Bluffing Great Rock Guitar
The Eric Clapton sound
Gershwin called them “blue notes”: the tones in between the notes of the scale, even between the frets on a guitar, playable only by bends. They’re the notes that really point up the blues influence on rock. Clapton had two in particular that, at the time, made his playing instantly recognisable. One was sharpening the minor third, after playing it, to somewhere between and minor and major third. Never mind the technicality, you’ll recognise it a soon as you hear it. The other involved bending not from the fourth to fifth notes but somewhere south of that; the flattened fifth or even in between the two. It gave a marvelously “heavy” feel to the bend. Try it yourself in Lead Lesson 15, new this week.
How to play Hendrix rhythm
One of the most useful things I’ve discovered over the years is that most players only have a small handful of things that they do, and almost all of their playing consists of variations of these lick, tricks or whatever. So once you’ve cracked those you can work out how to play virtually anything they play.
In Hendrix’s gentle “Little Wing / Wind cries Mary” style rhythm playing (no actual song featured here for copyright reasons) you only have to know about four simple hammer-ons, pull offs and glisses to be able to copy any of that stuff. Rhythm Lesson 4 shows you the first of those you need to know.
Had a fantastic time at Crastonbury, at the Craster Arms Hotel, confusingly at Beadnell, this Saturday. The rain was so bad, and the stage was so slippery nobody dared move off the spot, except at the end when only the drum-mic-stands saved me crashing through Gregg’s kit. The crowd was brilliant and stayed despite the downpour, and so did we, which how I can tell you if you ever get a chance to see the Cuban Boys; do. We could see at lot of the audience from where we were standing, and all of them spent 45 minutes grinning at their superb dance, vocal and comedy act. I’d like to think the girl at the front, who lingeringly licked the Cuban’s boogieing torso in ecstasy, was a plant. But I’m not entirely sure.
The Tyne Bar beer garden on a Bank Holiday Sunday. It’s got to be our favourite ever gig. Mine anyway. The sheer pleasure of playing to so many people who have clearly come to enjoy the afternoon with you is unbeatable. Thank you.