Classic Chords #15 – Shining Floyd

I grew up on Pink Floyd…well I say that, not sure anyone who spends their time obsessing over music and guitar chords has ever really grown up. Either way, I used to obsessively listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” and worry about that line “then one day you find, ten years have got behind you” and the one about the lunatic on the grass. Well, I was probably pushing 20 last time I played my taped copy of the album lying in the sun in my parents’ garden, lazing on a sunny afternoon with an acoustic guitar and all that. That lyric has gone round three times since then and I still haven’t heard the starting gun nor shaken off the urge to lie on the grass in the sun. Anyway, I was going to do the Em(7) and A(sus4) chords from “Breathe” from that album, but they’re not quite as iconic as the arpeggiated G minor 13 (Gm13) that takes us from Rick Wright’s keyboard-led opening of “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” from the Wish You Were Here album, to the heavier next section.

It’s just four little notes Bb, F, G, E, played as “Syd’s Theme” for obvious reasons. Four little notes that build to a quite astounding musical climax from 3’54” in, starting with their slightly disturbing dissonance, their bell-peeling tension that is only released as the drums and bass beat in at 6/4 time and Gilmour lashes out with the trembling power chords.