Martin Cooper checks out one-al­bum­won­der su­per­group, Blind Faith; the se­cond band to pair Eric Clap­ton and Ginger Baker.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Cooper ex­am­ines Eric Clap­ton’s play­ing with Steve Win­wood and Ginger Baker in their post-Cream ven­ture, Blind Faith.

Blind Faith is­sued just one record: their epony­mous 1969 al­bum. Nev­er­the­less the line-up was im­mense, fea­tur­ing Eric Clap­ton, his Cream com­pa­triot Ginger Baker on drums and, al­most as leg­endary, singer-or­gan­ist Steve Win­wood. Fam­ily’s bass player Ric Grech com­pleted the band that was orig­i­nally put to­gether to be a stress-free side pro­ject for all.

Clap­ton and Win­wood were bored with the com­mer­cial­ity of Cream and The Spencer Davis Group, but when the line-up is this stel­lar it’s in­evitable that record com­pa­nies will get in­volved. This they did, push­ing the band to com­plete an al­bum quickly and tour. This re­sulted in side two con­tain­ing just two songs, one of them be­ing a 15-minute jam.

It also fea­tured hits, in­clud­ing Clap­ton’s Pres­ence Of The Lord and Buddy Holly’s Well Al­right. On tour the band barely had enough ma­te­rial to fill an hour, so they had to re­sort to play­ing Cream and Spencer Davis Group songs – ex­actly what Clap­ton had wanted to avoid, par­tic­u­larly as sec­tions of the press had al­ready dubbed them ‘Su­per Cream’. Baker has since said that it was ob­vi­ous dur­ing the tour that Clap­ton was go­ing to leave as soon as it was over and they never recorded to­gether again. Clap­ton, of course, re­united with Baker to per­form Cream’s 2005 re­union gigs, and also with Win­wood for dates in Amer­ica; both have since re­alised that Blind Faith played an im­por­tant role in their ca­reers.

The track this month is in the key of A ma­jor (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#), but uses a lot of non-di­a­tonic chords and notes. There is a B ma­jor chord (B-D#-F#) on the rhythm part, and the solo moves from A ma­jor Pen­ta­tonic (A-B-C#-E-F#) to D mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic (D-F-G-A-C) over the D chord, and E mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic (E-G-A-B-D) over the E chord. It also uses a lot of soul ideas, in­clud­ing 6th in­ter­vals. Al­though power chords are of­ten em­ployed, the chart has the full ma­jor or mi­nor chord sym­bols writ­ten as th­ese are heav­ily im­plied, and would gen­er­ally have been played by Win­wood on the key­boards.

Clap­ton has al­ways al­lowed the gui­tar to shine at the right mo­ments, fo­cus­ing on play­ing for the song rather than to show­case his own tal­ents. Take a close look at the play­ing tips and Get The Tone box for more on how to nail this track.

Clap­ton and Baker play Blind Faith’s de­but gig

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