Want to learn how to play guitar like Eric Clapton?
The Eric Clapton Player Study course will help you learn the three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s signature style, including phrasing, minor pentatonic shapes, and solos.
An English guitarist and singer-songwriter, Eric Clapton is regarded as one of the most successful guitarists in rock music. He’s had a decades-long career in music, including playing with The Yardbirds, forming power group Cream, and embarking on a successful solo career.
Clapton got his first guitar for his 13th birthday, but it was so difficult to play that he lost interest until two years later. Blues music was Clapton’s biggest inspiration – he practiced learning the chords by playing along to blues records. By age 16, he was getting noticed for his skills and began busking around London.
Clapton joined his first band at age 17, a British R&B group called The Roosters, kicking off a long career in music. He played for just under two years with The Yardbirds, leaving after the band decided to go in a pop direction with their music.
He played in several other bands before forming Cream, one of the first supergroups. In just 28 months, the band was a huge commercial success and played tour dates through the United States and Europe. However, band tensions caused the group to disband in 1968. They briefly reunited in 2005 to play a handful of sold-out shows.
Clapton began recording as a solo artist in 1970 and has released several best-selling albums. He has also recorded several albums with other musicians and contributed guitar to a number of songs by other artists.
Clapton has cited Muddy Waters, Freddie King, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy as his guitar influences. A pioneer of the British blues scene, Clapton mixes and matches the minor and major pentatonic scales to add variety to his solos.
In 2011, The Guardian credited Clapton with the creation of the “guitar hero cult”, where superlative guitar players are elevated to near-mythic status by virtue of their skills. Clapton is the only person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, and he was ranked second in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time”.
Once you’ve mastered Clapton’s signature style, try these song lessons!