Goodbye Blue Sky Guitar Lesson – Pink Floyd

In this Goodbye Blue Sky guitar lesson I will demonstrate how to play Pink Floyd's haunting acoustic masterpiece note-for-note.

David Gilmour performs this song on a standard tuned nylon string acoustic guitar. In addition to that, he uses a pick throughout to play all of the parts.

Being an enormous Pink Floyd fan myself, I noticed that many players and TAB books have some of the key chords and riffs in "Goodbye Blue Sky" song wrong. I hope this lesson will help clear up some of those inaccuracies found around the web.

The main opening riff for one is supposed to have a little chord shifting sequence with it, this is actually the part that David Gilmour plays live. I feel it is the most prominent part so I will make sure that you learn it correctly just like David Gilmour plays it live.

In addition to that, the standard opening riff is usually played with an open G string. This is accurate for when this riff happens later in the song, but during the intro David Gilmour fingers that note so he can put some added emphasis on it with some vibrato.

For most of the song your goal is to keep the constant open string bass pedal going. Once you get that groove going along with the melody notes you will see the entire song simply come alive!

This is one of those great acoustic songs that sound wonderful being played instrumentally. Don't get me wrong, the vocals in Goodbye Blue Sky, especially the gorgeous vocal harmonies, are amazing. But beyond that, I feel the guitar part stands on its own just fine.

Take your time and work your way through the complete song section by section. Pay close attention to the later sections as well because there might be a slight difference from the way the same riff was played earlier.

There are a few tricky riffs to get under your fingers when playing "Goodbye Blue Sky". Those are mainly quick little pull-off licks that lead into a different section of the tune. Try to take those difficult little licks and practice them over and over again in a repeated loop. That will allow you to focus on the difficult parts of the song instead the entire song or riff. Focused practice is the best way to achieve anything on the guitar. So focus on the hard stuff!

OK that is about it from me today. I hope you guys enjoy learning this Pink Floyd classic!


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Goodbye Blue Sky Guitar Lesson - Pink Floyd


  1. Dan Dolan on October 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Carl – Nicely done! I appreciate your staying true to the original piece of music. Thank you for teaching us this beautiful classic guitar song.

  2. GEORG P WEYAND on October 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you very much for teaching us another song of my favorite group. You are awesome.

    • Carl Brown on October 9, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      I got a lot more Floyd on the way!! Starting tomorrow in fact. 🙂

  3. Drew Collins on February 9, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Hey Carl, Drew Hope you are doing well! I would like to make another request would you teach Shine on you crazy diamond, And the great gig in the sky these are also great lead guitar musical compositions pieces to learn much appreciated if you could email me back as soon as possible when you this email. Thanks again! God Bless! The Soul Winners Drew, Patty

    • Carl Brown on February 10, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Hey Drew, I would love to do as much Floyd as possible on the site. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” will probably be one of my next ones.

      I was also starting to do a guitar arrangement of “the Great gig In The Sky” but abandoned it a while back. Perhaps I should dust it off again. 🙂


  4. smart ass on June 12, 2015 at 2:47 am

    You Rock

  5. sigaldry on January 20, 2019 at 1:07 am

    Hi Carl. My first post here.
    Your site is just awesome ! And your videos have the best explanations ever.

    This song is another exemple of your good taste in choosing them.
    It’s simply beautiful but, for the beginner I am, it’s somehow tricky at the moment of putting the different sections altogether. That’s why I’d like to ask you : would it be possible to add, for this kind of song, the full performance at the end of the lesson (with the usual left and right hand cameras) ? For us, beginners, it would be of great help.

    Big fan of PF, you’ve already taught me “Is there anybody out there” (which, by the way, includes the full performance left / right hand 😉 ). Next in my list to learn is “Wish you were here”, also thanks for that one.

    I’m also fan of The cure though, and I couldn’t find any of their songs amongst your lessons. may I ask you to teach some of them too ? (“Catch” form “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”, is a nice and apparently easy one).

    Well, I think it’s already a lot for a first post. My apologies if my english is kind of rough.
    I’m recommending your site to all my friends. Keep on this way, you’re doing just GREAT !!!

    Thanks again, sigaldry.

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