Tech­nique Fo­cus

Fin­ger vi­brato and bend­ing

Guitar Techniques - - Play: Rock -

Eric Clapton’s fin­ger vi­brato and string-bend­ing tech­nique was very much at the heart of his late60s style. His tech­nique and ap­proach is un­usual, as when ap­ply­ing fin­ger vi­brato the only part of the fret­ting hand in touch with the guitar is the fin­ger that is fret­ting the note. The rest of the fret­ting hand, in­clud­ing the thumb, is re­moved from the neck and waves in the air. Try this for your­self and you can see how chal­leng­ing it is to get the vi­brato con­sis­tent. How­ever, the re­sults do sound more au­then­tic, so if it’s the EC sound you’re af­ter, it’s well worth per­se­ver­ing.

Eric is also a mas­ter­ful string bender, and of­ten in­cludes large bends in his so­los. He fre­quently bends all the mi­nor 3rds in the scale slightly sharp. These quar­ter-tone bends help the notes to fit, and they also add a bluesy flavour. If you com­bine these fin­ger vi­brato and bend­ing styles with shape one of the Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic, the re­sults will im­me­di­ately start to sound a lot more like Eric Clapton.

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