Eric Clapton thinks the era of the guitar may be ''over''.

The 72-year-old icon is widely known as being one of the most influential guitarists of all time, but he has admitted the instrument faces an uncertain future as other sounds take over the airwaves.

He said: ''I'm out of touch. I mean, I don't know what's going on. I don't know where it's gonna go either. I think anything that has a natural process will end up where it's supposed to be.

''My kids listen to classic rock, but that may only be because of me, because that's what I've played to them. I mean, from the time of their conception, they've been listening to music through the womb.

''I played them playlists, just brainwashed my kids, and at the back of it was always the guitar or some kind of solo instrument or a singer.''

Despite this, Clapton has an overall upbeat assessment of the state of the music industry, insisting he enjoys all kinds of sounds.

He said, according to Billboard: ''My belief in music is it's all good. It's all good. Even stuff that doesn't appear to be so, it's all good.''

But after being told that year-on-year sales of guitars is markedly down in 2017, Clapton admitted the instrument's time in the spotlight could be coming to an end.

The world-famous rocker reflected: ''I don't know. Maybe the guitar is over.''