How to play vocal guitar solos in the style of John Mayer and Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

The 1980s are now long enough ago to generate some legitimate nostalgia. Those of us who were (ahem) there can recall heady summer days to the soundtrack of Journeyman-era Clapton and Toto. There was also a fad for brightly coloured guitars with pointy headstocks and locking whammy bars… 

In John Mayer’s recent video for his own '80s-inspired journey, Last Train Home, he appears to have embraced the idea of bright pink electric guitars, but the phrasing is more Clapton inspired, with no divebombs! This installment of Blues Headlines is a look into that style – not an absolute clone of Mayer or Clapton but ‘vocal’ phrasing along those lines. 

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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.