[Slowhand] Clapton & Hendrix

Garret74 at aol.com Garret74 at aol.com
Sat Mar 8 16:49:18 EST 2008

***I think one of Clapton's greatest contributions to the electric
guitar was the lyricism and pure tone he coaxed out of his guitar. And it
would be incorrect to state that Clapton never makes use of effects or
pedals, but clearly, much of Hendrix's sound came from the unique effects he
had at his disposal and which were "created" to his specs. And it was that
use of guitar effects that made Hendrix a true visionary and resulted in a
huge explosion in the number of guitar effects and pedals available and
marketable. I think that was huge.***

Yes, Eric was there first. He made the amplifier as much a part of the sound
as the instrument- in this he was revolutionary. But Hendrix took it all
further. Also, Hendrix was much more innovative in his mixing of scales and
modes. Eric was basically stuck in 'blues' theory, very much a traditionalist if
you will, and Hendrix was breaking all the rules, doing things that people
couldn't even imagine someone doing. Hendrix took huge risks, stuck his neck
out, made big mistakes and had accidents, but out of this came something totally
Eric doesn't ever seem to make mistakes. But Eric never seems to take the
risks that Jimi, for all his sloppiness and half-assed drugged-out playing, was
willing to take.
I've always felt Eric was a much more precise player and much more fluid,
his licks cut a whole lot harder, but it's the uniqueness of Jimi Hendrix that
I've always loved about him. Plus Jimi is a very underrated composer.
Both of these guitar players are great...I don't have to choose one or the
There are a few other fellows that reach as high as these guys...I've always
thought the economy and phrasing of BB King is unsurpassed, and Peter Green
plays in that vein; Freddie King, who Eric seems to have learned a great deal
from; Albert King, SRV seems to have sat at his lap...Duane Allman. And the
very underrated West Side players like Magic Sam and Buddy Guy. And Mike
I really don't get into saying X is better than Y because to me X has it's
thing to say and Y has it's thing to say and it's just meaningless to me to say
X is all there is and we don't need Y.
I always laugh, however, when people put their little top ten lists together
and put Hendrix (more usual than Clapton) on top of it. Great- if you also
go listen to the other nine guys on the list.


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