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Released in the early nineties, “Tears In Heaven” not only became the most successful single of Eric Clapton’s career, but also one of the most beloved acoustic guitar songs of all time.
In this Tears in Heaven guitar lesson video I will demonstrate how to play all the fingerstyle guitar parts, fills and solo.
The version of “Tears In Heaven” that I am working from here is the live version from his massive selling Unplugged album.
Even though there are two guitars playing on the track, I think you can very comfortably and convincingly play Tears In Heaven with just one guitar. I will demonstrate how to put all of those guitar parts together in the video lesson.
I am using a nylon string acoustic like he does on the recording, but as I mention in the video, don’t let that stop you if you don’t own a nylon string acoustic of your own. Tears in Heaven can be played on any guitar you choose and still sound great.
For the actual playing of the song, Eric Clapton uses a pretty standard fingerstyle technique throughout. If you don’t have any experience with fingerstyle guitar it may take a little getting used to but will be well worth the effort.
I suggest first getting the chords down. That will enable you to then focus on the fingerstyle patterns with minimal distraction from the fret hand. Eric Clapton uses one main fingerstyle pattern throughout much of the song with just slight variations on it. The bridge section being the only exception.
I prefer playing “Tears In Heaven” by sticking with the chord progressions until one of the four main fills comes along. I then jump into that fill and as soon as it is finished jump right back into the chord progression at whatever point you are now at. It create a very convincing one guitar version of the song.
Even the solo can be played that way if you wish. It will take a bit more effort, but at the end of every phrase in the solo you have time to jump back and play more of the chord progression.
So stick with it and you will be playing this gorgeous and haunting smash hit in no time! Enjoy!