#1
Why do so many players say they were greatly influenced by Clapton? I like folks like the three Kings, SRV and Gary Moore, but I just don't "get" Clapton, either in Cream or his solo stuff.
Make me see his genius
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#2
song writing bro--the dude was super prolific throughout his career and his live shows are really something spectacular.
#3
its not so much that his songs are _so_ amazing. he just has so many amazing songs.
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#5
Quote by DanielShaw123
I enjoy a few cream songs, and the odd other performance by him. But yeah, he has nothing on the raw power and emotion of the likes of SRV.


I don't remember SRV writing a song for his dead son.

Emotions are subjective, claims like the one you're making prove nothing
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#6
he was just extremely lucky in being at the right place at the right time, the british blues boom in the late 60's. nobody else played or sounded like him at the time.

since those days a lot of much more talented guitar players have emerged, but somehow clapton's reputation was made and has remained ever since.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#7
Quote by megano28
I don't remember SRV writing a song for his dead son.

Emotions are subjective, claims like the one you're making prove nothing


Likewise, writing a song for your dead son means nothing. Anyone could do that, doesn't mean it's good.

And you're right, it is all just opinion. Music is completely subjective!
#8
He was (is) the John Mayer of an older generation. He introduced a different generation to the blues. Neither are pure blues players but are close enough to spawn an interest in further investigation.
#9
Quote by DanielShaw123
Likewise, writing a song for your dead son means nothing. Anyone could do that, doesn't mean it's good.

And you're right, it is all just opinion. Music is completely subjective!


You said "raw power and emotion" I'd consider a song dedicated to a deceased child is raw and emotive

Either way that first part of my statement lead to the second. It's subjective to say one isn't as "good" as the other is ignorant, no one's opinion reigns supreme here
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
#11
So by this I suppose that you`ve been able to play his solos...?...all of them? ...3 of them?... Yeah but his genious is that he arranged them. He is an epic artist, a legendary singer/songwriter/guitar player. Too many guitar players today think that playing speedos with the gain cranked to 10 is the bomb. I tell you this, eventually you grow up. This question is offensive.
#12
Quote by Tvrtko1
Why do so many players say they were greatly influenced by Clapton?


1) Because those white boys first heard "electric" blues (vs "folksy" or "street" blues) through the Yardbirds and Cream, at a time when the Blues was considered as folk music (in the popular US), or as jazz (in the elite US or in Europe), or simply "negroe" music, with very local radio airplay.

It were the Rolling Stones and Clapton who got traditional blues players like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, back in the spotlight in the early, mid 60's, when they had no record deals thus no airplay, by having them brought over to Europe to fill in 4 acts a night bills. Incidentally Bill Wyman/Charlie Watts of the Stones and Jack Bruce/Ginger Baker of Cream were previously jazz players before hitting it with their respective top of the charts bands.

2) For mostly technical reasons (lack of reliable, flexible, powerful amplification), until the late 50ies, the electric guitar was considered *impractical" as a live, dynamic, "lead rythm" or "solo" instrument in big hall orchestras. That job was still handled by horn sections. To be heard, early guitar amps had to be played loud. And when they were played loud, guitar amps would distort. It made people think the guitar was a rowdy, "jangling noise machine", incapable of subtle, dynamic rendering.

3) Because of these limitations, guitar playing was then divided in "styles" (with their respective recording techniques but that a guitar player could not render all live because of the limitations of PAs then, messing around with the controls for a decent live mix), which Clapton learned and studied as the Yardbirds added blues covers to their set lists. Among the different styles one can hear Clapton playing with the Yardbirds:

- the downstroke shuffle, epitomized by the banjo in early New Orleans jazz (Louis Armstrong), shifting over to the hard strummed gypsy swing rythm and lead guitar Django style,

- the Charlie Christian combo-size horn-like instrumental lead style,

- the T-Bone Walker's lap slide *lead accompagnment* (as invoked by Clapton in his 1969 interview below),
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGe4HBLinDc

- the Elmore James *rythm accompagnment* style,

- a heavy dose of Louis Jordan inspired BB King solo phrasing,

- and picking it up on the way when both met on a joint bill in the UK, Sonny Boy Williamson's harp phrasing to carve his wah,

So what Eric Clapton was reckoned for, with the Bluesbreakers, under John Mayall's direction, was to pack all those playing styles together, into one big can of whoop ass blues playing style.

The band would perform extended jams live, every night, never two shows the same. That is what earned him a following among aspiring electric guitar players.

STORMY MONDAY (circa Nov 1965) by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers live w/Eric Clapton
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az7sLKGOUe8

All along this path I tread
My heart betrays my weary head
With nothing but my soul to save
From the cradle to the grave.
Last edited by ColdGin at Apr 14, 2012,
#13
Quote by dr_john
he was just extremely lucky in being at the right place at the right time, the british blues boom in the late 60's. nobody else played or sounded like him at the time.


Quote by barefootboy
He was (is) the John Mayer of an older generation. He introduced a different generation to the blues. Neither are pure blues players but are close enough to spawn an interest in further investigation.


Clapton didn't really grow on anything else.

The 60's british electric blues scene hadn't made it yet. Clapton, with the Yardbirds, with John Mayall, followed by Cream and Fleetwod Mac, still had to write the story.

If it hadn't been for Chas Chandler to surf the british blues audience with Jimi Hendrix, Hendrix's records would have probably ended in the jazz/funk bin like Johnny Guitar Watson.

The Stones referred to the blues as one of their influences but one band isn't enough to drive a whole scene. In 65, the Stones found Muddy Waters repainting Chess records offices to make a living.

Had the british blues scene not reached the US, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top, Mike Bloomfield would probably have been restricted to playing at Jazz or Folk Festivals.

Quote by dr_john

since those days a lot of much more talented guitar players have emerged, but somehow clapton's reputation was made and has remained ever since.


To this old EC fan, 1981 Money and Cigarettes was the beginning of the end, the coffin's lid being the 1986 release of August, I really thought he was through, surviving only under extensive care, thanks to the contribution of a handful of solid blues-country-rock tunes by Jerry Williams, and a whole army of very talented and famous musicians working for him in the studio and on stage.

The release of Journeyman in 1989 finally saw him back alive and kicking hard. Since then, all his material has been solid, driving if not always original, snd selling strong. Wish him a happy career end and a long and happy retirement.

All along this path I tread
My heart betrays my weary head
With nothing but my soul to save
From the cradle to the grave.
Last edited by ColdGin at Apr 14, 2012,
#14
Quote by Tvrtko1
Why do so many players say they were greatly influenced by Clapton?


Because they were.
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#16
Because he's God.
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#17
Listen to the Beano album, then you'll understand.
R.I.P Jon Lord, Rory Gallagher and Jimi!
#18
As one of those who call Clapton their biggest influence, I will draw upon my love for his music and my training as a writer (I have a B.A. in journalism) to explain the appeal. I have seen some people explain his appeal here so far as a great songwriter. I will agree that some of his original material is masterful. However, if you look at the songwriting credits, including on some of his best and most famous guitar work, you will rarely see his name alone. “Tales of Brave Ulysses” from Disreali Gears was written by Clapton, Martin Sharp, and Jack Bruce. “Layla” from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was by Clapton & Jim Gordon. “Bad Love” from Journeyman was written by Clapton and Mick Jones. “Tears in Heaven” from the Rush Soundtrack was written by Clapton and Will Jennings.

Keep in mind that I love those songs, and Clapton may have had 90% of the input on the material (I don’t honestly know) but it was still not 100% him. For a great songwriter of that generation, I look at people like Paul Simon or Bob Dylan. Very little shared songwriting credits there. That being said, as it was before, I love most of Clapton’s original work. The “Pilgrim” album? Eh…not so much for me. But other than that, for the most part, good to great.

What Clapton had for starters was a pioneering tone. If I’m not mistaken, few players had ever used an amplifier’s natural overdrive on purpose before, at least to the level that Clapton did with the Bluesbreakers and later with Cream. You know that creamy, tangy, sunshiny tone he has from the early years? The “Woman” tone I think it’s called. Yeah, that was accomplished without a solid-state amp carrying a distortion “channel” or distortion pedals. I won’t pretend he’s never used distortion pedals, but that tone from “Sunshine of Your Love”? That was all guitar and amp; a humbucker-equipped guitar like a Les Paul or an SG, with neck at full and bridge at 6.5 Amp was a stock 50-watt Marshall head and a 4x12 cab maxed out on volume and EQ. Engineers supposedly hated him for running the amp that hot and trying to get the recording equipment to pick it up without overloading or sounding like crap, but a sound was born that influenced others later, even if they didn’t get it the same way. Later on when he switched to Strats, he had to use other equipment to get the woman sound, but if I may opine, he accomplished that well, despite the tonal nightmare that was the Phil Collins years.

Add to that the fact that, while he’s not the first to record with a Wah-Wah Pedal, he was the first to use the sound for the psychedelic ends with which it is still so closely associated. The afforementioned “Tales of Brave Ulysses” and “White Room” are classic early examples, “Bad Love” a fantastic 90’s foray into that sound.

So pioneering the tone that dozens of rockers to follow would copy is a great acheivement, but the solos are what do it for me with Clapton. Now, I’m a blues and classic rock guitar fan inside and out. I love Clapton, but also the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Outlaws, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Latter-day adherents to Old-School rock – Jet, Wolfmother, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, the Black Keys, and the Sheepdogs, to name a few. But Clapton’s soloing has something about it that’s almost Mozart-like. You can’t really compare it to guys like Eric Johnson or Joe Satriani with their classically-trained virtuosity, and yet you can’t always fit it into a box with the work of his heroes like B.B. King or his contemporaries like Jimmy Page. Take Page as an example. Clearly another of the almighties of their generation, his songwriting and recording skills are right up there with Clapton’s, perhaps beyond in some respects; his soloing is raw, fast, creative, and gritty, but – and I’m sorry to you Page fans who have been hearing this over and over again for decades – sloppy. I mean no insult to Page; I actually like it a lot when he gets sloppy; it’s awesome. However, Clapton brings a kind of elegance and precision to such a moment. With both guys, you get an overflow of emotional content and brilliant rhythmic placement of notes; but with Clapton, it’s just a cleaner and more precise placement and execution, and when he lets loose and goes ape$hi+, it levels the f**king building.

Take two similar trakcs, like Zeppelin’s cover of Willie Dixon’s “You Shook Me” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3-XqLFKQzA ) versus Clapton’s cover of Billy Myles’ “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” from “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVRQd8WN4i0 ).

All I can do is tell you the imagery that each one evokes for me. Page’s soloing and fill-ins make me think of a 50-foot tall giant, wearing a fur loincloth, beard crawling with vermin, tromping through a forest and countryside, stomping, clubbing, and crapping a path of destruction, leaving piles of rubble, bloated corpses, giant crap, and screams wherever he goes. When I hear Clapton’s solos and fills on “Have You Ever Loved a Woman”, it makes me think a 150-foot tall smooth shiny metal space robot came through and disintegrated everything with lasers and nuclear missiles, leaving a flat, smoking, charred surface everywhere it went – no screams, because he just f**king disintegrated everything. So, either way there was destruction and death; only the giant left a huge mess, whereas the robot left nothing. Just like Clapton versus Page – There was awesome guitar played either way, but Page’s style of soloing was more ham-fisted. Not to imply that he was unskilled, just that when he played solos he strangled his guitars; it sounds like he’s fighting to squeeze out every note. Clapton sounds much more slick and even elegant by comparison at times; kind of like he seduced his guitar and it’s moaning/squealing at his touch.

Does that make sense?
#19
taste is a important thing, some peeps hate srv because of his easy lyrics and stuff. it is just clapton as clapton.

i prefer his early years. solo isn't really good
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