Jimmy Page Guitar Methods

Learn the guitar playing and pure guts of rock's baddest guitar slinger which has left many aspiring rockers without the will to keep playing!

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Introduction

Jimmy Page was born in Heston, England in 1944. In the mid-60's, he started playing studio dates on rock albums. He joined a blues/rock band The Yardbirds in 1966 and two years later formed his own band called the New Yardbirds. They would eventually change their name to Led Zeppelin; a named coined from a friend who said that the band who sink like a lead zeppelin (a blimp which was later changed by Page who said, "No, sink like a Led Zeppelin"). Jimmy Page's style has always been bluesy, while with Led Zeppelin he revolutionized rock guitar with his heavy guitar riffs. He also tried to incorporate acoustic into his songs.

Deep Inside Jimmy Page's Style

01. Jimmy Page's Gear. Page played live with his trusty Les Paul Custom, Danelectro LongHorn, or his double-neck Gibson SG. He tracked the first Zeppelin album and many others with a Supro amp. The 'Stairway To Heaven' solo was played with a Fender Telecaster through the same Supro amp! At live shows, he used a Marshall 100 watt which was hot rodded to put out 200 watts. 02. Jimmy Page Strumming Technique. One of the most dynamic and versatile rhythm guitar players ever, Jimmy Page could switch between wall-busting power chords to barely-strummed triad chords or arpeggios. Jimmy was a master of acoustic guitar strumming as well (check out 'Over The Hills And Far Away' or 'Ramble On'). The keys to his brilliant strumming are dynamics (accents, loud or soft strums), mixing of single notes and chords, and skipping strums. 03. Brilliant Techniques. Jimmy Page used a lot of great techniques which left other guitarists with no hope. Jimmy Page used to master the multi-hammer-on technique which is a way to play faster leads without needing to increase your picking hand speed. Few great guitarists ever mastered it in Page's time, fortunately for him he did. Page used to master another trick which was kinda original. This technique was mastered by using his fingers as a slide; the main idea behind this is using his first, second and particularly, his third finger to hold down partial chords and slide them around on the neck. This technique was used in alot of songs especially 'Whole Lotta Love.'

Page's Style In Songs

His best known work utilizes both his acoustic style and his bluesy style. This work of course is 'Stairway To Heaven.' Let's look at the intro riff, then the solo.
Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Intro:
E-------5-7-----7-|-8-----8-2-----2-|-0---------0-----|-----------------|
B-----5-----5-----|---5-------3-----|---1---1-----1---|-0-1-1-----------|
G---5---------5---|-----5-------2---|-----2---------2-|-0-2-2-----------|
D-7-------6-------|-5-------4-------|-3---------------|-----------------|
A-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-2-0-0---0--/8-7-|
E-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|

E---------7-----7-|-8-----8-2-----2-|-0---------0-----|-----------------|
B-------5---5-----|---5-------3-----|---1---1-----1---|-0-1-1-----------|
G-----5-------5---|-----5-------2---|-----2---------2-|-0-2-2-----------|
D---7-----6-------|-5-------4-------|-3---------------|-----------------|
A-0---------------|-----------------|-----------------|-2-0-0-----------|
E-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
The intro really shows how Page likes to fingerpick arpeggios. The solo is based on the A Minor Pentatonic Scale. Sometimes he would add an F too, but if you look at the A Minor Pentatonic Scale you will see that if you change the E to an F you get the F Major Pentatonic Scale. Jimmy used a lot of pentatonic scales in his solos as you will see as we examine more of his solos.
Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Solo:
|----------5---------------|------------------8--8-|
|------------8-5-----------|-------------8b10------|
|---7b9----------7-5---7p5-|-----------------------|
|--------------------7-----|-7p5-------------------|
|--------------------------|----8------------------|
|--------------------------|-----------------------|

|--8b10---8--5  -----8--10-|-8-----------------------5-------|
|---------------8b10-------|---10-8----8h10------------8-5---|
|--------------------------|--------10-----------7b9-------7-|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|
|--------------------------|---------------------------------|

|----------------------------|----5------------------------|
|----------------------------|------8-5--------------------|
|-5---7p5------------5---5-5-|----------7-5--7p5-----------|
|---7-----7-5---5-7----7-----|-5------------7----7p5-7p5---|
|-------------7--------------|---------------------------8-|
|----------------------------|-----------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------13-|
|---------10-------------------12----12-14----|
|------10----12-10----10-12/14----14----------|
|-8/12-------------12-------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------|

|------------------------15b17-15-12----------------|
|--15b17-15-13--15-13-13-------------15b17-15-13----|
|------------------------------------------------14-|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-13-15b17b15p13----13-15b17b15p13----13---15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----|
|----------------14----------------14------------------14-----------------14-|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-13-15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----13--15b17b15p13----|
|----------------14-----------------14-----------------14-----------------14-|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|------------------------------------------15b17--|
|-13--15b17b15p13----13---15b17b15p13----13-------|
|-----------------14------------------14----------|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------|

|-b17b15-12---12--------------------------------15--|
|-----------15---15--13----13-15-13---13--15b17-----|
|-----------------------14----------14--------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|

-----------------------------|-----------17----------------------------------|
-15b17b15p13----13/12--13/10-|--------20----20-20----------------------------|
-------------14--------------|--19b21-21----------19b21b19p17---19--17----19-|
-----------------------------|--------------------------------19-------19----|
-----------------------------|-----------------------------------------------|
-----------------------------|-----------------------------------------------|

|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|-19b21--13/12 13/10-|--14b17--14b17-14--12--14--12-12b14------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|
|--------------------|--------------------------------|--------------|

|-----------------------------------|----------8/7--8/5--|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|
|-10b14----10b12b10-9-7----7--------|-7-9-7--------------|
|-----------------------10----10----|-------10-7---------|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|
|-----------------------------------|--------------------|

|----20-p17------20-p17------20-p17------20-p17------20-p17-----20b22-|
|-17--------17----------17----------17----------17----------17--------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
Here is an easier way to play the beginning of the solo. This riff can replace the beginning riff. It sounds the same, but it is easier to play:
E|-----5p3----------------|-------|
B|----------5p3-----------|-------|
G|-7b9-----------6p3--7p5-|-------|
D|------------------------|-7p5---|
A|------------------------|-----8-|
E|------------------------|-------|
The next riff I am going to show you comes from 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You.' This song has a great acoustic part and it shows the acoustic fingerpicking style of Jimmy.
Led Zeppelin - Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
E|-------0--------|----------------|----------------|-----------------|
B|-------------1--|-------3-----1--|-------3-----1--|-------1-------0-|
G|-----2-----2----|-----0-----0----|-----2-----2----|-----2-------1---|
D|---2-----2------|---2-----2------|---0-----0------|---3-------2-----|
A|-0-----0--------|----------------|----------------|-----------------|
E|----------------|-3-----3--------|-2-----2--------|-1-------0-------|
For Jimmy's heavy style I am going to show you two riffs and a solo. One riff is from 'Houses Of The Holy' and the other riff and the solo is from 'Whole Lotta Love.' The Houses of the Holy riff is based heavily on an A major pentatonic scale. It is a driving riff that really shows the hard edge of Jimmy.
Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy
E|-------------|-----------2-2--|
B|--------2-2--|-------2-2-2-2--|
G|--------2-2--|-------2-2-2-2--|
D|--2-----2-2--|-2-----2-2-2-2--|
A|--3-4-0-0-0--|-3-4-0-0-0------|
E|-------------|----------------|
Here's the great riff to 'Whole Lotta Love.' This riff is another driving riff that Jimmy turned out:
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
E|-------------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------------------------------|
G|----------9-------9-------9-------9-------9-------9-------9\-|
D|---0------9-------9-------9-------9-------9-------9-------9\-|
A|---5---5--7-------7-------7-------7-------7-------7-------7\-|
E|-7---7------0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0---0-0-0----|
The solo to 'Whole Lotta Love' is based on the E Minor Pentatonic Scale. It shows a lot of heavy bluesy riffs which define Jimmy Page's soloing style.
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Solo:
E |--------12----------------------------------------------|
B |-----12----15-12-----------------------------3----------|
G |-b14-------------15p14p12-14-12-b14ZYABLA~HUYABLAZYABLA~HUYABLA--2/4---4\2-0-2p0|
D |--------------------------------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------------------------------------------------|

E |-------------------------12---------15------------------|
B |----------------------12----b15-b15----b15ZYABLA~HUYABLA~--17-b20r--|
G |0-2p0-------------b14-----------------------------------|
D |------2p0-2p0-------------------------------------------|
A |--------------2-----------------------------------------|
E |----------------0---------------------------------------|

E |-------------------b19-19-18-17-------------------------|
B |------20p17ZYABLA~HUYABLA~--17--------------20p17-20-17ZYABLA~HUYABLA~--17-19---|
G |21p18---------------------------------------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------------------------------------------------|

E |------------19------------------------------------------|
B |b19-b19-b19----17ZYABLA~HUYABLA~------------------------------------|
G |--------------------------------------------------------|
D |--------------------------------------------------------|
A |--------------------------------------------------------|
E |--------------------------------------------------------|
This final riff is probably one of the favourite Led Zeppelin Riff it comes from 'Black Dog.'
Led Zeppelin - Black Dog.
E|----------------|-----------------------|----------------------|
B|----------------|-----------------------|----------------------|
G|----------------|-5-------7--9---5h7p5--|--------5-------------|
D|----5--6--7-----|-----7-----------------|-7---7------7---5--7--|
A|-7-----------7--|-----------------------|----------------------|
E|----------------|-----------------------|----------------------|

E|---------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------|
D|--7-------------------2----------------------------------------|
A|------5---7---3---5---0----------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------|
Jimmy Page also won Third Prize as a Guitar Survivor. In the light of Page's outstanding third place finish in the Guitar Survivor competition, the following feature is designed to provide a resource for Jimmy Page, Born James Patrick Page. "Jimmy" grew to become arguably the most influential rock guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. The guitarist, however, has been plagued by recent back problems, which has kept Page from appearing with the band on numerous occasions. Whatever Jimmy Page does or doesn't do for the rest of his career, he has made a lasting impact on the guitar community. Whether through his song writing style, or through his signature Les Paul sound, Page is fully deserving of his fine placing in the Guitar Survivor competition.

Conclusion

Indeed in many of others' opinion, Page was the most talented guitarist ever lived since Jimi Hendrix. I think when you're faced with a plight that's inescapable, and there's something you can do about it, you hope you can make a difference. - Jimmy Page. Well this is it, long but sweet, when you read this, you should get on your guitar and start practicing because there's no way you're going to get better by reading only.

145 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    W4T3V3R
    er wtf page rules. No1 Solo ever written/played too (stairway to heaven)
    oscar7557
    jimmy page is the best but come on lets be honest there were only three stlys back then page's clapton's and hendrix and outa thoughs three page's licks are lazy witch is kewl
    ~TheLastWarrior
    Not even close to displaying the HUGE diversity Page had. And you forgot to mention he was the sloppiest player around in the 70s.
    LedZeppelin650
    Very undecribed version here, but Page is the absolute best guitarist. Nobody had that caliber of creativity. And on sloppy, look at Bron Y Aur, thats an incredible piece of guitar playing. WHITE SUMMER Jimmy Page is the best! "A Zeppelin fan is a friend of mine anyday"
    afrosk8er395
    i love jimmy pages sloppy style it sounds a whole lot better than clean playin and i like to play the way jimmy page does.
    MetaMegaMagic
    I'm learning Stairway as one of my first songs. Jimmy Page is an amazing guitarist in my opinion and this lesson's been pretty useful.
    godin_Detour17
    Zeppelin schools all But ima have to say that the greatest song ever is either Hot Dog or Since i've been loving you
    jpage73
    page didnt even write the black dog main riff so that entire area is irrelevant. And for babe im gonna leave you (at least live) he picked it.
    IRISH_PUNK13
    DUDE ITS GOOD BUT SOME OF THE STUFF YOU TALK ABOUT COULD BE RE-WRITTEN IN ENGLISH( MULTI HAMMER-ON TECHNIQUE ) YOU COULD HAVE EXPLAINED IT BETTER AND IN SOME PARTS IT WAS A LITTLE BORING SO OTHER THEN FALLING ASLEEP & GETTING DROOL ON MY AXE ITS ALL GOOD
    hunta7989
    coffeeguy9 wrote: Bron-yr-aur, anyone? It let me down a little bit. And I think the one song that shows Jimmy's improv with the pentatonic the most is any live version of "Since I've been Loving You."
    I hate to burst your bubble, but he uses a natural minor scale for that song. They are somewhat similar though.
    sbauer187
    he may have been a bit sloppy at times during live performances but in the studio, his work is dead on...one of the great producers of all time...listen to the studio version of the song remains the same and youll see what i mean...a guitar god to say the least
    LittleMrJimmyJr
    jimmy page used a 58 les paul standard, not a custom and a Danelectro 3021 not a long horn, and jimmy page used a 100 watt (not 200 watt) 1973 marshall super lead
    guitardude2012
    sorry dude but all you did was slap a couple generic explanations and the solo for stairway to heaven. it wasn't very helpful to me.
    rokknrollldude
    hey ppl...just a quick fact...the 59' sunburst les paul that was jimmy's go-2 guitar was given to him by the very joe walsh.....
    aburamla
    Jimmy page is so very original, he could never be called a plagiarist. Anyone here heard of davy graham and bert jansch ? Bert composed a beautiful arrangement for the Irish folk song 'black waterside' or was it black mountainside ? anyway he did this in the early sixties, years before Zeppelin were formed.Thats the great thing about Jimmy, he always gives credit where it's due,almost the entire zeppelin catalogue sounds uncannily identical to a lot of other peoples work.
    irish roots
    im too lazy to read all of these coments so i dont know if anyone pointed this out but page started on a fender telecaster and even recorded stairway to heaven with it
    Metallic Dogma
    Les__Paul__630* wrote: wow, if it weren't for Jimmy Page, I wouldn't even be playing guitar
    i feel the same way man
    Metallic Dogma
    wow! this is amazing. this was posted to be a "lesson" site and it turned into a comment conflict. what a bunch of d*** heads! oh, by the way, PAGE RULES!!! no doubt the best ever!!!!
    SpartaX
    page missed out notes and was at times "sloppy" but he did play more notes than most guitarists!!!
    will-loves-zep
    sk8byf8bob wrote: how was he the sloppiest player in the 70's. try the greatest
    i agree but would push it to greatest player EVER
    will-loves-zep
    how do i get his screaching solo sounds; any tips for distortion pedals? for his amp settings go distortion channel, high mid range (about 7-8), and hold the treble (5-6) and bass (5). go about 6-7 on gain, higher if you want to distort it more. (this is courtesy of total guitar, i think its great)
    redhavok
    i think the name of the doubled neck SG is called an EDS-1275..or sumthin similar
    Crazy Metal Man
    u morons.....JIMMY PAGE RULES..... and yea this articale was pretty good..... cuz u cant freeeking cover everything about one of the best guitarists in one aritcal
    craftercon65
    Tbh culd hav got these tabs from UG anyways but thx for the explanation of his techniques. 7/10
    -heartbreaker-
    this was pretty flawed and it was a waste of time.
    Page played live with his trusty Les Paul Custom
    he used that guitar for like 3 years and it was stolen. he was famous for a LP Standard anyways.
    Here is an easier way to play the beginning of the solo. This riff can replace the beginning riff. It sounds the same, but it is easier to play: E|-----5p3-----|-----| B|-----5p3-----|-----| G|-7b9-- ---6p3--7p5-|---- -| D|-----|-7p5---| A|-----|-----8-| E|--- --|-----|
    thats a completely improper way, yeah. this was also a very brief article, and apparently its stolen? LAME.
    trainwreck4444
    Yes this article is not very detailed. I found tons of zeppelin how to play dvds at note4note.us. these things are awesome, they include all the guitar parts
    IRISH_PUNK13
    ~TheLastWarrior wrote: Not even close to displaying the HUGE diversity Page had. And you forgot to mention he was the sloppiest player around in the 70s.
    ok he was sloppy but so what im sure every player is sloppy in some sense the thing about page is he used it to creat a unique style that no one can match
    jimmy_page90
    damn jimmy pages dragon telecaster was sick why cant they make a signature guitar series for him?
    mgilliamalo
    I cannot think of any guitarist on planet earth who has inspired me more than Mr. Page. His style is more eclectic than anyone I can think of (blues, country, good ol' rock and roll, hard rock, folk, bluegrass, spacey Indian stuff, a true artist). I believe Page is an amazing songwriter and that is what sets him apart from many of his peers who can play guitar well (Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, Vaughn). When I listen to music I do so because it moves me: I like how it sounds and makes me feel. I like the majority of Zeppelin songs and I like the light/dark dynamic within them. I like how the songs stop and start and how they go from soft to loud or very light and hopeful to dark and moody. A good musician can express the way they feel through their instrument. If they have a vision the audience will feel it and it will inspire them. I do not believe that Jimmy is the best guitarist ever but he's my favorite. I've heard people try to say that Page ripped off other musicians. Maybe his influences show through too much here and there but when he plays a song live he improvises nearly every fill and solo and also varies the main melody as well. Did he steal all of his improv. too? I'd love to hear the precursor to KASHMIR. When someone writes a song no matter how original sounding it is; it's the outgrowth of everything that preceded it, just like a child is to it's parents. There is nothing new under the stars. I can think of a few 'technically superior players' who lack creativity and vision and I wouldn't be willing to spend 10 cents to see them play a concert or buy their pointless, uninspiring albums. My first concert was PAGE/PLANT in ATL. GA. on the WALKing into CLARksdale tour and I'll never forget it! I remember the quote quite well and Robert Plant said it: "I think of Pagey's playing as a little left of HEAVEN."
    zep_hed449
    Get your hands on "white summer" live or studio, nothing that Ive heard or played can compare in the creative aspect.
    zep_hed449
    Get your hands on "white Summer" live or studio, I havent heard or played anything that can compare. The lesson's the tip of the iceberg but good job anywho...
    RoughDraft
    i love Jimmy Page but you guys over think stairway to heaven... besides my fav. song by him is Since I've Been loving You
    CowboyUp
    Really should have talked about how he used alternate tunings. Kashmir, Rain Song, Bron-yr-aur, etc. This lesson kinda dissapointed me. All it really did was show a bunch of tabs I've already seen. You should have also done more on his awesome rhythm techniques. You mentioned them, but you could write a lesson twice as long just on those.
    coffeeguy9
    Bron-yr-aur, anyone? It let me down a little bit. And I think the one song that shows Jimmy's improv with the pentatonic the most is any live version of "Since I've been Loving You."
    ~TheLastWarrior
    Also, he wasn't 'the sloppiest player', he only did the tracks to songs once or twice, he didn't correct any mistakes because he preferred the live style. Just because other artists spent times correcting their songs doesn't make Jimmy the sloppiest.
    Oh great now I'll have to explain myself.. Page did the best of three takes on studio albums. Heartbreaker is a great example of a solo that Page played sloppy on the album, and much cleaner and faster live ? after he had time to really learn/practice it. The legions of Zep fans, and the rest of the non-guitar playing world doesn't give a fat rat's ass! And another thing, Page's TUNINGS! Heck, he didn't even mention them.