Eric Clapton spearheaded the British blues explosion back in the sixties during what many believe to be his best playing. I personally love all of Clapton’s eras, and can only admire his evolution as a guitarist, songwriter and musician over the years while remaining a bluesman at heart. I’m sure Hendrix would have done the same, and I’m also sure it wouldn’t have been to everyone’s liking either but there you go. In this quick post, we look at a little trick to get that Clapton soloing sound going which you can learn in about five minutes.
The Clapton Box
As you probably know, Clapton is most at home in position one of the minor pentatonic box; this is probably because it’s the pattern where the notes fall the nicest under your fingers, if you compare it to the others. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hanging out almost exclusively in box one, I mean, it contains the same notes as all the other boxes; it’s what you do with them that counts.
Here’s the ‘Clapton’ box in all its glory:
What we’re going to do is add in, or superimpose, this pattern:
Start by running up the above pattern and down the minor pentatonic pattern; repeat until you get chills, then try blending the two patterns to make licks and runs. Make sure you’ve got your ‘woman tone’ going.
Next, add in the blue note to the minor pentatonic:
And there you have it; a simple idea that gives you that early Clapton Bluesbreakers sound to milk to your heart’s content.