All Your Love

GT129

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

All Your Love

Guitar Techniques 129

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to put the actual transcriptions on the website.

I posted everything else though!

FULL BAND BACKING TRACK

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TEXT

The album ’John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton’ (also known as the ‘Beano’ album because of the album cover) is one of the “must-have” blues recordings. It was released by Decca in 1966 and features John Mayall (vocals, piano, organ, harmonica), Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), John McVie (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums).

It’s very hard to really appreciate the impact of Eric Clapton’s playing on guitarists at the time. Today, every guitarist knows about bending, alternate picking and distortion but back in 1966 this wasn’t the case. Also, it was probably the first time anyone had heard a Gibson Les Paul through an overdriven Marshall!! (The first Hendrix recording came out the following year). That should give you the background, but let’s start from the beginning.

Clapton had just left the ‘Yardbirds’ because they wanted to move into pop music. At that time Clapton was a no-holds-barred blues purist; he didn’t even want to talk with someone that didn’t know Robert Johnson! He was 20 years old and looking for a more traditional Chicago-blues oriented band and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers were the ideal choice. After joined the band, Clapton moved to Mayall’s house to absorb influences from the bandleader’s massive record collection and knowledge of American blues artists.

After a few months of touring and recoding, in April 1966 they went into the studio, recording the entire album in a day. Clapton’s playing was all about the communication of emotion and sis sublime playing would inspire graffiti bearing the legend “Clapton is God” on the streets of London.

As soon as the album was released, the Gibson Les Paul became the guitar of choice, and nowadays it’s considered a rock guitar partly because of this recording and what it triggered such as a certain Mr Page.

‘All Your Love’ was written by Otis Rush, a still active Chicago style blues guitar player and vocalist. The song is a typical minor blues with Im-IVm and Vm chords. Clapton uses the Am minor pentatonic for the entire solo. Although the solo doesn’t have anything too technically demanding, the real challenge is to get the same kind of expression in your playing. Making the guitar sing in the same way, absorbing to emotional feeling of each note and learning how to develop the climax of the solo will definitely improve your playing!

Take your time on this one; there are billions of things that can’t be written on paper and it seems like Eric Clapton is playing all of them!

One of the trademarks of Clapton on this recording is the way he uses vibrato to lengthen notes, like saxophonists or slide players. He choose to play through a cranked and overdriven Marshall just for this reason! His vibrato is one of his trademarks: most of the time he plays it without using the thumb on the back of the neck of the guitar and it comes from a wrist movement; he doesn’t move the finger at all, just the wrist. The only point of contact is the finger-tip on the string. His vibrato it’s also known as a circular vibrato because of the shape that the finger draws on the fret-board.

TONE SETTINGS

Prior to this, Eric was using a Telecaster through a Vox amp, but his hunt for a bigger sound led him to buy the Les Paul Standard cherry sunburst (and also because he saw one on a Freddy King’s album cover)

For the recording he used a Marshall JTM 45 (later known as ‘Bluesbreaker’) with a Dallas Rangermaster treble booster. It seems like he turned the amp up to 10 to get a natural distortion, something that was unheard of at the time and much to the engineer’s displeasure!

It also sounds like he played with a medium pick, mainly using down-strokes (it wasn’t common to use alternate picking in the ’60s). I used a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe through the Pod XT Live, Marshall JTM-45. A special thanks to Bass Institute tutor, Dave Marks, who played the bass on the track.

SUGGESTED LISTENING

The entire ‘Beano’ album is state-of-the-art British blues. If you like the way Clapton played on this record you should check out the blues-men of the ‘60s that inspired him; Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Freddy King, Albert King and the BB King (who’s ‘Live At The Regal’ is another ‘must-have’ recording).