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Storm Stenvold >> Eric Clapton style >>
Lesson Subject: Eric Clapton Style
What you learn: Part 4 - Cream Era
Teacher: Storm Stenvold

Storm: This will be in Clapton's 'Cream' era style. Still blues roots, but moving to a more hard-rock, psychedelic sound. We'll get a jam track, learn a rhythm guitar part and then some lead licks.

Jam Track

Storm: The jam track is in the key of 'D'.



Storm: This is the progression for the jam track, too. Clapton used a similar progression again with Cream. A small handful of chord shapes. Your standard D chord.

D Chord


Storm: C sus2, a more modern replacement for C.

Csus2 Chord


Storm: To G/B. Read this as G over B. Meaning a G major chord with a B bass note.

G over B Chord


vh: What is Csus 2?

Storm: Csus2 reads C suspended 2nd. It means replace the '3rd' of the chord with the note named. In this case, E is the 3rd and you replace that with the 2nd note of the C scale, 'D'. Then 'power chords'. Bb5 to C5 brings you up to D.

Bb5 Chord


C5 Chord



Storm: Notice the riff's bass note moves down step by step, D-C-B-Bb. Kind of a mix of Major and Minor in the key of D. Eric's favorite scale choice over this progression is the minor pentatonic scale.



Storm: Here is a sample phrase in the scale.



Storm: Clapton uses a wah-wah pedal extensively. This riff I do the same. One of the must have effect pedals.

boomer: Could I use A minor to solo in key of D since it's D's relative minor?

Storm: That could sound cool. But B is D major's relative minor key.

boomer: Oh yeah, counted wrong.

Storm: But that substitution, minor pentatonic off the 5th of the key sounds nice. Eric does use the major pentatonic as well over this track.



Storm: Here is a pattern of major pentatonic he favors. I call it the 'B B King' pattern because BB uses it all the time. Bend on the 2nd string and 1st string to catch additional notes.





GTSmith: Is that last bend in the Major Pent from 5th to 6th? Common?

Storm: Yes from 5 up to 6. Not as common, perhaps, as the 2nd up to 3rd on the B string. But used, sure. You can also bend an extra half step on that 5th, up to b7th. BB calls it his 'wake-up' bend. Attention getter. I love the Vox wah pedal. I think it's 'sweep' is in a very usable, musical range of frequencies. Not too whinny. An extension pattern of the minor pentatonic:



Storm: And some rhythmic tricks Eric likes in his soloing. A couple of repeating phrases of three notes, played in a sixteenth note, four-to-the-beat rhythm. How ever you can name it to keep track of what key your playing in. I like to keep track of root notes, which are highlighted.



Storm: And one more, the next pattern of the scale up.



Storm: Now You're ready for the next lesson!

 

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