Tears In Heaven

Learn how to play Tears In Heaven on one acoustic guitar!

‘Tears In Heaven’ is a single from the album ‘Rush’ by Eric Clapton. However, most people recognise the live version from the ‘Eric Clapton Unplugged’ album.

‘Tears In Heaven’ forms a genius chord progression that uses small variations and slash chords to keep the harmonic interest on top.

One of the genius harmonic tricks that ‘Tears In Heaven’ uses is the key change from A major to G major during the m8 section.

You will learn more about this in the advanced course.


Tears In Heaven licks

Eric Clapton’s main strength as a player lies within all of those tasteful little embellishments that he constantly adds to songs.

‘Tears In Heaven’ is no exception. As always, Clapton adds notes from the modal scales around the chord shapes.

In the last lick of the song, Clapton follows the A major scale but still relies heavily on the Major Pentatonic. This final lick is a great example of how Clapton delicately balances between blues and pop harmony.


Fingerstyle technique

The fingerstyle arrangement is almost piano-like in its approach, bass notes are alternated with the rest of the chord.

Adding techniques such as hammer-ons and pull-offs make it sound more guitar and bluesy. This is yet another strength of Clapton’s, to fuse the blues with more modern singer-songwriting techniques.

To play this song well, you need to work out exactly what the chords are and how the fingerstyle pattern moves through them.

‘Tears In Heaven’ is a real benchmark song! So much can be learned from just this one song. However, there are far too many complex details to get into right now.

To begin with, the original live recording had two guitars and a full band playing. What you’ve seen here is a modification of all of that, made to work on just one acoustic guitar.

To learn it exactly as it’s played in the video lessons there are four lessons waiting for you in the advanced course.

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