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Rock Boy
08-03-2011, 10:12 AM
So I was hanging out with some friends the other night and we got into a conversation of who is better TECHNICALLY, Mayer vs. Clapton. I (in my 30's) told him that I think Mayer is a better guitar player than Clapton technique wise, and my other friend (in his 40's) went crazy and told me I was "young and stupid" and thought I was crazy. So I wanted to take it to the forum to see what ya'll thought. Am I really that crazy in thinking that I think Mayer is better than Clapton technically?

Prove me wrong/right please.

Pecos555
08-03-2011, 10:31 AM
I am a huge Mayer fan but I love Eric Clapton too. I saw Clapton him in 67 with Cream. I am 58 years old and most people from my generation would react the same way your friend did.
Mayer is not a big part of my musical history but overall I like his body of music better than most of Clapton's work. I also usually prefer Mayer's style overall. But I rank him at least as an equal in talent on guitar. Clapton did invite Mayer to his Guitarfest, so that speaks volumes about what he thinks of Mayer. He also wrote Easy Now, one of my favorite songs of all time. Layla....White Room, sat in often with The Beatles. Apples, Oranges, .....hmmmm

tadmania
08-03-2011, 10:48 AM
Well, if you ask Clapton and Mayer (which you can almost do through Youtube) you will see and hear what THEY say of themselves.

Mayer is growing as a player. Inarguably for the better.

Clapton says of himself that he isn't as good as he used to be.

That said, Clapton formed a new foundation, upon which much that follows has been built. It's a new day. John Mayer, in Eric Clapton's obvious opinion, is a part of that in his own right.

It is so unmusical to argue about it. That's for fanboys and wannabes. If someone can outplay either of them, then MAYBE he or she can talk. You won't hear real players talk that way, though---including Clapton and Mayer.

7thbassbA
08-03-2011, 11:04 AM
When it is perfectly clear that Jack Bruce is god.

MisterZeus
08-03-2011, 11:13 AM
Oh please....

Duncan121
08-03-2011, 11:38 AM
Just the thought of the convulsing circled conversations that this questions is going to generate gives me a headache

Seems like a questions of popularity disquised as a "technique" conversation..

muscmp
08-03-2011, 12:02 PM
it doesn't make any difference. just enjoy their music!

jbryant
08-05-2011, 01:20 PM
Both incredibly talented. I'm also a geezer so I've been a Clapton fan from a long way back but I tend to lean towards Mayers ability and technique. It's sort of like comparing Bjorn Borg to Roger Federer to me.

One thing I will say is that I watched Clapton sit in with Jeff Beck at his "Live at Ronnie Scotts" show in London and Clapton was way outmatched.
Good grief! Jeff Beck is on an entirely different level not to mention his band!

Steely Glen
08-05-2011, 01:33 PM
So I was hanging out with some friends the other night and we got into a conversation of who is better TECHNICALLY, Mayer vs. Clapton.

What do you mean by "TECHNICALLY"? I wasn't aware that there was a standardized guitar technique by which we could rate someone, like say an SAT score or (it's almost time for college football) a BCS ranking. It's totally subjective and impossible to answer. They're both great.

WGTroutman
08-05-2011, 03:24 PM
When I hear about a "technical" guitar player, I think of one that plays with speed, precision, and impeccable timing, and is very versed in scales modes, and music theory.

Names that come to mind: Malmsteen, Vai, Batio. A names that doesn't: Clapton.

That being said, with the very rare exception of a couple of Steve Vai's songs, I had rather listen to Clapton or Mayer.

Technically (as previously and vaguely defined) speaking, Mayer excels over Clapton. THAT being said, I had rather listen to Clapton.

John Mayer's Neon is really cool, though. Mixolydian might not be in Clapton's vocabulary.

Rick Jones
08-05-2011, 03:37 PM
I don't believe in 'better than' at that level, they both have strengths and weaknesses. I'm not a huge fan of either personally, although both can certainly outplay me!

Steely Glen
08-05-2011, 06:16 PM
Mixolydian might not be in Clapton's vocabulary.

Isn't that Muddy Waters' original first name? ;)

Sage97
08-06-2011, 01:24 AM
What do you mean by "TECHNICALLY"? I wasn't aware that there was a standardized guitar technique by which we could rate someone, like say an SAT score or (it's almost time for college football) a BCS ranking. It's totally subjective and impossible to answer. They're both great.

Exactamundo!!!

I know some folks who can't take this for an answer though. Someone has to "win" in their eyes.

slopeshoulder
08-06-2011, 03:16 AM
These are the worst kind of threads on forums. Apples and Oranges. Nobody wins.

Landru
08-06-2011, 04:10 PM
Oh please....

Exactly - music is not for this, it is for enjoyment. Whom do you enjoy more - Meyer or Clapton?

Technique is way too subjective and if you don't think so, there will be no consensus agreement on the answer.

By the way, who is better - Neil Young or Sting?

dangerdong
08-06-2011, 07:13 PM
Both are better than me and both are great players period! I do personally prefer Mayer though:)

RockerDuck
08-06-2011, 07:28 PM
I would just say Clapton was more creative and a trail blazer than most any guitarist now days. He did some very inovative and new timing and sounds before and during the Cream years. John Mayer only mimics other guitar players styles and riffs very good. He has not created a sound and style like Clapton did. Put 10 guitarists on stage and close your eyes. You would recognize Clapton playing or someone copying his style. I too have copied some of Claptons riffs.

tadmania
08-07-2011, 07:17 AM
I would just say Clapton was more creative and a trail blazer than most any guitarist now days. He did some very inovative and new timing and sounds before and during the Cream years. John Mayer only mimics other guitar players styles and riffs very good. He has not created a sound and style like Clapton did. Put 10 guitarists on stage and close your eyes. You would recognize Clapton playing or someone copying his style. I too have copied some of Claptons riffs.

You can certainly feel that way, but the innovations Clapton and others made during those formative years were, by their own admissions, far outnumbered by their mimicry of American blues music. Not that it wasn't (and isn't) way cool, but it is just so.

The establishment of modern rock was a cultural milestone. My musical sensibilities are solidly informed by the music of the 60's and early 70's. That being true, I don't except to prefer newer forms over the familiar. The key is that I am listening with an ear that prefers certain music. It's not that the new and unfamiliar is necessarily inferior, it's just that my automatic preference conforms to my bias.

So, what to do (other than to believe that we know better than the guitar heroes we argue for, the logic of which I haven't ever understood) when discussions of new vs old come up? Well, we're lucky folks in the modern day. Our heroes are, by and large, still alive. Let's see what they say..... and accept the answer whether we like it or not.

If we don't do this in this case, we have to say that, whether Eric can play or not, his taste in other guitarists is rather poor. Clapton recognizes Mayer as a modern great. In that light, when you get down to it, you're arguing with Eric Clapton about how good John Mayer is, not your brothers on the AGF.


Anybody here got the chops for that?

Gypsyblue
08-07-2011, 09:08 AM
I don't care much about technique. A player only has to be good enough to move me emotionally. Clapton does. Mayer (usually) doesn't.

Younger players forget how in the 1960's Clapton revolutionized guitar playing and created the tone that zillions of players still emulate and regard as the Holy Grail of tone: 50's Gibson Les Paul with paf humbuckers into a cranked Marshall amp. Add tons of blues knowledge, soul, emotion and an elegant finger vibrato like we'd never heard before or since, and you've got the best blues/rock tone ever created, IMO. (Well, the Supernatural by Peter Green was pretty tasty too!)

Even Eddie Van Halen admits learning every Clapton solo note for note. No Clapton = no Van Halen. It's all a chain and each great player is a link leading right up to the present moment.

John Mayer has done nothing innovative or ground breaking. He's just one more really, really good guitar player. He's not a creative genius or an original.

Even BB King describes EC as being a genius.

mr. beaumont
08-07-2011, 09:53 AM
I dunno, I think you can look at their playing and make a conclusion that from a standpoint of technique, Mayer is more refined and he's going to be able to pull off some stuff clapton wouldn't.

I see players on this site ranking themselves all the time. I don't get that, really, I don't know where the designation for "beginner" ends and "intermediate" begins. But you can tell when a player has better chops/musical knowledge just by transcribing their lines. Or at least you can tell that they're using that knowledge, if they if have it. You can hear it in Mayer's ideas. Mayer addresses chord changes more in his soloing--you can hear it, you can transcribe it...he's drawing from a more complex pallete of sounds.

I think a half hour of transcription will tell anybody that from the standpoint of technical ability/agility and msucial knowledge, Mayer has more. Doesn't mean he's a better player, just a more "informed" player.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of either...Rock guitarists love to get into those "Who's better" arguements, which I always find funny...but it comes with the territory, sometimes.

SpruceTop
08-07-2011, 12:10 PM
I don't believe in 'better than' at that level, they both have strengths and weaknesses. I'm not a huge fan of either personally, although both can certainly outplay me!

Rick,

I don't think they can outplay you! You're most likely more diversified in your solo playing abilities and styles, and in relating to varying audiences. Not only are you good but you're an entertainer too! I defy anyone to play a more engaging solo version of "You've Got To Serve Somebody" than you do as referenced by your Avalon L32-demo video of that song.

Rick Jones - "You've Got To Serve Somebody"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeBI-1Kqyxs&feature=channel

Regards,

SpruceTop

tadmania
08-07-2011, 12:28 PM
I don't care much about technique. A player only has to be good enough to move me emotionally. Clapton does. Mayer (usually) doesn't.

Younger players forget how in the 1960's Clapton revolutionized guitar playing and created the tone that zillions of players still emulate and regard as the Holy Grail of tone: 50's Gibson Les Paul with paf humbuckers into a cranked Marshall amp. Add tons of blues knowledge, soul, emotion and an elegant finger vibrato like we'd never heard before or since, and you've got the best blues/rock tone ever created, IMO. (Well, the Supernatural by Peter Green was pretty tasty too!)

Even Eddie Van Halen admits learning every Clapton solo note for note. No Clapton = no Van Halen. It's all a chain and each great player is a link leading right up to the present moment.

John Mayer has done nothing innovative or ground breaking. He's just one more really, really good guitar player. He's not a creative genius or an original.

Even BB King describes EC as being a genius.

Please, bear with me......


Eddie Van Halen and BB King appraise Clapton favorably.

You appraise John Mayer negatively? (despite Clapton's praise for him)



How does that work, exactly?

Landru
08-07-2011, 12:44 PM
I don't care much about technique. A player only has to be good enough to move me emotionally. Clapton does. Mayer (usually) doesn't.



Clapton - megastar with multiple breakout groups and hits - copied by everyone with a recognizable style.

Meyer - also-ran in comparison with no noticeable style. Who copies JM?

You love John Meyer - I understand. You compare him with Eric Clapton - you're joking around.

Gypsyblue
08-07-2011, 01:42 PM
Please, bear with me......


Eddie Van Halen and BB King appraise Clapton favorably.

You appraise John Mayer negatively? (despite Clapton's praise for him)



How does that work, exactly?

Read what I wrote:

"John Mayer has done nothing innovative or ground breaking."

"He's just one more really, really good guitar player."

"He's not a creative genius or an original."

I think that a fair appraisal. John Mayer is a really, really good guitarist but he is NOT a creative genius or particularly original. He's just real good.

I think Landru got it right: "Clapton - megastar with multiple breakout groups and hits - copied by everyone with a recognizable style.

Meyer - also-ran in comparison with no noticeable style. Who copies JM?

You love John Meyer - I understand. You compare him with Eric Clapton - you're joking around."

Eric Clapton INVENTED the overdriven rock guitar tone we've been hearing countless wankers copy and exploit since about 1966. That's quite a creative accomplishment.

When Hendrix came to London with Chas Chandler, EC was the man he most wanted to meet...after spending a little time first with Brigitte Bardot! :D

tadmania
08-08-2011, 12:19 AM
Right....

1) People who can play agree with you about a player you like. (and their opinions matter more to you because they can play well, too)

2) The player you like consistently praises a player you don't like. (and his opinion doesn't influence yours in a positive way)

3) You must be one incredible guitar player.

Just kidding, of course, but the point is.....



Whether you like someone or not has very little influence on others who do like that player. Eric Clapton is one such person who openly disagrees with you about John Mayer. If all the name dropping really matters when you agree, why doesn't it do the same when you disagree?

BB King, Eddie Van Halen, and now Hendrix-- their opinions about Eric matter,
but Eric's opinion of John Mayer doesn't matter, at least as much as yours does.

Do I understand?

From a Jeff Beck interview

Are there any guitarists from this era that you think in a decade will be on a Top 100 Guitarists of All Time list?

I can't really say there is. If I pick one out, the others are gonna go, 'Why didn't you choose me.' But John Mayer, he seems to be the one to fly the blues flag; he's the new Eric Clapton, I would imagine.

WGTroutman
08-08-2011, 08:50 AM
Rick,

I don't think they can outplay you! You're most likely more diversified in your solo playing abilities and styles, and in relating to varying audiences. Not only are you good but you're an entertainer too! I defy anyone to play a more engaging solo version of "You've Got To Serve Somebody" than you do as referenced by your Avalon L32-demo video of that song.

Rick Jones - "You've Got To Serve Somebody"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeBI-1Kqyxs&feature=channel

Regards,

SpruceTop


I gotta agree with this. I really enjoyed, your version of that song, Mr. Jones.

saneff
08-08-2011, 11:29 AM
Rick,

I don't think they can outplay you! You're most likely more diversified in your solo playing abilities and styles, and in relating to varying audiences. Not only are you good but you're an entertainer too! I defy anyone to play a more engaging solo version of "You've Got To Serve Somebody" than you do as referenced by your Avalon L32-demo video of that song.

Rick Jones - "You've Got To Serve Somebody"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeBI-1Kqyxs&feature=channel

Regards,

SpruceTop

Holy smokes. Rick Jones is unbelievable.

Landru
08-09-2011, 04:26 PM
Who is Rick Jones?

ukejon
08-10-2011, 05:54 AM
Rick Jones...very cool!

stratomundo
08-19-2011, 12:06 AM
Read what I wrote:

"John Mayer has done nothing innovative or ground breaking."

"He's just one more really, really good guitar player."

"He's not a creative genius or an original."

I think that a fair appraisal. John Mayer is a really, really good guitarist but he is NOT a creative genius or particularly original. He's just real good.

I think Landru got it right: "Clapton - megastar with multiple breakout groups and hits - copied by everyone with a recognizable style.

Meyer - also-ran in comparison with no noticeable style. Who copies JM?
You love John Meyer - I understand. You compare him with Eric Clapton - you're joking around."

Eric Clapton INVENTED the overdriven rock guitar tone we've been hearing countless wankers copy and exploit since about 1966. That's quite a creative accomplishment.

When Hendrix came to London with Chas Chandler, EC was the man he most wanted to meet...after spending a little time first with Brigitte Bardot! :D

That's such a weird thing to say. Disparaging John Mayer for being one of only mainstream guitarists with talent? In an age where hip hop and R&B, and manufactured pop are king, I for one am glad that he's one of the young guitarists that can acutally play and influence people to pick up the guitar along with Keith Urban, Paisley, Bonamassa. Mentioning "who copies JM?" is weird also, cause I bet he's inspired tens of thousands of people to at least pick up a strat and play. Clapton, Jeff Beck, BB King, Buddy Guy, Elton John, John Scofield have no problem with him, I don't see why anyone who honestly isn't a jerk would. But I digress...