June 3, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Pink Floyd – Money

220px-Dark_Side_of_the_MoonPink Floyd’s Money is the only song on the 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon that made it to the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Money has often been misinterpreted as a tribute to money and greed but it’s really about the bad things these evils can bring. Ironically, it paid Pink Floyd lots of cash as it sold over 34 million copies.

About The Song

Pink Floyd’s founding member, bassist and co-lead vocalist Roger Waters is credited for writing the song. Waters provided the basic music and lyrics for Money. Waters also put together the cash register tape loop that played throughout the song. The track also contains sounds of tearing paper and a bag of coins being thrown into an industrial food-mixing bowl. Waters captured the sounds of an old cash register on tape by meticulously splicing and cutting the tape in a rhythmic pattern to make the cash register loop effect.

David Gilmour provided the vocals and the famous guitar solo, as well as the time signature change from the original 7/8 time to the unusual and experimental 7/4 to 4/4. The rest of the band created the instrumental jam, resulting in a psychedelic sound that could translate to the insanity greed and money could bring to a person.

When asked by Guitar World in February 1993 where the unusual time signature for money came from, Gilmore replied, “Its Roger’s riff. Roger came in with the verses and the lyrics for Money more or less completed. And we just made up middle sections, guitar solos and all that stuff. We also invented some new riffs—we created a 4/4 progression for the guitar solo and made the poor saxophone player play in 7/4. It was my idea to break down and become dry and empty for the second chorus of the solo.” Dick Parry played the saxophone in the song, which became popular and integral in the transition from the track’s funky, jazzy sounds to the hard rock riffs.

In 2008, Guitar World listed Gilmour’s guitar solo as No.62 in “The Greatest 100 Guitar Solos” based on reader’s votes. Money was also ranked No.69 on Rolling Stones’ list of “The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.”

Here is the album version of the song:

From 1972 to 1994, Pink Floyd performed Money on every tour. In 1985, due to creative differences within the group, Waters left Pink Floyd and began a legal battle over the rest of the band’s use of the band’s name and material. In 2005, Waters and the rest of Pink Floyd reunited after nearly 24 years of being apart to perform Money at the Live 8 global awareness concert.

How To Play It

The root of the song is Roger Waters’ grooving bass part. Here is an excellent video lesson on how to play it:

After you have the baseline figured out, the next step is to conquer the bluesy lead guitar licks that Gilmour works in throughout the song. While this is slightly more advanced than just strumming power chords, the relaxed tempo of the song make it a great way to learn blues style lead guitar.

Here is a video breaking down the style behind David Gilmour’s lead guitar part.:

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