Learn 5 Eric Johnson chords that utilize his trademark ‘shell’ voicing for big ambient clean tones

Eric Johnson
(Image credit: Chris McKay/Getty Images)

Eric Johnson is renowned for his immaculate tones and phrasing, ranging between roaring Marshall/Fuzz Face lead sounds and super-clean ambient chords. The latter is what we’ll be looking at here. 

Before we get into the voicings themselves, it’s worth pointing out that, like Eric, I’ve used an (approx. 400ms) echo with a touch of modulation – it’s an integral part of the sound, rather than just an enhancement. You can also get a bit of movement in the echo with some subtle whammy bar, for a light chorusing and a bigger sense of space. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.