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How to play The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin on guitar

Led Zeppelin
(Image credit: Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)

It's to hard believe this classic song is almost 50 years old, but the chord voicings are as fresh as ever! This Led Zeppelin song is also a great opportunity to explore an alternate tuning. And it's an unusual one too. 

The Rain Song is from their Zeppelin's 1973 album Houses Of The Holy and is a great excuse to dust down your acoustic guitar for this video lesson.  

Get the tone

Grab your fave acoustic guitar! While this does have an electric guitar over-dubbed (you want that not-quite-clean tone for the electric, so just on the edge of breakup), this lesson is just focused on the acoustic parts, and I’m using my trusty Faith Venus Blood Moon electro-acoustic. 


Tuning 

The tuning is a Jimmy Page special – I don’t know of any other songs in this tuning. It’s basically an open Gsus4 tuning. The tuning from low (6th String) to high (1st String) is as follows;

E down to D

A down to G

D down to C

G stays the same

B up to C

E down to D

D/G/C/G/C/D


Technique tips 

The intro chords are played with a deliberate and lazy upstroke and from there accent beats 2, 3 and 4 with your strumming pattern. At the end of each phrase where chords ring out, there’s always a light strumming pattern filling things out. 

Coming out of the verses there’s a series of single note runs, try to keep the open fifth string ringing out for as long as you can here. The section at the end is probably the trickiest, with the outro throwing in some maj7 and m7 chord voicings and you’ll need to use your pick and finger for the very last run. Have fun! 

Learn 4 Jimmy Page guitar chords from classic Led Zeppelin and The Firm songs

Matt Webster
Contributor

Matt spends his spare time teaching guitar lessons and creating gear demos on his YouTube channel Let's Play All, which covers all manner of styles, but he does have a special place in his heart for '90s grunge and alt rock.