Clapton's blues playing...show me what the fuss is about.

Billyzoom1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
623
I appreciate Clapton's blues playing, but not really to the point that others seem to. When I hear the reverence given to Clapton with regard to blues (e.g., how they used to write "Clapton is God" on the walls), I don't quite get it. Part of it was getting past what seems to me to be contrived roughness in his blues vocals, but even that aside, much of what I've heard doesn't to me merit what all the fuss is about (I'm not saying he shouldn't be in the conversation of great blues guitarists, I'm moreso wondering why a good amount of people put him at the TOP or close to the top of the heap.)

Having said that, I still have appreciation for him...for example, I own "From the Cradle", some of which I REALLY like. The first time I listened to Five Long Years and Someday After a While, for the first time, I finally could understand some why he's regarded so highly. (Then again, those are both a good example of the vocals I don't really care for.)

But even with that, if you listen to Coco Montoya's version of Someday After a While, I prefer both his guitar playing and his vocals. Not every player will resonate equally with every fan, I get it. But I'd really like to learn more what the fuss is about. If any of you are big Clapton fans, maybe you can share some other examples that show some transcendent Clapton. I'm sure it's out there.
 

MrGuitarhack

Member
Messages
3,243
I think it helps to consider the context in which his blues playing rose to prominence. It was the early/mid 60's and blues and blues artists were not popular or getting that much exposure. Clapton's blues influenced playing gave blues a voice and exposure to audiences that had not heard it before. With that said, not everyone is going to like everything. Doesn't make it bad or your opinion wrong.


 
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ZepFuzz05

Member
Messages
1,585
I'm generally not a fan of Clapton in most settings, but there are certain moments from him made deep impressions when I first encountered them. Honestly, I still think of the following solo as being one of the most raw, fiery, and expressive pieces of rock guitar playing ever recorded:

 
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Dharmajester

Member
Messages
318
When I was a teen we'd close the curtains turn the lights out and listen to that track ( Have you Heard ). The solo would always seem timeless and you'd come back to reality with a jolt when it finished oblivious to how long it had lasted.
I've known a couple of guys who could suspend time while soloing, neither famous but with more inate skills than most of the players in my music collection. In the 60's that was Claptons forte ( admittedly short lived ).
 

Powderfinger

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,783
I like Clapton in small doses and certainly respect his place in the history books but I don’t really dig listening to rock guitarists and blues rockers playing blues.

Clapton is a blues player down to his bones. Always has been. He’s been playing blues for over 50 years. How long does he have to play blues to be considered a blues guitarist?
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,262
OP, what year were you born? It means a lot, makes a difference, cause if you weren't around, you don't know the dreck that folks had to hoist Eric up out of.

When I was in something like fifth grade, and Sunshine of Your Love came on, it was just lethal compared to what else was on. Heavy and groovy the guitar soared with emotion. Most people got it, big time.

The blues thing Eric did, was apply some gain, some deliberate muscle, to what he heard from Freddie and Albert, BB, and Buddy. He put that energy, systematically in front of white folks. He was digestible, out agro'd by Beck and eclipsed by Hendrix pretty quickly perhaps. But in the moment, with his greasy perfect vibrato and sweet phrasing, he had the world in his hand, I think deservedly so.

Take a full listen from the early days to his modern era stuff, take your time. There is very worthy music there. The construct of GOAT is horse crap of course, until you get to Hendrix, who basically rolled up everything thing up to then, dipped it in chocolate and LSD and shoved it up the world's tookas. Im an old person, heard a lot of great guitar music, but I'm a willing fossil, still marveling at Beck and Hendrix, who are really difficult to copy. Clapton is at least do-able.

What ever, nobody else really cares what I think, or you. See if you can play that way or better, if so, perhaps someone will listen and give you a golf clap here and there, which is all I've ever wanted or received. Have fun, play passionately, whatever your muse delivers to you.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
24,684
I appreciate Clapton's blues playing, but not really to the point that others seem to. When I hear the reverence given to Clapton with regard to blues (e.g., how they used to write "Clapton is God" on the walls), I don't quite get it. Part of it was getting past what seems to me to be contrived roughness in his blues vocals, but even that aside, much of what I've heard doesn't to me merit what all the fuss is about (I'm not saying he shouldn't be in the conversation of great blues guitarists, I'm moreso wondering why a good amount of people put him at the TOP or close to the top of the heap.)

Having said that, I still have appreciation for him...for example, I own "From the Cradle", some of which I REALLY like. The first time I listened to Five Long Years and Someday After a While, for the first time, I finally could understand some why he's regarded so highly. (Then again, those are both a good example of the vocals I don't really care for.)

But even with that, if you listen to Coco Montoya's version of Someday After a While, I prefer both his guitar playing and his vocals. Not every player will resonate equally with every fan, I get it. But I'd really like to learn more what the fuss is about. If any of you are big Clapton fans, maybe you can share some other examples that show some transcendent Clapton. I'm sure it's out there.
His guitar is definitely weeping now.
 

Cup of Cheese

Member
Messages
377
I appreciate Clapton's blues playing, but not really to the point that others seem to. When I hear the reverence given to Clapton with regard to blues (e.g., how they used to write "Clapton is God" on the walls), I don't quite get it. Part of it was getting past what seems to me to be contrived roughness in his blues vocals, but even that aside, much of what I've heard doesn't to me merit what all the fuss is about (I'm not saying he shouldn't be in the conversation of great blues guitarists, I'm moreso wondering why a good amount of people put him at the TOP or close to the top of the heap.)

Having said that, I still have appreciation for him...for example, I own "From the Cradle", some of which I REALLY like. The first time I listened to Five Long Years and Someday After a While, for the first time, I finally could understand some why he's regarded so highly. (Then again, those are both a good example of the vocals I don't really care for.)

But even with that, if you listen to Coco Montoya's version of Someday After a While, I prefer both his guitar playing and his vocals. Not every player will resonate equally with every fan, I get it. But I'd really like to learn more what the fuss is about. If any of you are big Clapton fans, maybe you can share some other examples that show some transcendent Clapton. I'm sure it's out there.

We're supposed to attempt to make you like something more?
 




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