We kick off our Jimmy Page course with a super quick rock and roll solo that oozes technique and creativity. As with every Jimmy Page solo, the licks are quick and there are very few breaks for air, so we will take time to break down each lick and explain what's going on theory wise as we play through.
The solo is a classic mix of major and minor pentatonic, just as you would hear classic blues players use, but played at 100mph! We are also making use of chromatic ideas to lead in to different areas of the neck, another technique that Jimmy Page makes regular use of in structuring his solos. Watch the video through a few times to try and get the solo in your head, then move onto the next lesson where we'll check out the first two licks in detail.
The first lick is a demonstration of Jimmy Page's legato skill, which simply means his hammer-ons and pull-offs! We are using the A minor pentatonic shape 4 in the open position to start with, which is perfectly normal over a 12 bar blues. Be sure to play this part slow to get the strength up with your fretting hand.
For the second lick, we jump into the A major pentatonic, using shape 1 (as shown below). We then use a chromatic run to move into lick 3. These chromatic runs simply need to start and end on a scale tone... what you play in between is just creating tension that resolves when you land in the right place!
As we go further through the solo, you'll need to use the tab to nail each lick. (their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.
In lick 3, we are back in A minor, except this time in pentatonic shape 1. This allows us to use some classic rock & roll style minor licks! Remember, when you get to the bends, they are always stopped before they come back down. You need to use your plectrum hand to control this part of the solo, as shown in the video.
In lick 4, we take the chromatic idea to the next level! We kick off in pentatonic shape 1 in A minor and gradually work our way up to pentatonic shape 3 in A minor, as pictured in the fretboard below.
(their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.
Although the lick starts in minor pentatonic shape 3, we once again switch into the A major pentatonic, and this time we find ourselves in A major pentatonic shape 4 (As shown below). This lick is all about melody and carving space out of a track that is moving at 100mph.
Lick 6 takes us off the regular rhythms that we have built up across the solo and deliberately pushes the boundaries, whilst then resolving a really cool bluesy/country lick that takes us back to the A root note. For this lick, we use the A minor pentatonic shape 4, followed by shape 3. The little 'odd note out' is the major 3rd in A, and is therefore making use of the major pentatonic shape 5 in that position. Pretty cool, eh?
(their positions are marked just above the tab). Use the slow down and looping function of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.
The final two licks are essentially exactly the same, except one is in pentatonic shape 3, the other in shape 1. The trick to getting these licks right is mastering your pull offs and playing all down strokes. Be sure to practice this one nice and slowly first though!
(the positions are marked just above the tab). Once you master them you'll be able to piece the entire solo together! Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to help.
When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!