Comfortably Numb Guitar Solo Tab
What You'll Need For This Exercise...
Download the guitar tab (PDF) from the exercise “Materials” tab first. The tab shows you how to play Solo #1 from Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. This is a great solo to learn for beginners and intermediate players. However, you’ll want to have the PDF immediately available (either on a screen or printed out).
How to Complete This Exercise...
For beginner guitarists learning to play this solo, the challenges will be with learning and executing the articulations – bends and slides. This version is pretty close to exact, but designed to exclude hammer-ons and pull-offs. Since string bending and slides are so central to the vibe of this solo, we must be sure to get them right. Here are the steps to follow in this exercise:
- Try to figure out the solo by ear, first. This tab starts after the first main chorus in the original song recording.
- Once you’ve got a working version in your hands, you should look at what you’re playing and see if you can make out any pentatonic or 7-tone scale shapes.
- Finally, increase your playback speed (requires memorization) until you are roughly matching the original recording and getting most (if not all) the articulations correct.
Continuing to Improve...
You should go into this knowing how to overcome the challenges of learning guitar solos:
- Technically-speaking guitar solos require strength, coordination and dexterity. So, if you’re having a hard time bending strings, sliding between notes or other technical problems (picking, fret-precision) then you should work on improving those specific skills.
- Memorizing 16 bars of notes and articulations can be hard when you’re starting out. Here’s what to do: memorize one measure at a time. Then ‘glue’ 2 measures together… then 3… then 4. Since this solo is 16 measures long, you can think of it as ‘gluing’ together only 4 4-bar segments. It will be easier to memorize in chunks.
Playing the solo over and over a million times will definitely help you get better. But, focusing on your most glaring challenges one-at-a-time is the best way to make progress more quickly.