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Guitar lesson: learn 6 great chords for classic rock

Led Zeppelin
(Image credit: Jay Dickman/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images))

Guitar skills: Note the slash chords’ alternative bass notes here (notes shown after the / mark), giving a subtly different feel to basic major chords. For example, D5 and A/C# is the kind of move you’ll hear in Queen’s One Vision. 

Use two-, three- or four-note shapes and pick firmly for a tight, focused rock style delivery. Alternatively, make use of the open sixth string in the E and D/E chords for a weightier impact, the way Jimmy Page does in Led Zeppelin’s roof-raising classic Whole Lotta Love.

Chords

(Image credit: Future)

Chords

(Image credit: Future)

Tone tips: Aim for the mid-rich overdrive tones of 70s rock here - that’s before the high-gain madness of the 80s and 90s really kicked in, so keep the drive at a medium level for authenticity.

Classic rock track 

This 70s rock style example is a cross between the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, but also in the territory of Paul Kossoff of Free. 

A slash chord puts an alternative bass note at the bottom of a chord, giving it a slightly different feel. This is great for creating riffs, as you will hear!

Click on the top right of the tab to enlarge it 

(Image credit: Future)

Learn four Jimmy Page chords