Song first appeared on: Pink Floyd's 1979 album, The Wall
Guitarists might find it interesting to note that the solo for "Comfortably Numb" was actually pieced together from several solos. Gilmour explains:
"I just went out into the studio and banged out five or six solos. From there I just followed my usual procedure, which is to listen back to each solo and mark out bar lines, noting which bits are good. In other words, I make a chart, putting ticks and crosses on different bars as I count through - two ticks if it's really good, one if it's good, and a cross if it's no go. Then I just follow the chart, whipping one fader up, then another fader, jumping from phrase to phrase and trying to make a really nice solo all the way through".
Gilmour's classic guitar solo was recorded using a combination of the guitarist's Hiwatt amps and Yamaha rotating-speaker cabinets. It is suspected that Gilmour played the solo using his '79 black Strat, with a '62 neck, DiMarzio pickups a rosewood fingerboard, and a custom switch allowing him to turn on the neck pickup in conjunction with other pickup configurations.
While recording The Wall, Gilmour favored his Big Muff pedal, an MXR Phase 90, an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress, an Orange Treble/Bass booster, an Arbiter Fuzz Face, and custom tone pedal.
Apparently, both Gilmour and guitarist Lee Ritenour used high-strung guitars - a standard guitar with four of the strings tuned higher - for the some of the acoustic parts of "Comfortably Numb". The goal of a high-strung guitar is to recreate the sound of a 12-string guitar. The first (E) and second (B) strings are in standard tuning. The third (G), fourth (D), and fifth (A) strings are tuned an octave higher The sixth (low E) string is a duplicate of the first string - two octaves above the low E string in standard tuning.