When talking about legendary musicians, David Gilmour believes Eric Clapton as a guitarist is high on the list.
As a guitarist himself, Gilmour’s musical ability to wield effects like delay and distortion shaped the very sound of contemporary rock. His mastery of his craft has etched his name in the annals of guitar history, leaving an unmistakable mark on the world. His playing style resembles a signature, blending graceful phrasing, expressive bends, and soaring vibrato.
Gilmour got the inspiration for playing like that from many Blues players, including Eric Clapton. From his time with Pink Floyd to his solo endeavors, Gilmour’s influence has touched Clapton’s ability to pour emotions through his guitar.
One significant chapter in Gilmour’s journey as a guitarist is his connection with Eric Clapton. Clapton’s influence on Gilmour’s style is undeniable, leaving an indelible imprint on his musical identity. Gilmour acknowledged, “All of those guys were incredible. I spent time trying to learn how to play their licks perfectly.” It’s fascinating how he looked up to Clapton and other blues players as inspiration.
Delving deeper, it’s clear that Clapton’s impact on Gilmour’s guitar-playing journey extends beyond admiration. Clapton’s work with iconic bands like the Yardbirds and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers left an enduring impression on Gilmour’s approach. Gilmour’s words speak volumes about this connection, “You will wind up knowing how to play their stuff quite well. But eventually, you will find your own style from that. It forces its way out of the copying.”
A young Gilmour found himself immersed in the world of classic blues solos. The music of Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and even Howlin’ Wolf became a cornerstone of his learning process. Gilmour’s wisdom shines through as he emphasizes the importance of copying during the early stages of one’s musical journey. He shares, “When you start out, you copy. Trying to be too original when you’re too young is possibly not the best thing.”
In 2017, Gilmour’s insights echoed in his interview with UNCUT. He openly admitted that Clapton was one of the guitarists he emulated during his formative years. He was unreserved about the impact of emulation, mentioning that he learned by imitating Pete Seeger, Lead Belly, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and many others. This learning process paved the way for his diverse and rich style.
Gilmour’s journey was a tapestry woven with influences. He humbly acknowledged that he was shaped by various musicians, from the legendary Leadbelly to the melodic artistry of Hank Marvin. His openness to embracing inspiration is a testament to his artistic growth.
Reflecting on his evolution, Gilmour noted, “These days, I don’t listen to other people with the objective of trying to steal their licks. Although I’ve got no objections to stealing them if that seems like a good idea.” His journey from emulation to personal expression is a path all artists tread.
In conclusion, David Gilmour’s musical Odyssey showcases the power of emulation and the art of finding one’s unique voice. Through the influence of Eric Clapton and other iconic musicians, Gilmour’s guitar journey teaches us that copying is not only a foundation but also a launchpad for originality. Gilmour’s legacy reminds us that while we begin by imitating, our journey leads us to authenticity.