Comfortably Numb (Solo 1)

Animated Comfortably Numb (Solo 1) tab by Pink Floyd on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is the first solo of two in Comfortably Numb. It's classic Gilmore, and begins with a sweep picked arpeggio on the D major chord.

In other words, hold the chord and 'almost' strum it. Rake your pick down as if strumming, but not quite as fast as a regular strum. This causes the strings in the chord to be sounded in sequential order, but still very fast. The tricky part is with your fretboard hand - specifically, in muting / removing your fingers off the notes as soon as they've been played (while that's happening your pick will already be hitting the next string, so a co-ordination between both hands is needed here).

You can cut corners and just mute the D chord and rake it instead if you wish. That way you don't need to worry about muting / removing fingers off the strings fast with your fretboard hand. You'll get the same type of effect. Gilmore actually does that technique on the A major chord later in the solo - click here.

Whichever way you do your D major sweep, just make sure you keep that last F# note held and apply vibrato.

The first sweep in this solo is also a bit awkward because of the little finger. We put it in to remain true to the song, however, we recommend you forget the little finger and just sweep 3 notes of the D chord instead. Just like we show here (for the second sweep in the solo). It sounds the same, and is much easier to practice!

Sweeps (or rakes) are very fast, but once you treat them more as a controlled strum rather than a way to play a series of notes very fast, you'll find they become a lot easier to practice. Just be patient and keep at it, you'll master the technique quickly enough with some practice. Also, use the search feature on the ActionTabs section for more specific lessons on sweeps and arpeggios.

Oops! You need Flash 9+ and Javascript enabled

In order to view this ActionTab preview you need a web browser with Flash 9 or higher and Javascript. If this is your first time visiting you should be seeing a blue animated fretboard. If you feel your system meets these requirements but it still isn't working get in touch and we'll see if we can help.

Unfortunately Adobe Flash isn't supported on Apple's iPhone and iPad. If you are using a device running on Google Android you will be able to use Flash. Click on the Adobe Flash button below to download it.