Eric Clapton Guitar Rig

Eric Clapton Guitar Rig

A rare guitar hero who has remained relevant for decades, Eric Clapton was arguably the very first British Guitar hero. Originally making his name in The Yardbirds in the early '60s (a band that has since boasted members including Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page). All around London at the time, people would graffiti "Clapton is God" on the walls.


Eric Clapton is almost single-handedly responsible for creating the sound of British rock guitar tone. On the album John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, also known as the "Beano" album, he played a 1960 Gibson Les Paul into a Marshall 2x12 JTM45 combo turned all the way up. The result was a thick, overdriven tone in a time when most guitarists were seeking high headroom clean tones. The sounds Clapton achieved on this album convinced countless guitarists; namely Jeff Beck, Mike Bloomfield & Jimmy Page to seek Les Pauls of their own.


After leaving the Bluesbreakers, Clapton formed Cream - arguably the first true "Stadium Rock" band. It was during this time that he developed his infamous "woman tone" - the sound of a Gibson SG or ES-335 into a cranked 100W Marshall stack. The secret to this sound was his manipulation of tone controls which got him a dark, smooth and almost fuzz-like tone - think "Sunshine of Your Love".

Derek, Dominoes, & Beyond

From the '70s onward, Clapton moved away from the Gibson/Marshall combo towards Fender Strats and Tweed Fender Amps. He is most synonymous with 2 '50s Stratocasters, imaginatively named "Blackie" and "Brownie". All of his Fender amps were actually built by the late, great Alexander Howard Dumble to Fender's exact specs. He cited the switch to Fenders for their reliability, claiming that whilst every Marshall would sound different, every Tweed Fender Amp sounded pretty much the same.

His '80s tones were soaked with luscious chorus and he often favoured Soldano SLO-100 amps during this time. He gained a huge resurgence in the '90s following his MTV Unplugged Album in 1992 in which he played a 1939 Martin 000-42 and a 1966 000-28 Acoustic.