Apr 02

Eric Clapton – most over-rated guitarist in poll shockah!

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Eric Clapton – most over-rated guitarist in poll shockah! The shocker here actually is not that EC (some call him God, but this is a dwindling number now due to age and events which pretty much prove this not to be true) is seen as being over-rated, this is a new generation we are talking about after all. Except that this new generation still revere Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, and the riffs and solo’s mentioned are all over twenty years old. Is Rock dead, or are the people who buy Laney amps or fill in polls like this just not the kids any more?


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  1. 31
    whatthe on 5 Jan 2011 #

    I’m not a guitarist. I’m just a curious person who asks lots of questions to musicians around. so i have to ask:

    don’t you think one has to make a distinction between mechanics and creativity? the fact that you can play flight of the bumblebee at 320 bpm tells me that you’re a virtuoso. but the fact that rimsky-korsakov composed it indicates that virtuosity only makes you more capable of realizing your creativity and play exactly what’s in your mind.
    while it may be true that virtuosity enhances creativity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your piece of music will touch others’ souls.

    if you’re making music only for yourself and others’ perception of your music doesn’t mean a thousandth of what it means to you, then you may consider yourself god in your one-man world.

    but just because masses love clapton’s music, or just because he started playing simple stuff after 70’s, doesn’t mean people don’t relate to simplicity.

    here is how it all looks from where i stand: you can learn a thousand words and elaborate your writing as to involve sophistication and well-phrased sentences, but if those sentences do not ring a bell when you read them out loud,if they do not add up to some sense of completeness, simultaneous self-realization through conducting what’s on your mind will not make your music effective, which is quite a relative word.

    here is the thing: there is a chance that you’ll screw up with your stetina mechanics before you even discover the beauty in simplicity. and the latter, that’s what all these great guys that you make fun of have mastered.

    try to write a freaking complicated ballad and then try to produce some simple music that’s not an imitation of your predecessors.

    try this with poem-writing, for instance.

    playing something the second it comes as muse is a way of instant gratification. virtuosity could only help this ability get better.
    but doing it in a somewhat economic way, not cramming your music with ten minutes of noise to get to the sweet part… i consider a talent greater than most. this is not to say that excelling in speed mech and music theory is worthless. but not all guys who are good at these skills and knowledge can manage to produce music pleasing to the ear. the music produced even after acquisition of these skills might deny the most important character of or thereof the puspose pf good music: that it should be pleasing.

    personally i find clapton, gilmour and guys like that much more pleasing than vai for instance, who i think is a mental masturbator that lost it in a totally self-ndulgent personal exploration, which is fine.

    but it is kind of interesting that most people who can’t play guitar love to listen to clapton, gilmour, and guys whom you might think are “overrated.”, while that’s not quite the case for vai.

    what i just said might have to do with the possbility that repetition and the notion of what’s familiar, is itself, what’s pleasing. but how come they got to that state of familiarity in the first place. because blind willie mctell and the like already introduced people with blues? then what about gilmour?
    and even if that’s so, everything that looks new is actually an intensely modified inspiration of the old, vai and satriani had their predecessors too. how come they’re not as much celebrated?

    i know some of my questions and statements smack of ignorance, but keep in mind that music is for all as long as you keep in mind the fact that music is also very personal. so if you tend to generalize clapton’s craft as somewhere close to nil, then i should have the right to ask you these questions as well as to inquire what gives you the right? don’t antagonize me please. if you think i’m wrong, then just tell me how so.

    i’m sort of opinionated, yes, but I wouldn’t say no to anything with logic in it. thank you for reading this long, long post.

  2. 32
    Mark M on 23 Feb 2011 #

    Having watched the Toots biog in BBC4’s reggae season, I’ll at least give Eric Clapton grudging credit for realising he had no business duetting with Mr Hibbert, and therefore trying to bury his own voice as much as possible and certainly not to try any vocal improvising (obviously he could have not appeared on the Toots duet album at all, but I guess he figured it was a chance for Toots to get paid properly).

  3. 33
    Jay Emm on 6 Jun 2011 #

    Looks like I’m in pretty good company here. Talk about selling your soul to the devil to get famous, I think that’s a good theory why Clapton got famous, and has remained famous all these years. In terms of writing, he’s not that good at writing a rock song. Bruce and Baker did most of the work for Cream. Clapton goes through periods where he gets on a ‘kick’ about a certain songwriter, then tries to make their songs his own. Wonderful Tonight is a sleeper. I picture someone snoring whenever I hear it. And, I’m not blowing my own horn here, but I was playing Clapton’esque scales and solos some 25 years ago. To draw influence from him (at any period) is to ‘de-evolve’ your playing. Strictly box scale pentatonic blues scales. Nothing fancy, nothing daring. Walk into any guitar store any day and you’ll hear the same tired, hackneyed blues scales by virtually any 12 year old guitar wannabe. I’m not slammin’ Clapton. He’s an ok player, but terribly overrated. He’s gotten by by playing with some very talented people. He’s even said himself, he doesn’t like writing. I guess I don’t blame him. It’s hard work. He’s no ‘god’ and never has been.

  4. 34
    v on 26 Aug 2011 #

    no one better than stevie ray vaughan.

  5. 35
    elvisd on 4 Oct 2011 #

    Try growing up in the Mississippi Delta-Blues Central-and being subjected to the Clapton Cult. His picture is everywhere, he’s been “influenced” by everything, he’s at that crossroads in his life. Here’s his hook: he was the first white boy to have the proper tone and vibrato for that music. That’s pretty much it.
    Rhytmically, he’s poor. He stiffens up whatever backing band he has, save the Dominoes. His chops are average at best. The main thing is that his leads are never sloppy, so he gets points for that. Everyone rags Jimmy Page for his sloppiness, but he could afford to be, since in his prime he was at the tops for songwriting, arranging, producing, and drawing from such a wide range of stuff you could practically call him world music. I consider Page’s acoustic work with all those open tunings alone to be as important as everything Clapton’s done.
    Much of Hendrix can be seen the same way: any sloppiness is easily overshadowed by the big picture (great songwriting, production and arrangement ideas, etc)

  6. 36
    gtbob on 4 Oct 2011 #

    so much ignorance.it`s mind blowing.clapton is a great rhythmn player great singer,and great lead player.When he`s in a band situation he doesn`t compete he gets involved with the conversation.thats why so much great music has gotten made when he`s in the lineup.so many insecure wankers who have to play a million notes,on every song,who usually miss the whole point of the song.And by the way,jack bruce and a bunch of other musicians have been quoted as saying clapton is one of the nicest guys they`ve ever met.Also he himself never claimed he was the best.Remember when he came along there was al;ot of tinny sounding rinky dink rock music,hendrix,page brian may etc.etc. guys who saw him then,said that live in the sixties,they were blown away by him.You need to know the context of the times to understand clapton.His sound was as ground breaking in 1965,1966 as van halen was in 1978.And I`m a collector of all types of music,including alot of old school blues,and to say he doesn`t hold up next to the old guys like freddie king,B.B.,Albert,or otis rush or buddy guy or so many others is bullcrap.

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    P on 20 Apr 2013 #

    You morons all missed the boat! What does fast playing have to do with anything good? its meaningless bullshit with no taste, forethought or emotional content. These modern “shredders” couldn’t kiss Clapton’s ass. Go out and buy a box of Q tips and clean out your ears.

  8. 38
    Warren on 23 Jul 2013 #

    Man!!!!! You guys are crazy. Clapton is not only one of the greatest guitarists of all time but also one of the most historically important musicians.

    As many have said , you have to rate him in his day. He was the first guitarist to turn up the amp and make the guitarist the most important person in the band.

    He was a massive champion of the blues and really kept in alive when it was on its knees.

    We all know that Hendrix said he would only come to England with Chas if he could meet Eric Clapton and Duane Allman froze on stage when he saw Eric in the audience. Those two guys are two of the greatest ever and have never been know to suck up….That reaction speaks volumes.

  9. 39
    John Bailey on 30 Oct 2013 #

    The fact about Clapton is that the old black bluesmen whom he emulated came to respect him. He took their music, cleaned it up, lost some of the soul, but in the process mediated the music that inspired him to the great white middle and working classes. He put blues on the map for most people. In the same way, Felix Mendelssohn was far from the greatest composer in his own right, but he rediscovered and championed the far greater talent of Johann Sebastian Bach (who, but for Mendelssohn, would be largely unheard today).

    Plus, Clapton redefined the modern electric guitar in a way that every axeman since has built on. You wouldn’t have all the shredders you think are so much better, but for the foundation he laid.

    Yes, Clapton sounds boring now. Even Cream – his highpoint – now sounds like Jack Bruce’s baby – but in the cultural context of this early years it is hard to overstate his revolutionary brilliance. And even now it is dangerous to understate his importance in the development of rock guitar.

  10. 40
    Kevbo on 23 Feb 2014 #

    It’s not just him. A lot of guitarists lose rhythm when they go into their solos.
    But he’s really bad sometimes. Makes it unlistenable. There are just so many guitarists who play better out there. It’s not that he’s so good it sounds bad. It’s that he’s not good enough to make it sound good.

  11. 41
    Mick 998 on 2 Oct 2014 #

    Clapton is a self centred ignorant arsehole of a Pratt with no regard for his fans and is not fit to clean Peter Greenes boots

  12. 42
    enitharmon on 2 Oct 2014 #

    @41 Takes one to know one I guess.

  13. 43
    aaram on 16 Mar 2016 #

    Number 33…or Asshole to be more accurate….. You’ve got no sense of what true guitar playing is…what’s difficult and what’s easy…. And most important… You’ve got NO right to judge Anyone for the passion they extend toward their guitar playing expression…. Things may sound simple… Sometime they are…. But I challenge you to play the solo to sunshine of your love not only note for note…. But properly.

  14. 44
    Jay Emmcee on 8 Jan 2017 #

    Hey number 43 – Fuck you you wretched little asshole. I got a right to speak my mind about anything. And yes, I could play rings around that phony ‘bluesman’ celebrity sycophant Eric Crapton. I’m in good company too. There are more people who realize how grossly overrated he is than those who still worship his mediocre guitar noodlings. Now it’s personal. I have no sense of what true guitar playing is? I have proof I do… I know Eric Clapton sucks balls.

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    Boogitee Woogitee on 23 Jan 2017 #

    Hey #43 – There’s nothing brilliant about playing the melody from Blue Moon over Sunshine of Your Love. Yes, no doubt I could nail any Clapton ‘solo’, as can most 13 year olds. Why even bother though? I’m not going to waste my time.

  16. 46
    Lbraun on 11 Jan 2020 #

    Yeah wow Eric Clapton is so overrated really overrated really really overrated no one touches Jimmy Page or Stevie Ray Vaughan so much for Rolling Stone magazine that put Clapton ahead of Jimmy Page they continue to chart downward as an organization and magazine this continues the process

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