Led Zep­pelin

Black Dog

Total Guitar - - HOW TO -

This mas­sive riff fea­tured on Led Zep­pelin’s fourth al­bum (known as Led

Zep­pelin IV), which was re­leased in 1971. Gui­tarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones play the sin­gle-note riff in uni­son against John Bon­ham’s heavy back­beat to cre­ate one of the ar­che­typal mo­ments in rock his­tory.

The riff has a slightly am­bigu­ous sound, TGR297.ledzep­pelin.fig01.musxsit­ting in-be­tween ma­jor and mi­nor tonal­i­ties. The line is based File Date: 16:57 08/08/2017 mainly in the A mi­nor pen­ta­tonic scale Page 1 of 1 (A C DE G), but there is an ex­tra G# pass­ing Notes: note (a ma­jor 7th in this key) giv­ing a brief ma­jor vibe. Jimmy Page also bends the mi­nor 3rd note (C) up slightly to­wards a ma­jor 3rd (C#) – a com­mon trait in blues mu­sic and another way of briefly blur­ring the lines be­tween ma­jor and mi­nor.

When play­ing the riff, start with an up­stroke and con­tinue al­ter­nate pick­ing in a 16th-note fash­ion so you stay in time with the drum groove, whilst also adding the bends and ham­mer-ons.

Cheat sheet…

Ap­pears at: 0:12-0:40 Tempo: 82bpm Key/Scale: A mi­nor pen­ta­tonic scale Main tech­niques: Al­ter­nate pick­ing / bluesy bends / ham­mer-ons / pull-offs

Black Dog Words and Mu­sic by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones © 1972 (Re­newed) Flames of Al­bion Mu­sic, Inc All Rights Ad­min­is­tered by WB Mu­sic Corp Ex­clu­sive Print Rights Ad­min­is­tered by Al­fred Mu­sic All Rights Re­served

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