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Clapton-style Acoustic Blues

Jim Burger (4613) · [archive]
Style: Blues · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 150
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

I have to admit that the sequence below is based on a tune originally from Big Bill Broonzy (this is not a Clapton tune -- spend 15 minutes learning about Broonzy before you take this lesson!), but I felt a need to add it to this lesson because Clapton does play it similar to the way it's portrayed here and because it's a lot of fun to play. HERE you can find a sound bite of Clapton's version of "Hey Hey" (the last 15 seconds contain much of the below progression).

By far the hardest part about playing this type of progression is the thumb bass. If you're not used to playing a thumb bass, then just forget about it for the moment and concentrate on learning the stuff that goes on outside of the thumb bass, mainly on the high strings.

This is actually a lot easier than it looks/sounds. You start with the slide up to the 7th fret of the 5th string followed by a snap on the open 6th string -- I love this effect, the harder you snap the 6th string, the better it sounds. This is followed by a bend on the 3rd fret of the 1st and 2nd strings, a shot on open 1st and 2nd strings and then a slide up to this A7 fingering:
A7 fingering (main riff)
Even better than the slide up to the 7th fret of the 5th string at the very beginning is the slide down from the 7th fret of the 5th string which precedes bar 6. We then have a bunch of fingerpicking out of the A, A7 and A6 fingerings around the 2nd fret before returning in bars 8-9 to the little riff that started us off.
A fingering
A6 fingering
A7 fingering
Bar 10 is similarly fingerpicked out of a B7 fingering, where you have to stretch your pinky out to nail the 7th fret of the 1st string.
B7 fingering
Again, in bars 11-12 we're just fingerpicking before ending up with the G# hammer in bar 13.
Clapton-style Acoustic Blues - Page 9