This month Martin Cooper checks out the mighty Led Zeppelin and their leader, gui­tarist, pro­ducer and mu­si­cal ar­chi­tect, Jimmy Page.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Martin Cooper ex­am­ines the play­ing style Led Zeppelin’s ar­chi­tect, Jimmy Page.

Led Zeppelin and their gui­tar leg­end Jimmy Page re­ally need no in­tro­duc­tion. But for those who are new to the band they were formed in Lon­don in 1968, with Page, singer Robert Plant, bass player John Paul Jones and drum­mer John Bonham. While of­ten seen as pi­o­neers of heavy metal their songs were just as likely to fea­ture blues, folk or clas­si­cal el­e­ments.

Af­ter launch­ing as The New Yard­birds (Page hav­ing re­placed Jeff Beck in the band), they changed their name, signed to At­lantic Records and re­leased their epony­mous de­but al­bum in 1969. Mas­sive suc­cess fol­lowed, with sales es­ti­mates in the 200-300 mil­lion al­bums re­gion. They were in­ducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995, and Rolling Stone mag­a­zine hailed them as the big­gest band of the 1970s. They sold out the world’s are­nas through­out the 70s, and briefly re­formed with Ja­son Bonham (John Bonham died in 1980) on drums in 2007 for a sin­gle show at Lon­don’s O2 Arena in hon­our of At­lantic Records’ Ah­met Erte­gun.

Page’s early in­flu­ences were rock and roll and rock­a­billy play­ers such as Scotty Moore and James Bur­ton, but such was his prow­ess, Page moved swiftly into ses­sions, play­ing on tracks by many hit artists of the 60s.

A glance at Page’s CV will show that his ca­reer has not only been as part of one of the most suc­cess­ful bands of all time. A stal­wart of the leg­endary ARMS con­certs in 1983, a decade later he recorded with Whites­nake’s David Coverdale then re­joined Robert Plant for the No Quar­ter live al­bum in 1994.

Page has been a huge in­flu­ence on other gui­tarists in­clud­ing Ed­die Van Halen, who par­tic­u­larly took to his reck­less style. Van Halen has also been quoted as say­ing that he had the idea for two-handed tap­ping af­ter he saw Page us­ing ham­mer-ons and pull-offs with open strings on Zeppelin’s Heart­breaker.

This month’s track is in E ma­jor but fea­tures many notes out­side the key. The solo mainly uses E Mi­nor Pen­ta­tonic (E-G-A-B-D) and E Nat­u­ral Mi­nor (E-F#-G-A-B-C-D). It’s not tricky to play, but it will cer­tainly re­quire plenty of at­ti­tude and aban­don while al­ways man­ag­ing to stay in con­trol. The chart has the im­plied chords writ­ten at times – for ex­am­ple, the bass in bars 9-12 plays in E with the gui­tar’s dou­ble stops im­ply­ing E7-A7-D7. You’ll have fun play­ing this month’s track!


NEXT MONTH Martin heads down to Sweet Home Alabama for a look at Lynyrd Skynyrd

Jimmy Page strik­ing a pose with his ’59 Les Paul Stan­dard

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