Does playing the guitar like Slowhand himself sound appealing to you? Or maybe you’ve been trying to recreate some of those Cream-era Clapton solos and just can’t seem to pull them off.
In this blog post, I want to show you a bit about how to play blues guitar like Eric Clapton by utilizing the minor pentatonic scale.
Anyone that truly desires to play like this blues guitar legend, will no doubt have to learn the Minor Pentatonic scale. This scale is the backbone to Slowhand’s legendary electric blues guitar style.
Below is the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale in the key of A.
Clapton uses this scale extensively to play many of his blues guitar solos, and by adding a few elements of his style to your playing, you will be on your way to playing guitar just like Slowhand.
So what does he do to make this scale sound so good? Well there are 3 things you can add to your playing that will help you to sound more like Clapton.
- Use triplets If you listen to him enough, you will know that Clapton uses triplets extensive in his playing. Triplets are where you play 3 notes per beat. From his early days with Cream, to the his modern day solo style, Clapton will often throw in a barrage of notes that are grouped as triplets.
- Accent Notes To truly mimic his style another thing you can add to your playing, is accenting notes with the pick. This requires you to hold the pick a little tighter than normal and really “dig in” to the note. Combine this with triplets and you will definitely start sounding like the master.
- Heavy Vibrato There’s no doubting that his vibrato is truly awesome! This is a big aspect of his style and what makes his solos take on a more vocal type quality. You will need to start practicing your blues vibrato every day to get it to sound like his. He also moves his whole hand up and down which results in a different sound than moving your wrist back and forth. I use this type of vibrato extensively in my playing as well.
Watch me perform this lick in the video below.
What is your favorite album from Eric Clapton?
24 Nights is definitely one of my favorites, and I think it ranks up there as one of the best live albums ever recorded. What do you think?
I’ve released a full course on how to play in the Clapton Guitar Style. Check them out here.