Cream Spoonful Guitar Lesson
Today we give you a Cream Spoonful Guitar lesson! Though this is a cover, Cream of course has an awesome take on a classic blues song originally by blues legend Howlin’ Wolf. What gets better than legends covering legends! The main riff we are focusing on today will be played in a lower register and higher register and we also follow the vocals on “spoon, that spoon that spoonful” So in this piece we really are going to be focusing on making our guitar sing!
Step 1: The Main Riff
So in this “Cream Spoonful” guitar lesson we are going to play this riff two different ways but first we will focus on the lower version. In this version we play everything very open. There are a lot of different ways you can play this riff, meaning you can use different fingers. You can use your pointer and then you’ll be ready to fall into the chord that follows, or you can use your second finger, whatever you find to be the most comfortable and efficient. I also advise and prefer to make everything as easy as possible on myself. It’s good for you muscles and it gives you more time to get to where you need to on the guitar so you can focus on feel and adding special touches like vibrato.
This riff starts on the 6th string 3rd fret, I use my middle finger and bend this note down. Then we follow our bend with an open 6th string which we pick twice. Then we do this all again. Then we do a G5 power chord to the open E5 power chord. To play the G5 power chord we place our pointer on the 6th string 3rd fret, your ring finger on the 5th string 5th fret and your pinky right under your ring finger, on the 4th string 5th fret. If you find that to be too hard to include the octave note, which means the same note as our root but higher. You can leave out the note your pinky is holding. That is our octave and you are already holding that note when you placed your finger on the 3rd fret 6th string which is our root, G. Adding the octave note with our pinky just kind of thickens the chord up. This is a really simple riff but it’s really cool and heavy sounding and a lot of fun to jam over! If you are enjoying learning this Cream classic be sure to also check out our video for how to play Sunshine of Your Love on guitar for another cool, simple song to add to your repertoire and jam over.
Step 2: Moving Our Main Riff Up an Octave
For this part we use the pattern 4 minor pentatonic. In the video above at 3:30 I walk you through this scale if you are not already familiar with it. We’re in E minor pentatonic and our root is the 12th fret 6th string. So we are going to play this same riff, now an octave higher! A very simple way to add excitement to a riff. We start this one with a little pick up. I hammer-on on the 4th string 12th fret to the 14th fret. Then I drop my pointer down to the 3rd string 12th fret and then pull it down bending it a quarter step down. I do this 3 times in a row, then end on the 14th fret 4th string with tons of vibrato on the third time through.
Eric Clapton adds a ton of fills on this one, where after bending down pedaling between the 4th and 3rd strings twice, instead of three times, he’ll go straight into that pentatonic box and do some fills. So please feel free to do the same and have fun! And if you don’t know the pentatonic scale, please check out the video above at 3:30 for a walk through of it.
Recap: Cream Spoonful Guitar Lesson
I hope you enjoyed our “Cream Spoonful” guitar lesson! Remember have fun with this one and this is the perfect jam song! Play it by yourself and add your own fills like we went over in the second half or play the first half as a rhythm and switch back and forth with a friend take turns improving solos. As always, have fun. But also pay a lot of attention to detail. Clapton is a pro and even when he is playing simple things he adds special nuances that make it stand out and separate him from other guitarist.