News en Review: Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini Pedal — Video <!--paging_filter--><p><em>These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the May 2015 issue of </em>Guitar World<em>. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the <a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=May2015VideosPage">Guitar World Online Store</a>.</em></p> <p><strong><em>PLATINUM AWARD WINNER</em></strong></p> <p>Since Ibanez first introduced the Tube Screamer in 1979, it has been one of the most recognizable, respected and employed overdrive pedals on the market. </p> <p>Anyone who has ever wanted creamy overdrive and added signal boost has definitely tried, and probably owns, one of Ibanez’s many iterations of its green machine. </p> <p>For all its intended purpose, the Tube Screamer never needed a facelift. But as guitarists continue to jam-pack or streamline their pedal boards, it makes perfect sense that Ibanez now offers its most celebrated flagship pedal in a smaller footprint with the Tube Screamer Mini.</p> <p><strong>FEATURES</strong> The TS Mini measures 1 1/2–inches wide and 3 7/8–inches long, and like the rest of the Tube Screamer series, it’s made in Japan. Ibanez pulled out all the stops to create this solidly built, all-analog stompbox in a compact design, while retaining the sonic integrity of their acclaimed TS808 Reissue. </p> <p><strong><a href=";utm_source=gw_homepage&amp;utm_medium=article&amp;utm_campaign=May2015VideosPage">For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the May 2015 issue of Guitar World.</a></strong></p> <!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><!-- Start of Brightcove Player --><div style="display:none"> </div> <!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><!-- By use of this code snippet, I agree to the Brightcove Publisher T and C found at --><script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script><object id="myExperience4142756829001" class="BrightcoveExperience"> <param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /> <param name="width" value="620" /> <param name="height" value="348" /> <param name="playerID" value="798983031001" /> <param name="playerKey" value="AQ~~,AAAAj36EdAk~,0qwz1H1Ey92wZ6vLZcchClKTXdFbuP3P" /> <param name="isVid" value="true" /> <param name="isUI" value="true" /> <param name="dynamicStreaming" value="true" /> <param name="@videoPlayer" value="4142756829001" /> </object><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><!-- This script tag will cause the Brightcove Players defined above it to be created as soon as the line is read by the browser. If you wish to have the player instantiated only after the rest of the HTML is processed and the page load is complete, remove the line. --><script type="text/javascript">brightcove.createExperiences();</script><!-- End of Brightcove Player --><!-- End of Brightcove Player --> Ibanez May 2015 Videos Effects News Gear Magazine Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:09:39 +0000 Paul Riario Monster Licks Unleashed: Glenn Proudfoot's Tap Fest — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>I'm using the diminished 7th scale (arpeggio) for this lick. The notes in this arpeggio are E, G, Bb and C#. </p> <p>This lick is very challenging—not for its speed, but for the techniques used. </p> <p>There are no picked notes in this lick; it's all legato and tapping. The big challenge comes with the hammered notes the right-hand index finger hits. While in theory this sounds easy, it's something we generally don't do on the guitar, so it proves quite difficult. </p> <p>Normally we hammer with our second, third or fourth fingers while using our index finger as the pivot point to enable the strength for the hammer. This technique relies on your using your thumb as the sole grip point to create the strength. </p> <p>This is not one of those things that takes months of practice; it will take about an hour or so to really get it happening. The index finger is incredibly strong, so it's just a matter of getting your head around the idea. The key is to practice these hammer-ons and make sure you're sounding all the notes correctly. If not, the lick will lose its appeal. </p> <p>You will notice in the slow demonstration of the lick how hard I'm hitting the notes with my index finger. It's essential to really smack your finger on the note!</p> <p>The possibilities with this technique are endless. It's such a great way to get around the guitar, and it has a very unique sound. You'll also notice in the video that I have a string mute running over the strings. This is just to keep the string noise down. Because I'm not picking any notes the right hand, it's constantly on the move and it makes it harder to mute the strings. You can use anything as a string mute—just wrap some material around the neck of your guitar, and that'll work fine. </p> <p>Don't let any of the above commentary keep you from attempting this lick. These techniques are incredibly fun to play and add to your solos. Just focus on the end result!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202015-03-30%20at%202.57.06%20PM.png" width="620" height="385" alt="Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 2.57.06 PM.png" /></p> <p><strong>I hope you enjoy this Monster Lick Unleashed! Join me on <a href="">YouTube right here!</a> Contact me through <a href=""></a> or <a href="">my Facebook page</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, </em>Lick Em<em>, in 2010. It's available on iTunes and at <a href=""></a>. His brand-new instrumental album — </em>Ineffable<em> — is out now and is available through <a href=""></a> and <a href="">iTunes</a>.</em></p> Glenn Proudfoot Monster Licks Monster Licks Unleashed Videos News Lessons Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:59:59 +0000 Glenn Proudfoot Betcha Can't Play This: Mike Groisman's Monster Multi-Finger Tapping Lick — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>In <em>Guitar World's</em> latest edition of Betcha Can't Play This, New York City-based "subway shredder" Mike Groisman returns with what we're calling a "Monster Multi-Finger Tapping Lick."</p> <p>First he plays it fast, then slow. Then he explains the lick.</p> <p>We shared Groisman's first three Betcha Can't Play This videos earlier this month. Feel free to check out <a href="">"Subway Shredder Mike Groisman's Sweep Arpeggios,"</a> <a href="">"Mike Groisman's Insane A Minor Tapping Lick" and <a href="">Mike Groisman's Crazy-Fast Alternate-Picking Run.</a></a></p> <p>If Groisman looks familiar, maybe it's because he often can be found playing "Crazy Train," "Stairway to Heaven" (the metal version, of course) or Europe's "The Final Countdown" at various stops along the New York City subway system.</p> <p><strong>Visit Groisman on YouTube <a href="">right here.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Betcha Can't Play This Mike Groisman Videos News Lessons Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:43:29 +0000 Guitar World Staff Raising the Barre: Classical Barring Tips from Guitar Salon International <!--paging_filter--><p>This video, presented by Guitar Salon, boasts not only some beautiful classical guitar playing, it’s also a lesson on using partial barres in your left hand fingering technique.</p> <p>Here Scott Morris runs down some tips for strategic use of partial and full barring. Plus some barring technique tips that’ll tune up your barres.</p> <p>Morris wrote the book on classic guitar with his <em><a href=";sortby=-3&amp;status=0&amp;field_18=&amp;field_21=&amp;keywords=morris&amp;categoryid=9">Classical Guitar Complete</a></em> method. </p> <p>This lesson is merely a taste of his genius.</p> <p>Check it out:</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>Guitar Salon International is the world’s largest dealer of fine classical and flamenco guitars since 1983, and the premier online community and resource for guitar related discussion, entertainment and education. </p> <p>The GSI website offers hundreds of performance videos, thousands of guitar listings in both an active webstore and our museum archive, a news blog and countless reference resources. </p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Guitar Salon International Lessons Videos Blogs Videos News Lessons Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:14:01 +0000 Acoustic Nation Orianthi and Richie Sambora Visit Norman's Rare Guitars — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Orianthi and former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora recently visited <a href="">Norman's Rare Guitars on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, California.</a></p> <p>The pair—or shall we say couple—tried out a ton of prime guitars, including Fender Strats, Esquires and Custom Shop Teles. They also traded off on a Gibson Les Paul Jr. and a few vintage acoustics.</p> <p>In the end, Orianthi returned to the 1971 Strat that caught her eye early on. Or maybe that's just how the video was edited!</p> <p>If nothing else, this candid video answers the question, "What riffs does Orianthi play when she picks up a guitar in a guitar shop?" </p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/orianthi">Orianthi</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Orianthi Richie Sambora Videos News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:42:09 +0000 Guitar World Staff Whitesnake Premiere New Cover of Deep Purple's "Burn" <!--paging_filter--><p>Let's call it a "Cover-Dale."</p> <p>Whitesnake are streaming their new version of “Burn,” which started its life as the title track for a 1974 Deep Purple album featuring Whitesnake's David Coverdale on vocals.</p> <p>Coverdale was a member of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976 and recorded three albums with the band—<em>Burn, Stormbringer</em> (both 1974) and <em>Come Taste the Band</em> (1975).</p> <p>Coverdale is revisiting his Deep Purple years on Whitesnake's new album, <em>The Purple Album</em>, which will be released May 19. </p> <p>The project was the result of Coverdale's failed attempt to reunite with former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore following the 2012 death of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord. Coverdale said his wife suggested that he take the groundwork that was laid for the Deep Purple covers project and fashion it into a Whitesnake project.</p> <p>“I took a little time to think about it,” Coverdale said. “I spoke to my musicians, and everybody was incredibly positive, so it was all systems go.” He added that it's “a huge thank-you from me to Deep Purple for the opportunity I was given over 40 years ago.”</p> <p>Guitar-wise, <em>The Purple Album</em> features Joel Hoekstra (formerly of Night Ranger) and Reb Beach (Winger).</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deep-purple">Deep Purple</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> David Coverdale Deep Purple Whitesnake News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:18:19 +0000 Damian Fanelli Hand Chord Presents an Alternative to Learning Barre Chords — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>We know you guys (and gals) enjoy hearing about new pieces of gear—including gear-related oddities that appear on Kickstarter from time to time.</p> <p>Ergo, we present the Hand Chord, a new product that's the subject of a new Kickstarter campaign.</p> <p>According to Hand Chord's creators:</p> <p>"The number one reason people give up playing guitar is because of finger pain. Hand Chord takes away the pain and frustration; no more hurting fingers, just a soft cushy rubber feel.</p> <p>"It's also a shortcut for people who don't have the time to learn guitar and can also be a gateway for people learning guitar to help them concentrate on strumming and getting a feel for playing guitar without months of practice."</p> <p>In other words, Hand Chord—which looks a bit like brass knuckles (albeit plastic)—presents itself as an alternative to learning how to play barre chords (What are your thoughts on that?). Hand Chord, which can be set up to "finger" several different chords, lets you just line up the Hand Chord (we don't know what else to call it) on your strings, squeeze it on the neck and strum. </p> <p>There's also an attachment that is said to be suitable for playing slide guitar.</p> <p><strong>You can find out more on the <a href="">Hand Chord Kickstarter page right here.</a></strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"> </iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Hand Chord Accessories Gear Videos Blogs Videos News Gear Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:44:27 +0000 Damian Fanelli Smashing Pumpkins Premiere "Drum + Fife" Music Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Smashing Pumpkins (also known as Billy Corgan) have premiered the music video for their new single, "Drum + Fife." </p> <p>You can check it out below.</p> <p>"Drum + Fife" is from <em>Monuments to An Elegy</em>, which was released December 9 via Martha's Music/BMG as part of Smashing Pumpkins' ongoing work-in-progress, <em>Teargarden By Kaleidyscope.</em> </p> <p>"Our aim was to create a film that was poetic and yet made a very direct statement about war, conflict and how we acclimatize ourselves from an early age to this course of action," said the clip's directors, Ahlander/Antiga.</p> <p>"I asked, albeit in an allegorical way, for the video to represent what our returning soldiers are going through with PTSD, and I feel that the directors captured that with poignancy," added Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins' frontman. "I couldn't be more proud of the message we're sending that we care what happens to those that are out there hurting."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src=";autoplay=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/billy-corgan">Billy Corgan</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Smashing Pumpkins Videos News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:26:39 +0000 Guitar World Staff D’Angelico and Will Dailey Team Up for an Acoustic Guitar and Music Giveaway <!--paging_filter--><p>This month we’re sharing something really fun.</p> <p>It’s a kickin’ contest that brings you both an instrument and some musical inspiration.</p> <p>We’re giving away this wonderful, brand new D’Angelico acoustic guitar, the Lexington SD300 in Cherry Sunburst. Plus some killer music by award-winning artist Will Dailey performed on a D’Angelico acoustic as well!!</p> <p><strong>About the D’Angelico Lexington SD300</strong></p> <p>In the early 1900s, the word ‘dreadnought’ referred to a massive battleship. Well, here’s D’Angelico’s interpretation! </p> <p>A booming non-cutaway dreadnought, the Lexington (SD-300) offers a powerful low-end so resonant that playing lush, full chords may very well become addictive.</p> <p>A solid Sitka spruce top meets a sapele back and sides to create the Lexington’s subtle elegance, complemented by a tortoise pickguard. The slim, mahogany neck makes for wonderful playability. Though capable of great projection, the Lexington’s high-end is uncompromised by its rich low-end, producing a consistently balanced sound and making it an excellent choice for a great variety of players. More at <a href="></a></p> <p>It’s valued at $899! <a href="">Enter now to win>></a></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/DAASD300CSB_2%20copy%2072%20horizontal.jpg" width="620" height="288" alt="DAASD300CSB_2 copy 72 horizontal.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>Bonus: Will Dailey’s <em>National Throat</em></strong></p> <p>And here to show you one of D’Angelico’s gorgeous new acoustics in action is Boston-based artist Will Dailey. Dailey’s latest release, <em>National Throat</em>, debuted in the top 20 in the Billboard Heatseekers chart, is winner of a Boston Music Award for Album of the Year and Dailey himself was awarded this year’s Artist of the Year.</p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/national%20throat.jpg" width="179" height="160" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="national throat.jpg" />In preparation for a special bonus release of a deluxe version of that excellent album, Dailey recorded several songs using a hot-off-the-presses D’Angelico acoustic.</p> <p>The Deluxe version due out March 24th will include all the songs from <em>National Throat</em> and 6 bonus tracks, “Stand Where I Can See You” (Live), “Why Do I” (Live), the full studio of “Sunken Ship,” a demo of “Higher Education,” “$300 Dollar Man,” (written in a reaction to being a part of Farm Aid), and a cover of Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)."</p> <p>We’ll be giving away a few copies of <em>National Throat</em> on CD and Vinyl as well digital downloads of the Deluxe version in addition to this fabulous guitar! More at <a href=""></a></p> <p><a href="">Enter now!!</a></p> Acoustic Nation Contest D'Angelico Guitars News Will Dailey Gear Blogs Contests News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:24:54 +0000 Acoustic Nation Steve Hackett Premieres Epic Video for "Wolflight" <!--paging_filter--><p>Fans of progressive rock around the globe can check out the premiere of world-renowned guitarist/composer Steve Hackett's new video "Wolflight."</p> <p>The stunning and epic video is for the title track of his forthcoming album of the same name, <em>Wolflight</em>. </p> <p>Hackett commented, "This video for my new album title track 'Wolflight' captures the atmosphere of the song beautifully. The story it presents is poignant, wild and powerful. It has a strong epic feel...I flew to Serbia to take part in the film and it was great to be involved. Enter the world of 'Wolflight' and enjoy!"</p> <p>On April 7, world-renowned guitarist/composer Steve Hackett will release his brand new solo album, <em>Wolflight</em>, in North America via InsideOut Music. </p> <p><em>Wolflight</em>Beyond the Shrouded Horizon in 2011. The album will be available in North America in two physical configurations, as well as digitally. Fans will have the option of purchasing <em>Wolflight</em> physically as a standard CD or as a deluxe version with a CD plus BluRay digipak, which will feature two bonus tracks. </p> <p>To preorder the album, please click <a href=";q=wolflight">here</a> and <a href="">here.</a></p> <p>Watch the video for "Wolflight" now:<br /> <iframe width="620" height="349" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>The concept behind <em>Wolflight</em> is a new, unexplored chapter in Hackett's career. The tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom. Wandering between parallel universes, Hackett explores contemporary and ancient cultures, from Greece ("Corycian Fire") to the Far East ("Wolflight"), the United States and Martin Luther King ("Black Thunder"), and also his very own childhood memories ("The Wheel's Turning") and the unresolved drama of domestic violence ("Love Song To A Vampire").</p> <p>Steve Hackett's electric guitar plays a powerful role, although we also hear him on acoustic guitar, Arabian lute and twelve string, along with his strong lead vocals. </p> <p>Guest musicians include long time collaborators Roger King (keyboards &amp; programming), Gary O'Toole (drums), Rob Townsend (sax, duduk), Nick Beggs (bass &amp; stick) and Amanda Lehmann (harmony vocals). Malik Mansurov on tar and Sara Kovaks on didgeridoo add an extra exotic element, plus YES bassist Chris Squire plays on "Love Song To A Vampire" and Hugo Dagenhardt plays drums on "Dust and Dreams." The innovative songwriting team includes Steve Hackett, his wife Jo Hackett and Roger King.</p> <p>In 2010, Steve Hackett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame at The 25th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony alongside his Genesis bandmates from the classic line-up: Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford. For more than three decades, Steve Hackett has been known for his innovative tone and extraordinary versatility as a guitarist and composer. He helped define Genesis' sound as lead guitarist in the classic line-up and went on to have a highly-successful career as a solo artist, and also as part of 80s supergroup GTR with Steve Howe.</p> <p>Find out more at <a href=""></a></p> Acoustic Nation Genesis News Steve Hackett News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:18:19 +0000 Acoustic Nation Hear Eric Clapton's Isolated Guitar Track from The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" <!--paging_filter--><p>On September 6, 1968, guitarist Eric Clapton entered Abbey Road Studio Two in London to overdub lead guitar onto a newly recorded Beatles song called "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."</p> <p>During the recording of <em>The Beatles</em> (aka the White Album), Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr were seriously getting on each other's nerves. </p> <p>To lighten the mood a bit, Harrison asked his friend Clapton to play on his new song, which he felt was being unfairly overshadowed by Lennon's and McCartney's new songs anyway.</p> <p>Clapton originally wasn't all that into the idea, saying, "Nobody ever plays on the Beatles' records."</p> <p>"So what?" Harrison said. "It's my song."</p> <p>So Clapton showed up—and, as it turned out, the battling Beatles were on their best behavior that day.</p> <p>Anyway, the clip below, which has been available on YouTube for a few years, features a beautiful isolated recording of Clapton's guitar track from the song—solo and all. </p> <p>Of course, if you've played <em>The Beatles Rock Band</em>, you might already know about this (and other isolated tracks from Beatles songs).</p> <p>Gear-wise, it has been speculated that Clapton played Harrison's red 1957 Gibson Les Paul through a Fender Deluxe amp; other Beatles know-it-alls say it was a Gibson SG with a Maestro Vibrola. You decide! (I've always assumed it was the Les Paul.)</p> <p>Coincidentally, Clapton has never stopped recording with members of the Beatles, appearing on several solo recordings by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr since 1968. He even appears on two songs on McCartney's 2012 album, <em>Kisses on the Bottom.</em> <strong>Check out the photo gallery below!</strong></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beatles">The Beatles</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/george-harrison">George Harrison</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Damian Fanelli Eric Clapton George Harrison The Beatles News Features Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:17:23 +0000 Damian Fanelli Hear It Now: Swedish Psych Rockers Second Sun Streaming "Sjalv Alltid" <!--paging_filter--><p>This riff-heavy cut, "Sjalv Alltid," comes from the debut LP of <a href="">Second Sun</a>, <em>Hopp/Förtvivlan</em>. Second Sun is the the folk-space rock outlet of Jakob Ljungberg, drummer of death metal band Tribulation. </p> <p>The album evokes some fine hard rock psychedelic vibes, and pulls from a variety of influences including Steeleye Span, Nektar, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind and Graveyard. And don't worry English're not tripping <em>that</em> hard, Ljungberg is in fact singing the entire album in his native Swedish tongue.</p> <p>Let the riffing begin:</p> <p><iframe style="border: 0; width: 620px; height: 120px;" src="" seamless><a href="">Hopp/Förtvivlan by Second Sun</a></iframe></p> Psych Rock Second Sun Tribulation News Features Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:59:20 +0000 Guitar World Staff Hannes Coetzee Plays Teaspoon Slide Guitar — Video <!--paging_filter--><p>Ever wish you had the equivalent of a third hand?</p> <p>Below, check out some professionally shot footage of South African guitarist Hannes Coetzee playing teaspoon slide guitar.</p> <p>Coetzee, who is from the Karoo region, puts the spoon in his mouth and uses it as a slide. The technique is called "optel and knyp," which roughly translates to "pick and pinch."</p> <p>Coetzee, who is 71, was featured in <em>Karoo Kitaar Blues,</em> a 2003 documentary by David Kramer. </p> <p>The top video was posted by <em>Rolling Stone</em> in 2013. The bottom one (consider it a bonus), is from 2007, but it's much more impressive. You can follow Coetzee on <a href="">Facebook here.</a></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Acoustic Nation Hannes Coetzee News Videos Blogs Videos News Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:30:50 +0000 Damian Fanelli E.C. Listening: Eric Clapton's 50 Greatest Guitar Moments <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Guitar World<em> celebrates the 50 greatest guitar moments of Eric Clapton's five-decade career—from the Yardbirds to Cream to Derek and the Dominos and beyond.</em></strong></p> <p>There was a time when the name Eric Clapton meant one thing and one thing only: guitar god. </p> <p>His incendiary six-string exploits with the Yardbirds, followed by a pair of mind-blowing 1966 albums—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> and <em>Fresh Cream</em>—briefly put the passionate young Clapton atop the U.K.’s, if not the world’s, guitar hierarchy.</p> <p>By the late Sixties, he was sharing the spotlight with such rock deities as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Significantly perhaps, it was around this time that Clapton began incrementally distancing himself from the flashy, lengthy solos of his wild youth, as he segued from Cream to Blind Faith, and then from Derek and the Dominos to a successful solo career. </p> <p>He eventually fell under the mellow spell of J.J. Cale and the Band, put more emphasis on singing and songwriting, and dabbled in country rock, reggae, acoustic music and ultra-slick pop tunes. </p> <p>Today, Clapton, who turns 70 on March 30, enjoys an enviable spot as one of the most respected elder statesmen in rock and blues. And although he happily handed over the guitar-god mantle decades ago, he’s not averse to melting a few faces when the opportunity arises.</p> <p><em>Guitar World</em> looks back at Clapton’s 50-plus-year career and pinpoints what we consider to be the 50 greatest guitar moments—thus far. Our list digs deep into his six-string artistry, putting the emphasis on the playing and not necessarily the hits. We hope you enjoy this guide to Clapton’s cream of the crop.</p> <p>Honorable Mention: <strong>"Go Back Home"</strong><br /> <strong>Stephen Stills—<em>Stephen Stills</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Let's start things off with an honorable mention—a suggestion from several readers (and we happen to approve of their choice). It's a track from Stephen Stills' self-titled debut album from 1970. It features Clapton in all his 1970 pointy-Strat-sound glory!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /> <br /><br /> 50. <strong>"Cocaine"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Slowhand</em> (1977) </strong></p> <p>While Clapton was certainly no stranger to the song’s titular substance, “Cocaine” was actually written by American singer/songwriter and frequent Clapton collaborator J.J. Cale. The infectious main riff, in E, is a bit reminiscent of that other Clapton classic “Sunshine of Your Love” and provides an equally amiable vehicle for some tasty soloing on Clapton’s part. </p> <p>His approach is understated and funky but with occasional flashes of fire. A second overdubbed solo improvisation joins the main line midway through, and Clapton adorns the outro with some more Strat leads. Despite the enduring appeal of “Cocaine” as a party song, Clapton has claimed it is actually an anti-drug number. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>49. <strong>"A Certain Girl"</strong><br /> <strong>The Yardbirds—<em>For Your Love</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>This track has a great New Orleans R&amp;B pedigree, having been written by the legendary Allen Toussaint and originally recorded by Ernie K-Doe, best known for his 1961 hit “Mother in Law.” </p> <p>The Yardbirds’ somewhat whimsical British Invasion treatment of “A Certain Girl” is probably a prime example of the group’s pop direction that made Clapton so uncomfortable at the time, but he nevertheless claims the track as his own with a bluesy lead guitar intro and a ripping little solo midway through. </p> <p>His Tele tone here is nothing less than searing.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>48. <strong>"Got to Hurry"</strong><br /> <strong>The Yardbirds—<em>Crossroads</em> (1964)</strong></p> <p>This track is an early—if not the earliest—example of the magic Eric Clapton could work with a 12-bar blues, even at the tender age of 19. It originally appeared as the B-side to the Yardbirds’ third single, and first big hit, “For Your Love.” </p> <p>Instrumentals were typical B-side fodder at the time, but this one, in all its reverby over-compressed glory, has enduring value. </p> <p>While the song is clearly a group improvisation, it was credited to the Yardbirds’ producer Giorgio Gomelsky (originally using his nom de plume O. Rasputin), who claimed to have hummed the main riff to Clapton. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>47. <strong>"After Midnight"</strong><br /> Eric Clapton—<em>Eric Clapton</em> (1970)</p> <p>At the dawn of the Seventies, following stints in several legendary British bands, Clapton launched his solo career with a new American sound and a switch from Gibson guitars to the Fender Stratocaster, the guitar with which he would shape the sonic signature of his latter-day career. </p> <p>“After Midnight” is the first song he recorded by American singer/songwriter J.J. Cale, whose work Clapton had been introduced to by Delaney Bramlett, one of his musical collaborators at the time. </p> <p>With its frenetic tempo and gospel-inflected backing vocals, the recording was a major success for the newly reinvented Clapton. His guitar solo for the track is simple, yet effective. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>46. <strong>"Cat’s Squirrel"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Fresh Cream</em> (1966) </strong></p> <p>A free adaptation of a song originally recorded in 1961 by bluesman Doctor Ross, “Cat’s Squirrel” was a largely instrumental highlight of Cream’s 1966 debut album. </p> <p>Repeated restatements of the main motif, lifted from the Dr. Ross record, alternate with bouts of riffing on guitar and harmonica and, in one break, a few lines of scat singing. The guitar tone is a bit thin, compared to Clapton’s earlier work with Mayall and what would come later, but it’s nonetheless compelling. </p> <p>A frequent Sixties jam vehicle, the song was later covered by Jethro Tull on their 1968 debut album, <em>This Was</em>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>45. <strong>"Double Trouble"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Just One Night </em>(1980)</strong></p> <p>Recorded in Japan in December 1979, <em>Just One Night</em> isn’t exactly a firecracker of a live album. </p> <p>Although the band is tight and gritty, the material is spotty, since the tour was supporting Clapton’s low-spark 1978 album, <em>Backless</em>. Meanwhile, Clapton’s tone can best be described as “Strat into amp. The end.” </p> <p>However, all of the above can’t keep a good song down, and Clapton shines on his extended cover of Otis Rush’s “Double Trouble.” This minimalist masterpiece in C minor spotlights Clapton’s dynamic monolog of a solo, one punctuated by pinch harmonics and a nearly flawless choice of notes.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>44. <strong>"Those Were the Days"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Wheels of Fire</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>This up-tempo track features Clapton performing some “Crossroads”-like high-register wailing (in the key of A, as on that song) over Ginger Baker’s and Jack Bruce’s bombastic double-time groove. </p> <p>His solo is noteworthy for the way he keeps his phrasing coherent and his bends and vibratos smooth at such a brisk tempo and with such a busy accompaniment. </p> <p>Distractions like those could easily cause a less seasoned guitarist to get ahead of himself rhythmically and lose his composure, in terms of touch and feel.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>43. <strong>"SWLABR"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Disraeli Gears</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>A solid track from Cream’s game-changing 1967 <em>Disraeli Gears</em> album, “SWLABR” is one of several compositions on the album by bassist Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. </p> <p>The title is an acronym for either “She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow” or “She Was Like a Bearded Rainbow” (accounts vary). Clapton’s lead work on the track exemplifies his Gibson SG-driven “woman tone,” rich in sustain and low-frequency detail. </p> <p>His solo employs the Mixolydian mode (major third, minor seventh), which was very popular in psychedelic music at the time, owing in part to its similarity to the tonalities used in a number of Indian ragas.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>42. <strong>"Lay Down Sally"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Slowhand</em> (1977)</strong></p> <p>With its laidback “white-guy funk” groove and infectious chorus, this track was tailor-made for late-Seventies radio and became a major hit for Clapton in 1977. </p> <p>The interlocking, dual rhythm guitars—performed by Clapton and the song’s co-author, George Terry—establish a shuffling, gently propulsive groove that tugs against the minimal bass and drum patterns. </p> <p>Country overtones abound, and the tasteful, clean-tone Strat solo is perhaps the closest Clapton’s ever come to anything like chicken pickin’. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>41. <strong>"Stone Free"</strong><br /> <strong>Various—<em>Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix</em> (1993)</strong></p> <p>Clapton’s interpretation of this Jimi Hendrix’s composition was the title track of a 1993 Hendrix tribute album that included contributions from guitar heroes like Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and Slash. </p> <p>Clapton plays it close to Hendrix’s original, cowbell groove and all, but he takes the guitar solo in his own direction and even sneaks in a quotation from “Third Stone from the Sun.”</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>40. <strong>"Motherless Children"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>461 Ocean Boulevard</em> (1974)</strong></p> <p>By 1974, Clapton’s guitar playing started to take a back seat to his singing and songwriting, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t still have fun. </p> <p>“Motherless Children,” one of the strongest opening tracks on a Clapton album since Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire</em>, features Clapton on slide guitar, and it burns from the get-go. The song, which finds the guitarist delivering a playful variation of the melody during the twin guitar solos, was arranged by Clapton and his Derek and the Dominos band mate bassist Carl Radle. </p> <p>The song also features fine playing by second guitarist George Terry and drummer Jamie Oldaker.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>39. <strong>"Deserted Cities of the Heart"</strong><br /> Cream—<em>Wheels of Fire</em> (1968)</p> <p>Clapton tunes his acoustic and electric guitars down a whole step (low to high, D G C F A D) and plays this song as if it were in E, although it sounds in the key of D. </p> <p>Using full barre-chord voicings and vigorous, Pete Townshend–style strumming, he creates a deep, powerful accompaniment to Jack Bruce’s vocals. </p> <p>Clapton’s solo, beginning at 1:51, is fiery and aggressive, and the string slack from the detuning makes for some unusually fast finger vibratos, creating a shimmering sound that might otherwise be attained by speeding up the recording. As always, Clapton’s phrasing is tight and in the pocket, and his interplay with the bass and drums creates a powerful musical statement.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>38. <strong>"She’s Gone"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>One More Car, One More Rider</em> (2001)</strong></p> <p>This spirited live rendition of a track that originally appeared on Clapton’s 1998 studio album, <em>Pilgrim</em>, outstrips the original on several fronts. </p> <p>What had been a fairly lackluster electronic-tinged pop track in the studio becomes a full-blown lead guitar free-for-all in concert. Clapton bursts out of the gate like a steroid-crazed racehorse, strafing the audience with a rubato flurry of bluesy leads before the main riff and funk groove kicks in. </p> <p>The track’s two extended solo sections contain some of the most urgent playing in his catalog, and his overdriven Strat tone is harmonically rich with full-bodied sustain. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>37.<strong>"Just Like a Prisoner"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Behind the Sun</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>The last minute and a half of “Just Like a Prisoner” might represent Clapton’s mid-Eighties high-water mark, at least from a shred perspective. </p> <p>The song features what could easily be considered one of his “angriest” solos. He even keeps playing long after the intended fade-out point, until the band stops abruptly. </p> <p>Maybe he was upset about the overpowering Eighties production, ridiculous synthesizers and obtrusive, way-too-loud drums that threaten to hijack the song at any moment. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>36. <strong>"Old Love"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>24 Nights</em> (1991)</strong></p> <p>This quintessential live performance of the soulful R&amp;B-style ballad from Clapton’s 1989 album, <em>Journeyman</em>, finds the guitarist in top form, as he seems to effortlessly improvise phrase after phrase of perfectly timed licks and runs. </p> <p>Clapton varies his touch from delicate to ferocious and coaxes a wide dynamic range out of his Strat while judiciously using holes of silence between long, fast runs, allowing the groove to breathe. </p> <p>This track is also a great and rare example of Clapton using the Aeolian mode—specifically A Aeolian (A B C D E F G)—in this case over the repeating chord sequence Am-Dm7-Gsus4-G.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>35. <strong>"5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Part 10)"</strong><br /> <strong>Roger Waters—<em>The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking</em> (1984)</strong></p> <p>Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters’ first solo album abounded with something that Clapton’s early Eighties albums sorely lacked: screaming guitar solos. </p> <p>The title track features a mini masterpiece of a solo, a composition within a composition, much like his work on “Badge,” another blues-driven pop gem. </p> <p>For the album’s most generous serving of Clapton, check out “4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution),” which finds the guitarist dishing out a nonstop array of blues riffs in E minor using a compressed, crystal-clear Strat tone. Clapton’s contributions to <em>Pros and Cons</em> and George Harrison’s <em>Cloud Nine</em> stand out as highlights of his bountiful Eighties session work. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>34. <strong>"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"</strong><br /> <strong>The Beatles—<em>The Beatles</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>On September 6, 1968, Clapton entered Abbey Road Studios to overdub a solo on a new Beatles song, George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Clapton played Lucy, Harrison’s red 1957 Gibson Les Paul, which was a gift from Clapton. </p> <p>In a sense, his presence in the studio was another gift to Harrison, since it forced John Lennon and Paul McCartney to take his song seriously. Clapton originally wasn’t all that into the idea, saying, “Nobody ever plays on the Beatles’ records.” “So what?” Harrison replied. “It’s my song.” </p> <p>As it turns out, the Fabs were on their best behavior that day.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>33. <strong>"That’s the Way God Planned It (Parts 1 and 2)"</strong><br /> <strong>Billy Preston—<em>That’s the Way God Planned It</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>In early 1969, when Cream were history and the Beatles were quickly heading in that direction, George Harrison invited Clapton to sit in on sessions for Billy Preston’s fourth studio album, which Harrison was co-producing. </p> <p>Clapton’s brilliance is best represented on the album’s powerful title track. While the verses and chorus feature Clapton’s sympathetic fills, things take off during the song’s final two and a half minutes. It’s as if Preston and Harrison pulled Clapton aside and said, “Okay, go nuts, man!” </p> <p>Maybe he was inspired by the presence of Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker, who also plays on the track.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>32. <strong>"All Your Love"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall &amp; the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>John Mayall’s cover of this 1958 Otis Rush song showcases Clapton’s tasteful, competent handling of a minor blues progression set to a medium-tempo, quasi-cha-cha groove. </p> <p>Using his 1960 Les Paul Standard, with the bridge pickup on, plugged into his cranked-up Marshall JTM45 2x12 combo, Clapton kicks things off in the arrangement’s opening 12-bar chorus by authoritatively digging into and bending notes within the A minor pentatonic scale, demonstrating a refined touch and excellent pitch control over his bends and vibratos. </p> <p>When the tempo, feel and backing progression abruptly change to a faster shuffle and dominant-seven chords at 1:50, Clapton leads the way with stinging, B.B. King–style A major- and minor-pentatonic licks, pausing in just the right places so as to let his phrases sink in and the groove breathe.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>31. <strong>"Five Long Years"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>From the Cradle</em> (1994)</strong></p> <p>Clapton’s reading of this slow 12/8 blues standard showcases the guitarist tearing it up on his signature-model Strat, using a thick yet biting high-gain tone, and doing some impassioned “crammed” phrasing à la Buddy Guy. </p> <p>Playing in the key of A, Clapton relies predominantly on two scales—A minor pentatonic (A C D E G) and A blues (A C D Ef E G)—and occasionally touches upon the major third, A, so as to acknowledge the one chord, A7. </p> <p>This is some of Slowhand’s fastest blues shredding, yet it is characteristically polished, devoid of bad notes and embellished with finger vibratos that are fierce but never manic.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>30. <strong>"Tribute to Elmore"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton &amp; Jimmy Page—<em>Immediate All Stars</em> (1965)</strong></p> <p>Often credited to either the Immediate All-Stars (named for the Immediate label, on which the tracks first appeared), Cyril Davis’ All-Stars or the All-Stars, “Tribute to Elmore” is one of seven tracks recorded by Clapton and Jimmy Page alone at Page’s home studio. </p> <p>The “Elmore” in the title refers to blues legend Elmore James, and the track serves as a tribute to his essential blues-shuffle recordings, such as “Dust My Broom,” “I Believe,” “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Anna Lee.” </p> <p>Backed simply by Page’s rhythm guitar, Clapton adds deft soloing representative of his work during this period.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>29. <strong>"I'm So Glad"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Fresh Cream</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Cream’s reworking of this old blues tune features Clapton performing some deft hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique) as he starts off the song with a turbocharged turnaround lick in E. </p> <p>He picks chromatically ascending and descending sixth intervals on the G and A strings in conjunction with the open B and high E strings to create a shimmering, banjo-esque waterfall of notes. </p> <p>His solo, beginning at 1:26, is noteworthy for the way Clapton harnesses the elusive power of controlled harmonic feedback from his cranked, reverberant Les Paul/100-watt Marshall rig and takes the time to allow notes to swell and sing, making his instrument work for him as opposed to just slavishly playing lick after lick without pause.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>28. <strong>"Bernard Jenkins"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall &amp; the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>The B-side of the second single ever issued by John Mayall &amp; the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton, this swinging instrumental in G offers a perfect glimpse into Clapton’s playing in 1965, with his 1960 Les Paul Standard plugged into his JTM 45 Marshall combo, creating the sound that would change the face of blues and rock guitar. </p> <p>His smooth and effortless phrases depict the influence of B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy and T-Bone Walker, but even at 20 years of age, Clapton has already found a truly distinct and uniquely signature voice as a soloist. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>27. <strong>"Can’t Find My Way Home"</strong><br /> <strong>Blind Faith—<em>Blind Faith</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Steve Winwood’s gorgeously wistful composition was a highlight of Blind Faith’s one-and-only album. </p> <p>He and Clapton both play acoustic guitars on this elegiac track, which can be read as a swansong for the Sixties—the comedown after the party. Clapton was hitherto known for his explosive electric playing, and his sensitive, supportive acoustic guitar work on this track was a revelation and a harbinger of Clapton ballads to come. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>26. <strong>"Tales of Brave Ulysses"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Live Cream Volume II</em> (1972) </strong></p> <p>This live version of a key song from Cream’s 1967 breakthrough album, <em>Disraeli Gears</em>, was recorded in 1968 and released in 1972, long after Cream split up. </p> <p>It exemplifies the group’s intensely creative way of using its studio recordings as vehicles for extended bouts of fierce freeform improvisation in concert. When Clapton’s wicked wah-pedal leads aren’t taking the spotlight, they’re providing support for Jack Bruce’s equally wild bass riffing, which edges perilously close to avant-garde atonality. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>25. <strong>"Ramblin’ on My Mind"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—E.C. Was Here (1975) </strong></p> <p>Clapton first assayed this song by his seminal influence, bluesman Robert Johnson, on the 1966 <em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> album, delivering it in a bare-bones piano/guitar duet that marked the guitarist’s vocal debut on record. </p> <p>Nine years later, he revisited the song on his live album <em>E.C. Was Here</em>, this time with a full band backing him. The tempo is slower than the earlier track, and Clapton’s vocal sounds more relaxed. </p> <p>The solo section modulates through a series of key changes (E, Fs, A, D, then back to E), as Clapton fluidly alternates eloquent legato passages with the terse bursts of notes that by this point had become a Slowhand trademark. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>24. <strong>"N.S.U."</strong><br /> <strong>Cream-<em>Live Cream</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Though it lasts only 2:48 on the studio album <em>Fresh Cream</em>, this Jack Bruce composition would usually be stretched to 10 minutes and beyond in concert, centered around a long jam in A (based on an A7 tonality). </p> <p>Clapton's ingenious opening guitar figure here is executed with hybrid picking (a combination of flatpicking and fingerpicking). </p> <p>While fretting a C root note (fourth string/10th fret) and G a fifth above (second string/eighth fret), he sounds the open G and open high E strings within an alternating-picking pattern. Additional mystery is added to this deceptive riff via the occasional pull-off on the B string from A (10th fret) to G (eighth fret). </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>23. <strong>"Had to Cry Today"</strong><br /> <strong>Blind Faith—<em>Blind Faith</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Though Blind Faith lasted barely long enough to record a single studio album, this disc captures Clapton at an essential stage in his development as a musician. </p> <p>A photo inside the album shows Clapton playing his 1963 ES-335 through a blonde Fender Showman “piggyback” combo, which was likely used for the recordings. He plugged straight into the amp and used no effects, achieving his full-bodied tone and rich sustain by cranking the amp. </p> <p>His rhythm parts are double-tracked, offering exquisite chordal counterpoint as well as harmonized single-note figures, while his initial solo is as perfectly constructed and melodic as the very best of his recorded solos. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>22. <strong>"I Shot the Sheriff"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>461 Ocean Boulevard</em> (1974)</strong></p> <p>In 1974, Clapton had a Number One hit with his reggae-influenced cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” a recording that doesn’t even feature a guitar solo. </p> <p>Wasn’t this guy playing 17-minute versions of “Spoonful” just six years earlier? That’s the point: the song represents Clapton’s evolution as an artist and guitarist, kicking off a stretch of seven studio albums where he morphed from guitar god to hit maker who just happened to play guitar. </p> <p>Ironically, the song evolved into a vehicle for extended soloing. Check out his explosive version of it from the <em>2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival</em> DVD.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>21. <strong>"Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right"</strong><br /> <strong>Various Artists—<em>Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration</em> (1993)</strong></p> <p>Although Johnny Winter and Neil Young contributed their share of electric guitar fireworks to Bob Dylan’s 30th anniversary tribute concert in October 1992, the undisputed guitar highlight of the show was Clapton’s scorching rendition of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” </p> <p>Clapton—who transformed Dylan’s bouncy, fingerstyle acoustic masterpiece into a breezy electric country blues—left no doubt that he could still deliver intense, emotional solos that sent listeners’ hearts skyrocketing. </p> <p>The performance—and Clapton’s crunchy, overdriven Strat tone—foreshadowed his long-awaited, if temporary, return to the blues, 1994’s <em>From the Cradle.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>20. <strong>"Sleepy Time Time (alternate)"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6, 2005</em> (2005)</strong></p> <p>Why would Cream’s live reunion album include an extra, “alternate” version of “Sleepy Time Time”? The answer might lie in Clapton’s exhilarating guitar solo. </p> <p>In the Sixties, this Fresh Cream track was a live highlight and vehicle for inspired soloing (See <em>Live Cream</em>). In 2005, Clapton didn’t disappoint. The second half of the solo in particular is full of fireworks—emotion-fueled bends that land in just the right spot, notes that subtly blend major and minor, even an off-the-rails moment when he unintentionally strikes several open strings. </p> <p>From 3:57 to 4:25, close your eyes and it’s 1968 all over again.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>19. <strong>"Steppin’ Out"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Live Cream Volume II</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>One of the many standout tracks from 1966’s <em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em>, “Steppin’ Out” was a staple of Cream’s live shows, as evidenced by this 13:39 version recorded March 10, 1968, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom. </p> <p>Clapton kicks off his solo by quoting the saxophone solo heard on the 1959 original by Memphis Slim featuring Chicago blues guitarist Matt Murphy, and he incorporates elements of Murphy’s guitar solo phrasing as well. </p> <p>At the four-minute point, bassist Jack Bruce drops out as the song breaks down to a guitar/drum duet, one that will provide endless fascination to those interested in a deep study of Clapton’s soloing style.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>18. <strong>"Groaning the Blues"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—From the Cradle (1994)</strong></p> <p>In a 2011 poll, <em>From the Cradle</em> was voted Clapton’s fourth-best guitar album, sandwiched between Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire</em> (5) and <em>Disraeli Gears</em> (3). </p> <p>One of From the Cradle’s many guitar highlights is the dramatic and greasy “Groaning the Blues,” a Willie Dixon song recorded by Otis Rush in 1957. Sometime in the Eighties, Clapton began infusing his solos with wild “in the moment” bends. It’s an approach that’s put to effective use on “Groaning the Blues.” </p> <p>His solo, which is peppered with Gatling gun flurries of notes, also features repetitive staccato bends, including one particularly “out there” bend at 3:38. And it all works.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>17. <strong>"Stormy Monday"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall &amp; the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (Deluxe Edition)</em> (2009)</strong></p> <p>T-Bone Walker’s signature blues composition, with its jazzily modulated ascent from the I to the IV chord of the standard blues progression, provides a vehicle for some of Clapton’s most explosive soloing ever. </p> <p>This version, recorded live at a Mayall club gig in 1966, fades in on the guitar solo, and it’s clear that Clapton is on fire. The track pairs the guitarist with bassist Jack Bruce, a classic match-up that laid the groundwork for the formation of Cream. This historic audio document reveals what all the excitement was about. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>16. <strong>"The Core"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Slowhand</em> (1977)</strong></p> <p>At the core of “The Core,” an often-overlooked track from Clapton’s popular <em>Slowhand</em> album, is a crunchy killer of a riff in A. One can’t help but wonder if the song, an almost-nine-minute-long duet with Marcy Levy, would have been a hit had it been edited down and released as a single. </p> <p>It has a lot going for it: a catchy bridge, lyrical depth, a kick-ass sax solo by Mel Collins and one of Clapton’s most exciting guitar solos from his “laid-back” mid-Seventies period. </p> <p>At the 4:13 mark, he unleashes a furious barrage of notes that recalls the Slowhand of 10 years earlier.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>15. <strong>"Sitting on Top of the World"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Goodbye</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Cream first tackled this venerable blues classic in a studio recording on their <em>Wheels of Fire</em> album, in 1968. </p> <p>But this live version from <em>Goodbye</em>, released shortly after the group split up in 1969, offers a great opportunity for more extended soloing on Clapton’s part. </p> <p>By approaching the time-honored 12-bar structure with a degree of rhythmic freedom bordering on reckless abandon, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker coax inventive phrases of remarkable fire and fluidity from Clapton and his ax. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>14. <strong>"Sunshine of Your Love"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Disraeli Gears</em> (1967)</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the most artistic and certainly the most famous example of Clapton’s “woman tone,” this song features the guitarist wailing on his 1964 Gibson SG with its volume cranked and tone control rolled all the way off to produce a thick, dark, sustaining tone.</p> <p>Clapton milks the tone for all it’s worth in his solo by spending just as much time bending and smoothly shaking notes as he does burning though D major and minor pentatonic licks. </p> <p>He begins what would become one of his most memorable solos by quoting the melody to the old standard “Blue Moon,” cleverly juxtaposing it over this song’s sinister D blues-scale bass riff. His finger vibratos in the intro/verse riff and solo are laudable for their consistently even amplitude and width, and they serve as a great example of what it means to be a seasoned rock lead guitarist.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>13. <strong>"Hideaway"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall &amp; the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>This tour de force reading of the classic Freddie King instrumental established Clapton as Britain’s foremost blues guitarist. </p> <p>It’s also one of the tracks that made guitarists everywhere covet a sunburst Les Paul Standard and Marshall Model 1962 “Bluesbreaker” combo amp, the setup responsible for Clapton’s blistering guitar tone on the record. </p> <p>Clapton is often at his best in the 12-bar idiom, and this is one of his strongest performances ever. The band breaks out of the composition’s main shuffle groove for a number of rhythmic change-ups, including a quotation of Elmore James’ signature “Dust My Broom” riff.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>12. <strong>"Have You Ever Loved a Woman"</strong><br /> <strong>Derek and the Dominos-<em>Layla</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>This 1961 Freddie King song is a Clapton staple, one that he has performed at nearly every concert since 1970, the year that he cut this version of it with Derek and the Dominos. </p> <p>Within the first five seconds of his intro solo, we hear blazing virtuosity combined with deep feeling and pure originality. </p> <p>Through both his intro and two-chorus solo, Clapton floats over the beat with beautifully free phrases, with his “Brownie” Stratocaster plugged straight into a tiny Fender tweed Deluxe cranked to 10. It is simply one of the greatest and most inspired electric blues solos ever recorded. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>11. <strong>"Presence of the Lord"</strong><br /> <strong>Blind Faith—<em>Blind Faith</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Backed by a powerhouse, dream-team rhythm section of drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Ric Grech, Clapton kicks this soulful, gospel-flavored ballad into high gear during the double-time solo/interlude section that he initiates midway through the arrangement with a Hendrix-style, wah-inflected A minor pentatonic riff. </p> <p>This ushers in a rhythmically charged, psychedelic jam at 2:42, for which Clapton ran his Gibson Firebird’s signal through a Leslie rotary-speaker cabinet, set on slow to produce a swirly, phasing sound that ebbs and flows around his scorching melodic phrases. </p> <p>Clapton masterfully uses the wah and rotary speaker effects to accentuate the peaks and valleys in his licks and plays with a flowing, articulate touch, balancing quick bursts of 16th notes with held bends and vibratos, displaying his trademark spot-on control over both his timing and pitch.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>10. <strong>"Sleepy Time Time"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Live Cream</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Cream’s initial inspiration grew from their dedication to a trailblazing, group-improvisational reinvention of blues forms, including Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” and Skip James’ “I’m So Glad.” </p> <p>This track, which they originally cut in the studio for their late-1966 debut, <em>Fresh Cream</em>, offers bassist Jack Bruce’s singularly twisted view of a swinging 12/8 “modern” blues in a more condensed but no less cutting-edge form, as compared to the 15-plus-minute jams that highlighted Cream’s performances. </p> <p><em>Live Cream</em> combines four tracks recorded March 7–10, 1968, in San Francisco at the Fillmore West and Winterland Ballroom, plus one studio outtake, “Lawdy Mama.” Cream played a staggering 200 shows in 1967 and, after just two weeks off, resumed an equally grueling schedule from the very start of 1968. </p> <p>This LP captures them during their 223rd to 226th performances in just 14 months, so it’s no wonder they achieve the purely magical in-sync group improvisation displayed on this track and in evidence throughout this album.</p> <p>Playing through a pair of 100-watt Marshall stacks (using the 1960A and 1960B “tall” 4x12 bottom cabinets), Clapton produced a massive sound. There is debate over which guitar he used on specific live recordings, as he alternately played his 1964 “The Fool” Gibson SG, 1964 Firebird I and 1963 ES-335 during this period, though some photos from the 1968 tour show him with a Les Paul.</p> <p>Clapton’s soloing here evokes the influence of B.B. King as he moves deftly between phrases based on C minor pentatonic (C Ef F G Bf) and C major pentatonic (C D E G A). His lightning-fast hammer-pulls and heavenly “floating” vibrato illustrate why the 23-year-old Clapton was called God during this period. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>09. <strong>"Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?"</strong><br /> <strong>Derek and the Dominos—<em>Live at the Fillmore</em> (1994)</strong></p> <p>In 1969, following the implosion of Cream and the short-lived Blind Faith, Clapton found himself at a career crossroads. </p> <p>Disillusioned and directionless, he joined the powerhouse husband/wife-led Delaney &amp; Bonnie and Friends as a sideman, and by that summer he appropriated Delaney Bramlett (with his entire band in tow) to produce his first solo release, Eric Clapton. </p> <p>Three musicians from this lineup—bassist Carl Radle, keyboardist and singer Bobby Whitlock and drummer Jim Gordon—formed the nucleus of Clapton’s next band, Derek and the Dominos, who recorded the seminal <em>Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs</em> in the summer of 1970 and toured as a four-piece through August. </p> <p>The Dominos’ live shows were filled with long jams, and at nearly 15 minutes, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?” was one of the longest, opening with an extended wah-infused funk workout. With stellar high-harmony vocals added by Whitlock, this four-piece emits a huge sound. </p> <p>Clapton’s first solo has all the fire, fury and melodicism of his greatest playing, his 1956 “Brownie” Stratocaster screaming pure virtuosity and conviction. The second half of the song is a seven-plus-minute D major jam during which the 25-year-old guitarist displays inspired chordal and single-line inventiveness.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>08. <strong>"Badge"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Goodbye</em> (1969)</strong></p> <p>Much like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (see entry 34), Cream’s “Badge” is the result of a strong and ultimately long-lasting friendship between Clapton and the Beatles’ George Harrison. </p> <p>When Cream decided to call it quits in late 1968, each member of the band, including Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, was required to come up with a new song for the group’s final album, <em>Goodbye</em>, the remainder of which would be filled with live cuts. </p> <p>Clapton called on Harrison for assistance. “I was writing the words down, and when we came to the middle bit, I wrote ‘Bridge,’ ” Harrison said. “And from where [Eric] was sitting, opposite me, he looked and said, ‘What’s that—Badge?’ ” Clapton wound up calling the song “Badge” because it made him laugh. For the session, which took place only a month after “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Harrison played rhythm guitar. </p> <p>Clapton, playing a shimmering, Beatles-inspired arpeggio riff through a Leslie rotary-speaker cabinet, enters the song at 1:06 and plays the rest of the way through. His guitar solo was overdubbed later. </p> <p>The brilliant solo, which lasts a cozy 33 seconds, is a prime example of a “composition within a composition.” It finds Clapton sending his considerable blues chops through a pop-rock funnel, something he’d do on and off for the next 45-plus years.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>07. <strong>"Spoonful"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Fresh Cream</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Just as “Crossroads” introduced a new generation of music fans to the mystique of Robert Johnson, Cream’s “Spoonful” brought extra exposure to Willie Dixon, who wrote the song, and Howlin’ Wolf, who originally recorded it in 1960. </p> <p>And while Howlin’ Wolf’s stark-and-dark version is haunting in its own right, Cream’s take on the song—driven by Clapton’s guitar and Jack Bruce’s heavy bass—moves it several steps further along. </p> <p>Clapton’s solo, which starts at 2:23, seems almost playful at first, as if he’s toying with the listener, but at 2:46, things take a sudden and profound turn toward the dramatic. He plays a series of notes—virtual howls and moans—high on the neck, punctuating them with several perfectly timed cracks at his low E string. </p> <p>At 3:31, he launches into a completely new melody, taking Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker along for the ride. Clapton’s tone on the track, a unique dense, reverb-drenched sound that only a Gibson humbucker could produce, stands alone in Cream’s canon and in Clapton’s entire discography. </p> <p>At Cream’s live shows, “Spoonful,” like several other songs, gave the band members plenty of room to stretch out, as can be heard on the sensational, nearly 17-minute-long version on Cream’s <em>Wheels of Fire.</em></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>06. <strong>"Layla"</strong><br /> <strong>Derek and the Dominos—<em>Layla</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>Having played with several of the most influential bands of the Sixties, Clapton launched the Seventies with a new group of his own devising, Derek and the Dominos. </p> <p>He wrote this tune—the title track of their debut album—to express his unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, who was George Harrison’s wife at the time but would leave Harrison for Clapton later in the Seventies. The song’s killer main riff was something Clapton cooked up with legendary guitarist Duane Allman, who guested on the Derek and the Dominos sessions at the suggestion of producer Tom Dowd. </p> <p>The unusual half-step downward modulation from the D minor main riff/chorus key signature to the verses, which are in D flat minor, enhances the despairing mood of Clapton’s lovelorn lyric. </p> <p>There’s a deep sense of musical telepathy in the way his bluesy Strat lines interweave with Allman’s eerily spectral slide guitar improvisations during the song’s extended solo over the main riff structure. This gives way to the track’s stately piano-driven coda, penned by Dominos drummer Jim Gordon and affording Allman and Clapton even more real estate over which to stretch out. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>05. <strong>"Let It Rain"</strong><br /> <strong>Eric Clapton—<em>Eric Clapton</em> (1970)</strong></p> <p>This tastefully arranged song from Clapton’s debut solo album begins with the guitarist overdubbing a sweet-sounding mini choir of three harmony-lead guitars with perfectly synchronized finger slides and vibratos. </p> <p>Together they create the effect of one instrument playing a melody harmonized in triads, but with the brightness and clarity that can only be achieved by three separate single-note lines, or “voices.” Clapton recorded this song on Brownie, his Fender Stratocaster, using its bright single-coil bridge pickup for his lead parts to achieve a brilliant tone and crystal-clear note definition.</p> <p>Clapton’s solo over the song’s outro features his signature polished finger vibrato and use of parallel major and minor pentatonic scales (both in the key of A in this case). He begins by riding out on the high A root note on the high E string’s 17th fret with alternate-picked 16th notes. </p> <p>Clapton then proceeds to travel down the string through the A Mixolydian mode (A B C# D E F# G)—a distinctly different approach to position playing—before gravitating toward A major pentatonic box shapes, using multiple hammer-ons and pull-offs to create a succession of repetition licks with syncopated “threes on fours” rhythmic phrasing that creates an almost banjo-like country feel. </p> <p>While Clapton’s lead tone here is markedly brighter than what he used earlier in his career, his unique style, as determined by his phrasing, string bending and vibrato, remains his signature. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>04. <strong>"Steppin’ Out"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em></strong></p> <p>“Steppin’ Out” is one of Clapton’s best-known Bluesbreakers tracks, and with good reason. Along with “Hideaway” (see entry 13), it delivers the heftiest dose of Clapton’s solid, mind-blowing tone and ferocious playing. </p> <p>This upbeat, straightforward blues instrumental in G finds him borrowing bits and pieces from Memphis Slim’s original 1959 version. Clapton (along with John Mayall on keyboards) plays the figure from Slim’s piano intro and then references the track’s tenor sax solo.</p> <p>At the 54-second mark, he incorporates an ingenious “scraping” technique from the original guitar solo, which was played by Matt “Guitar” Murphy, who would go on to join the Blues Brothers Band in the late Seventies. </p> <p>But there’s a lot more going on here. Clapton incorporates some serious finger vibrato on the 12th fret of the G string—which only adds to the sustain produced by his overdriven Marshall amp—and he uses finger slides as he shifts between several positions of the G minor pentatonic scale. </p> <p>The well-paced solo ends with Clapton, much like his idols B.B. King and Buddy Guy, bending high on the neck before returning to the intro figure. It’s worth noting that he recorded other versions of “Steppin’ Out” with his short-lived 1966 supergroup the Powerhouse and with Cream, including the knockout 14-minute version on <em>Live Cream Volume II</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>03. <strong>"White Room"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Wheels of Fire</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p>Penned by Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Swinging London poet Pete Brown, “White Room” provided a suitably glorious opening track for Cream’s third album, 1968’s <em>Wheels of Fire</em>. </p> <p>From the first notes of the song’s 5/4 bolero intro, it’s clear that this is a landmark recording. Clapton’s mysteriously evocative layered guitar textures set a mood of high drama before the main 4/4 groove kicks in with an irresistible invitation to some serious hippie-era proto-head banging. </p> <p>The descending D minor verse progression is reminiscent of Cream’s earlier epic track “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” which is said to have been based on the chord pattern in the Lovin’ Spoonful’s 1966 hit “Summer in the City.”</p> <p>“White Room” contains some of Clapton’s finest wah-pedal artistry. He employs the device to create fluttery, aquatic magic in the choruses and to answer Bruce’s verse vocal lines with incandescent leads that match the fevered intensity of Brown’s lyrical imagery.</p> <p>Breaking with the time-honored tradition of putting a guitar solo in the middle of a song, “White Room” waits for the outro fade to unleash the full fury of Clapton’s slashing, psychedelic blues-wah frenzy. Clearly, they saved the best for last.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>02. <strong>"Have You Heard"</strong><br /> <strong>John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers—<em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em> (1966)</strong></p> <p>Quite frankly, if Clapton’s “Have You Heard” guitar solo doesn’t cause heart palpitations, shortness of breath or at least a mild case of goose bumps, you might want to seek medical help. </p> <p>The dramatic, 73-second pentatonic masterpiece is hands down the most frenetic, passionate solo of the guitarist’s 51-year career. The solo, which bursts out of the starting gate at the 3:25 mark, strings together a series of spectacularly intense, incendiary bends, hammer-ons, strategically timed position shifts, and slides. </p> <p>Clapton caps it off with a bevy of climactic high notes, an earmark of his solos on <em>Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton</em>. All of it is delivered via his groundbreaking new sound, a solid, sustained, overdriven tone that he forged by plugging a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard into a 42-watt Marshall 2x12 combo and cranking it up to ear-splitting levels.</p> <p>On the album, Clapton burns and bedazzles like a futuristic amalgam of his many influences, including Freddie King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy. Amazingly, Clapton was only 21 (about to turn 22) when <em>Blues Breakers</em> was recorded in March 1966. </p> <p>Even if he had simply vanished or faded away after the release of the album that summer (much like his stolen and still-missing 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard), he still would have earned a respected place in the annals of electric blues guitar. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>01. <strong>"Crossroads"</strong><br /> <strong>Cream—<em>Wheels of Fire</em> (1968)
</strong></p> <p>“Crossroads” has long been regarded as Eric Clapton’s most inspired and well-crafted lead guitar performance, and with good reason. </p> <p>This live, highly reworked cover of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” features him and band mates Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker performing some intense—and extended—interactive jamming on a 12-bar blues in A, set to an uptempo, double-time groove with a driving even-, or “straight-,” eighths feel. </p> <p>The high point comes during the arrangement’s second, prolonged guitar solo, when the group engages in a rhythmically dense improvisation that represents the exhilarating apex of blues-rock freeform jamming. Conjuring a killer creamy tone with his 1964 Gibson SG Standard and stacks of 100-watt Marshall amps, Clapton exploits the rig’s available sustain, using his signature vocal-like finger vibrato technique to make his guitar sing.</p> <p>Particularly noteworthy is Clapton’s consistently wide and impeccably intonated bend vibratos (bent notes that are then shaken), especially during his upper-register second solo, which he plays mainly in the 17th-position A minor pentatonic (A C D E G) “box” pattern. </p> <p>He combines notes from this scale with those from the parallel A major pentatonic (A B C# E F#) to create varying hues of melodic “light and shade,” more so during his first solo, and seamlessly shifts/drifts from one position to the next by using legato finger slides. </p> <p>The result is a performance that ably supports the then-popular declaration that Clapton is God. “Crossroads” may be a song about striking a deal with the Devil, but this recording shows Clapton in supreme command of his divine powers. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eric-clapton">Eric Clapton</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/cream">Cream</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> Cream Damian Fanelli Derek and The Dominoes Eric Clapton GW Archive GWLinotte March 2014 The Yardbirds Guitar World Lists News Features Magazine Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:57:17 +0000 Damian Fanelli, Alan di Perna, Jimmy Brown, Andy Aledort ‘Tech N’ Roll’: Seek Irony Guitarist Alex Campbell Talks New Album and Gear <!--paging_filter--><p>Modern rock/electronica band Seek Irony arose out of Tel Aviv, Israel's burgeoning music scene. </p> <p>But it wasn’t until founding members—and brothers—Kfir and Rom Gov relocated to Austin, Texas, that things really began to change. </p> <p>Shortly after their arrival, the brothers welcomed several new band members, including Berklee-trained guitarist Alex Campbell.</p> <p>As evidenced by the band’s recently released debut album, <em>Tech N’ Roll,</em> Campbell’s arrival takes Seek Irony to a different level altogether. “Devil in Me” and “Skin 2 Skin” reflect dark themes while still tastefully showcasing the band’s ability to combine electronic elements with inspired, hard-rock riffs.</p> <p>Seek Irony features Kfir Gov (vocals), Rom Gov (drums), Mikael Oganes (synths), Adam Donovan (bass) and Alex Campbell (guitar).</p> <p>I recently caught up with Campbell to ask him about <em>Tech N’ Roll,</em> gear and more!</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: How did you get involved with Seek Irony?</strong></p> <p>Back In 2013, I was doing a solo band while I was on a break from school. I was unsure if I was going back to Berklee and ultimately decided to audition for the band. I went down and met Rom and Kfir, and we really hit it off. They gave me music to learn; I auditioned, got the gig and have been full time ever since.</p> <p><strong>How did you approach recording for the band’s new album, <em>Tech N’ Roll</em>?</strong></p> <p>Rom and I come from a Dream Theater world in our approach to our instruments. My focus was to maintain that understanding on the guitar and translate some of that into the new music. It’s driven and heavy and a good mixture of hard rock and electronica.</p> <p><strong>What was the writing process like?</strong></p> <p>Most of the new album was written before I was in the band. Kfir and Rom wrote a majority of the songs. For new material, we’re constantly in pre-production in the studio. We rehearse and write there as well as throw down ideas. Some things work and some things don’t, but that’s part of the fun of being in a band!</p> <p><strong>Let’s talk about a few tracks from the <em>Tech N’ Roll</em>, starting with "Devil in Me."</strong></p> <p>That track has such a great guitar riff. Lyrically, it’s about addiction. It goes off the blues production of call and response. It’s very busy but maintains a dark atmosphere.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><strong>"Skin 2 Skin"</strong></p> <p>That’s the track that made me fall in love with the band. It really has a dark, atmospheric vibe to it. It’s about picking someone up at a club with the sole purpose of forgetting about them the next morning [laughs]. It’s another guitar-heavy track.</p> <p><strong>What inspired you to want to play guitar?</strong></p> <p>I don’t think there was just one thing. I’ve always wanted to be a musician and took guitar very seriously when I was 12. It wasn’t something I was originally interested in at first, but after about six months of playing and realizing I was making good progress, I started playing more guitar and less video games. It eventually became everything I would do—eight to 12 hours every day for years!</p> <p><strong>Who were/are some of your influences?</strong></p> <p>When I first started playing, it was David Gilmour. His playing is so lyrical, and I was immediately drawn to it. When I started getting into speed and technique I got more into Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. Then it became guys like Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci and Guthrie Govan.</p> <p><strong>What made you decide to pursue a career at Berklee College of Music?</strong></p> <p>I knew it was a good school, and it became my dream to go there when I was in high school. I remember going up there to audition and getting accepted. I was beyond excited. Then when I actually got there, it was just as incredible. What you put in is what you get out.</p> <p><strong>How important is it for a guitarist to have an understanding of music theory?</strong></p> <p>It really depends on the player. For me, it’s in two parts. You have to understand why you play guitar. First is the motion and feeling you have from playing and the reason you picked it up in the first place. If you have that emotion but don’t have a good grasp of theory, you might be limited. But then look at it the other way. Suppose you go toward perfect technique and playing all the notes right all the time. You might find yourself playing around the notes instead of through them with emotion. You should really try to have the best of both worlds.</p> <p><strong>What’s your setup like?</strong></p> <p>It’s pretty simple. I run two 4x12 cabinets. The first is a Kustom 200 HD, the other is a VK 200-watt. They both run into my Boss GT 100 that handles everything. I have the amps set to be as clean as possible and will occasionally throw in some extra effects, but most of what you hear is straight out of the GT 100. For guitars, I’m using Ernie Ball Music Man JP7 and I’m beyond thrilled with it!</p> <p><strong>Now that the album is complete, what are you most looking forward to?</strong></p> <p>I’m looking forward to seeing this music get to everyone. It’s good demonstration of the merging of rock, metal and electronica. It’s a good medium and I’m glad people are so receptive to it.</p> <p><em>For more about Seek Irony, visit <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><em>James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, <a href=""></a>. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on <a href="">Twitter @JimEWood.</a></em></p> Alex Campbell James Wood Seek Irony Interviews News Features Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:49:58 +0000 James Wood