UG Weekend Riff: Part 10

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Introduction:

Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven Solo. Based almost entirely on the A minor and minor pentatonic scales (except a sneaky D# in the 6th bar) Stairway To Heaven's solo has become the goal of generations of guitarists. From the fingerpicked intro to the final outro lick, some five different guitar parts this is a piece for new players and the experienced alike. The phenomenal solo is debated by hundreds of musicians around the world. The truth is... it's not really all that hard!

Gear Info:

Select a Telecaster with both pickups on to match the original recording or if you happen to have one lying around, a Double Neck SG. A Marshall amp with a little reverb and gain at about 8 should get a similar tone. I don't have the space to discuss every single note, but I'll break it down into 5 sections.

Audio & Tab:

  • Chordal Intro: For the intro, there are two chord shapes. D, which I'm sure you know and Cadd9. Fret the standard Cadd9 shape (x32030) without the middle finger as you'll need it to embellish with on the high E-string. Kepp you picking loose and let everything ring out. Play at 94 bpm and watch the dodgy time signature change the easiest thing to do is to count in 1/8th notes throughout and then drop one beat for the 7/8 bar. An acoustic, Telecaster and 12-string electric are all playing here so choose you're weapon and find some friends to take on the rest of the chords! Use these links to get a tablature and a midi file for the section above.

  • Bar 1 to 4.5: Nothing overly complex in this section. Just keep playing these two licks until you're confident to move on and don't start the second section until you're confident you can keep up the speed (105 bpm).

  • Bar 5 to 8: Points of note in this section is the stacato in bar 5 which can be killed by lifting your fingers from the fretboard slightly. When you move into the 6th bar, watch the unexpected D#. In bar 8 make sure you bend the 15th fret to 17, repick and then release.

  • Bar 9 to 13: In the bending section, try to pick only when fretting the 14th fret on the G-string and 13th fret on the B-string. The hammer-on, bend, release and pull-off should be a fluid motion. Again, it's best to practice these bends repeatedly. When bending the 15th fret note in bar 12, do so with the second or third finger so you can fret the high E-string without releasing the B-string.

  • Bar 14 to 20: In bar 14, the same trick applys, don't release the G-string until you're ready to play the bend back down to the 17th fret. The final few abrs are easy but the 20th bar may require some extra practice to get it up to speed! Use these links to get a tablature and a midi file for the section above.

    A final note, from bar 13 to 14 onwards, a slide lick can be heard in the background. It occurs four times and can be heard on the midi file. Use that link to get a tablature for the section above.

    ***

    And for those who curouis what will be the next Weekend Bass Riff, here is message from Joe:

    Sorry but I am unable to continue with my weekly 'Weekend Bass Riffs' due to increased work and general business sorry to let you and the rest of UG down about this but I feel it'd be better for someone with a better knowledge of what UG wants and more knowledge about bass to take over the role. I believe that'd be better for the bassists of UG and they'd get more from the writings.

    So, if anyone interested to continue writing for Weekend Bass Riff section and thus being a part of UG Contributing Team, get in touch with Geldof the Grey on UG Forums.

  • 77 comments sorted by best / new / date

      Metal Daze
      jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot
      ... are u a complete retard? i have been playing for 2 years now and im probobly better than the guitarists from Korn or slipkot... very good tab dude
      GuitarJunkie
      guitarjared: led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      Hmmmm....people i just lost respect for 1)hen 2)hen and number 3...oh yea...hen
      AusFender911
      why the shit is GuitarJared even on the site, let alone the Led Zeppelin solo page. Quite possibly the stupidist comment I've ever seen
      radiantmoon
      lmao at the guy who says led zeppelin are shit tht is such a ridicullous comment i dnt even knw wat to say
      PsychoWolfD
      guitarjared: led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      I doubt your favorite nu-metal bands you specified can play a decent solo at all. At least Jimmy Page ain't DESPICABLE like korn or slipknot, and at least Led Zeppelin makes GOOD music regardless of if its heavy or not. There's no point in going heavy if they suck, like korn or slipknot! Besides, I don't care if bands I like are from either 1973 or 2004. As long a band is good, the year doesn't matter.
      Bong Water
      *sigh* close minded genre-lovers. open your eyes mate and expand your horizons. understand that there are other styles of music other than your precious nu-metal and that other people do appreciate those styles. just because you dont doesnt mean that other people arent allowed to. Dont like Led Zeppelin? Dont listen to Led Zeppelin. Pretty simple if you ask me.
      hen
      sry hen...lol i quoted a quote and got confused
      hehe no prob mate
      slash_620
      er...nice lesson but doesn`t having solos in a riff lesson kinda not obey the name?
      hen
      guitarjared: led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      lol this guy's hilarious.
      Scorpions
      guitarjared: led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      :shock: jeeze I love led zep
      SilentDeftone
      guitarjared: led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      We know it's 2004. However, we also know that 1973 music > 2004 music. You should probably have a bit of respect for Led Zeppelin, even if you don't like them, because 95% of the musical ideas you hear in rock were originated by Led Zeppelin. Therefore, Korn has Led Zeppelin influences. And as a side note, grow up. Even if you don't like a band, you don't have to come into a thread about the band and spam about how bad you think they are.
      UseYourBrain
      i think guitarjared should go ask mike mushok if he plays better than page... mike mushok knows page and zepplin influenced everything. The main reason i hate some of these bands is because of their fan base. Example: GuitarJared
      flytv12
      hey guitarjared, you deserve to be kicked in the face for trashing zeppelin like that. they are one of the best bands of all time and none of todays guitarists are even close to comparable to page, don't get me wrong, they are good, but page wrote better music and could simply out outplay your precious mike mushok. Oh ya, by the way, white summer an 8 minutes of shredding guitar solo.
      Junooni#1
      I have done it i think that this is really and should be goal for all the guitarist
      scionist
      ... are u a complete retard? i have been playing for 2 years now and im probobly better than the guitarists from Korn or slipkot...
      First: I like Led Zeppelin. They are ***ing awesome no doubt about this 2nd:I don't think that Metal Daze is better than Jim or Mike (Slipknot). They play much better than everyone thinks. Even their "normal" Slipknot stuff is really difficult and have you ever heard them playing real solos? Maybe Page is still better but thery're damn close.
      loserchild292
      I love how you guys are attacking each other genres by simply stating "they suck". Thank you, Gorge Bush and George Bush 2, 3, 4, 5... Both genres have things to appreciate. I love Zeppelin, but I don't hate nu-metal just because I'm trying to make an image for myself. Grow up, everyone! Besides, if you are immature and you do have to make fun of other people's music, then at least have substantial reasons why they aren't musical. P.S. to guitarjared
      stairway to heaven had bad lyrics
      Are you just saying that because you cant understand the symbolism and the metaphors, or are you jealous that your vocal range isn't like plants.
      who can play more than 3 minute solos
      um... The solo in this song is only a minute or so long, but that isn't proof that Page can't play a ***ing awesome solo for 3 minutes. Listen to some zeppelin before you guess like that.
      don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics
      I think they qualify as classics. They're old and loved by most everyone who's ever heard them, except you and other selective listeners.
      jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot
      Actually, he do have a lot on those guys; things like influence and respect. You don't seem to have either. Follow your "leaders". Korn's guitars almost never take center stage, and Slipknot predominitly plays tremolo's with maybe 6 notes. Next time, consider facts before you say stuff and sound dumb.
      Guitarist of Ra
      mesaboogieman: umm....how do you do a quote?
      First you click "quote" down in the comment box, then you type in the quote, then you press the "quote" button again. Or just do message{/QUOTE]
      Guitarist of Ra
      I really hope the guy was lying just to piss everyone off, cause if not then i will have to admit that there are retarded people named guitarjared. PS. zeppelin sucks PPS. NOT!!!!
      mesaboogieman
      [hahahaha nu-metal?! theres no way you can beat the greats, iron maiden, saxon, metallica and priest rule forever. the whole idea of infusing metal with any music (other than orchestral)is a sin, and should be punished. bands such as the rasmus HIM and o]
      mesaboogieman
      hahahaha nu-metal?! theres no way you can beat the greats, iron maiden, saxon, metallica and priest rule forever. the whole idea of infusing metal with any music (other than orchestral)is a sin, and should be punished. bands such as the rasmus HIM and o
      s8n_buddy
      hahahaha nu-metal?! theres no way you can beat the greats, iron maiden, saxon, metallica and priest rule forever. the whole idea of infusing metal with any music (other than orchestral)is a sin, and should be punished. bands such as the rasmus HIM and other
      justinhawkins
      korn, slipknot, and all Nu-Metal bands should be wiped off the face of the earth. I have never heard duch awful music in my life, it really is Abysmal, do you actually think that they're talented, Jared? I could have buried them within my first day of playing guitar. They can barely put together a chord, let alone a solo. The only reason their records' sell is because of 2 things: a gimmick, or assclowns like you jared. Don't knock the Zep, or I will frickin annihilate you.
      Skynyrd277
      Led Zeppelin is awesome and i hate you so much guitarjared. I am more than positive that korn and slipknot were influenced by Led Zeppelin and other bands from 1973. pull your head out of your ass. jimmy page would destroy korn or slipkont guitarists. good job to geldof the grey.
      Brink Hyren
      Guitarjared, learn what real music is. The guitarists you listed aren't even anywhere near talented.
      guitarjared
      led zeppelin sucks. they can't even write a good song. i mean, stairway to heaven had bad lyrics, shitty guitar, shitty everything, and don't tell me "black dog" or "the rain song" are classics. jimmy paige has NOTHING on people like Head and Munky from Korn or Mike Mushok or how about the guys from Slipknot, who can play more than 3 minute solos and are actually heavy. Not this Led shit. hello people, it's 2004, not 1973!
      Geldof the Grey
      For ***'s sake!!! I spend all this time working out the tab... playing with the midi bending to get them as close as I could and making the tab as accurate as I could. You lot bitch and moan about it. Dumb posts with no explanation of WHY it's so shit have been deleted. Any more bullshit from you guys who keep moaning about the content of the Weekend Riffs and I just wont write them... it's easier on me. I dopn't want constant praise... but don';t just come on here and leave a flippant comment pecause you didn't take the time to read and so didn't see the link to get the tab.
      Geldof the Grey
      I put the trasitions of the grace notes into the tab but they've gone walkabout. I'll try to get them put in somehow!
      vinniebeast
      I wonder if there any way to do that. If you could find the notes and tempo i bet you could input it into composer somehow?
      CtrlAltDel
      Thank you SO MUCH. This has finally given me the help and motivation that I require to actually devote myself to learning this solo. Well done.
      GuitarNoobie003
      ^ heh Amen . Good job geldof...killer job on these. Gives me something to look forwrds to even if the music isnt wut i lissen to.
      banished
      ^yeah but powertab is free... anyways great job... too bad i already know the solo, i could of really used this when i was learning it