“While I was on the phone, there was this loud noise in the background… It was David, who had been working on one note all day long for two weeks”: He’s spent decades chasing David Gilmour’s guitar tone – now Steve McElroy reveals what he’s learned

David Gilmour live onstage at Circo Massimo in 2016, Strat in hand
(Image credit: Roberto Panucci/Corbis via Getty Images)

With over five million tickets sold for performances all across the globe, The Australian Pink Floyd Show are undisputed champions when it comes to recreating the music of the world’s most celebrated prog rock band. And they even come with an official stamp of approval – David Gilmour was so impressed by them, he invited the group to perform at his 50th birthday party.

Here, Steve McElroy, the guitarist who helped start the project all the way back in 1988, talks us through the tools needed to emulate those genre-defining sounds and explains why the Pink Floyd guitarist is in a class of his own when it comes to channelling emotion…

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).