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Old 04-15-2010, 08:18 AM
Small Clanger is offline
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Milton Keynes
Posts: 2,591
IIRC the Slowhand nickname came about (when he was in the Yardbirds) because he was using really light strings* and would break them all the time, stopping the set while he changed strings - pissing off the crowd leading to a slow hand clap. It's clearly a play on his style too, he was considered fast. If he was American he'd have been Fast Eric or something, but we're more sarcastic over here I guess.

* As in lighter than you could actually buy back then, a standard set was probably 012 or 013. The ahead of the game guys at the time** used a banjo string for the top E and shifted all the other strings down a notch. Using the A for bottom E, D for A etc.

** Somewhere or other I have an old interview with Jimmy Page where he's asked if he has any advice*** for young players he said "Use lighter strings".

*** Ricky Nelson (Cheap Trick guy) asked the same question answered "Give me your guitars". Not quite as helpful.