Pink Floyd are the artists behind some of the greatest rock songs ever to exist. Their music has been influential throughout their length history thanks to their passion for lyrics and sound effects. The band was first formed in 1965 and they are still considered to be cultural icons today.
The reason that Pink Floyd are so popular is because they weren’t afraid to experiment and be innovative with their music. They uniquely blended a number of different styles, mixing things like classic rock and jazz to form a more progressive genre.
Some of the most distinctive things about their work is their use of guitar. Syd Barrett was the man behind their earlier work who was replaced by David Gilmour in the later years of the band.
Pink Floyd songs can be difficult to play because of their complex structures but we’ve picked on the easiest tracks that will be suitable for a beginner. Read on to find all of the amazing solos that will help you when playing guitar as a novice. Each of the track we are going to be mentioning below includes a video tutorial on how you can play them.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Comfortably Numb
- 2 2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
- 3 3. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
- 4 4. Wish You Were Here
- 5 5. Hey You
- 6 6. High Hopes
- 7 7. Learning to Fly
- 8 8. Time
- 9 9. Money
- 10 10. Us and Them
- 11 11. Breathe
- 12 12. Louder Than Words
- 13 13. Welcome to the Machine
- 14 14. Have a Cigar
- 15 15. On the Turning Away
- 16 16. The Great Gig in the Sky
- 17 Conclusion
1. Comfortably Numb
We’ll start our list with Comfortably Numb which is Roger Waters’s main creation for both eh lyrics and music. The tune was composed with the help of David Gilmour. There’s a great guitar solo in there that can easily be Gilmour’s most masterful piece.
The track is about the main protagonist featured on the album and it details their struggles. They find that life is getting harder on a daily basis, but turning to drugs brings them clarity and a comfort in that numb feeling.
You’ll only need to use basic chords to play along with this. While it’s not the easiest song to play when it comes to the solos, it’s enjoyable. We would recommend trying this one out on your electric instead of acoustic guitar.
2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
This song is actually a tribute to Syd Barrett who was a former member and actual founder of the band. The song is a whopping 26 minutes long and it comes from the Wish You Were Here album. It’s probably the song that is most characteristic of all Pink Floyd songs.
The track is set out into two parts and was released as separate singles from the album. It features some great guitar solos and some emotional lyrics which any Pink Floyd fan will appreciate.
As a beginner, you will want to focus on the partitions because these are going to be the easiest parts. You’ll use bends, licks and legatos in these sections when you play guitar to this track. The other parts will probably be better suited to more intermediate players.
3. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
The Wall album was a legendary one for Pink Floyd and this is one of the singles to be released off that album in 1979. It’s the only song from the band that made it to number on in the music charts. The main song was composed by Roger Waters and you can hear this clearly reflected in the lyrics. He talks about his ideology being against that of modern society.
The story about how the song was composed is a peculiar one. When the band’s producer, Bob Ezrin, first listened to the track he insisted it would be a huge hit. He then suggested that another verse with an extra chorus should be added.
The band didn’t take too kindly to this and refused to make the revisions to the track. Going against their wishes, Ezrin recorded a children’s choir singing and added in a disco beat. He was finally able to persuade the band to release the single and it quickly became their most popular track.
You’ll be using riffs for the rhythm along with palm mutes and barre chords. The solo in the middle is for intermediate players but you can pick out the easier parts as a beginner.
4. Wish You Were Here
Once Syd left the band in 1968 he was still on friendly terms with the members until his passing. Pink Floyd released the Dark Side of the Moon album which was dedicated to Barrett and to mental illness. Wish You Were Here, both the album and the single, were tributes to Barrett’s madness and genius.
David Gilmour uses a twelve string guitar on this track which we wouldn’t expect any beginner to be able to pick up. However, the mellow tunes from the melody and riffs are more than suitable for a novice guitarist.
Focus on the intro and solo that is featured in the song which will sound best on the acoustic guitar. All of the chords used are open and the outro solo, as well as the main one, are beginner friendly. You can practice your C major scale with bends and slides if you choose to play Wish You Were Here.
5. Hey You
Another classic song from The Wall album is Hey You, composed by Roger Water. It’s a song about the protagonist who is the main character from the album, called Pink. In this track, he is trying to isolate himself from the world both physically and mentally.
When the song first starts out you will hear arpeggios from the guitar and then the vocals kick in along with a fretless bass riff. Mason comes in with his drums in the middle of the song where there is a solo partition. This is when the guitar switches over to become more distorted, making it sound heavier for the solo parts. Listening to the solo, it almost acts like a crescendo as the notes become higher and higher for every bar.
6. High Hopes
With the absence of Roger Waters, Pink Floyd wasn’t quite as productive as they once were. High Hopes is probably the exception to this rule. Referencing the older albums from the band and the milestones they have accomplished, High Hopes is all about pink Floyd’s career. The story goes right from their creation through to their success, on to the breakup and the future for the group.
The sing is built entirely around the central melody but the main highlight of the track is the three minute solo from David Gilmour that makes up the end of the song. It shows him as a guitar player at his very best.
You’ll find that this is an easy song when it comes to the strum pattern. As a first song from Pink Floyd, it’s a good pick. The guitar part is made up of easy chords and arpeggios which a beginner can pick up quickly. The more challenging parts are going to be when the guitar slide technique is used. While this is a fairly easy technique for experienced players, beginners will need to practice.
7. Learning to Fly
Once Roger Waters had departed from the band, David Gilmour had to step in to lead them. Learning to Fly was a song that he composed that best described his situation. When the track was featured on the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason it became an instant highlight and is well-known to be one of Pink Floyd’s more classic tracks.
You’ll be using the four basic chords of F, C, Am and G and a strum pattern that features repetitive up and down strumming. What you need to pay attention to here is the dynamics. The accents have to be played at the correct time, otherwise it throws the whole song off.
The Dark Side of the Moon album is probably the most celebrated and legendary that the band ever released. Time is one of the tracks that featured on this album. You’ll hear a super psychedelic introduction to the song, with David Gilmour’s guitar solo ripping into the middle. Nick Mason also adds in a great DRM solo. It’s those iconic partitions in the track that accompany the beautiful and deep lyrics which make it such a stand out classic.
The main focus of this song is time and how mortality slips away from us. It’s also the only song on the album that is credited to have all of the band members on it.
It isn’t going to be the easiest Pink Floyd song to play because of the different chord embellishments used in each verse. The guitar solo is also a tricky one. You will play this part in an F# minor scale and it’s probably one of the most famous guitar solos ever to be written.
We’re going back to the Dark Side of the Moon again with Money. It features one of the most famous guitar riffs from the band. Roger Waters wrote this one about fame and what a curse it can be, penning it as an anti-greed complaint. Once written, it became a hit song for Pink Floyd and helped make the album so legendary and the most sold album in all rock history.
The bass riff is written in a 7:4 time signature and it’s all based around this part. The rhythm then shifts for your standard 4:4 time later on in the song. You can transfer this bass riff onto your electric guitar to help you get used to odd rhythms like these. The solo is for higher level players because it features techniques such as double-stops, bends and legatos. If you already know these skills as a beginner, go for it. You’ll give yourself a challenge and can improve on your guitar playing techniques.
10. Us and Them
The longest song that is on the Dark Side of the Moon is Us and Them. It’s a dynamic track that has a quiet tone to it and you can hear the jazz influence throughout. The lyrics speak about racism, civil liberties, racial prejudices and other topics that divide people.
Us and Them uses a jazz chord progression combined with arpeggiated riffs that add smoothness to the track. There are also two great saxophone solos if you know anyone who is a sax player. The main progression on the guitar is simple but it’s the nuances used throughout the song that make it a bit more complex to master. You may also want to try out the saxophone solos on the guitar.
Breathe was the second song to come from the Dark Side of the Moon album. It was originally Waters’s idea and then he composed it with Gilmour and Rick Wright to make the final cut. There’s a lot of slide guitar played by Gilmour that makes this track impressive.
There’s an interesting story that plays out in the lyrics to this song. An older man is talking to a baby about working life and how he can overcome any struggles by doing what inspires him the most.
You’ll need to learn arpeggios and be comfortable with embellishments to play this track accurately. It’s a good and easy one where you can strum out the chords if you find the arpeggios too hard to grasp.
12. Louder Than Words
Pink Floyd released an album in 2014 called Endless River and Louder Than Words was the most recent song to be released from this album. The album was a mixture of unreleased projects that Pik Floyd had worked on over the years. of the entire album, it’s the only track that has both lyrics and vocals at the same time.
The song has a more traditional structure for playing guitar with verses and chorus sections. There is also a great Gilmorurlead guitar solo as well. You should definitely check out the video as well, watching a man look over the worl dthrog boats sailing amongst the clouds.
You’ll be using elementary style chords but there are barre ones thrown in there for a bit of a challenge. The melody is really enjoyable to play as well so we would suggest you definitely take a look at that part.
13. Welcome to the Machine
A very dark track to be featured on the Wish You Were Here 1957 album was Welcome to the Machine. The arrangement is pure brilliance and when this is combined with the guitar tones and processed synthesizers, it makes for a very memorable song.
The lyrics of the song are about a young musician who is trying to break into the music industry. He lands a contract by selling his soul to the devil and eventually exchanges his own dreams for the desires of our society. It was intended to be a criticism of both society and the music industry, referring to them both as the machine.
The guitar part is relatively easy and is split into two basic open chords – Em(add9) and c(maj7).
14. Have a Cigar
Have a Cigar is another song that talks about how corporations try to control their musicians within the music industry. It was off the same album at Welcome to the Machineand was sung by Roy Harper. This was because Waters had a vocal problem and Gilmour wasn’t comfortable singing it.
There is a more solid rock riff from this song which features slides and double-stops. The chords are easy in the verses and you can nail those cool embellishments that happen in between. David Gilmour gives us one of his more technical solos with a great rhythm guitar part. You’ll need slightly more experience past a beginner if you want to catch onto those nuances that make the song sound so good.
15. On the Turning Away
We’re rounding out our list with one of the lesser known songs from the band which was featured on the first album that didn’t include Waters, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. The song is all about how people will turn away from the weary and weak despite the fact that suffering in the world is such a huge problem.
It’s definitely a power ballad and is very melancholic and sentimental for Pink Floyd. The guitar solo has been very well composed. You will use quite a few different chords and their variations here. They’re all in easy positions which should be comfortable to play and switch between. The solo is also not that challenging but you have to get those bends nailed to make it sound right.
16. The Great Gig in the Sky
We’re finishing off our list with one of the better known songs from Pink Floyd which was composed by Rick Wright only. He was the keyboard player for the band. Clare Torry features as the vocalist and the song was inspired by death and sadness.
The piano and vocals are the main essence of this song, with a few guitar slides thrown in. The riff will help you get familiar with the slide technique and will also encourage you to improvise while playing.
There are very few bands in the course of music history that have made such a unique impact as Pink Floyd have. The guitar parts, while challenging, are fun to play and should definitely be part of your guitar playing catalog.