Badge by Cream (Eric Clapton) | rhythm & solo
An electric guitar lesson on how to play "Badge" by Cream from their 1969 Goodbye album.
This is my favorite song by Cream. It was co-written by Eric Clapton and George Harrison. George also played on the sessions but because of record company contractual issues was credited as "L'Angelo Misterioso."
I've always thought that the cascading guitar part which was fed through a leslie cabinet is one of the greatest parts ever recorded! There's something about those notes and that sound that's just pure magic.
The chord changes in it are pretty cool as well. For my demo I "faked" the piano part on guitar. That was a lot of fun! It's a pretty simple part but there's some cool things about it that I go over in the videos. Replacing Ginger Baker with a drum machine is almost sacrilegious...he was an amazing musician. I also played bass and although I think I did an OK job, it's impossible to play like Jack Bruce who was an absolute monster bass player!
There's a couple of really cool guitar fills in this tune. The first one comes just before the leslie guitar break and also the first fill after the solo. It's those kind of things that make these songs so great. It's just fantastic guitar playing.
It also has one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded! It's absolutely classic Eric Clapton. Every note is so expressive. His excellent phrasing and the way he mixes major and minor pentatonics is perfect. It's no wonder every guitar player copied him. He had a way of making the guitar talk. EC has put out a lot of music over the years but IMHO his best work was with Cream.
The solo sounds pretty simple from a technical perspective, but when you start to learn it you realize just how tough it is to play cleanly and to get all of those bends in tune and play it with feel. Learning this solo is like taking a master class in rock lead guitar playing!
Here's a quote from George Harrison on how the song came about:
"I helped Eric write "Badge" you know. Each of them had to come up with a song for that Goodbye Cream album and Eric didn't have his written. We were working across from each other and I was writing the lyrics down and we came to the middle part so I wrote 'Bridge.' Eric read it upside down and cracked up laughing – 'What's BADGE?' he said. After that, Ringo [Starr] walked in drunk and gave us that line about the swans living in the park."
I had a lot of fun making these videos. I hope you're able to get something from them. Cheers
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