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Michael Johnson >> Jimmy Page Blues-Rock style >>
Lesson Subject: Jimmy Page Blues Rock
What you learn: Early Zeppelin Blues Style
Teacher: Michael Johnson

Michael: Hi class, our interactive lesson is on Jimmy Page's early Led Zeppelin blues style. Jimmy borrowed all kinds of signature blues progressions and used a hard rock tone, but it's basically the same licks as the blues greats. Here's the lesson sample of what you'll learn:

Lesson Sample

Michael: Let's get started, our main scale is based on the A Minor Pentatonic scale:

Michael: We'll use a standard blues progression for the jam track in A:

Looping Jam Track 1 - 800k

Michael: Here's our first lick.

Lick 1

Michael: Notice in the lick you start with a bend, then jumping to a pull-off on the 2nd string from 8th to 5th frets. Towards the end you actually jump to a Maj 3rd note which sounds very cool. It should be a Db, you can create some very interesting patterns using that note (Maj 3rd) within a blues and pentatonic pattern. This is signature to playing Page's early blues style.

Michael: I am playing live, I can send another live clip, hold on.

Sound Clip 2

Michael: OK, let's move to the next lick:

Lick 2

ClaptonGilmour: bah, 1 1/2 step bends

Michael: Yes Clapton, I use a 1 & 1/2 step bend. Here's how you can practice developing the 1 1/2 bend, try sliding from 10th fret to 13th fret (2nd string), then try matching the note by bending in the exercise below: This next lick moves to the 2nd box position of the A min pentatonic scale. 

Michael: Make sure you practice over the jam track, try sliding from 10th to 13th, then take the 10th fret and push the string up until you match the pitch of the 13th note you played earlier. Here's the next lick:

Lick 3

Michael: Now this lick is a combination of lick 1 & 2. They sound great together, our next lick will use a 2 whole-step bend:

Lick 4

Michael: I love the sound of these 2 whole-step bends. Jimi Hendrix use to use them all the time. Jimmy Page was great at incorporating these bends in the blues. Albert King was actually an early blues player that influenced JH and JP with his bending style.

ClaptonGilmour: two whole steps = four frets

drinky_crow: ouch, my fingers hurt from that....

Michael: Drinky, I know, but this will really help your overall bending style. Here's an exercise you can try as well:

Michael: It's basically the same exercise as the 1 1/2 step, remember to identify the "pitch" first and then try using the bending technique. Try not to break your string 8-) Let's try another lick using the 2 whole-step bend:

Lick 5

Michael: I developed my bends by practicing on an acoustic... it was painful, but later I found playing heavy gauge on an electric became much easier. Its a great practice technique. Another technique you can try is playing all down picking. Page's style and aggressive attack was due to playing his guitar down around his knees, forcing him to play all down picks. Here's our next lick:

Lick 6

drinky_crow: Did he play that low in the studio?

Michael:  He sure does, I've seen pictures of him playing the guitar that low in the studio. This lick uses the Maj 3rd note (Db) again. See how it ascends down the scale pattern. You can actually play an A (dom)7 add 11 arpeggio, it's the coolest sounding pattern! Here's the pattern:

Michael: Here's the fingering for that pattern.

Michael: Now let's try another lick using that pattern. This lick actually uses a combination of the 1 1/2 bend, 2 whole-step bend and the A7 add 11 pattern.

Lick 7

Michael: See how they all fit together, so what do you all think? do you think you can sound like Jimmy Page now?

GilmourClapton: Sure, just gotta work on those bends :)

finn: I guess i need a hard tail for those 1 1/2 bends. My tremolo keeps dropping down, making it impossible to hit

Michael: Oh yeah, a tremolo system might throw off your pitch.

GilmourClapton: finn, I can get the 1 1/2 bends ok on my strat. I've heard some people put a piece of wood under the trem to keep it from moving

Michael: Well time to go, see you next lesson!

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