Learning to play like Jimmy Page isn't just about being able to solo! The reason he is so popular as a guitarist is thanks to his amazing ability to pen incredible riffs! Through his career he has written some of the biggest riffs of all time, and in this part of the course we will go through how you can achieve these sounds using just a few simple techniques.
In this unit, we have brought together all of the biggest Jimmy Page style riffs so that we can go through how each sound is played, how they are written and the effect they have on a song. Jimmy Page is as creative as they come, but that doesn't mean that every single riff he writes is totally unique. There are always certain themes, techniques and shapes that he'll come back to time after time. So, listen to the track a few times and then move onto the next lesson.
The first 4 bars are an awesome example of just how powerful a simple chord can be with a bit of distortion. A classic Jimmy Page sound is to use full major chords with gain, instead of powerchords. This really helped define the Zeppelin sound in the early days. The riff in between the chords once again shows off Page's bluesy background as it is based around the E minor pentatonic shape 3, with an additional chromatic note... even though the chord is major! We see this concept commonly in blues playing. The scale and chord can be found in the fretboard diagrams.
When we hit the chorus section, we really want to attack the chords. The basic chord movement goes between E major, then D major, then finally A major / A powerchord. We also have an F# major chord right at the end of the chorus to throw the song a little off key, before resolving back to E in the next verse.
In terms of the rhythm, the pattern is as shown below. Remember that on the 4th, 5th and 6th arrows you should be muting the strings to create a thicker sound. You move to the D major on the 7th arrow and the A riff on the last two red arrows.
For the next new part of the song, we move to octave riffing! This is a huge part of a lot of Zeppelin riffs and is not actually that hard to pull off. The reason octave riffs are so popular in rock is that you can play a cool melody within a scale, but strum it! In this case, we use the root, flattened 7th, 6th and 5th note of the E major scale with the low E string ringing out. After playing that twice we use the open strings, in a classic Jimmy Page move, to add character to the part.
Another big part of the Zeppelin sound is the lead breaks. This is where Jimmy Page takes centre stage and pulls out some of his favourite licks. We have written 4 Jimmy Page style licks here for you to learn. They are all based in E minor and use the pentatonic positions across the neck. Lick 1 in shape 1, lick 2 in shape 2 / 1 in the open position, lick 3 in shape 4 and lick 5 in shape 3. The shapes can be found in the fretboard diagrams.
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