Led Zeppelin Electric Guitar Pack
Led Zeppelin was undoubtedly the king of the hard rock movement that started in the late 1960s. The combination of four incredibly talented and creative musicians became much bigger than the sum of its parts. Jimmy Page, in particular has been a major influence on guitar players and students around the world, and continues to do so till this day.
This set of five lessons covers some of the most enjoyable and challenging riffs and driving rhythms of this legendary band.
Lesson 1: Black Dog
Black Dog is one of Led Zeppelin's more recognizable songs off of their album "Led Zeppelin IV" released in 1971. This was actually the first Led Zeppelin song that I ever learned. I was immediately hooked on the opening riff the first time I ever heard it. It's got a great into that's similar to Hendrix's Purple Haze in the sense that the guitar riff makes up the whole song. It's based around the pentatonic pattern but makes use of chromatic notes as passing tones. As a former session player, Jimmy Page was well aware that when you use passing tones, it makes your target note stand our more because of the dissonance they make right before on the leading tone. He makes use of a lot of power chords that are interspaced with small filler licks underneath the vocal melody, creating a call and response style phrasing with himself. Another unique thing that Jimmy Page would use is the inclusion of a bar with a different time signature. For example, at the beginning of the solo, there's a bar of 5/4 before it continues as 4/4 which opens up the space for the really cool sliding pentatonic lick that he plays. His solos revolved more around creating a phrase and telling a story instead of just showing off, which made for something really interesting to listen to and play.
Lesson 2: Fool In The Rain
Fool In The rain is Led Zeppelin's first single, released on their 1979 album "In Through the Out Door" This one has a 12/8 time signature so it's based on triplets and has sort of a more rolling or shuffle feel to the song, unlike most rock songs that are in 4/4. It uses a lot of three string chord voices in the middle/upper strings, which counterbalances the overdubs. What happens in this song is one guitar plays the repetitive three note voicings while the other guitar plays its characteristic three note melody, creating an interesting polyrhythm. The crazy thing about this song is despite its relaxed beginning, it has a full on samba feel in the bridge that comes out of nowhere. The guitar ends up playing more full acoustic chord voicings in this part with a simple, fast rhythm since the speed doesn't allow for much else.
Lesson 3: Immigrant Song
Immigrant Song is a great song by Led Zeppelin released on their album "Led Zeppelin III" in 1970. This is one of the band's easier songs to play since the main riff is just an octave with a simple and intuitive rhythm. It's a pretty fast song but has a natural galloping feel that sounds harder than it is to play and should be easy for beginners to pick up and get their single string rock playing going. After that is breaks into an open chord section with an even faster feel, which gives it almost a chaotic sound with the open strings ringing out at the fast tempo.
Lesson 4: Kashmir
Kashmir is a unique song by Led Zeppelin from their 1975 album "Physical Graffiti". For starters, this song uses a different tuning than the standard. Strings 1, 2, and 6 are all tuned down a full step which gives you a standard open tuning of a Dsus4 chord. It's basically impossible to play this song without changing to this tuning due to the fingerings you need to do. This song's a really cool example of how you can open up your playing by using a different tuning than normal, which can give you all sorts of new ideas and inspiration. It can be tricky to visualize exactly what notes you're playing when you do this if you're used to playing in standard tuning, but with some mental practice you'll be able to transpose the notes in your head as you think about them. This song revolves around the idea of playing chord hits with a changing melody on the top notes of the chord. It's a very simplistic melody that just ascends and descends in the same chord, but also uses open strings and closed strings high up on the neck to change things up. Since Page was a session player before, he came across a lot of acoustic spanish guitar playing and would incorporate these classical techniques in his playing, which particularly stands out in the bridge, where he plays droning open strings and the descending high note melody.
Lesson 5: Whole Lotta Love
Whole Lotta Love is the intro track from Led Zeppelin's second album "Led Zeppelin II" released in 1969. This song a standard rock song in the sense that it uses the most stereotypical move in rock guitar where you play a chord on the downbeat and then three palm muted sixthteenthn notes following after, emulating a fast hihat rhythm. It all revolves around the pentatonic E minor scale, making it pretty easy for beginners to get started playing a rock classic. It's important to practice playing the palm muted open strings with both straight down picking and alternate picking, which is a really good habit to build and you won't have to unlearn any bad habits later. The solo however is very aggressive and in your face, also revolving around the E minor shape which keeps it relatively simple to play through. I think it's particularly interesting because it shifts around positions depending on the phrase, also making use of question and answer licks. He includes this extremely wide bend that can be very difficult to execute in tune and definitely takes a lot of practice to pull off correctly. It's really tricky to bend two and a half steps, release, then bend one and a half steps while keeping the pitch accurate.