"Though these songs have a hard rock edge, blues is the stronger influence in the solos": 3 ways to play like Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin I

Led Zeppelin
(Image credit: Future)

Following our lesson focusing on The Beatles' Abbey Road, we're looking at another classic in our series of 1969 milestones. The year before, n 1968 the Yardbirds disbanded, leaving guitarist Jimmy Page as the band’s sole remaining member and facing contractual obligations to perform further gigs. Recruiting Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham to play as the New Yardbirds, the foursome would soon become the band we know as Led Zeppelin. The rest, as they say, is history.

The band’s self-titled debut would land in early ’69 – a rootsy mix of folk, rock and a hefty slice of traditional blues influences, without so much of the epic riff-athons for which they would soon be known (we'll get to that in the next instalment).

We’re taking a look at Jimmy’s soloing on tracks like I Can’t Quit You Baby and more rock-focused tunes such as How Many More Times and Communication Breakdown. Though these songs have a hard rock edge, blues is the stronger influence in the solos, so minor pentatonic and blues scales rule here!

1. Timing And Bending 

Jimmy would sometimes play with technical precision; other times he'd be loose as hell, so experiment with the timing and feel of the opening line here. 

Try picking every note or using hammer-ons and pull-offs. The four-fret bend at the end of the lick is another blues-style Page phrase. In general these are easiest to play on the third string.  

(Image credit: Future)

2. Using The Whole Fretboard

Led Zeppelin

(Image credit: Future)

3. Zep Sliding Away 

(Image credit: Future)

Led Zeppelin II: Jimmy Page lesson

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