Getting The Best Pink Floyd Guitar Tone (Run Like Hell)

Ayla Tesler-Mabe  /  Lessons / Mar 18


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In this lesson, we’ll be breaking down David Gilmour’s immaculate guitar tone in the song “Run Like Hell” from Pink Floyd’s 1979 album The Wall. This song is built on a particularly groovy delay-loaded guitar riff played by Gilmour. The biggest challenge in playing this tune yourself is getting the riff and the two synchronous delays to play nicely together. Let’s take a deeper look at the gear that David used on this track.

The Guitar & Amp

He famously used a Fender Esquire on this song. An Esquire is almost identical to a typical Telecaster other than its missing neck pickup. Any guitar with a single-coil in the bridge pickup position will get you close to the right sound. It’s important to note that he tuned his guitar down to drop D to play this riff.

David Gilmour is known for using a 100-watt Hiwatt DR103 for most of his career. But to get his sound, any loud and clean amp will do the job. 

Pedals & Effects

You’ll need to use a combination of pedals to achieve the “Run Like Hell” guitar tone. This all starts with a compressor. Gilmour uses an MXR Dyna Comp to even out his playing dynamics and bring out the sound of each individual note. 

MXR M102 Dyna Comp Compressor Pedal
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To drive the signal a little bit, Ayla uses an Exotic Effects EP Booster. This makes the guitar hit the other pedals and the amp a little bit harder while simultaneously adding some grit to the signal.

Xotic EP Booster Mini Boost Pedal
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Next up, you’ll need a flanger. Gilmour used an old Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress, but almost any flanger will get you there. Electro-Harmonix makes a few current versions of this pedal that will get the job done.

Electro-Harmonix Stereo Electric Mistress Flanger/Chorus Pedal
Buy Now: Sweetwater

Now we’ll get into what is probably the most important part – the delay. David Gilmour used a Binson Echorec for most of his career, and for this song he used an MXR rackmount digital delay. Since these effects are a little bit unrealistic to get your hands on, you can get close to the same sound with any other vintage-sounding digital delay. 

For “Run Like Hell”, he used two delays in tandem. The main delay was set to 380ms with 7-8 repeats and the level set to unity with the guitar. The second delay was set to 507ms and mixed to be quieter. Here are two delay pedals that can help you get David’s delay sound.

Catalinbread Echorec Binson-style Delay Pedal
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TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay Pedal
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The final piece of the puzzle is an analog tape machine emulator. David usually got this from the Binson Echorec, but you can get it from any tape-style delay pedal. The Catalinbread Echorec we mentioned earlier is a great option since it works as both a delay and as a tone shaper.

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