ROCK AND ROLL
Total Guitar|November 2020
THE MASTERY OF JIMMY PAGE IN 20 CLASSIC LED ZEPPELIN SONGS
Johnny Scaramanga

DAZED AND CONFUSED (LED ZEPPELIN, 1969)

The Zep I tone, showcased here, was Page’s dragon Telecaster into a Supro amp, with a Sola Sound Tone Bender fuzz pedal when extra filth was required. Page created other-worldly theremin sounds by plucking natural harmonics and bending them behind the nut.

BABE I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU (LED ZEPPELIN, 1969)

This was recorded on his well-known Harmony Sovereign H1260 from the mid-60s. Joan Baez had already made the song famous. Zeppelin revolutionized it with contrasting acoustic and electric sections, anticipating the quiet/ loud dynamic of grunge and introducing the lament bassline to hard rock (Tenacious D send their thanks).

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE (LED ZEPPELIN II, 1969)

There’s a little-known trick to making this legendary riff sound like Page. The second note is doubled by playing the 5th fret of the A string and the open D string at the same time. Bend the fretted note slightly sharp to create Page’s monster pseudo-doubletracking effect.

RAMBLE ON (LED ZEPPELIN II, 1969)

It’s rumored John Bonham plays a plastic bin on this song, possibly inspiring the drum sound on Metallica’s St Anger. The guitars here are in standard tuning, and the unusual sound comes from sliding open chord shapes (mostly E major) around without barring, so the open strings continue to ring.

HEARTBREAKER (LED ZEPPELIN II, 1969)

The definitive Les Paul and Marshall tone. Page’s use of hammer-ons and pull-offs in the solo opened up entirely new possibilities on the guitar, most notably inspiring one Edward Van Halen. Page created the bends by pressing behind the nut with his picking hand, and in so doing defined the guitar hero.

SINCE I’VE BEEN LOVING YOU (LED ZEPPELIN III, 1970)

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