Eric Clapton

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Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.


I honestly can't believe he isn't number one on this list. Clapton's music is so personal to me and to so many millions of people who've been inspired to pick up a guitar because of him. I remember never particularly liking the guitar as an instrument, whether it was to play with or to listen to, but his performances from his "Unplugged" album and "Live In Madison Square Garden 1999" and really anything he's done till present changed everything for me. From "Layla" to "Wonderful Tonight", "Tears In Heaven" to "River Of Tears" and countless other great songs, even though he wrote them such a long time ago and still performs them till date, you can hear the emotion and sadness going through every word and every note he plays on his guitar. You can understand the lyrics of his songs and connect with them on a whole new level without even knowing what he sang them for. That's what music is. You don't need a context, you should be ...more - guyritchi

8The great be. Be. King once said you will never find a guitar genius that can hold down, note to note, to Eric Clapton. He is the "one". He doesn't care if he's in any top list of anything. He has nothing to prove. Kids love to hear a guitarist banging on his guitar, Clapton never does that, He actually knows how to play an instrument. Some oldies but goodies think he is the rebirth of Robert Johnson. You will seldom find anyone who knows who Robert Johnson is, so how can you expect teenagers and 20 something guys who want to be guitar heroes themselves, understand the history of true rock and roll? Step up and listen to the ballads and then listen to the riffs Clapton manages with out breaking a sweat and the magic that happens when he does. There is soul to this mans music. He is simply, The Best.

He's a great blues guitarist, it's a shame he has a soft spot for ballads.

Number 5? Really? Aw come on now. If not for Clapton would there have been the expansive identity of the Guitar Player? He has taken his place in each decade of music with an exploration of how the guitar is a voice with six strings. He has collaborated on so many styles of music with so many artists it has to number into the hundreds. He has done screen scores for big budget movies, T.V. shows, and independent documentaries. He has more awards than you can shake a stick at, and has used his music mastery to share some of the lowest lows and highest highs. He is a master of the six string, second to none. Some might rock louder, but none are as soulful, and his legacy keeps on inspiring new generations to explore and appreciate the blues.

Being a great guitarist shouldn't mean who can play the fastest or using all these insane techniques. It should be about understanding the instrument, making it talk and sing, using it like your voice. These days what people look in a guitar player is if they can pull off fast rhythms, or have catchy solos,but that's not what makes a great guitar player. People like Synyster Gates can pull off fast rhythms, but what makes Eric Clapton stand above those are his understanding of the instrument. He is a true master not because he can play really fast, but because he knows how to use the instrument as a voice. His guitar is not just a regular instrument, it is a way he talks to others, and that is what makes Clapton such a great guitar player.

I can't believe that this Guitar God isn't higher on this damn list. No other guitarists sound like Clapton does. No one else is in the hall of fame 3 times. Clapton and Jimi are very close, I'd say Jiminy edges out Clapton by a hair, but no one can make a guitar sound so damn beautiful. Everyone is obsessed with electric solos, and they forget about the acoustic, I play one and the would never give it up for an electric. Maybe, just maybe, a 12-string variant but never an electric, nothing beats the sound of one. And that is why Clapton is one of the greatest guitarists ever.

Apart from his astounding longevity in the music world, I just don't think there's another guitarist alive or deceased whose soul was utterly wrapped around his music... Or vice versa, as it was with Eric Clapton, and nobody can hold me enraptured as he, with his sustained blues improvisations. Whether with the Yardbirds; Cream; or... "Riding With the King" (since B.B. king is definitely my all-time favorite blues guitarist), I believe that Eric Clapton was and is the personification of sublime guitarist of all-time: He IS his guitar and it is HIM. Doesn't hurt how "White Room" is one of my favorite songs; along with "Crossroads"; "Sunshine of Your Love"; "Layla"... But I'll stop now.

This guy is neither the fastest, nor the technically best guitarist, but he for sure is of the guitarist that can actually make the guitar sing and cry, his songs are full of emotions. This guy has life full of experience, good or bad, he put them all into his guitar playing. He should be in #3. Yes Eddie Van Halen is faster, without a doubt, but when I listen to him I hear nothing but a cluster of notes, they don't tell me anything. Music is here to tell us something, that's what Clapton does perfectly. Enough said.

I really can't believe this list! The only guitarist who can be compared to Clapton is Jimi and, in my opinion Clapton is better. The man had a huge influence in music and should be the first. All of the people who voted for these other guitarists probably know nothing about music. - Bluesman

Here is what this list should look like: 1. Jimi Hendrix 2. Jimmy Page 3. Eric Clapton 4. Stevie Ray Vaughan 5. Randy Rhoads 6. Steve Vai 7. Joe Satriani 8. Slash 9. Marty Friedman 10. Buckethead. Clapton is a master of the guitar and anyone whose heard White Room, Crossroads, or Those Were The Days would agree. His solos are lyrical, clean and well crafted. And I believe Eddie Van Halen cited him as his soul influence.

Everyone tries to get the emotional response that Eric elicits with his guitar. Eric succeeds. His utter mastery of the guitar translates into some of the most memorable, instantly recognizable riffs ever created, seamless, driving rhythm guitar, and, his signature, leads that plead, wail, and even mock like a human voice. His playing is the gold standard. Period.

Yes! Finally voters do this incredible man some justice and rank him above Slash. One of my top 5 favorite artists of all time and probably my favorite guitarists. Cool guy. He has been through so much. From severe addiction to the tragic death of his son he courageously keeps on and just released I Still Do this year. You do you Clapton. Rock on.

Even in a room full of famous and successful musicians Eric Clapton would stand out. He is, without a doubt, one of the best guitarists ever to play and SO MUCH MORE. He's a great songwriter, a great recording artist, a great record producer, a great live performer...He does it ALL and so much better than most. He brought The Blues as an art form to millions who would never have heard the blues or know who Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, or Elmore James are without his help.

How can people believe that the newer guitarists are better than the originals. They had to learn from someone, and in a lot of cases it was either Jimi or Eric. There is no comparison when it comes to people like Slash or Van Halen, they do not have the ability to make a guitar sing no matter what style music is being played.

While other guitar greats seem to make top ten lists based upon being able to coax odd noises out of a guitar or shred the hell out if fretboard (and shredders don't have anything on the speed of country pickers like Glen Campbell, Jerry Reed, Roy Clark, etc), something gets lost in all of the giddiness over distortion and/or 64th notes: the ability to emotionally move an audience with a guitar solo. While EC has shown at times that he can play with manic ferocity, he doles out those moments with discretion; his use of distortion and other effects is likewise minimal and always at the service of --gasp -- the melody. On many of his songs, especially played live, his solos are actually more affecting than the lyrics. This vocal quality of his playing reflects a feature of the guitar that makes it the most popular musical instrument in the world, with the exception of the human voice itself: the range of the guitar corresponds closely to the range of the human singing voice. Yes, Jimi ...more

This is straight bull****. Eric clapton is the inventor of the rock/blues fusion. This man could shred the **** out of prince, slash, even buckethead, and all the other guys up there besides Hendrix and page. To everybody else who has commented, solos do nothing for great guitarists, it's about the soul and the feeling.

I agree with the comment below... Clapton should have definitely been in the top 5. Considering some of the stuff he experienced in his life I don't blame him for writing ballads. It's better than having him O.D. on drugs like many of the other musicians of his era. He is a man of great talent and could hold up to any of the above artists!

I am a fan of metal, blues and all shades of rock and Clapton has the touch - without doubt my favourite. Is he better than everyone else? Who knows... I think so. Throw Hendrix, page, bonamassa, dime, king, Vai and a few others into the mix and no doubt you'll find the "best". For me... It's Clapton.

There are many great players, but no one puts it all together like Clapton. He has a perfect sense of timing and structure while improvising with fluid phrasing. He can write, sing, arrange and complete make other writers songs his own. After 50 years he is still the one most try to beat, and compare to.

Him, Brian May, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore, and the great Jimi Hendrix may not have created guitar riffs in rock music, but they molded them to be amazing pieces of music. And I also like Eric Clapton because I love being able to call him the greatest guitarist of all time around my drunk uncle to watch his reaction

In the sixties, both the Beatles and The Rolling Stones wanted him in their bands. His cover of I shot the sheriff also made Bob Marley popular. Need I say more? All Led Zeppelin ever did was rob songs and samples of songs off old blues artists while mr clapton credited them all the way!

Eric Clapton is one of the original "Gods"! He doesn't need money but pours his soul into his many styles and genres of music. His work on whilst my guitar gently weeps shows that he can make a guitar cry. Literally! Layla, wonderful tonight, crossroads, sunshine of your love all are incredibly different and show his skill.

I don't won't to compare him to other guitarists. Even haven't ever listened to some who is on this list! I think every one above the list deserves for their places. But I just love his heart stirring play on guitar especially in his songs Tears in heaven, Cocaine, Layla, Let it rain, Change the world...

For over 50 years Clapton has raised the bar for guitarists. He is without a doubt the finest electric blues guitarist around. His timing, phrasing and structure are without comparison. He is not a slasher or speed demon, he is the total package, and very creative.

Eric is one of the best guitar players ever. People once said he made a deal with the devil! Listen to tears in heaven, try to learn it by ear it's so hard! He is the person who I believe invented hard rock! I think he should at least be ranked 1-3.