Style of Eric Clapton

Artist Series Guitar Course from Brendan Burns

Brendan Burns delves in to the stylistic playing of Eric Clapton.

21 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

In this series, Brendan Burns takes an in depth look at the experiences and playing situations that helped form Eric Clapton as a guitarist. Starting with the Yardbirds, Brendan takes an arrangement based look at how Eric Clapton developed his signature sound and playing style.


Series Overview

Introducing the style of Eric Clapton lesson series. In this series of lessons, Brendan Burns takes an arrangement based look at the life and growth of this prolific guitarist. Starting with the Yardbirds when Clapton was only 18, Brendan moves chronologically though all the major phases of Eric Clapton's playing.

5:41 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


The Yardbirds #1

In this first Style of Eric Clapton lesson, Brendan starts with the beginning of Eric's playing with a look at a tune from The Yardbirds. Here, you'll lay the framework of the blues structure and learn how Clapton tends to create solos and melodic ideas.

47:25 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

The Yardbirds #2

Brendan introduces a fast blues and the Bo Diddley beat - important components of Clapton's playing in the Yardbirds. He ends the lesson by breaking down Clapton's early solo work.

17:23 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Yardbirds #3

In the third Yardbirds lesson, Brendan goes over another tune in the style of this group. He explores how Clapton approaches and structures guitar solos.

34:48 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Yardbirds #4

Brendan Burns is back with another "in the style of" tune from The Yardbirds. In this lesson, Brendan discusses how Clapton is now starting to incorporate rock elements into a traditional blues sound.

28:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Yardbirds #5

In the 5th lesson in The Yardbirds chunk of material, Brendan discusses the Rock elements that Clapton begins to add to his blues playing.

19:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Yardbirds #6

In this final lesson detailing Eric Clapton's history with the Yardbirds, Brendan discusses additional lead techniques. Specifically, he covers triplet and bending ideas that Clapton has started to employ in his playing.

21:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #1

Eric Clapton has now left the Yardbirds and is going back to his core as a solid traditional blues player. He hooks up with John Mayall and continues to add influence from artists like Son House. In this first Bluesbreakers lesson, Brendan discusses and breaks down a traditional blues in 12/8.

64:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #2

In this lesson of epic proportions, Brendan goes over a new "in the style of" tune that really shows off Clapton's true blues playing.

120:46 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #3

In lesson 10, Brendan continues to delve into Clapton's playing during his years with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. In this "style of" tune, he takes a look at how Freddie King influenced Clapton. The use of triplet melodies and the "three over four" idea becomes more prevalent at this time.

35:28 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #4

In the eleventh lesson of the Style of Eric Clapton series, Brendan discusses Otis Rush's influence on Clapton's playing. Again, he provides an "in the style of tune" that covers rhythmic, melodic, and improvisation ideas.

28:49 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #5

In the fifth lesson covering Eric's playing with John Mayall, Brendan takes another look at a Robert Johnson inspired tune.

38:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers #6

Brendan Burns is back with a final look at Eric Clapton's work with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. This lesson like the others covers an in the style of tune from this group. However in this tune, Clapton doesn't take a solo.

8:26 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Yardbirds and Bluesbreakers Review

Brendan Burns returns to his Style of Eric Clapton lesson series with a review of what has been covered so far. This lesson takes a comprehensive look at all the styles and techniques in Clapton's playing arsenal through his playing with John Mayall. After completing this review, Brendan will move the series on to Clapton's work with Cream.

98:55 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #1

Brendan Burns has now moved the Style of Eric Clapton series forward in time, and he's bringing you the first lesson on Eric's years in Cream. Departing from a more traditional blues band, Cream is more pop oriented and represents a fairly new sound for Clapton.

26:02 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #2

Brendan Burns is back and moves deeper into his Eric Clapton series. Lesson 16 starts focuses more on Cream and the pop/blues ideas that Eric Clapton was using at this time.

20:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #3

Delving deeper into Eric Clapton's playing with Cream, Brendan Burns offers up a lesson on incorporating the wah pedal. As with the other lessons, you'll be taking a look at an "in the style of" tune while Brendan talks about Clapton's technique.

19:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #4

Brendan is back with another pop rock style tune from Eric Clapton's playing in the band Cream.

17:39 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #5

Brendan Burns is back with another style study on Eric Clapton. In this lesson, Brendan takes a look at the influences of George Harrison on Eric Clapton's playing with the band Cream.

49:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton: Cream #6

Brendan burns is back with the final installment in the Cream section of his style study on Eric Clapton. In this lesson, Brendan takes a look at long form solo ideas that Clapton was using in this period.

45:31 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Style of Eric Clapton #21: Series Wrap-up

Brendan provides a final look at the growth of Clapton through his early years. He provides some insight into Clapton's later years as a solo artist and provides some tips on getting the most from this lesson series.

5:23 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

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  • Nashville, Tenesse
  • Playing since 1988
  • 179 lessons at JamPlay
Brendan has been passionate about music since childhood. He began his studies on trumpet, in elementary school, and then moved to guitar as a teenager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, and has studied with Norm Zocher, Joe Stump, Bret Willmott, Bob Pilkington, Jay Weik, Tim Miller, & Charlie Banacos.

While at Berklee, Brendan was a member of the Music Mentoring Program, teaching private lessons to gifted high school students. He is currently teaches, and is chair of the guitar department at Brookline Music School. Brendan also teaches guitar for Tune Foolery & privately at his home in Cambridge, MA.

Along with educating, Brendan plays out often as a Solo Guitarist, performing standards, pop, and classical repertoire. He has recorded and played with the chamber-fusion band Ra Quintent, and as well as Vessela Stoyanova's Eastern Stories Under Western Skies Project. Brendan also performs as a leader, director and sideman for various Boston art-rock projects, and is former member of MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika.
Reviews & Feedback 81/100 with 116 ratings

Awesome, Artists series are super useful and interesting. I was studying Clapton on my own so this is just perfect! Thanks guys


Easy to understand, sounds great.


I've always enjoyed Brendan's lessons. He's a very good instructor.


Good approach and honest about the feeling ????


Great lesson

george the 3ed

Great Narrative, Thanks


I appreciate seeing how to analyze and work through making mistakes, since we all make them. I also like the detailed explanations as to what is going on with the structure of the song.


I can tell this is going to be a great seires - can't wait.


I love the idea of leaving the mistakes in. we all make them and I learned from them. Teacher has a great laid back style very understandable. Great lessons!


very well explained. i like how brendan invites us to play along and repeats the solo a few times so that we have a chance to try again and learn. much more comfortable than clicking back after the 12th bar and also interesting to hear slight d


It's all of the above. I feel like I really learned something.


thank you


What an amazing series. Just stumbled into this jewel