Eric Clapton’s Advice To Ed Sheeran Proves The Nickname ‘Slowhand’ Suits Him Perfectly

Eric Clapton is one of the most influential guitar players in the world, and he has been in the music scene for 59 years, mostly with his band The Yardbirds, Cream, and his solo career. The guitarist earned the nickname ‘Slow-Hand’ early in his career, and it has stuck with him until today. According to his 2007 autobiography, the inspiration for his nickname was that people would clap slowly for him while he changed his guitar strings.

Clapton used light and thin guitar strings, which would break when he would play on stage. Therefore, Clapton had to change them quickly in between performances. The audience would slowly clap during the pause while waiting for him to put the strings on the guitar. Because his name is like a pun with ‘Clap,’ the slow claps of the audience made him receive the nickname Slowhand.

The Advice Clapton Gave Ed Sheeran

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2017, Clapton stated that Ed Sheeran asked him for some advice. The guitar player revealed that he only had one piece of advice to give him, to ‘slow down.’ Because the musicians in the contemporary music industry are determined to get to the top fast, it could all go downhill very quickly.

This was Clapton’s advice:

“I don’t think you say anything [to younger artists reaching stardom], to be honest [Laughs]. He has asked my advice. And what I’ve said to him is, ‘Slow down. Don’t burn it all up too fast.’ But he seems to be committed to going as far as he can. He wants to conquer the globe. But what do you do then? Where do you go from there? It can’t always be up – for anybody.

We didn’t consider what we were doing as a business. I always use Cream as an example. We were just told where to go. We didn’t have time to think about how much money we were making, what was the right strategy, which town we should go to. Now you have guys like Ed who direct and produce their own shows. The music is part of that. But we couldn’t have done it that way then. It would have been a distraction.”

He also stated that they couldn’t direct and produce their shows during his time because they would be distracted from the music. But now, young artists can do a lot of things in different areas and still be successful. Regardless, ‘Slowhand’ Clapton still recommends young artists, including Ed Sheeran, to ‘slow down.’