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90 guitar world
FIGURE 1a G minor pentatonic,
third position
FIGURE 1b Slow blues q = 126

3 6
3 5
3 5
3 5
3 6
3 6

G
1
5
3 3
1
3 3
5
3 3 3
1
5
3 3
1
3 3
5
3 3 3 6 3
5
3
1/2
3 5 3
5
1/2
3

FIGURE 1c G minor pentatonic, extended position FIGURE 2

1 3
1 3 5
3 5
3 5 7
6 8
6 8 10

G7

7 5 7
6
5 3
5
5
5

5
3
5 3
5
5 3
3 1
3
1
3
3 3

3
1 3
1 5
3 5
3 5 7
6 8

8
1/2
6 10 6 8
8
6
8 6
7
1/2
8 6
7 5 3 3
5 3
5
1/2

1
3 1
3 3 3

3 3 5 3 3 3 3
FIGURE 3a G minor pentatonic, 10th position FIGURE 3b

10 13
10 13
10 12
10 12
11 13
10 13 13
1/2


1 1/2
13 13 11
12

*
*repeat previous beat
1113
12
1/4
11
1210
12
1210
1210

3 3 3
1012
1012
1113
1013101310
13
1/2
10
1311
12
13 11

12
1/2
12
11

10 1013 10 1310
13
1013 1310
13
10
13
1/2
11
12
1311
12
1/2

12
11

3 3 3 3 3
FIGURE 4 G minor pentatonic, extended position FIGURE 5a G minor pentatonic, 12th/13th position

8 10
8 10
8 10 12
10 12
11 13 15
13 15

15
13 15
12 15
12 15
13 15
13 15

FIGURE 5b

G7
12 15 12
15
12
15
1 1/2
12 15 15 15

12 12
15
12 15 12
15
12 12

1
12
15
12 15
1/2
15 15 12
15
15 12


12
15
3 3
FIGURE 6a G minor pentatonic, 15th position FIGURE 6b G minor pentatonic, extended position

15 18
15 17
15 17
15 17
15 18
15 18

13 15
13 15 17
15 17
15 17 19
18 20
18 20 22
FIGURE 7a G minor pentatonic FIGURE 7b G minor pentatonic, extended position

3
0 2
0 2
0 2 4
3 5
3 5 7

3 5 7
5 7
5 7 9
7 9
8 10 12
10 12 15

FIGURE 7c

3 5 7
5
5
5
7 9
7
9 9
9
9
7
7 5
7
7
7

7 5 5

9
7 9
9
7 8 9
8
1
1/2
8
10

1
10 10
8

10 8 12
10
12
12
12
10
1210 8
9
10 8

9
8
9 7
7 5
7
7 5
7 5
5 7 5
7
7 5

MESSAGE FROM GOD


Eric Clapton in the Sixties
By andy aledort
F
or most oF the past five de-
cades, British guitarist Eric Clap-
ton has been at the forefront of
blues/rock guitar playing. though he has
incorporated many different stylistic ele-
ments into his music during his long and
very successful career, Claptons legacy
was forged long ago on his brilliance as
a virtuoso soloist, and he will long be re-
membered as one of the most important
and influential guitarists ever.
this month well examine that magical
period from 1966 to 1968, when Clapton
established the standard for modern blues
and rock guitar with his incendiary work
with John Mayalls Bluesbreakers and
Creamback when he was commonly
referred to by the modest nickname god.
though Clapton initially gained
recognition with the Yardbirds, with
whom he played from october 1963
through March of 1965, his work with
the Bluesbreakers established him as
one of the best guitarists of the day. His
inspired performance on the 1966 classic
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is also
noteworthy for introducing a mind-
blowing guitar sound. armed with his
1960 gibson les Paul Standard, plugged
into a 45-watt model 1962 Marshall 2x12
combo amplifier, Clapton forged a thick,
overdriven sound with tremendous
sustain. He routinely turned the amp full
up, as he liked to say, till it was about to
burst. in those days Clapton used light-
gauge Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings
(.009.042).
lets first look at the scales Clapton
relies on primarily for soloing. Following
the lead of two of his greatest influences
B.B. King and Buddy guyClapton often
alternated between minor and major
pentatonic scales in his solos. FIGURE 1a
illustrates one of the most commonly used
scale positions for g minor pentatonic (B
Bf C d F). FIGURE 1b shows a signature
Clapton lick based on this scale in this
position: it begins with a repeated unison
bend type lick, as C is bent up one whole
step to d on the g string, followed by a
fretted d on the B string. the phrase ends
with hammer-ons and pull-offs played in
16th notes, ending with a pair of minor
thirds, Bf, which are bent up one half step
to the major third, B. Subtle use of minor-
third-to-major-third bends is a standard
stylistic element of Claptons soloing.
FIGURE 1c illustrates an extended
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92 guitar world
position of g minor pentatonic, and
FIGURE 2 offers an example of how
Clapton moves smoothly between
fretboard positions in the creation of
improvised melodic phrases. FIGURE
3a shows a fingering for the scale in 10th
position, followed in FIGURE 3b with
Clapton-esque phrases that utilize this
fretboard pattern.
additional scale fingerings for g
minor pentatonic are shown in FIGURES
4, 5a, 6a and 6b. FIGURE 5b offers an
example of how Clapton might use the
scale position shown in FIGURE 5a in his
improvised solos.
as menti oned, Cl apton often
alternates between minor and major
pentatonic scales in his solos. FIGURES
7a and 7b illustrate two standard scale
positions for g major pentatonic (g a B
d E). in studying both minor and major
pentatonic, remember that the intervallic
structure of minor pentatonic is 1 f3 4 5
f7 (in g: g Bf C d F), and the intervallic
structure of major pentatonic is 1 2 3 5 6
(in g: g a B d E). FIGURE 7c illustrates
solo phrases that are based on the
extended position of g major pentatonic
and played in Claptons style.
our look at scales wraps up with
FIGURE 8, which illustrates g major
pentatonic in an extended pattern that
starts at the 10th fret and ends at the 19th,
making it very useful for inventive solo
explorations.
one of Claptons best-known Blues-
breakers tracks is the instrumental Step-
pin out. FIGURE 9 is a solo played over
a Steppin outstyle backing track,
which is simply a fast 12-bar blues shuffle
in the key of g. i begin with sixthspairs
of notes that are six scale degrees apart
on the third and first strings, and for the
rest of the 12-bar form i stick between
first and third positions, using finger
slides to connect the scale positions.
along with subtle bends, i also blur the
line between minor and major by quickly
hammering from the minor third to the
major third, as shown in bars 10 and 12.
an effective stylistic device of
Claptons is to use quick hammer-
pulls on adjacent strings. FIGURE 10a
demonstrates this technique on the top
two strings, and FIGURE 10b moves the
idea over to the B and g strings.
lets wrap up with a nod to Claptons
classic 1968 Cream-era Crossroads
solo, as shown in FIGURE 11. Cross-
roads is a 12-bar blues in a, and this solo
is based on a minor pentatonic (a C d
E g). rooted in 17th position, this solo
demonstrates how much mileage one can
get from a single scale position.
Eric Claptons Bluesbreakers/Cream
era guitar work offers many valuable
lessons that cover all of the ingredients
essential to blues-rock soloing: touch,
tone, phrasing, musicality and inspira-
tion. like all great things, these record-
ings sound better with age.
FIGURE 8 G major pentatonic, extended position FIGURE 9 Fast shuffle q = 184 Triplet feel
_
_

10 12
10 12 14
12 14
12 14 16
15 17
15 17 19

let ring
G7
5
,
7

7
,
7

7
7
,
5

...........
5
5 7 3
1/2

. .
=
. .
3

. . . .

5
5 3
3 1 3
3
1
1/4
,
1
5
,
C7
5 3
5
5 3
5 3 5
1/2
3
5

5
5 3
5 3
G7
3 1 3
3
1/4
1
3 1 3
1
,
3

......
3 1
,
3
,
5
3 5

3
D7
5
1/2
3
5
1/2
C7
5 3
5 3
1/2 1/4
3 5 3
5 5
,
......
G7
3
,
4
3
3
3
1
6
5 5 3
5
5
5
3 3 4
3
3

G7
8

....
1/2
6
,
8 6 5

_
_
FIGURE 10a

G7
3
,

3 6 3
6
3

3 6 3
6
3

6

...............
1
3 3 3
_
_
FIGURE 10b

G7
3
,

3 6 3
5
3

1/2
3
5 3 5
1/2
3
........
.
3 3
_
_
FIGURE 11 q = 126
let ring

A7
1
19
17
17
1
17 17
19
17
17 17
1
D7
19
17
17
1
17 17
19
17
17 17 20 17
20
A7
17
17
20
1 1/2
20 17 17
..........
20 17
19 17
let ring
1
19 19 17
19
1/2
19
19
17
19 17 19
17
D7
17
17 17 17
19
17 17 17
17
17 17
19
17
17
17 17 17
19
17 17
17 17
17
17
19
17
17 17
17 19
17 17
A7
19
17 19
1/2
17
19 17 19
........
1/2
17
19
19
19
1/2
17
19 17
19
,
......
1
19
,
17 17 17
1
E7
19
17 17

17 20 17
19
17

D7
17
,
20
1
...
20 17
1
19 19 17
19
1/2
19
19
17
3
A7
19
17 19
17
17

19
19 17
17
E7
15
17
17
17
15
1/2
,
1
19
,
17
17
20 17
1
A7
19 19 17
19
17
1/2
19
.
FIGURE 1a G minor pentatonic,
third position
FIGURE 1b Slow blues q = 126

3 6
3 5
3 5
3 5
3 6
3 6

G
1
5
3 3
1
3 3
5
3 3 3
1
5
3 3
1
3 3
5
3 3 3 6 3
5
3
1/2
3 5 3
5
1/2
3

FIGURE 1c G minor pentatonic, extended position FIGURE 2

1 3
1 3 5
3 5
3 5 7
6 8
6 8 10

G7

7 5 7
6
5 3
5
5
5

5
3
5 3
5
5 3
3 1
3
1
3
3 3

3
1 3
1 5
3 5
3 5 7
6 8

8
1/2
6 10 6 8
8
6
8 6
7
1/2
8 6
7 5 3 3
5 3
5
1/2

1
3 1
3 3 3

3 3 5 3 3 3 3
FIGURE 3a G minor pentatonic, 10th position FIGURE 3b

10 13
10 13
10 12
10 12
11 13
10 13 13
1/2


1 1/2
13 13 11
12

*
*repeat previous beat
1113
12
1/4
11
1210
12
1210
1210

3 3 3
1012
1012
1113
1013101310
13
1/2
10
1311
12
13 11

12
1/2
12
11

10 1013 10 1310
13
1013 1310
13
10
13
1/2
11
12
1311
12
1/2

12
11

3 3 3 3 3
FIGURE 4 G minor pentatonic, extended position FIGURE 5a G minor pentatonic, 12th/13th position

8 10
8 10
8 10 12
10 12
11 13 15
13 15

15
13 15
12 15
12 15
13 15
13 15

FIGURE 5b

G7
12 15 12
15
12
15
1 1/2
12 15 15 15

12 12
15
12 15 12
15
12 12

1
12
15
12 15
1/2
15 15 12
15
15 12


12
15
3 3
FIGURE 6a G minor pentatonic, 15th position FIGURE 6b G minor pentatonic, extended position

15 18
15 17
15 17
15 17
15 18
15 18

13 15
13 15 17
15 17
15 17 19
18 20
18 20 22
FIGURE 7a G minor pentatonic FIGURE 7b G minor pentatonic, extended position

3
0 2
0 2
0 2 4
3 5
3 5 7

3 5 7
5 7
5 7 9
7 9
8 10 12
10 12 15

FIGURE 7c

3 5 7
5
5
5
7 9
7
9 9
9
9
7
7 5
7
7
7

7 5 5

9
7 9
9
7 8 9
8
1
1/2
8
10

1
10 10
8

10 8 12
10
12
12
12
10
1210 8
9
10 8

9
8
9 7
7 5
7
7 5
7 5
5 7 5
7
7 5