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Introducing: Cocaine by Eric Clapton

If you’re a fan of blues rock we’ve got a special treat for you. Eric Clapton's classic hit "Cocaine" from the 1977 album Slowhand is now available in our song library!

Guitar Tricks instructor Tom Finch will show you how to get your groove on Clapton-style with this great song. "Cocaine" was originally written and recorded in 1976 by JJ Cale, but popularized by Clapton a year later.

From a guitarist's perspective, "Cocaine" is is all about power chords, great licks, a ringing guitar solo, and a great complementary rhythm. "Cocaine" is an all-time classic that shows how power chords and subtle timing can produce something simple (it's built on a two-chord riff!) yet classic.

Some of the most recognizable tunes have the simplest structures. About 90% of this song is played using the rhythm guitar. But don’t let that hinder you from the lead guitar! The lead has a grittier sound that is just as catchy as the rhythm, and sets the tone right at the intro. You'll have some great licks to add to your back pocket!

The solo is where the good stuff happens. The challenge is that the simple notes are mixed up with double stops and lots of string bending. Practicing these double stops and bends will help your blues licks. By learning this song, you will be practicing key elements of blues playing.

As for other techniques, Tom Finch does a great job of breaking down every part: he shows you how to trill during the the intro fill section of the song. Trills are when hammer-ons and pull-offs are quickly used together. They are great for solos and can be used in arpeggios.

As mentioned earlier, timing can be tricky but it's the best reward. Don’t worry, Tom has you covered and will guide you through each beat.

Learning to play "Cocaine" is not just about playing a hit song. It’s about learning the fundamentals that construct such a great rhythm. A great song isn’t about mixing a bunch of complicated chords together. It’s about creating something that flows well together. And it doesn’t matter how that sound is achieved as long as it moves you. That's what it's all about.

Click here to learn the song Cocaine as made famous by Eric Clapton!

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