Skip to content
Pink Floyd - Breath...
Clear all

Pink Floyd - Breathe. With fills for second guitar as well!

4 Posts
4 Users
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 879
Topic starter  

Hi again everyone. Unusually for me, I thought it was time we did a song that is much better suited to electric guitar than acoustic. I don't get to noodle on my electric much for two reasons, 1. I am not very good at it 2. I like my acoustic!

But when I do reach for the electric I nearly always find myself having a crack at this song. It's a classic Pink Floyd offering from the album Dark Side of the Moon. I have tried to tab this out for one guitar in part one, and the second guitar is also showing in part two.

When having a go at this, its important to note that you do not have to be note for note perfect. Much of the time you are picking through a chord shape, you are not doing anything fancy with your fretting hand at all. For instance on the section where the A changes to Asus4, the only important thing to do is accentuate this by making sure you pick up the changing melody on the B string. As long as you get the dynamics of it pretty close, people will still recognise it as Breathe, for sure.

Ok let's have a look at the chord shapes you will need
Em9 024000 use index on A string and ring OR pinky on D string
A x02220
Asus4 x02230
Cmaj7 332000
Bm7 224432 OR Xx4432 according to your ability.
Fmaj7 x33210
G 320003
D7 xx0212

Timing etc
The song is in 4/4 time, 4 beats to each bar. As for speed, its about 64bmp if you are keen on using a metronome (if you are, more power to you!).


Intro / themeOk let's plunge straight into the intro. The important thing here, is the raking Em9 chord MUST be played with an upstroke. Here's the first two bars, the chords are Em9 / A (Asus4)
Em9 A Asus4 A

So start with your index finger on the 2nd fret A string, and your ring finger on the 4th fret D string (for small handed people, you might prefer to use your pinky – it doesn't matter). Do a long raking upstroke catching all the strings apart from the high e (it doesn't even matter if you hit it, in all honestly) and let this chord ring out. Then just pick the low E, the B string and the G string. Change to A, do a slow strum (almost like a fast arpeggio) strum of the A, then add your pinky to the B string 3rd fret, pick the open A string, then the B string fretted at the 3rd, then pinky off, B string again fretted at the 2nd. Just hold the chord shape throughout – just move your pinky.

NOTE ! The very first bar is the ONLY bar on Em9 where you start with the rake. For ALL the rest of the Em9 sections, you hit the open E string first, then rake upwards. Like this – (note I have also made the A part a little more interesting!)
Em9 A Asus4 A

NOTE – this is the very basic model. Sometimes during the verse you will want to spice this up a little – remember as long as you hold the chord shape, it will all be ok! Here's an example of what you might play in the verse –

So guitar friends, before you start looking at the rest of the song, have a noodle away just on this section – it's the secret to the song and if you can find a nice way of playing this that YOU like, stick with it. Remember though, hit the open E first on all the Em9 sections after the intro, then rake upwards. I saw Gilmour play this in the studio, he did exactly this then had a little toggle on his tremelo bar while the rake was ringing – this adds an interesting flavor.

Right onwards……..!

This Em9 / A section is played 9 times (with Guitar 2 joining in later – see “Part Two”) and is brought to a close by a bar each of Cmaj7, Bm7 and Fmaj7 like this – (note these mirror the chorus section)
Cmaj7 Bm7 Fmaj7
up up down

I think the Cmaj7 and Bm7 are both played in the style of the Em9 – that is use a long upstroke before picking through the chord. Once you get to the Fmaj7 use a downstroke. Note that all picked notes come straight from the chord shape, no need to move your fretting hand at all. Easy!
There is just one bar left to tackle. Might be a bit tricky for beginners but you can “wing it” by leaving out the note in brackets. OR if you don't fancy that either, play a little run on the B string that goes 10 – 6 – 4 and then go into the verse.
So its EITHER…..
Verse starts….
OR its

Verse starts….

The verses are entirely versions of the Em9 / A (Asus4) A theme, you can play them pretty much as you want as long as you stick the the “feel” of what I have tabbed so far. And the chorus is just a reflection of the Cmaj7 / Bm7 / Fmaj7 section I have also already covered. So really, its just a case of giving you the tab for the whole song and off you go.

Here's the whole song. Underneath it is “part two” the guitar fills for guitar 2.

Intro – play Em9 / A section 9 times, followed by Cmaj7 / Bm7 / Fmaj7 and the little “odd” bar

Emadd9 A /Asus4 A
Breathe, breath in the air
Emadd9 A /Asus4 A
Don't be afraid to care
Emadd9 A /Asus4 A
Leave, but don't leave me
Emadd9 A / Asus4 A
Look around, choose your own ground

For long you'll live and high you'll fly and
Smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
All you touch and all you see is
*see note about “tricky” bar
All your life will ever be

Em9 A /Asus4 A
Run rabbit run
Em9 A /Asus4 A
Did that hole, forget the sun
Em9 A /Asus4 A
When at last the work gets done
Em9 A / Asus4 A
Don't sit down its time to dig another one

For long you'll live and high you'll fly and
But only if you ride the tide
Balanced on the biggest wave you
Repeat “tricky bar” part
Race towards and early grave

This was played on a lap steel by Gilmour on the recording, you can easily enough recreate this on a standard electric – if you can't manage the slide with multiple strings, just play the highest of the strings.

Note I am only tabbing the strings you need to worry about – for spaces sake there isn't much point putting all six strings when you are only playing two or three!

Intro. On 5th/ 6th bar (i.e after playing through Em9 / A section twice on guitar one with no guitar two fills) guitar two comes in on Em9 with this
| Guitar two finish slide on A chord!
Em9 A

On 7th/ 8th bar (i.e after playing the above once) it does this
Riff A
Em9 A

Riff A then repeats on bars 9 /10 and 11/ 12/

On bars 13 / 14 it does this on B string only
Em9 A

On bars 15 / 16 it then does this on the E string
finally it ends the Em9 / A section with this on bars 17 / 18 on b string

Right onto the chorus part, when it goes Cmaj7 Bm7 Fmaj7 guitar one comes in with this little slide part –
Cmaj7 Bm7 Fmaj7

On the little bar following the above but before going back into the verse it follows up with this one bar part, that is over this part –

Play this – on b string
Em9 (verse)

And that's about it. There's a third guitar also playing some stuff on the 12th 7th and 5th frets but the above will get you started and I am sure you'll have fun playing around with the fills and maybe even come up with some of your own!

All the best and enjoy


Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 173

Very nice Matt! Been playing through it, and it's a nice song! :!: Excellent:!:

Thanks :D

"Trying is the first step towards failure."

Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184

Nice one,
I am confused by your Bm7,
You show 224432 which is actually just Bm, Bm7 would be 224232?

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 150

That part where you listed "Tricky Bar part". I've got something for it that I spent ages trying to figure out when I wanted to learn this song last year.

To me it sounds like:

F G D5 Eb5 Em(7)