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In the solo from hey you by pink floyd, at 2:35, Gilmour does a bend when the timbre of the sound changes significantly, from an "O" kind of sound, to more of an "A". Video:

How does he do this?

3
  • Hardly a significant change, but anyway - what reasons do you have for asking? Curiosity, are you trying to learn the solo verbatim, part of a Pink Floyd tribute band, what?
    – Tim
    Sep 22 at 22:00
  • I would say the more significant change in timbre occurs with a few notes around the 2:40 mark. Compare the note played at 2:40 with the same note at 2:35. The 2:40 has a "rounder" sound. Without listening too deeply, this sounds to me like some combination of wah pedal, as well as finger and picking technique, as described by others.
    – cbp
    Sep 23 at 9:19
  • There are certain regions, within the "pickup area" where you can tap-mute the string with your thumb while picking and you get sort of harmonic-influenced twang while still having a proper note (think of it like a lot of "dry" note with some "wet mix" of a harmonic. He uses this technique a lot, and IIRC, he uses it in this solo in a few places. By moving your hand a little forward and a little back from the sweet spot, you can control the how pronounced the effect is. The flange smears it out.
    – Yorik
    Sep 24 at 20:43
13

The solo does have a slow and subtle wah type effect to it. According to the site below he uses an Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress Flanger on that solo. A flanger will give you varying degrees of vowel sounds, as you described it. The site also contains information on other gear he uses and has used over the years.

https://www.pinkfloyd-guitar.com/LinksContactGear/david_gilmour_gear.html

4

I'm not really hearing this as a "significant" change in timbre. It seems pretty subtle to me.

I don't mean to contradict, I'm just saying so, because I don't think anything is changing in terms of electronic gear.

When you scribe the "O" sound to an "A", I think you mean generally it changes to a tone with more high end, a brighter tone. I sort of hear that, but I really don't think I would have noticed a change without you pointing out that particular moment in the solo.

It's complicated by the fact the solo starts moving up to higher pitches at that point. That's more high end sound just from playing higher pitches. But, it also makes me think there could be a string change involved. The various strings definitely have different timbres and that could be contributing. Also, picking technique can make a subtle different. Not only with the strength/release of the pluck, but where on the string the pick is placed.

So, I'm not really sure I hear the significant change in timbre that you do, but I don't think there is a change is electronic processing - there may be flange/wah like @JohnBelzaguy described, but I don't think it's changing at that point in the solo - but changing strings and pick technique can create different timbres and those may be a factor in this case.

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Sounds to me as simple as he's playing on the second string, and bends up the third string at that point, which has a slightly different tone to it.

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I'm hearing something, maybe, that could be as simple as moving from neck to bridge pickup, or even picking position. I've listened to this when album for 35 years and not noticed, and if I was trying to learn the solo to play out, I wouldn't peg it as important compared to everything else you'd need to nail in concert.

0

Off hand, my first assumption is that he went from down stroke picking to up stroke picking. That along with running the signal thru a flanger or a chorus to "widen" the sound but again as others here have mentioned, it's more subtle. Someone else here also mentioned where the pick is striking the string which can make small changes to a note as well. I believe you may want to experiment in this route more as Gilmour was greatly influenced by the Blues players before him. Blues players were known to use picking techniques that were outside of the normal to get a more original sound. Mind you, they didn't have all the technology that we enjoy today.

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