for some Muff tone tips http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=3018
    And this for some tips on what Muffs to check out http://www.gilmourish.com/?p=3389
    – Bjorn]

  68. Crack says:

    I use a Diamond Comp in front of a StompUnderFoot ’73 RH or a Cornish P2. I learned to play this part thanks to Bjorn, an I think that even if on this website there was just this tutorial, it would be perfect.
    When I tried for the first time, some days ago, a different delay for the waving part I feel something similar to a heart attack :D

    Thanks Bjorn!

    [Glad to hear! Cheers! – Bjorn]

  69. Matthias says:

    Hallo Bjorn, I’m practising the Comfortably Numb PULSE second solo for a few weeks now, I have a RAM’S Head clone which I boost with the COLORSOUND POWER BOOST or with the BK BUTLER TUBE DRIVER (I prefer the COLORSOUND this time….). The sound is great.
    My question: When using the BIG MUFF, do I see it right that it is very challenging to dampen the strings which swing from alone (without picking them) and make noise? When I use the PROCO RAT, everything is more “quiet”, but the sound is not so “fat” than with the MUFF. Best regards, Matthias

    [The tone and how easy it it to tame or control it depends on how you’ve set the amp, Muff and booster. A Big Muff has a much more aggressive character compared to a RAT and when you combine the Muff or any high gain pedal with a second gain pedal for boost you need to be very careful not to create too much gain. Please see this feature for some Big Muff tone tips and let me know if you need more help. – Bjorn]

  70. Wouter says:

    If you have an electric stratocaster,
    You can also buy a Blackstar HT Dual pedal
    so you have the sound of the solo in 1 way.
    i saw this on youtube.
    the description says he just uses the lead channel of it
    i’m going to buy it next year.
    if it works. i’ll send you a message.

    Best regards

  71. Bryan S. says:

    Duh!! …. How could I have missed that whole section !! .. Thanks Bjorn. But while we are here on the CN tone I’ve been reading through all the pedal reviews and would like to get your thoughts on a recommendation …. I have got the DnyaComp compressor and a Black late EH Russian big muff … But I am looking now for the Boost pedal as I only have a MonteAllums modded BD2. Without resorting to being able to commission a new Coloursound Powerboost from Macaris what would you recommend as the best like for like replacement ….. I am not a fan of the EMG tones … and my strat is loaded with the full Gilmour Strat pickguard and pups from a great guy in the states who makes the full guard including the proper custom made black thicker pickguard with no white edging. ( Anyone interested for the link then let me know).
    Thanks .. Bryan.

    [The BD2 is an excellent booster for the Muff so if you already have it it’s more a matter of finding the settings that works for your rig. Other similar boosters/overdrives would be the Way Huge Pig Loin, ThroBak Overdriveboost, BK Tube Driver, TRex Tone Bug Boost. – Bjorn]

  72. Bryan S. says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    This thread will never die .. :-) ……….. Been reading all over the site for ages and I cannot find any reference to the pick up selection David is using for the CN solos … does anyone know this and maybe also a little section on pick up selections for various classic solos. By pick up selection I do not mean which type of pickup but rather which (or which combination) of the bridge, middle or neck pick ups does David favour for his classic solos. Thanks again for this great site …

    [You’ll find all the pickup settings in the “settings and setups” section of each album gear guide. Check out pickup settings for Wall here. Comf Numb was recorded with the bridge pickup throughout and the mini switch was engaged (bridge and neck) for the first solo. – Bjorn]

  73. David Gow says:

    Wel…I went into the loft and found the cassette. The interview was transmitted on Radio 1 on 28th July 1992. The demos included are Money, Comfortably Numb and Learning to Fly. There is the original recording of the ‘Roger the Hat’ laughter used on DSOTM and a cover by David of Like a Rolling Stone. People may be interested to hear them? (The Etratat reference in my previous post was wrong – that was part of a different story.)

    [Thanks for the info! David’s first album was recorded at the Super Bear Studios in Nice, France, so the song was either written there or at his home studio. – Bjorn]

  74. David Gow says:

    “David wrote the chords and melody during the recording sessions for his first solo album in 1978. It’s not documented why it wasn’t used or why Roger wanted it on his project.”

    I listened to an interview with David on Radio 1, sometime in the early 90’s (I have the recording on an audio cassette) where he explains he simply ran out of recording time. He goes on to explain that he presented it to Roger for the next Pink Floyd project. Roger wrote the verse parts and requested the structure be changed slightly in parts to fit with the words he went on to write for it. As part of the interview, the original demo David made at the end of his solo album recording is played. It consists of him strumming the chords and singing the chorus melody (la, la, la, la …). I think he says during the interview that the session (the solo album and Comfortably Numb demo) was in Etratat in France.

  75. Turkey Ozgun says:

    Thank you

  76. Turkey Ozgun says:

    Thank you Bjorn.Big Muff Civil War and Ram’s Head transistor no ?

    [Depends on what tone you’re looking for. The Ciwil War has lots of gain, fat lower end and slightly more mids. The Ram’s Head is slightly brighter and can appear a bit more aggressive. Personally, I prefer the ram’s head. – Bjorn]

  77. Arnoldo Alvarez says:

    Updating my last comment: In 7.11 we can see when he adds the effect (with a little move to the pedal board) and listening again i think he holds it up untill 7.29 (not 7.25) when again remove it.

  78. Arnoldo Alvarez says:

    Thanks for your response BJorn, of course i’ll give you a reference. I know that there are a lot of CN Videos on youtube, so i choosed this one (link below) in order to you know what i am talking about. The part of the main (or 2nd) solo what i refers is exactly between 7 minutes 14 seconds and 7.25 of this video. David practically plays it in all current CN live versions, if you listen attentively you will notice that there is another effect just in this part, it’s something expanding the wave. I hope you light my way.


    link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGV1lfoKhi0

    [OK. You can clearly see him stomp the pedal board. He could be switching something on or off but I think he’s stomping the compressor for more sustain. It makes sense since the tones for this particular part needs a lot of sustain. He seems to be switching it off again at about 7.25 as you say. Mind though that this doesn’t prove that he always adds a new effect but it might very well be first this night only depending on how he wants the tone. – Bjorn]

  79. TeDire says:

    Hello Bjorn

    Great Article ! But Just a detail : You said the guitars were recorded sometime early autumn 1979. In fact, all guitars were recorded at Super Bear Studios, between april and July 79. A friend of mine worked there at this time, and remember Dave recording it.

    [Thanks for the note. I checked my sources and it’s correct. – Bjorn]

  80. Arnoldo Alvarez says:

    Hi Bjorn. Congrats for your web site, it’s the better david gilmour’s guidance that exist in the internet (i am very sure Mr Gilmour Knows it already). i have a little question and maybe it’s a dumb question. In the main CN solo (at least from 1994 to now) there is a part that david plays always when the solo (and the song of course) is going to finish. This part almost tells the band that the song is going to finish and i can notice (1994 pulse, gdansk, etc etc) that he use another effect to this part only. I Know that you know what i am talking about, this effect is like a phaser that expand the wave or something else but it’s not more delay neither more volume, it’s something else but i can not define it. Do you have some information of it? it is importan to me because i am doing a David Gilmour tribute Concert over here in Venezuela and i have almost the solo done (Gdansk version) but this effect in this part is still missing. Thank you very much for your help.

    [Thanks for your kind words Arnoldo! I’m not sure I know what you mean. Can you give me a specific time interval on the versions you’re referring to? – Bjorn]

  81. Cristóvão says:

    I have been trying to play C numb live, but the thing is I can’t get my band to sound like “the band”. for example the slide guitar of jon carin in the 1 verse is critical to the song but I don’t understand if david is playing also or not at that moment!!!! Another thing it the orchestral sounds of the keyboards and a hammond very low in the mix of rick wright! and at the Second solo I thing the keyboards use the orchestral sound but also a Pad for creating a deeper sound, the doud That I have is what type of sound is the second guitar using??

    Listen to the Royal Albert Hall second DVD when they are at abbey road and David Says “hey Nick let’s play C numb” That awesome guitar distorcion sound is used in the sound and if yes is the backing guitar for the second Solo??’

    What do you thing about my thoughts???

    Cristóvão Ferreira

    [Comfortably Numb is a bit tricky because the mix on The Wall is so subtle. It sounds almost like it’s just drums and bass on the verse and some strings on the chorus but there’s a lot more going on. Keep in mind though that they have lots of stuff on backingtracks when they play the song live. All the orchestra stuff is from tape. This can be achieved by using a midi software and program the strings and brazz instruments. I think the trick though is to keep it simple and focus on the beat and timing. Listen to how the drums and bass shift from one pattern to another and the dramatic difference between the verse, which is very stripped and dark, and the chorus, which is lush and airy. – Bjorn]

  82. Matthias says:

    Thank you for your help. At the moment I’m using a PALMER 1×12 cabinet with Eminence speaker, but I’m considering a WEM Starfinder Replica 2×12 from Musicground England (offered on EBAY) with Fane speakers. I’m also considering the DG20 pickups. Best regards, Matthias

  83. Matthias says:

    Thanks for your answer. Your advice with the EQ of the Tube Driver improved the situation a bit. For sure it depends very much on the prestidigitation. Pressing down 2 strings and pluck one of them causes “shreddered” noise… Maybe you can check my settings: My amp settings are as you recommend:

    Everything o’ clock:

    Master Vol. 2/3 of Normal Vol., Bass 12, Treble 11.30, Middle 12, Presence 12.30

    The RAT: Dist. 13.30, Filter 12, Vol. 9.30

    Tube Driver: Out Level 14, EQ Hi 9, EQ Low 14, Tube Drive 8

    Dynacomp: Output 9.30, Sensivity 10.30

    I have a ’76 DynaComp and a CS2, it seems to me that the DynaComp is more suitable for solos like that.

    Thank you, best regards, Matthias

    [The “shredded noise” you refer to could be a number of things. Too much gain, feedback, having the strings too low or the pickups too high causing magnetic interference etc. The amp settings looks OK. What kind of speakers do you use?
    – The filter on the RAT is quite high so you might want to roll that off to about 2:00 o’clock for a warmer tone (the filter opposite other tone knobs). I’m also curious to why you keep the RAT level that low. Try setting it at unity level with the amp, which should be around 2:00 o’clock. If needed, roll off the gain slightly.
    – You might want to increase the hi on the Tube Driver after you’ve rolled off the filter on the RAT. Try approaching 11:00 and hear what happens. Roll it back off again if the treble gets too spiky. Keep in mind that you’d want to keep both the RAT and TD at about unity with the amp. David’s never using the TD for boost but rather for more tone.
    – Again, I’d consider switching off the Dynacomp for leads. It just adds more gain and noise. Try to tame the gain on your RAT and TD instead and use their tone controls to shape the sound.
    Hope this helped. – Bjorn]

  84. Matthias says:

    I can not stop thinking about my bad sound. If I press down two strings at the same time and pluck one of it, the sound is terrible, the compressor does not fix the problem completely. What do I have to do for a “clean” overdriven, distorted sound?

    [See reply to your first comment. – Bjorn]

  85. Matthias says:

    “Shreddered” or “lacerated” are more matching words for my overdriven, distorted sound without a compressor.

    [See reply to your first comment. – Bjorn]

  86. Matthias says:

    Hallo Bjorn, my question is if you use a compressor for the Comfortably Numb solo. Without a compressor my sound is so dirty and unpleasant. Is this normal? It seems that the compressor presses the whole dirt back to where it belongs. My setup is: Fender American Standard Strat (CS 69 pickups) -> MXR DynaComp ’76 (Sensivity 2 o’ clock) -> ProCo Rat USA -> BK Butler Tube Driver -> T-REX Replica Delay -> HIWATT DR 504 / Thank you, best regards

    [Your set up is fine and should provide great tones. What matters are the settings and which pedals you combine. What’s the amp settings and how’s the settings on the RAT and Tube Driver? Keep in mind that the RAT has a much more saturated tone than a Big Muff so when you combine it with a Tube Driver you need to be very careful with the amount of gain you apply on both. I’d also keep an eye on the RAT tone and the Tube Driver treble. Also, the compressor will act like a gain pedal so when you combine all three, you really have three gain pedals, which will cause more noise and possibly harsh harmonics. I’d start out with a clean signal from the amp, making sure the amp is set properly and then add the RAT alone. If needed add the Tube Driver but keep it clean. It should act almost like an EQ adding to a fuller tone and not more gain. Let me know what your amp and pedal settings are and I can try to be a bit more specific. – Bjorn]

  87. Stefan says:

    I got a Squier Stratocaster that I have fitted with the EMG DG20 last week and they sound amazing. I also bought the ZOOM G9.2tt last week and I was wondering if anyone can help me to get the Comfortably Numb solosound from my ZOOM?

    I know; Squier and a ZOOM………….

    The guitar is 10-11 years old but I love the feel of it, and the ZOOM, was a bargin at only $300

  88. Jay says:

    i think i do, so i dont bend the B 12 and just bend the notes from the G string?thanks bjorn!

    [Yep :) – Bjorn]

  89. Jay says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    theres a part of the 2nd solo live that i cant seem to figure out or find a tab too, my best reference is at 7:33 on Comfterbly Numb Live in Gdansk (i know i misspelled that), when he starts going down the neck slightly before the conclusion of the song. if you can help that be great.

    [That’s basically a classic blues bend. B string 12-fret and bend the G-string from 14th to 16th and do the same pattern up the neck. Got it? – Bjorn]

  90. Ryan says:

    Can you break down the tone by verse, chorus, bridge solo, end solo? You are amazing by the way!!!!!

    [It’s pretty much the same setup throughout the song. See a complete breakdown of all the Wall songs here. – Bjorn]

  91. Eli says:

    I’m currently usin a BOSS ME-30 an i was wondering if there is anyway i can replicate Gilmour’s sound with this. It would seem that effects are my biggest downfall when it comes to playing the guitar. Any help here would be awesome, feel free to email me with any advice you might have


    thanks :)
    wicked article btw

    [I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with this unit. Anyone? – Bjorn]

  92. Arthur says:

    Great article as always!
    But i got a question… the use of tubescreamer after the muff doesn’t sound nice to me, it gets much bassy, without the grainy and gets lower volume. How do you get to sound so awesome using a tubescreamer?

    [Not all amps, pickups and Muffs fits this combo. As you say, the TS can make the Muff sound quite dark and muddy but low output bright sounding pickups, a nice clean tone with lots of headroom and a vintage style Muff without too much gain and mid range does the job. You also need to set the TS up for a clean boost with very little gain and the tone around 12:00. – Bjorn]

  93. sebastian says:

    what’s the story about the Charvel San Dimas?
    BTW great article!

    [David has used a lot of Charvel stuff over the years (mainly necks). The San Dimas seems to have been something he experimented with in the mid 80s. He’s seen using it on some shows on the first leg of the 1987 Momentary US tour as well. – Bjorn]

  94. Julian says:

    hi all , i really need it but i can’t find it .. i need the comfortably numb backing track ( pulse version ) i saw that Adrian J. Emond had it but i’m not able to contact him .

    thanks alot .
    f someone can send it to me
    my e-mail is : ( it would be very appreciated )


    thanks again

  95. Josh says:

    One of my favorites to play live, and the audience loves it. I’ve managed on a dare to stretch out the final solo to six minutes, but it was tough!

    To get the sound I use a Gilmour strat into an Analogman compressor into a Skreddy Top Fuel, and then into a non-Deluxe Mistress (with a blend knob, mixed medium) into the Yamaha RA200 and a pair of Hiwatts. It’s a fine thing :D

    [Sounds great Josh… Can’t go wrong with that Yamaha :) – Bjorn]

  96. Kyle says:

    I thought Simon Phillips drumming was outstanding, and Davids solo was the best ever in your first clip.

  97. Cosimo says:

    hi, this is my version of #2 solo!

    Strat Plus Dlx (Kinman pickups) + TS9dx + Big Muff Clone + Boss DD20 + Fender Hot Rod Dlx 40W

    Happy new year!!

    [Thanks for sharing! – Bjorn]

  98. Alex says:

    Hey Bjorn, what image editing software do you use? Your site’s images always look very nice!

    My own site is looking rather dull lately… thinking of making some major design/content changes.

    [Thanks! I’m using Photoshop for all the images and graphics. The “machine” is WordPress. – Bjorn]

  99. stefano benedan says:

    hi there

    very simply with a solid state amp what basic effects do i need for comfortably numb solo.



    [Check out this article on Comf Numb and this one on effects for solid state amps. Let me know if you need more help. – Bjorn]

  100. Kit Rae says:


    I created a page on my website strictly about the CN outro solo that you may want to check out. I ripped some channels from the 5.1 movie soundtrack to hear the solo clearer without all the delay.

    [Nice work! – Bjorn]

  101. Andrej Zagreb says:

    I didn’t understood!
    On a comfortably numb solo u mix together BK tube driver and overdrive?????????

    [No. You combine both a distortion and an overdrive, placed after the distortion. David’s using a Big Muff + Tube Driver. – Bjorn]

  102. Halem says:

    Hi again Bjorn!

    I saw your great CN jam video on youtube. Could you please tell me what scale you use to improvise? I wanna also transcribe vocals part for guitar, i think the work will be much easier if i get the scale all action is going in :)

    P.S. Its just so great i have a place to ask such questions :)

    [I’m no expert on scales but I guess it’s just a straight minor scale in B. – Bjorn]

  103. Moutardentube says:

    Hi there!
    I read your website for a while and I have to thanks you for your awesome work.
    Now it’s the first time I find something not clear:
    Here you say that David & Lee played on the same Nashville tuned acoustic, however in the “The Wall” section you mention two different acoustic guitars: one Nashville tuned and an other one… in standard tuning?
    Please could you make it clearer? I apologize for my poor english. Thank you by advance!

    [There are different sources on this. Some say that the rhythms on the verse and main guitar solo were played on a standard tuning while the chours bit was played with a so called Nashville tuning. If you listen to the track however, it sounds very much like all guitars were played with the same Nashville tuning. – Bjorn]

  104. Luca Severini says:

    Hi Bjorn! In a second solo of Comf.Numb Pulse live i think that (one minute from the end of solo) Dave add a second fast delay… He start the second solo with a sound very dry, at the end the sound is very coloured…it’s really or i’m confused? Hello!

    [Yes, the solo starts off pretty dry although there is a delay there at about 500ms. On the “waving part” at the end (as descibed in this article, he adds a second delay or incresases the level on the main delay for more effect. – Bjorn]

  105. Adrian says:

    Thanks!!! Bjorn. Very useful article (as always). Can’t wait for Shine On!

    [Thanks Adrian! – Bjorn]

  106. Anmol says:

    Hey bjorn..

    I m a big fan of David Gilmour and pink floyd and i m really impressed by your efforts.Now the thing i wanna ask is that are the rat and the big muff and the green russian similar of different.Wat shall i choose from these and wat alternatives if i can’t.

    [Thanks! The Green Russian is a clone of the green Sovtek Big Muff from the mid 90’s. It has a bit more gain and mid range compared to the older 70’s versions. The RAT has a more modern, creamy tone. I think the RAT is a much more versatile pedal and better if you’re only playing at home and the Muff is recommended for bigger rigs and stages. Check out this article for more. – Bjorn]

  107. Filip Veskrna says:

    Hi Bjorn! When can we expect article about Shine on you crazy diamond? Thank you and good article!

    [I wish I could say tomorrow but with two concerts coming up I haven’t been able to do as much work on Gilmourish as I wanted and the article will be delayed. Sorry. – Bjorn]

  108. Ironhandjohn says:

    Americans that can’t afford Hiwatts should look at Carvin’s X-100B, especially the older EL-34 versions. Loud as hell, the clean channel will stay clean at insanely high volumes, and loves pedals…..

    LOVE my X-100B!!!

    Your site rocks, as always, Bjorn!!!

  109. Kit Rae says:

    Here is a youtube link of me playing the CF solo #1 on my new Black Strat with Seymour Duncan SSL5 pup through a Skreddy Pink Flesh muff and a Deluxe Electric Mistress. I think the SSL5/muff/Mistress combo pretty much nails the album tone, though a B.Y.O.C. Large Beaver muff sounds great too. My camera mic records the Pink Flesh a little cleaner.

    and here is me jamming to the solo #1 chords.

    and another youtube lesson I made for CF solo #1

  110. Phil says:

    Thank you for clarifying the ‘waving’ part Bjorn, it was the one thing that i could not for the life of me figure out how to do, and thanks to the help of you and Napnap1234, i got it.
    im still trying to figure out the tone from PULSE, and with the pedals i have, and being 15 and with no income its a bit hard :P.I use a Fender Deluxe Blues, and its sounds really nice, just hard to get the ‘right’ tone, i think its a mixture of my distortion and OD (DS-1 and SD-1) and the pickups that i use at the moment that is stopping me from nailing it.

    Anyway, awsome site, keep up the good work!!


    [Thanks Phil! I think the essence of David’s PULSE lead tone is the Muff in combination with the Tube Driver. You can get similar tones with a RAT and Tube Screamer but the DS-1 has a different character with a much brighter tone so you might want to check out a Big Muff. There are many different version out there. – Bjorn]

  111. Eric says:

    Have you tried the stereo electric mistress? If so would that be as good as the deluxe version?

    [It’s more like a chorus. I couldn’t get any typical Mistress sounds with it. – Bjorn]

  112. Jaco says:

    Greetings from The Netherlands, great article you got here!

    I was wondering one thing tho, i remember reading somewhere that the solo (the great solo) was played on a “tiny” amp and recorded in a large concerthall or something like this… howerver, i could not find this in your article. Was i wrong?

    Anyway, keep up the great work!


    [Numb was recorded in the studio with David’s main setup. However, the intro on Sorrow was recorded on a football stadium in Los Angeles. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  113. Max says:

    Hi Bjorn, greetz from Italy!

    Your site is a goldmine for me, keep up this great work!

    Just 2 questions: I’m searching everywhere for DG “Black Strat” wiring diagrams. Beside the famous little switch, I read somewhere that the entire wiring was made from scratch, to avoid hummings. Do you know where to find it?

    Last one: Have you ever tried software like Guitar Rig or Amplitube? There’s a way to get some interesting DG tone from them?

    Thanks a lot! ;D

    PS: I agree with the idea, for gilmourish.com, to be listed in DG official site! You have my vote, now and ever ;D


    [Thanks for your support! I haven’t seen any diagrams for the new Strat but check out this site for details on the switch. I’ve tried Guitar Rig, Amplitube all of them and just recently bought my self a Line 6 POD X3. They are all capable of producing many great tones but they all have in common that they’re much better for Metallica than Floyd… at least in my opinion. The Guitar Rig has some really cool distortions, while the POD has great overdrives. I have yet to find a complete unit. Still, I haven’t explored any of them enough. – Bjorn]

  114. Adi Corrales says:

    Hi Bjorn: Maybe does not matter, but there is an “H” lost in “Shine on you…” at the end of the article (Oh! by the way ;) Nice article!)

    [Ah! Thanks! – Bjorn]

  115. Daniel says:

    You should do Run Like Hell next!

    [It’s on the list. First up is Shine On. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  116. Eric says:

    Is it true that you can get a leslie rotating sound out of a flanger? I have a BOSS FS-3.

    [Well, both yes and no. Flangers, as chorus, tend to get a detuned tone when you turn up the rate or speed. Especially Boss and some of the more common flangers. However, the Electric Mistress does not change character when your increase the settings and can therefore be used as great alternative to a rotary sim. Keep in mind tho that it’s an alternative not an actual leslie sim. – Bjorn]

  117. Eric says:

    I just ordered some custom shop 69’s for my strat and I can’t wait for them to come in. I’m playing the strat through a little Fender bullet 15w solid state. The effects that I have in my chain are as follows.

    Dunlop Cry Baby Classic, RAT II, Ibanez Tube Scremaer TS9, MXR dynacomp, BOSS Super Chorus, BOSS DD-3, BOSS FS-3. These are all hooked up to a Furman . SPB-8. The playing I do is in my bedroom for the time being but in the future I’ll be playing live. If you have any thoughts I’d appreciate it a lot. I can’t wait for the SOYCD article.

    [Sounds nice! Please send us a picture for the gallery :) – Bjorn]

  118. Eric says:

    I’m a long time fan of this site but I haven’t really thought of anything to comment on. I have a RAT II as per your recommendation and I love it, I’m just wondering if I should use the same settings for that as I would a Muff.

    [Glad you like the RAT Eric! The RAT and the Muff are two quite entirely different pedals and I recommend finding settings that suits the rest of your setup, including your amp and pickups. I normally have the gain and volume at about 2:00 o’clock on the Muff. I also keep the filter/tone at around 2:00 o’clock but around 10:00-11:00 on the Muff. – Bjorn]

  119. Luciano says:

    Hi, Bjorn,

    Another episode on the never ending “Quest For The Perfect Fuzz” saga: have you ever tried or know anything about Roger Mayer’s Axis Fuzz?



    [No… haven’t tried it actually. – Bjorn]

  120. Luciano says:

    I thought the MXR Classic 108 Fuzz was just like the Hendrix Fuzz Face Reissue, but in a square box…
    Are they so different?

  121. Alan says:

    But I guess it will work for Meddle – WYWH. I’ll try it out.

    [Trying is always the best idea :) You should also check out the new MXR Classic 108 Fuzz, which sounded very nice and the BBE Free Fuzz is a great sounding budget silicon fuzz. – Bjorn]

  122. MT says:

    Nice Review!, Bjorn.

    As you always say, the secret of Gilmour tone, is volume. In this song in particular, even in early versions, you can hear how loud the solo is, by cheking the other instruments volumes. Its just one of those songs, that you just turn up, close your eyes, play and forget every thing.
    When you were in the Royal Albert Hall, how loud did he play it, because, in the dvd there are some serius volume drops in the lead sound, too loud?

    Also, for those who want to achieve the pulse sound, I think that, you’ll need a stereo setup, with a Dry-Wet choruss signal. I did, and the change was drastical.

    Keep rocking!

    [I can’t remember how his sound was in Albert Hall compared to the DVD. I think the DVD version is from the 3rd night tho… I was at the first and second. All I do remember is that it was a bit brighter and had more attack but probably because I was standing right in front of the amps. They seem to have added a lot of mid range on most of his guitar parts while they were mixing the DVD. I also remember that his guitar was surprisingly noisy when he used high gain effects.. especially between songs. – Bjorn]

  123. Alan says:

    Im thinking of getting a silicon transistor Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face and I don’t know it if will sound that great.

    [It sounds OK but personally I don’t think it’s the best silicon vrsion out there. – Bjorn]

  124. Kit Rae says:

    I just replaced my Boss DD-20 delay with the TC Electonic Nova delay. The sound quality is like night and day compared to the Boss. Very clear, accurate copy of the original sound. There is a “dynamic” mode that increases the volume of the delay when you are not picking and decreases it a bit when you pick that is interesting. There are also three types of modulation. The third mod sounds very “leslie” to my ear. Maybe a mix between a Leslie and chorus? Anyway, it has gotten my CN sound very close to the studio recorded outro solo to my ears.

  125. david says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    How is the Mxr Carbon Copy working out?

    [Very nice indeed! I’ll write a review when I’m back from the beach and dried off the coconut oil sometime in medio August. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  126. Jared Young says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    I have a quick question. I found this “Orange treble and bass booster” clone on Ebay. I was wondering if I should I get it? What I mean by that, is it uses a germanium transistor, unlike the “Colorsound” unit that uses a silicon transistor. With that difference can I still get a good gilmour tone out of it? I know the “BSM OR” uses a germanium transistor, and I’ve it sounds good.
    I would really appreciate it if I could get your opinion.

    Thanks Bjorn, can’t wait for your next article!

    [As discussed in this article, David did not use the Orange TBB. As I’m sure you know, treble booster and the Colorsound Power Boost can’t really be compared because they’re two completely different pedals. A treble booster is designed to boost certain frequencies and make a tube amp distort, that is, – if the amp already breaks when you crank it. Hiwatts don’t while Marshalls do. The Colorsound Power Boost however is an overdrive pedal with a wide tonal range from clean boost to near fuzz. It will distort any amp. David used the CPB from 1972-1981 (Cornish ST-2 from 1978-81). I’d much rather get an overdrive like CPB, Tube Driver, Boss BD-2, Tube Screamer etc than a treble booster. They’re very cool pedals but not very Gilmour. – Bjorn]

  127. Alan says:

    Hey Bjorn

    Do Engle amplefiers sound identical or even close to Hiwatt amps or would I be better with a Marshall.

    [I’ve never tried one so I can’t really tell. The closest to a Hiwatt would be either Sound City or Reeves. – Bjorn]

  128. William says:

    Can anyone tell me what are the tonal differnces of Alder and Basswood and help will be welcomed. thank you very much

  129. Luca says:

    Hi Bjorn! I’ve just discovered a little trick that allows those who have a Boss DD6 to increase the feedback volume on the “wavig part”: the DD6 has a particular mode called “warp”; if you depress the switch and hold it the volume of the delay remain the same of the first feedback, and so you can increase the delay in a very easy way, without any expression pedal or any other thing. Whean you release the pedal the delay returns to the normal settings. I hope to be helpful….

    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  130. giovanni says:

    Bijorn….You are the best!!!!:)
    thank You!!!

    [Cheers Giovanni! – Bjorn]

  131. Emilio says:

    yes, maybe! I bought a heil talk box two days ago and I’m trying to have the best ‘gilmourized sound’…I’ve used it with a muff and a tube driver (clean) but I think uncle David uses something more..

    [There’s also a Boss CS-2, Boss CE-2, delay and the Doppolas in that setup. – Bjorn]

  132. Emilio says:

    Hi Bjorn, when we’ll see an article on the talk box?

    [I’m not sure it justifies a whole article… :) David used a Heil on Pigs and Keep Talking. That’s about it. Thanks for the suggestion tho. Perhaps an “miscellaneous effects article”? Cheers! – Bjorn]

  133. David Szakacs says:

    Hey Bjorn do you think david gilmour ever visited this site?
    Maybe one day he will come on by and comment. That would be cool!!!

    [Who knows :) – Bjorn]

  134. Kevin Oresick says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Great stuff! Solid examination! A+
    Keep up the good work!

    I have an idea and I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this prior to my post, but you should add a gallery of David playing or just a gallery full of just pictures of David, his guitars, on stage, etc.
    I’m sure if you did that and people knew about it, alot of rare pictures would surface possibly =] Just a thought!



    [Thanks for the suggestion! – Bjorn]

  135. Evan says:

    Actually, Bjorn, there’s something Daniel can use without getting a whole new delay. There’s something about called an expression pedal, same casing as a wah, that attaches to a knob on a pedal, and allow for a change of settings using one’s foot. Lemme see if I can find you a link…

  136. TQuay says:

    Hi! When you do your Shine On! focus don’t forget to remind people they can get the MXR ’74 Phase 90 reissue from Mike at Analogman.com with mods like an LED, true bypass and power supply for a reasonable price.

    Mike says that the hand wired reissue is spot on to his vintage phase 90 and he knows his stuff! With the mods it seems like an ideal pedal for WYWH era stuff. Also we must thank MXR for finally doing a reissue right. If these companies would just make the reissues authentic I know they would sell well.
    Thanks, TQuay

    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  137. ruud says:

    Thanks for the tips regarding the TC nova delay. Yes i did read the manual and use te presets like described, but when you tapped for example twice on the tap tempo by accident you have a problem.That’s what happens to often when you’re switching from preset on a live gig. It’s not only the TC you’ have to tap on but also the other pedals. And when youre also doing some vocal parts you’re more a tapdancer than a guitarist. I’ve tried some other pedals recently like the Boss DD 20 and the EH Memory man. The DD20 is easier to use but the TC sounds a lot better, the Memory Man sounds good to and is also a great stereosounded pedal but has no presets. I’ll think I’ll keep the TC and buy the memory man so I can play stereo and add pre delay sounds. I’m very curieus to the DLS rotosim cause the mistress is to dominant. Great discussions about the best guitarsolo of all time.

  138. Alan says:

    David gilmour describes his fellings in his guitar playing like Johnny Cash Described his feelings in his songs….. Johnny Cash was a great artist and David Gilmour is a great artist.

  139. Daniel Payares says:

    Awesome as always Bjorn!

    You mention that david increses the delay time in his pedal before the wavign part… i have an EHX #1 Echoe, i like it, its pretty solid.. but how could i increes the volume for that part and then drop it down again??? should i try to do it like rotating the knob with my feet or just leav it like the setting for the rest of the solo..


    [I think it will be difficult to increase and/or decrease any of the controls having just one delay pedal. You could go with those rubber covers and there are some external devices you can attach to one of the knobs but I think the most efficient way is to have two delay units set differently. Most multi effect processors also have a built in expression pedal witch you can assign to the the delay level and the Boss DD-20 also have inputs for expression pedals. – Bjorn]

  140. Rick says:

    Are you using a spring to hold your tremolo arm? Cause I’ve just bought a Callaham Short arm, and I think it can not stay in place without any kind of support…

    [The sustain block you get with the Callaham Vintage Bridge kit is especially designed to keep the tremolo arm in place. You can either pop it it or screw it tight safely. Stock Fender bridges aren’t designed to keep the arm in place and if you screw in too far in it’ll snap right off. If you do have a stock bridge I suggest using a spring from a ball penn or some teflon tape. – Bjorn]

  141. Kit Rae says:

    Another way to get that big ADT’d double tracked sound you hear on the CF second solo studio recording is to use a second delay set at a really short clip, one repeat, with the volume set at half or less. It beefs the sound up a bit. I use it for some Animals solos, and for the third solo in Shine One. For the big reverby sound you hear on the CF second solo, I don’t have a good reverb unit, and as Bjorn has pointed out elsewhere on this site, reverb tends to color and ruin your tone. My Fender Twins built in reverb does is not kind to the Muffs or drivers. I use two longer delays to get that big sound I hear on the studio version.

    [Here’s the reverb article. – Bjorn]

  142. Bobby says:

    Thanks Bjorn,

    I’ll give it a go



  143. Frails says:

    Yes Marcelo I’ve read the manual. But sometimes tapping the TAP TEMPO switch in that process has initiated the TAP TEMPO and changed my delay setting.

  144. Bobby says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great site I look in alot and love all the tips and info you give. I know before I ask this question you won’t want to answer it but I’ll ask it anyway. Can you advise on some good settings for the comfortably numb tone using a strat with standard single coils and a boss Gt8 into a PC for recording. I know tube amps and seperate pedals would be better but alas this is what I am using and its only for a bit of fun.

    Keep up the good work


    [Hi Bobby! I’m not that familiar with the GT-8 so I really can’t help you with any specific settings. I think you should try to keep it simple with just a clean amp sim (Marshall, Fender or similar), a distortion (I think the GT-8 has a Muff sim but I have no idea how it sounds) and maybe some EQ to shape the sound a bit. I’m not sure if you can combine several gain pedals, but if not you can use both the compressor and EQ hos boost the distortion a bit. There’s also a sub EQ feature that’s really handy for a smoother lower end. Add chorus and delay of preference. Check out this article for some general tips on how to set up the GT processor. Check out this article too for some general tips on how to arrange a setup and how to set your amp, which applies to amp sims too. – Bjorn]

  145. ray says:

    nova delay user here too.. have not really gotten to try all it has to offer, but this is really a solution to those looking for a delay pedal doing everything under the sun (minus loops, which is actually still possible)

    i think bjorn didn’t like the lack of true bypass? i may not be able to hear the difference, but i think there’s a possibility the clean tone has been coloured even when off? have you tried one bjorn?

    [I think I was talking about the Boss DD-20. It doesn’t have true bypass and messed up my Sunface and Colorsound. I’ve tried the Nova very briefly… sounded great but I really didn’t get to explore it. – Bjorn]


    I have a TC Nova Delay too. Did you both read the user’s guide? It’s really easy to change the presets live – step first in the “TAP TEMPO” switch and second in the “ON/OFF” switch. Just do this quickly and you’ll be switching between the nine presets…

    That’s it.

  147. I’ll send a clip as soon as possible…
    About the DLS ROTOSIM, my opinion is that it has so much controls and internal trimpots that with this pedal you can colour the sound as much as you want. The ‘MIX’ control is really effective, and with the pedal ‘on’, you can go from a really subtle modulated (leslie) sound to a classic and fast spinning kind of sound.
    If you want to reach an exact timbre you can’t avoid to open the chassis and dial the trimpots. That’s inevitable and indispensable…
    It’s really the best leslie simulator that I’ve used in my entire life as a guitarist…

    [OK. Thanks! – Bjorn]

  148. Frails says:

    Just wanted to chime in on the Nova Delay…

    This pedal is simply the best delay pedal I’ve used/heard! Well worth buying in my opinion. Having said that, I definitely agree with Ruud regarding the presets. I have had to reprogram them several times after accidentally initiating the tap tempo. I wish there was a preset lock function because changing the presets with my hands is a PITA. But my way around this is to keep a Ibanez DE-7 in the chain, as a second delay setting (if there is one in a song.)

  149. David Szakacs says:

    Bjorn do you know if the electro harmonix small clone chorus has a larger volume drop then the electric mistress?

    [From what I’ve experienced, yes. Especially the Nano… – Bjorn]

  150. Hi Bjorn!

    First of all, great article, congratulations.

    Second, in my last five years of trying to reach the exact sound of Gilmour’s original recordings, I must say that Comfortably Numb has always been the most difficult one but the most “sought after” sound.

    But, after all these years, I have now the sound of my dreams. Here’s my considerations and the equipment I’m using to reach the sound of the studio version:

    Forget about the Electric Mistress. That’s a really dominating effect, and it reminds me the live version (“Is There Anybody…”, which is really beautiful, but totally different sound if compared with the studio version). It’s impossible to hear it on the studio version unless it’s mixed waaaaaaaaaay down…

    You’ll REALLY need a rotating speaker simulator (or a REAL ONE… rs) to reproduce that slightly modulated sound. I tried all the rotating speaker pedals, and the only one that can reach the exact amound of the modulation is the DLS ROTOSIM Rotating Speaker Simulator. Why? Well, it has a lot of controls and internal trimpots (included a ‘MIX’ control), exactly what the electric mistress should have too… (that’s the problem about the modulating effects: the dominating sound).

    And If you want the studio version sound, you should not use a delay unit, just because the original version hasn’t! You’ll need a great reverb unit (or a well balanced reverb in your amp that nails the amount of reverbn contained in the original recording) to reproduce that great ambience. I use also a “pre-delay” in the reverb, to get that “double-tracked” sound too.

    So, that’s the entire equipment I use to reproduce Comfortably Numb’s original recording sound:

    Fender Stratocaster Deluxe w/ Custom ’54; Big Muff Ram’s Head “clone” (made in Brazil with NOS parts); Boss GE-7 to slightly boost the mids; DLS ROTOSIM; reverb (rack unit – TC Electronic); Fender 1977 Twin Reverb.

    That’s it.

    [Thanks for sharing! Please send us a clip :) You don’t think that the Rotosim colours the tone too much? – Bjorn]
    Congratulations for the good work.

  151. Kit Rae says:

    Ruud, I highly recommend a stereo setup. I used one about ten years ago when I played with my old band, mostly with a stereo chorus. I had two amps to my left and right so I was actually hearing myself in stereo too. I think hearing myself the way the audience would hear me (I hope) actually made me a better player. I loved hearing that stereo chorus when I played. Wish I still had that setup. The stereo Mistress would be great.

    Too bad you don’t like the TC Nova delay. I was thinking of getting one to replace my DD-20. Maybe I’ll find someone who has a Nova first to give it a test drive.

    I guess your setup and amp have everything to do with the muff sound you get from a Pink Flesh. I get a very good CF sound like the second solo studio album with my PF, but not a very good Pulse or Delicate tone, even mixing the Colorsound, BK Driver, or TS-808. I get a better live CF tone with my Green Russian. Also, my Pink Flesh is very quiet. I have heard several complaints about the noise. Maybe my setup keeps it quite, or I have a unique PF?

    [Skreddy has had some problems finding quiet transistors. Some are very quiet while others are quite noisy. You should be able to send it back and get it fixed but I know that reason why so many of his pedals are discontinued is because he can’t find good enough components. – Bjorn]

  152. Alan says:

    Having severe thunderstorms sucks because I dont know if my amp or effects will fry so I cant play using your amp so I cant hear that beautiful gilmour tone I am getting. But on the bright side it is sort of like a suprise to me when I can play with my amp and effects.

  153. Matt F says:

    …oh and one other thing: the string arrangement on CN bears a striking similarity to that on ‘Sad Song’ by Lou Reed, which was also produced by Bob Ezrin.

  154. Matt F says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Your information at the head of the article is not quite correct. The genesis of the song is actually well-documented (eg it’s covered in some detail in ‘Pigs Might Fly’ by Mark Blake, page 274/5). David wrote the chords and chorus melody right at the end of the sessions for the ‘David Gilmour’ album, but was unable to record it as the other musicians had already left.

    During the recording of ‘The Wall’, Bob Ezrin felt the album needed some more tracks and David presented the unfinished song from the solo album. Roger was resistant to including any material not solely by himself, but saw the value of what David presented, so wrote some lyrics based on an occasion when he was ill with flu & was given an injection by a doctor in order to be able to perform a concert (the song was referred to for a while during recording as ‘The Doctor’).

    Also, the disagreement about the two versions was not to do with the drums (Nick Mason was unusually good on ‘The Wall’ and has said in interview that he both practised hard before the sessions, as well as learning to read some rudimentary drum notation). There were two versions of the song recorded: one harder-edged & preferred by David; the other softer and orchestral, preferred by Ezrin & Waters. In the end, the hard version was edited onto the end of the orchestral version, just before the solo begins (where the fuzz guitar starts).

    [Thanks for the info! I guess there are several sources around and I haven’t read the Pigs Might Fly book yet. My source is an interview with David from 1993, where he talks about the drumming being a problem. I wasn’t aware of the story behind the DG78 session tho. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  155. Jared Young says:

    Hey Bjorn,
    I was wondering, do you know if David ever had his Electric Mistress modded by Cornish or anybody and what mods were they? Right now I’m am researching which Electric Mistress I should get, The 76′ 9volt version or the Deluxe?
    I know you have had experiences with both and I know you prefer the Deluxe. From straight passerby’s stand point can you tell the tonal and problematic differences of the two? I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

    And by the way I loved the “Comfortably Numb” jam on youtube.
    Dude you were on fire!
    Later Jared.

    [Thanks Jared! David used the very first 1976 18V version. I’m not sure whether is was modded or not but I assume that Cornish fixed some of the noise problems when the pedal was built into David’s pedal board in late 1977. For David’s PULSE rig in 1994 Phil Taylor made a custom rack unit which included two Boss CE-2 chorus units, a Demeter Tremulator and the Mistress.
    The Deluxe Mistress has a typical metallic jet flanger tone while the vintage Mistress has a more liquid, deep chorusy tone. The vintage Mistress has noise filter so it has all kinds of low fi hiss and hum. The Deluxe has very little noise but both pedals has the classic Electro Harmonix volume drop when engaged.
    Personally I prefer the Deluxe. It’s quiet and has a bit more “tidy” sound and it’s fully capable of producing great vintage sounds. – Bjorn]

  156. James says:

    PS, having read the article on how the chain the pedals and after moving the Muff before the compressor with the TS 808 after it, I now have it. I have got the holy grail of tone…you are so so right…thanks again Bjorn!

    And the reference above to J Els should be George L’s. Sorry.

    [That’s great James although I think the article suggests that the compressor should be in front of the Muff :) Compressor > distortion > overdrive. – Bjorn]

  157. James says:

    Sylvain…email me and I’ll send you some pics. It’s a little cute blondy and I’ve had it since 1994. And I gig it cos everyone thinks it’s a piece of old junk!! noplanb@btopenworld.com

    Evan- re doing your own Cornish pedal board, I’d suggest you forget it! He is a mad professor who bias every single lead, pedal and so on. Really a craft. Get some decent patch cable (suggest J Els) and some Cornish guitar lead( both from Charlie Chandler) and you’re pretty much there, unless you have £20k to spend!

    My report on the Civil War Muff is that I get a more authentic sound from my Rat! Damn!

    Bjorn, keep up the astonishing work.

  158. William says:

    Bjorn do you know if David’s black strat has a 3 or a 5 way switch? It’s also hard to belive it but its been two years since Syd died. Shine On You Crazy Diamond

    [The stock model had a 3-way switch and according to Phil Taylor’s book it still does.- Bjorn]

  159. ruodi says:

    “There was a king who ruled the land. His majesty was in command. With silver eyes the scarlet eagle showered silver on the people.”

    Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett * January, 6th 1946 † July, 7th 2006

  160. Evan says:

    Excellent article, Bjorn.

    I never really sought out the “Comfortably Numb” tone before, but I suppose your article may have inspired me to do so. A good part of it is likely my current setup: that Epi Valve Jr and Dot Studio is pretty damn far from David’s. That’ll be changing over the next few months, though, with upgrades to both the guitar and possibly a new amp…wonder how things will go then….

    As for the “waving” bit, I was able to duplicate it pretty decently with bending of the E and B strings at the 16th and 18th fret, respectively. More out of necessity than anything, since my guitar doesn’t have a vibrato on it yet (a Bigsby will be going on within a few weeks).

    One other thing, Bjorn. Would you happen to know, assuming such a website exists, where I could find instructions and such to build my own Cornish-style pedalboard? I’d love something like that.

    Again, great job all around. can’t wait for whatever comes next.

    [Check out this site. – Bjorn]

  161. Vincent D. says:

    Thanks man this website is really great i really appreciate this website i visit here everyday and i used to be in a Pink Floyd tribute called Pig Floyd and this website has helped me achieve the tone ive always wanted and this article and the echoes one as well has opened new doors for me and so did the other albums

    thanks bjorn
    keep the spirit alive long live David Gilmour

    [Thanks for your support Vincent! Glad you enjoy the site :) – Bjorn]

  162. Sylvain says:

    To James :
    A 1956 strat ! woouu…I’m sure everybody here want to see it in action in video…he he…
    To Bjorn :
    What can I say that has not already been said !? Just thanks !
    1) You write and speak english very well ! I first thought you were an english teacher.
    2) I like your tutorials. Maybe one day you could show us what scales David is using or some of his favourite blues licks in order to create our own “gilmourish” solii (like you in Airbag)…I don’t know, it’s just an idea…
    Cheers !

    [Thanks Sylvain! – Bjorn]

  163. ruud says:

    I have the pink Flesh and I must say that I’m using it not often. It’s very noisy. I play the first CN solo with my Butler in combination with Dyna, MXR boost, Mistress and TC Nova delay. The second one more often with the same set up with different settings for the Butler and Delay. With this settiing you’ll get exactly the Wall live sound
    It’s what you’re looking for. When I want the pulse sound I use the Dyna, MXR boost, mistress and TC delay in the first solo and the Dyna, MXR boost, TC Delay, butler and Rat or Pink Flesh in the second one. The studioversion is still my favorite one but it’s impossible to create that sound cause you’ll never get that ambient, dubbling and stereo effect and that perfect mix from the other instruments. For the first solo I really love this version.

    This summer I want to experiment with the Leslie of our Hammondplayer (he’s got two of them) and with another delay because I’m not happy with the TC Electronic Nova Delay Somehow it adds a kind of reverb and it’s not easy to use the presets live. (anyone with tips??)
    Bjorn, do you think that playing stereo (live) is added some to the Gilmour sound. I did it with my old set up (GT 8) with things like another brick pt one and Shine on but never with this kind of solo’s.
    What’syou’re opinion?

    [I’m not sure. I’ve never explored the stereo setup my self. David did play in stereo on the 80’s and 90’s tours but in the 70’s and 2006 it was mono. – Bjorn]

  164. gerald says:

    wow! !!! floating tremolo. What do you do to keep it in tune man??

    [No, my bridge is flat on the body. What I do is to bend down the arm and then pull it back up. – Bjorn]

  165. Kit Rae says:

    Bjorn, based on your recommendation in the various articles on your site for it, I’m sure I will like the Large Beaver when I get it. Thanks to you I am getting very good at recognizing which muff sound is which, as well as the fuzz tones. The website is great and I look forward to the Shine On article. That is another song I have recently re-learned after getting some correct sounding tones thanks mostly to you. My recent purchases of a Colorsound Overdriver and BK Tube Driver really helped me nail those Gilmour tones. You are causing me to spend a lot of money!

    [Ha ha! Well, don’t coming nocking on my door :) I really appreciate that you you find the site useful for your own tone. That’s what it’s all about! Cheers! – Bjorn]

  166. benjamin says:

    Hey, nice sound mate, but you got admit that the EMG´s were the gilmour sound for over 25 years, (more than the black one) so if fender has to release a DG start that´d be the red one. ´cause that´s the Gilmour era.


    [Depends on how you look at it I guess. He’s been using the EMGs since 1985 but the Black Strat was used on Dark Side, WYWH and Wall, which are all on the top 10 all time most selling albums. – Bjorn]

  167. Darran says:

    Superlatives escape me as to how good this article is, probably the best on the net!!! Excellent work… When are you going to publish a book???? You must have enough material now!!!

    [LOL! Thanks! – Bjorn]

  168. Kit Rae says:

    Thanks Bjorn! I was just relearning CN four days ago. Eerie timing. You could probably do ten articles on all the intricacies of the simple solo playing in this song that make it sound so great, but having that tone is a must in my opinion. It influences your playing when you can get the same type of finger harmonics that Dave gets from that muff/delay/clean amp tone.

    The second CF solo is the reason I picked up the guitar in the first place, and now over twenty years later I finally have the exact tone from the record that I am happy with. I picked up a Skreddy Pink Flesh triangle muff clone on ebay and it is dead on to the album sound. I know you love the Pulse tone, which I get from my Green Russian Muff and BK Tube Driver, but the original album sound has always been the one I have strived for.

    I use a strat with SCN pickups into an MXR Dynacomp, triangle Muff clone, GE-7 EQ for some bottom end boost, Boss CE-5 chorus, tons of delay, into my Fender ’65 Twin re-issue. I use one delay through the whole song, and another set at 550ms for the later parts of the solo. I hear NO Electric Mistress on the outro solo, though it is definitely on the first solo. I think the faint flange/chorus you hear on the record is just the Leslie speakers in the mix on the outro solo.

    Before I got the triangle clone the best pedal I recommend for the album sound using a tube amp or solid state is a ProCo Rat with a tube driver. I plan on getting the BYOC Large Beaver triangle muff to see how it compares to the Pink Flesh muff, but it will be hard to beat!

    [I think that the Pink Flesh and BYOC Large Beaver “triangle” are two completely different Muffs. The “triangle” has a distinctly vintage scooped mids tone with rich sustain but a little less gain. The Pink Flesh, although based on the “ram’s head”, which is very similar to the “triangle” has a more modern feel I with a bit more mid range, sharper tone and more gain… even more than the original “ram’s head”. – Bjorn]

  169. Kristopher Junner says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    You probably remember i have spoken to you about the ‘waving part’ many a time. I figured it out a couple of years ago and spending alot of time trying to get it just right and that demo video was a fantastic demonstration of it!

    Incidentally i am still to this day trying to get garageband to work properly, i gave up the last time i spoke with you! haha. Ill get it eventually and you might eventually be able to hear my playing. The 86 version is one of my favs too!

    Your english is actually very good by the way.


    ps. seinfeld is great

    [Thanks a lot Kris! I hope you get Garageband up and running… let me know if you need any help. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  170. I don’t know what to add other than thank you for all your efforts and inspiration!


    [Thanks Steve! – Bjorn]

  171. Hi again

    The rotating speaker in CN. is it going fast or slow??


    Adrian J. Emond

    [I would assume that it’s on slow speed at least for Comf Numb. That’s the main setting on his first solo album, Animals and Final Cut. – Bjorn]

  172. ray says:

    hmm, was wondering how a clapton mid boost sound like on CN.. or as a gilmourish strat.. been looking at a japanese clapton strat for a while now, as i could not find a 57 japan black strat around..

    [I haven’t tried it so I really can’t tell but I would assume that it would work fine. – Bjorn]

  173. James says:

    PS, as I wrote the note above, I just bagged an original Civil War muff on ebay for £150! I am over the moon!!!!

    [Congrats! – Bjorn]

  174. James says:

    Hi all,

    Some really useful stuff, especially on the overdrive used. I am a total gear head when it comes to getting the CN sound and I’ll explore the AA Muff.

    Anyway, I use two delays, one around 550ms, the other as a slap back to thicken up the signal note. The trick to getting that unique sound, and trust me on this, is using either a chorus or flange pedal (or better stil pitch modulator) set with the speed at NIL and the depth at max- if you try this you’ll be amazed. I use the original TC Chorus/Flange/PM to do it.

    My gear for CN- original 1956 strat with original pickups then into- Compulator Compressor – Keeley modded TS808 Tube screamer- SIB Variodrive (tube overdrive pedal)- TC Chorus- TC Delay (slapback)- Carl Martin Delayla for the big delay into Fender Custom Shop 1957 Tweed Twin Reisisue.

    All the drive comes from a combo of the TS 808 and the Variodrive. It’s a case of mssing around until I get the ‘creamy sing’ depending on the room and volume. I played a marquee the other night and because of the absorbant sides I added reverb to the signal off the delayla.

    Works for me!


    [Thanks for the tips James! – Bjorn]

  175. Ørjan says:

    it was a good article thanks for the showing how to do the “wailing” part (have seen the vid on Youtube) it seems like i have been playing it wrong too!!

    now i cant wiat for the SOYCD examination:)

  176. Alan says:

    Also the comfortably numb solo sounds much better than I thought with EMG humbuckers but it doesn’t have vibrato so im sticking to good ‘ol single coils.

    [I definitely prefer single coils on this one :) – Bjorn]

  177. Alan says:

    ok maybe I was wrong

  178. alamikam says:

    Nice work as usual Bjorn. Good to see Gilmourish expanding , it is now an institution for all gilmour’s tone fans. Guys, Gilmourish should be on david Gilmour’s Links page, I will request that and other gilmourish friends are required to do the same. that’s a minimum we can do in recognition of the huge work that Bjorn is doing.

    Anyone remember ‘Notes about Nothing’ , certainly a good inspiring title for one of my coming works !

    Keep it up and thanks for sharing the good work.

    [Thanks Alamikam! I appreciate your support! Actually, the “notes about nothing” title is stolen from my favourite TV show… Seinfeld :) – Bjorn]

  179. Jason says:

    hey bjorn isnt the neck on your 50s strat a bigger v-style and the neck on the 70’s the modern slimmer c-shape?? i know some ppl swear that neck size makes a huuge difference to tone, maybe thats whats going on?? – bigger fatter neck, bigger fatter tone!!????

    [The ’57 V-neck is thicker than the C-neck but the finger board on the C is wider. The tone will be coloured by the type of wood, density and thickness. Maple necks gives a brighter punchier tone while rosewood has a warmer feel. – Bjorn]

  180. David Szakacs says:

    I mentioned that my sd-1 superover drive dosent sound to good combined with the Beaver…..Could that be because it uses asymmetrical clipping as apposed to symmetrical?

    [Oh… I’m not really an expert on the technical stuff. I thinks it’s rather the buffers in the Boss pedals that doesn’t go that well with vintage style pedals or true bypass in general. – Bjorn]

  181. Luiz Felipe says:

    does the nashville tuning use A D G or A D B strings from the 12-string set?

    [It’s A D G. My mistake… – Bjorn]

  182. Syarief says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    This a very good and in-depth article, thanks for the waving parts its very usefull, finally I can nail this part
    Btw do you know why Gilmour swap his dimarzio FS-1 PU to Seymour Duncan PU?

    anyway your the best man, and love the Airbag songs too.

    [Thanks! Glad you like Airbag too! I’m not sure why David replaced the DiMarzio. In the Black Strat book by Phil Taylor is says simply that Duncan sent Gilmour a new Custom pickup to try and that David preferred over the DiMarzio. Whether this was ordered by David or if Duncan took the initiative to send one to him I don’t know. They were close friends at the time so I guess they spoke regularly about new equipments etc. – Bjorn]

  183. Emilio says:

    Great article indeed! thank you Bjorn.

  184. Stephen Boyd says:

    Great article as usual Bjorn, and David’s hair is indeed priceless on that clip. I’ve also been playing the waving bit wrong so its good to set it right finally. Oh, and your english is pretty damn good by the way. Can’t wait for shine on! How’s the Pod x3?

    [Thanks Stephen! The X3 hasn’t arrived yet. I’m guessing that it’s stuck in customs… as always. – Bjorn]

  185. Rick says:

    The related video on youtube is highly explanatory; and you’re right, this is a song that allows us to use differents guitars or even different setups

  186. Luca Paganelli says:

    Great article!! Great videoclip!!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  187. bernhard says:


    been reading your article last night after coming home from a sinéad o’connor concert, what a contrast in regard to musical and hair styles hahaha ;)

    great one again, man. especially also your instruction vid (don’t loose too much nerves about your english, it’s all fine!). you certainly would be a great teacher, because you dissect these things in a very comprehensive way, well done (same goes for echoes btw). it makes everything so much more clearer. I def. have to read through a couple more times, to put it all together. so far it just makes me realize how much I would love to get me a hiwatt!

    I have a question: how much of your floyd playing through the years did you acquire through listening/watching and how much of it through notes/tabulatures? as you state that it took you very long to find out about the waving part, I guess you’re more of the first kind; the same is true for me… it keeps you closer to yourself.

    cheers, and thanks for another great article!!

    [Thanks Bernhard! I rarely use tabs.. learned most by ears mainly because I’ve always preferred bootleg versions of David’s solos and once you know them it’s easy to go back to the album and learn the original version. The arpeggio bit on Echoes and the waving part on Numb are two bits that I never got right until I saw someone else do it. – Bjorn]

  188. Jackson says:

    Another well written, informative article written by Bjorn.
    Well Done!

    I’ve Recently got back into the late 80’s Comfortably Numb tone and the Paris Bercy 89 version is among one of my favourites if you ever get the chance to listen to it, i recomend it!

    [Thanks Jackson! I’ll check it out. – Bjorn]

  189. Franck Machu says:

    Once again, great article ! Although it is not my favorite Floyd track, you managed to satisfy both the guitarist and the Floyd fan I am. Each time, you succeed to learn me something I was unaware of. I have no more excuse for sounding like a shit.
    Looking forward reading the ‘Shine On’ article.

    [Cheers Franck! – Bjorn]

  190. Frails says:

    Bjorn, great job as always!!!

    [Thanks Frails! – Bjorn]

  191. Patrick Sullivan says:

    Bjorn, recently you switched the pickups in your 50’s strat from the cs54’s to the cs69’s. I know from reading your comments on both sets of pickups that you seemed to favor the cs54’s for the wall era material, what prompted the change? I’m trying to decide between the 54’s and 69’s. Has your opinion on the 54’s versus 69’s changed? Thanks for the great information on your website.

    [I just wanted to try how they sounded on the 50’s Strat compared to the 70’s really. On the 70’s Strat they tended to sound a bit thin, not too thin, but not ideal so I swapped the pickups and really liked how they sounded on the 50’s Strat. Very fat with a bouncy bottom and crisp highs without ever getting too sharp. They’re very similar to the 54s but they do have a bit more bass. The 54s sounded really shitty on the 70’s Strat so I’m looking for some new pickups for it. I haven’t decided yet. I guess the 70’s Strat is of the best quality so that’s mainly the reason why it sounds thin. I’m upgrading all the electronics and the bridge with Callaham so we’ll see if that does the trick. If not I guess I can always use it for firewood… :) – Bjorn]

  192. David Szakacs says:

    Great article Bjorn!!!
    I always read that he was using a electric mistress during comfortably numb probably the main reason I bought one. Maybe it was used but at a very low level.

    I just got the boss super overdrive today I must say it sounds pretty good especially for playing bluesy stuff on the neck pickup…But when I used it to boost the large Beaver it dosent seem to track that well unlike the Digitech bad Monkey which goes very well with the Baever

    Here is my recording of comfortably numb first solo.…I was inspired by the Remember that night DVD version

    [I can’t use the Boss BD-2 with the Beaver. Sounds really horrible. Works well with the green Sovtek tho. David did use the Mistress on Numb on the Wall tours in 1980-81. Listen to the Is There Anybody Out There Album. There are conflicting sources on whether he used it on the album or not and like I said I’m having a hard time hearing anything else but the Yamaha. – Bjorn]

  193. Paulo says:

    Nice article man, CF is one of the best songs ever!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  194. Jason says:

    awesome stuff! very good timing as well as i was trying to figure out the wavy part yesterday to no success

    hahah yeh his hair is quality, what about that massive blazer as well!!

    [Cheers Jason! – Bjorn]

  195. liam says:

    awsome article

    you should mention pulse’s tone and davids solo tour in 84 his tones were amazing then and the chorusy sound is never really covered

    [Well, I mentioned it briefly but I agree, the 1984 tone especially is very nice. – Bjorn]

  196. João Francisco says:

    I always thought that David used a unison bend… but you’re right! lol

    Why do use 69 pickups so often? Better than 54’s? I’m looking for classic sound and I don’t know what to buy! :-(

    Can’t wait for “shine on” article! Very, very good!;-)

    [I just wanted to hear how they sounded on my 50’s Strat so I swapped the pickups on my two Strats. The pickups are very similar… perhaps a bit more bass from the 69s. I think you’re safe either way. – Bjorn]

  197. Cereal says:

    Really, I am a big floyd fan, and this has always been my favorite solo. Like you said it just sounds celestial and I never thought it had so much magic behind it.That “waving part” thing, I tried many times to get it right, but never got it like I wanted to, so I thank you for that video! Good article Bjorn, keep the good work!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  198. Mike says:

    Ah, fantastic!! I’ve been playing the little lick as the ball opens wrong, too. Thanks for that tip!

    I suppose your Carbon Copy has arrived by now… what do you think of it?

    [I think it arrived today… got a little note in my mailbox :) Can’t wait to try it out! – Bjorn]

  199. Deck says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    very nice and interesting article. Thank you for explaining the waves, this is something I’ve never been able to play correctly.
    Some weeks ago, I did some “Pulse” samples with my EMG pickups, and recorded the two solos of CN. You can here them here, at the third part of the recording.
    Just like you said, every Gilmour fan want to have the CN tone. I am in love with the sound and playing of the first solo from the studio version. Though I had a ram’s head big muff, I’ve never been able to sound close to this one.
    Thanks again for this great review !

    [Thanks Deck! And thanks for sharing your clip! – Bjorn]

  200. TQuay says:


    Your site is fantastic and enlightening!! Playing guitar is a new hobby of mine and I have been fascinated by why I don’t sound even a little bit like GIlmour. It is amazing that so many guitar shops just have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to Pink Floyd’s sound. It is also amazing so many effects companies can’t make vintage sounding pedals in their reissues too.Anyway, it has been a real joy doing research on your site to see about getting that tiny bit closer to sounding a little like David Gilmour, sort of.

    My question for the Comfortably Numb solo is this: with the leslie speakers being a dominating effect on the solo would you put your Boss RT-20 leslie speaker simulator in the effects chain? Or is this effect only good by itself on a song like Us and Them?

    Secondly, you have been using your Fender CS ’69 pickups for every era lately. Have you given up on the ’54 pickups for the Wall material? Would it be possible to have ’69 pickups but rig it to switch out the bridge pickup for a Seymour Duncan like David has for the solo? Thanks for all, TQuay

    [Thanks TQuay! I don’t think a Leslie sim would do the trick or give you the same effect Gilmour gets from his Yamahas or Doppolas. When you add the RT-20 or any other sim in the chain it will act like any other effeect and colour your tone completely. What David does is that the rotating speaker isn’t really a main effect but it’s mixed lower than the Hiwatts. This makes the overall tone sound bigger with a rich character and just a hint of that swirly effect. You don’t really hear it but you’d hear that something was missing if it was turned off.
    I just wanted to hear how the CS69s sounded on my 50’s Strat. They sounded a bit thin on the 70’s Strat but very fat and well balanced on the 50’s. I’m not sure whether I’m going back to the CS54s or not but they’re really not that different. You could just replace the CS69 bridge pickup with a Duncan. -Bjorn]

  201. matt says:

    Great to now have a voice behind the person!
    Amazing new article and now I have some homework to do!
    I will be trying this on a few of my new designed pedals (G2 copy-ish thingy)

    Is it the Hiwatt or sound city that makes the muff sound still bright when the tone is at 40-50? I have to have my tone at 60-70% to get it… maybe my amp is just dark.

    [Thanks Matt! Hiwatts and Sound City are more or less the same amp. I set the tone at about 40% but slightly higher when I’m playing at home at a low volume. – Bjorn]

  202. Collin says:

    Cool article Bjorn! I like these in depth examinations on individual songs, and will be looking forward to the SOYCD Exam. And nice YouTube clips, by the way!

    [Thanks Collin! – Bjorn]

  203. Richard Stone says:

    Fantastic article as usual, Bjorn. Thanks for the video as well. I’ve been playing that part completely wrong all this time!

    Do you have any tips for his Live 8 tone? That’s my personal favourite but I can’t get it.

    [Thanks Richard! The setup for Live 8 is pretty much the same as on “Remember That Night”. He’s using the Cornish G-2 with the BK Butler Tube Driver behind it.. actually he used the old Chandler Tube Driver at Live 8, which is perhaps why it sounds a bit smoother compared to “Remeber”. – Bjorn]

  204. Embryo says:

    I always love your articles!!! Thank u again for this super guide about one of my favourite songs!!!
    Cheers from Italy :-)

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  205. Ørjan says:

    okey this is the biggest coinsidense ever i was watching Comfortably Numb from the Remember That Night dvd and was thinking to myself wonder if Bjørn ever wrote that CF article he promised so i type in Gilourish.com and wath is the first ting that meets me? yes the CF article cant wait to read it:)

    [Cheers Ørjan! – Bjorn]

  206. Mario says:

    Hi Bjorn, great article as always! Excuse me for my english. I remember when i saw Pink Floyd Live at Knebworth in tv, i was 14 years old and i was very impressed by Gilmour in particular that i decided to play guitar! Now i’m 32 and Gilmour remain my “GURU”.
    This is my set up for Comfortably Numb: CS3 comp., Big Muff USA Reissue BM2 mod. by Laa Custom (Carlo Sorasio is a great tech. in Torino), Sd1 (soon to be changed with something else), GE7 eq for mid boost, DD3 delay in a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.
    I’ll wait for your next article (Shine on?)

    [Cheers Mario! I had the same experience! I knew Pink Floyd through my sister but I didn’t know anything about them really. Then I saw the Knebworth show on TV in 1990 – I was 13 at the time – and David’s playing just blew my mind! I loved Sorrow and didn’t really pay much attention to the other songs in the set but now I must say that this Comf Numb version is one of my all time favourites and I often play it note by note… well try at least… when we play the song live. – Bjorn]

  207. Wonderful. You really know your stuff Bjorn. I have to say the second solo is pretty fun and now i’ll be able to add the waving part.

    I have a backing track of Comfortably Numb that is the PULSE version. So it has a longer 2nd solo. If u want i can send it to you. Just let me know.


    Adrian J. Emond

    [Please send it! Use my e-mail. Thanks! – Bjorn]

  208. ruud says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Superb article!
    I’ve spend half my life now to find that incredible numb sound. It’s nice to see that there are more lunatics like me :-) That’s also what I like about your site. Great clips included and specially the one played with that Charvel. I’ve played the numb solo in the past with a PRS with humbuckers and that sounded great to, but I also thought that Strat with single coils in combination with the hiwatt/sound city and Muff could only produces the right sound.
    I think that the right mix is also very important. Dave’s guitar is always very dominant and with the right compression from the table in combination with the great ambience is that what’s make the difference between good and great.
    I can’t wait for the Shine on article cause that’s the tone I’m looking for on the other half of my life.

    [Cheers Ruud! – Bjorn]

  209. erol says:

    excellent Bjorn!
    as fate would have it i recently picked up a BBE green screamer and its great, and plays really nice with my muff. going to try your setting later on.

    – erol

    [Thanks Erol! The BBE pedals sounds very nice indeed and should be an obvious choice for anyone considering Boss or other budget pedals. – Bjorn]

  210. Ryan Anderson says:

    Excellent article! I especially enjoyed the part where you explained the “waving part” in the live pulse numb solo. Just a suggestion, but I am sure many more people would enjoy more articles explaining and examining Gilmour’s guitar techniques.

    For example, some day could you analyze Mihalis. I love that song, (its a Gilmour lick factory), but I cannot figure out for the life of me some of the notes and intricacies Gilmour is using .

    Again great article and an even better website.

    [Thanks for the suggestions Ryan! – Bjorn]

  211. Lucas says:

    Quite inspiring article, really great.

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  212. William says:

    This is by far the best composed guitar solo by David.

  213. Alan says:

    also the “waving” part sounded realy good thanks for the tutorial.

  214. Alan says:

    Wow alot of equipment must be used for gilmour tones……but it isnt easy to get a good ilmour tone with just 3 effects.

    [As I write in the article the amount of effects depends very much on your guitar and amp and whether you’re playing at home or on a stage. With good pickups and a tube amp cranked to the max you can get a killer tone with just a distortion, overdrive/booster and delay, which was David’s setup on the 2006 version. – Bjorn]

  215. Mark says:


    You never miss out on any little details Bjorn ;)

    Brilliant Tutorial – Very well explained and very helpful! :)

    A big thank you as well, I can finally achieve that killer Comfortably Numb/Gilmour tone I’ve always dreamed of..

    Keep these articles and videos/tutorials coming Bjorn

    Your doing a great job!

    [Thanks Mark! – Bjorn]

  216. Jared Young says:

    Great Article Bjorn!!!
    It’s cool to see how so many different tones can still sound for the solo!
    And I saw the tutorial video, what you sound like! Great accent!

    [Thanks Jared! I hate hearing my self talk English LOL but hopefully you’ll undertstand what I’m saying :) – Bjorn]

  217. Leandro says:

    Awesome review Bjorn!.a little question….what kind of delay are you using? tape sim or digital delay?

    BTW that video helped me big time….I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time!


    [Thanks Leandro! I’m using a Boss DD-2, which sounds so much better than the DD-3, for this clip and a Deluxe Memory Man for some of the other YouTube clips. – Bjorn]

  218. Pete Tatooles says:

    Bjorn: Great piece!!! I have been debating the Comfortably Numb/Electric Mistress solo topic for the last month myself as I have been noodling with my vintage Electric Mistress and my modern Deluxe – one against the other. I just don’t hear it either on the studio version unless it’s mixed way down. I think this topic is very important and thanks for addressing it. I guess we might not ever know for sure but I hope we can get a real answer someday.

    [Thanks Pete! Sorry for the delayed answer but I wanted to go over the versions once again… The two solos are mixed completely different. The first solo is mixed in the middle like the vocals and to me it sounds like just a Muff and the Hiwatt and perhaps the Yamaha mixed very very low. The second solo is automatically double tracked or just copied and panned to each side. One of the tracks is slightly delayed making it sound bigger and wider. There’s definitely a rotating speaker sound way back but I can’t hear a Mistress. The film version of the second solo is mixed louder and the delayed signal isn’t that obvious. I think it’s also more of the Hiwatt signal on this one. If you compare these sounds with the solo on Young Lust, the heavy rhythms on Waiting for the Worms or even Run Like Hell, the typical metallic jet kind of flanger tone is much easier to hear. – Bjorn]

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