“Crossroads” by Cream

Difficulty: Intermediate

Are you ready to play some red hot blues? We’re going to learn the licks
that compromise the first half of the first solo in the song Crossroads
as performed by Cream featuring Eric Clapton on guitar. Next we’ll try
to play it up to speed over a backing track, but for now let’s just concentrate
on learning the licks. We’ll do this by breaking up the solo in several
pieces and practicing each piece separately.

These licks are based on the A minor pentatonic and A major pentatonic
scales. .

Each audio sample will loop several times so you can play along.
Just press the stop button when you want it to stop.

Lick 1

Lick 2

Lick 3

Lick 4

Lick 5

Lick 6

Lick 7

Lick 8

Lick 9

Now we’re going to play up to speed over a backing track. It’s got a
rock/blues beat in standard time. The main reason it’s considered rock/blues
instead of regular blues is because a regular blues song would have more
of a swing and be in 12/8 time. We’ll go into the differneces between
standard (4/4) time and 12/8 time in a future lesson. All you need to
know now is that standard time gets 4 beats per measure.

To get a feel for the track before we try and play the solo over it,
let’s learn the progression. It’s a basic 12 bar blues progression. While
you won’t hear this rhythm guitar in the Cream recording of Crossroads,
it will serve you well to learn it.

Now, on to the solo!

At the beginning of the audio sample you’ll hear 6 clicks. When playing
this lead you want to begin the pick-up line at the 5 click (1-2-3-4-start).

Riff Resources

Complete Transcription To “Crossroads” (PDF)

Complete Transcription To “Crossroads” (Power