Why Eric Clapton Hates His Voice

Eric Clapton is a rock and blues guitarist as well as a singer and songwriter. He has achieved worldwide fame with his musical endeavors and is also listed among the greatest guitarists of all time by various sources due to his guitar-playing skills.

In 1963, Clapton joined the band Yardbirds to replace Top Topham. He then left the band in 1965 as he thought their sound shifted from blues-rock to pop-rock. Eric then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and played on one of their albums. After that point, the musician formed the band Cream and then Blind Faith. When Blind Faith broke up, in 1970 Clapton decided to pursue a solo career.

Aside from his successful solo career, Clapton has also made contributions to several artists. For instance, he performed with Delaney & Bonnie and Derek And The Dominos and recorded his signature song ‘Layla’ with them. However, although the iconic musician is a talented guitarist, he believes he is not a good singer. Appearing to be self-conscious about his voice, Clapton tries to refrain from hearing himself singing. Let’s learn the reason why.

Eric Clapton Hates His Singing Voice Because He Sounds Like A 16-Year-Old

In 2010, Clapton released his eighteenth studio album titled ‘Clapton.’ The album was his first studio album in four years since his duet with J.J. Cale in ‘The Road To Escondido.’ ‘Clapton’ featured new material, cover songs, and Clapton’s vocals in Irving Berlin’s ‘How Deep Is The Ocean?’

Before the release of the album, Clapton spoke to Mojo for an interview. As reported by Gibson, the musician claimed in the interview that he hates the way he sings. He then said his voice sounds like he is 16 years old from Surbiton. Clapton went on to say he was inspired by Ray Charles’ singing and said Charles does it the way it needs to be done.

Following that, Clapton revealed he is plagued by self-doubt about his singing, and he feels uncomfortable while singing a song. He then talked about his frequent collaborator J.J. Cale and said he learned to sing rather quietly from him. Moreover, the guitarist compared J.J. Cale’s singing to Ray Charles and said Cale creates the same emotional capacity in the songs in a very minimal way.

Eric Clapton told Mojo that:

I hate my singing. I don’t like the way I sing. It all sounds like I’m 16 years old from Surbiton. I do my best to try and feel it. You know, when I watch Ray Charles sing, I think, ‘That’s it, that’s how it’s done.’ He remembers thousands of songs and he sings them all as if they’re the most important song he knows.

He does it from the bottom of his heart, every time, every song. And that’s, that’s the inspiration. That’s my influence. But I’m imbued with so much self-doubt about my singing, that it’s very difficult for me to get to that freedom that those kinds of singers have.”

Talking about his singing, Eric Clapton then added:

“That’s almost like I’m not having to try to sing. I can sing very quietly and it’s going to be O.K. I learned that from J.J. See, you can have Ray Charles at one end of the spectrum, who can do all kinds of things with the voice, and go up and down in octaves and registers. And, you’ve got J.J. at the other, who creates exactly the same amount of emotional capacity in a very minimal way. And he’s still just as riveting to listen to. So there are different ways to do it.”

Below, you can listen to ‘How Deep Is The Ocean,’ and decide yourself if Clapton’s singing voice is that bad or not.