Want to learn to play guitar like David Gilmour?

Want to learn to play like David Gilmour of Pink Floyd?

With the David Gilmour Player study, you’ll be “Learning to Fly” by learning his signature use of bends, vibrato, double note rhythms and minor scale notes.


David Gilmour joined English rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-vocalist in 1967, just before founding member Syd Barrett left. From a young age, Gilmour’s parents encouraged his passion for music, and Gilmour was inspired by artists like Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, and Bill Haley. According to a 2008 biography, Gilmour taught himself to play guitar using a record set and book by Pete Seeger. He met Barrett and fellow future Pink Floyd bandmate Roger Waters at 11. The boys attended different schools on the same road. He practiced guitar at lunchtime with Barrett. 

In 1962, Gilmour joined a blues band called “Jokers Wild”. They recorded an album of which only 50 copies were made. Gilmour busked around Spain and France with Barrett and some other friends in 1965. With very little money, the boys were arrested at one point, and Gilmour had to go to the hospital at one point for malnutrition. In 1967, Gilmour traveled to France with two of his “Jokers Wild” bandmates, performing under the names “Flowers” and “Bullitt”. The group was not financially successful, although Gilmour contributed vocals for two songs on the Brigette Bardot film Two Weeks in September. When the band got back to England later that year, they were so strapped for cash that they had to push their tour bus. 


Gilmour’s playing style has been described as a link between Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. He welds electric blues and rock guitar techniques in his playing, which utilizes vibrato with a whammy bar, string bending, and use of scales and arpeggios. In addition to guitar, Gilour plays bass, keyboards, banjo, lap steel, mandolin, harmonica, drums, and saxophone.

Legacy and awards 

Gilmour continued to play with Pink Floyd after Roger Waters left the band in 1985. He has also released four solo albums, was inducted into the U.S and U.K. Rock and Roll Hall of Fames, and was made a Commander of the Order of the British empire. He has also produced several artists including Dream Academy. 

The Kate Bush connection

English singer Kate Bush enjoyed a new surge of popularity in 2022 after her 1985 song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” went viral, thanks to being used in the soundtrack for Stranger Things Part. 4. Gilmour is often credited with bringing Bush into the public eye. In the 1970s, he received a mixtape by the then 16-year-old Bush from a family friend, and paid for her to professionally record three demo tracks. He also arranged for the EMI executive who signed Bush to hear the tape.

Once you learn Gilmour’s signature style, you can test drive it with Pink Floyd lessons on the Fret Zealot app!

Comfortably Numb 

Gilmour wrote the music for one of Pink Floyd’s most recognizable songs, and Roger Waters wrote the lyrics. The song is part of their concept album The Wall (released in 1979) and was inspired by Waters being injected with a muscle relaxant to help with hepatitis symptoms before a show.

Wish You Were Here 

The original album version of “Wish You Were Here” switches from the previous track, “Have a Cigar”, as if it was played on a radio switching from station to station, including a snippet of classical music and a radio play between tracks. The audio was recorded from Gilmour’s car radio. Gilmour then plays the intro on a 12-string guitar and overdubs another acoustic guitar solo. The part is mixed to sound like someone is playing guitar with the radio.

Want to learn how to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix?

Learning the legendary Jimi Hendrix’s trademark technique with the Jimi Hendrix Player Study will put you in a “Purple Haze”. 

This course covers Hendrix’s signature style, including his chords-with-lead style, signature chords, and licks. 

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.He was one of the pioneers of utilizing guitar amplifier feedback artistically, and helped to popularize tone-altering pedals like fuzz distortion, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe. 


Young Hendrix had a tough upbringing – his parents had a rocky relationship, eventually divorcing when he was nine. In elementary school, he took to carrying a broom with him to pretend it was a guitar. This quirk attracted the attention of the school’s social worker, who petitioned the school to buy him a guitar. The school and Hendrix’s father both refused. 

Hendrix first got his hands on a string instrument while helping his dad with a side job. The client allowed Jimi to keep an old, one-stringed ukulele that was among the items being removed from her home – and he taught himself by ear to play Elvis Presley songs. He bought his first guitar for $5 (about $51 in 2022) and played for hours every day. He listened to artists like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Robert Johnson for inspiration. 

With the acoustic, he formed his first band, but could barely be heard without amplification. His father bought him a white Supro Ozark in mid-1959. 

When Hendrix joined the army (instead of going to prison for riding in stolen cars) he wrote his father a letter begging him to send him his guitar. A fellow serviceman, Billy Cox, heard him playing and the two began playing at base clubs in a band, playing in a band, according to a 2006 biography on Hendrix. Hendrix completed training as a paratrooper, but was found unsuitable for service and was granted a general discharge under honorable conditions in 1962.

Billy Cox was also discharged from the Army shortly after, and the pair moved to Tennessee and began playing in a band. Hendrix performed in his own band as well as backing bands for acts like Wilson Pickett, Jackie Wilson, The Isley Brothers, and Little Richard, before signing his own recording contract. 


"Brenton Bersin played bass for Hendrix at Woodstock, August 18th, 1969." by Curtis Gaston is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Hendrix didn’t use the standard barre chord fretting technique most of his peers employed – instead, he fretted notes on the 6th string with his thumb. The technique let him to sustain the chord’s root notes while playing the melody, a method sometimes called “piano style”. Hendrix drew from diverse genres including blues, jazz, American folk music, 1950s rock and roll, and soul to create his trademark style, and his music has helped shape the development of heavy metal, hard rock, post-punk, hip-hop and grunge music.

                                                 Awards and legacy 

"Jimi-Hendrix-grave-46357" by brucedetorres@gmail.com is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

Hendrix influenced many great artists who came after him, including Prince, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Smith of The Cure, Black Sabbath , A Tribe Called Quest, Run-DMC, and Halsey. The Greenwich Village studio he commissioned, Electric Lady Studios, has been used by artists like U2, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga. Hendrix received many awards throughout his life and posthumously, including 1968’s “Performer of the Year” by Rolling Stone and was ranked #1 on the same publication’s list of greatest guitarists of all time. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and his debut album, Are You Experienced, was added to the U.S. National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2005. 

Want to get started on your guitar journey? The Fret Zealot apps are the best way to learn guitar with thousands of video lessons, 80,000 song tracks, every chord and scale, 60 alternate tunings, and so much more.

The optional Fret Zealot LED system fits just next to your frets and shows you color coded finger positions to play anything you want.

Great guitarists who learned later in life

You’re never too old to pick up a guitar and start learning! Although most guitar greats started playing their instruments as children, there are some musicians who started playing in college or later and still found great success in music. 

Here are some guitarists who learned later in life: 


Tom Morello 

"Tom Morello, Rage Against the Machine @ Christiania 1993" by pellesten is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello started playing guitar at age 17 – not an advanced age, but later than many famous guitarists. Morello told Q on CBC that he had only heard of one guitarist who had made albums who started playing that late – Robert Johnson, the blues master rumored to have sold his soul to the devil for musical prowess. 

“Given my Catholic upbringing, that was not an option on the menu,” Morello joked. Instead, he devoted himself to practicing six to eight hours a day as an undergraduate at Harvard University.

Glen Tipton 

Judas Priest guitarist Glen Tipton learned piano from his mother at an early age, but didn’t start playing guitar until he was 19. Tipton’s brother played guitar, and Tipton said he would sneak into his brother’s room to play the guitar when he was gone.  His unique guitar technique includes classically-influenced solos inspired by his piano background. Tipton has never had formal guitar lessons.

Chuck Berry 

"Chuck Berry in 1957" by US Department of State is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

The Father of Rock and Roll had an early interest in music and performed at his high school, but his musical career was interrupted when he was arrested for armed robbery and sent to a reformatory until his 21st birthday. After being released, Berry married and had children, worked various jobs and bought a home in St. Louis. He was in his mid-twenties by the time he picked up a guitar again and started playing nightclubs with bands. His song, “Maybellene”, helped him land his first record deal. It’s considered the first rock ‘n’ roll song by many music historians.

You can learn Chuck Berry’s signature style with the The Guitar of Chuck Berry course! It features 100 lessons covering the most important aspects of the Chuck Berry guitar style. 

Tom Scholz 

"File:TomScholz.JPG" by Weatherman90 at English Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Boston’s remaining original member, Tom Scholz, is a classically trained pianist and an MIT-trained engineer who built out his own recording studio. He was 21 when he started learning guitar, a skill he originally thought would just be a hobby. But while working as an engineer at Polaroid, Scholz worked on original music that eventually resulted in a record deal. 

Wes Montgomery

As a child, jazz guitarist John Leslie “Wes” Montgomery learned on a four-string tenor guitar, but had to start over on a six-string years later. Montgomery was married and working as a welder when he heard a Charles Christian record for the first time – inspiring him to buy a six-string guitar the next day. By age 20, he was playing in clubs with a day job at a milk company. A self-taught guitarist, Montgomery’s string-plucking with the side of his thumb and extensive use of octaves gave him a one-of-a-kind sound.

Want to get started on your guitar journey? The Fret Zealot apps are the best way to learn guitar with thousands of video lessons, 80,000 song tracks, every chord and scale, 60 alternate tunings, and so much more.

The optional Fret Zealot LED system fits just next to your frets and shows you color coded finger positions to play anything you want.

How these famous guitarists learned how to play

Have you ever wondered how your favorite guitarists learned to play? No professional guitarist starts out as an expert – some of the world’s most famous guitarists were self-taught, some took traditional lessons, and some had other musical backgrounds before picking up a guitar. 

Here’s how these famous guitarists learned how to play their instruments.

Kurt Cobain

Nirvana frontman and guitarist Kurt Cobain was born into a musical family. His uncle played in a band called The Beachcombers, his aunt Mari played guitar in bands, and his great-uncle was an Irish tenor who was featured in 1930’s King of Jazz. According to Mari, Cobain began singing at the age of two and was singing and playing the piano at four. For his 14th birthday, Cobain’s uncle let him choose between a bike and a used guitar as a gift, and he chose the guitar. He learned songs by Queen and Led Zeppelin before starting to work on his own songs. Cobain was forced to write with his right hand, but he played guitar left-handed.


Legendary Guns ‘N Roses guitarist Slash originally planned to learn the bass before picking up a guitar.

Slash told Marshall Podcast that he didn’t have either instrument when he showed up for his first music lesson at age ten. His instructor showed him some guitar licks by Cream, and Slash said he realized that was what he wanted to play. The young Slash didn’t enjoy taking lessons, but his teacher promised him that if he learned the basics, he would teach him to play whatever he wanted. The instructor kept his word, and showed Slash how to learn by ear. Slash quit after a few lessons and continued to learn by ear.

Learn Slash’s signature style with the Slash Player Study.

Brian May 

Queen guitarist (and astrophysicist) Brian May’s enthusiasm for guitar started early, when his father taught him a few chords on the ukulele. At seven, he was given a Spanish guitar and also started taking piano lessons. 

The family didn’t have a lot of money, but Brian’s father had a background in engineering. When Brian was 15, they built an electric guitar together from scratch, creating the “Red Special” that May still uses today. The process took about 18 months, using an 18th century fireplace mantle for the neck, oak for the body, and pearl buttons for the fret markers. 

Learn Brian May’s style with the Brian May Player Study.

Jimi Hendrix

According to a 2010 biography about the guitar legend, when Jimi Hendrix was in elementary school, he had a habit of carrying a broom with him and pretending it was a guitar. After a year of this, the school’s social worker took note and requested funding from the school to buy young Hendrix a real guitar. However, the school and Hendrix’s father both refused. Young Hendrix did get his hands on a one-stringed ukulele after finding it in the garbage he and his father were removing from a home during a side job. He was able to teach himself Elvis Presley songs by ear while listening to the radio. The next year, at age 15, Hendrix bought his first acoustic guitar. He played for hours every day, listening to blues artists like B.B. King and Robert Johnson.

Learn Jimi Hendrix’s trademark style with the Jimi Hendrix player study.

                                                           John Mayer

"Crossroads Festival 2010 - John Mayer" by aaronHwarren is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

According to an LA Times article, young John Mayer became infatuated with the guitar after watching Marty McFly’s performance in Back to The Future. Mayer’s father rented a guitar for him to play when he turned 13, and a Stevie Ray Vaughan cassette tape gifted to him by a neighbor helped Mayer develop his affection for the blues. Mayer took guitar lessons from a guitar shop owner in his Bridgeport, Connecticut hometown. His preoccupation with the instrument concerned his parents so much that they took him to see a psychiatrist, who assured them he was fine.

Learn John Mayer’s technique with the John Mayer Player Study.

Jack White 


White Stripes lead singer and guitarist Jack White had older brothers who were in a band, and he played their hand-me-down instruments, including a drum kit he found in the attic. White told 60 Minutes in 2005 that he had planned to become a priest, and was even accepted into a Wisconsin seminary, but he had just gotten a new amplifier and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to bring it with him. Instead, he went to a technical high school and played drums and trombone in a band, and began playing guitar in a band while doing an apprenticeship with a family friend. 


Want to get started on your guitar journey? The Fret Zealot apps are the best way to learn guitar with thousands of video lessons, 80,000 song tracks, every chord and scale, 60 alternate tunings, and so much more.

The optional Fret Zealot LED system fits just next to your frets and shows you color coded finger positions to play anything you want.


These are the hardest courses to learn with Fret Zealot

You’ve mastered chords and scales and you’re well on your way to being a guitar star – so what’s next? You can take on a new challenge with one of these advanced skill level courses on the Fret Zealot app!

John Mayer Player Study 


Learn the “continuum” of John Mayer’s unique playing style with the John Mayer Player Study! This course will take you through Mayer’s signature fingerstyle patterns, favored chord shapes, and percussive elements to help you nail his catalog in style. 

This complete course will walk you through Mayer’s bluesier styles, his lead guitar approach, and how to add licks, chord inversions, and bends to master his style. 

Jimi Hendrix Player Study 

If you want to play guitar like a legend, this course is for you! 

The Jimi Hendrix course will take you through Hendrix’s trademark chords-with-lead style, breaking down his licks and favored chord shapes, so you can incorporate elements of his style in your own playing. 

Jimmy Page Player Study

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page defined the band’s sound by blending traditional blues music with new progressive guitar styles! This course covers Page’s legato skills, chord shapes, and use of full scale. 

Steve Lukather Player Study 

Steve Lukather is the sole continuous founding member of Toto – but he also is a virtuosic guitar player and has contributed licks to albums like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Boz Scaggs’ “Middle Man”. This course will take you through Lukather’s techniques, including fast mixolydian runs, hybrid picking, and “liquid playing”.

Joe Bonamassa – Player Study

American blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa got his start at age 12 opening for B.B. King, and is famous for his fast runs and melodies! This course will teach you Bonamassa’s pentatonic shapes, signature licks, and legato-style playing. 

B.B. King Player Study 

You can’t learn the blues without studying The King of The Blues! This course takes you through King’s legendary style, including combining the major and minor pentatonic scales, string bending, and staccato picking.