Layla, by Derek and The Dominos – How to Play

Layla by Derek And The DominosLearn how to play Layla, by Derek and The Dominos, the six-guitar-part legend composed by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon.

This time we are going to look at the song Layla, by Derek and the Dominoes. Released in 1970, Layla was written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon separately, with Clapton composing the guitar heavy first half, followed by Gordon’s composition of the piano heavy second half. Duane Allman is also featured in this song, playing slide guitar. The final recording of Layla was sped up a small amount, so if you try to play along with the recording your guitar will be (almost but not quite) ½ step flat.

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Cocaine, by Eric Clapton – How to Play

CocaineHere's how to play Eric Clapton's 1976 classic, Cocaine, an easy to learn song in which the legendary guitarist uses the Blues scale for all of his playing.

Cocaine was actually written by J.J.Cale in 1976 and Eric Clapton made it popular in 1977 on his record “Slowhand.” We’ve chosen Cocaine because it is very easy to play and dissect, while still containing many of the important points to remember when writing a great song.

Cocaine – Key And Scale

This song is in E Minor Aeolian, which is a mode of the G Major scale.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
G Major = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

Eric Clapton uses the Blues scale for all of his guitar playing in this song. The Blues scale is a modified Pentatonic scale and we build a Pentatonic scale by using the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th notes of the Aeolian scale. We omit the second and the sixth notes, leaving us with five notes to choose from and the name “Pentatonic.”

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D

We create the Blues Scale by adding a Blue note that is outside of the Aeolian scale — a note between the fourth and the fifth (a flatted fifth) — to the Pentatonic scale. This Blue note is the only note that is outside the Aeolian scale that is used in this song by any instrument.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G ,A, (A# Blue), B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D
E Minor Blues = E, G, A, A#, B, D

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