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Learn 3 Jimmy Page Style Guitar Licks
In this Guitar Control video, instructor Robert Baker, teaches us Jimmy Page Riffs – How to Play Minor Pentatonic Licks Jimmy Page Style! All of today’s riffs are based off the pentatonic scale. All the notes used are not necessarily strictly in the pentatonic scale, but Page uses the pentatonic scale almost as the outer skeleton for what he was doing for these classic Zeppelin songs. Not only will everything in this video be based off of the minor scale, but it’s all based off of the A minor pentatonic scale. These riffs all going to be in the same key, which will help show how Page applies multiple areas of the scale into iconic rock and roll riffs using everyone’s favorite rock and roll scale; the pentatonic scale.
Riff 1: Heartbreaker
Riff one is none other than the famous, Heartbreaker riff. All based out of pentatonic, box 4, which is similar to the open position, A minor scale. So to explain what position 4 means, there are 5 positions, also called boxes because of the patterns, and he is using the 4th one. This specific pattern is played with the 3rd fret on the low e string, the 6th string, which is also where this riff starts. But Robert first explains the scale. He starts with an open 6th string to the 3rd fret on the 6th string, then an open 5th string also to the 3rd fret, then on the 4th string, he plays an open 4th string to the 2nd fret, and then same happens on the 3rd string, an open 3rd string to the 2nd fret. On the 2nd string there is no open note, he plays the 1st fret to the 3rd, and on the 1st string he play an open to the 3rd fret. See the video at 1:30 for a walk through of which fingers to use. As for the riff itself, you’ll notice that Jimmy is adding some outside notes, too, to spice it up a bit!
So first Jimmy bends the 3rd fret on the low e string, one half step. Then straight to an open A, which is the open 5th string and then he also bends the 3rd fret on the 5th string a half step down. So far everything has been strictly inside the pentatonic box, in where he places his fingers, though he does bend them a half step which puts them out of the scale. But when he gets to the 4th string is when he actually leave the box shape.
On the 4th string he plays the 1st fret and then the 2nd, the 1st fret being out of the box shape, and then he ends on the 3rd fret 6th string. When he repeats this riff, he plays 4 open A notes, which is the open 5th string. Then the riff is almost the same, he bends the 5h string 3rd fret, plays an open 4th string, but then straight to the 4th string 1st and 2nd frets, also ending on the 3rd fret 6th string.
Then just repeat! If you are enjoying learning these Jimmy Page licks be sure to check out our other video for how to play the intro to Strange Brew, for another bluesy lead to add to your repertoire.
Riff 2: The Ocean
Now for another one of many great Jimmy Page Riffs! The main riff from The Ocean. This riff is also based off of the A minor pentatonic scale, however, this time we are focusing on box 1. See the video above at 4:38 for a walk through of how to play this scale shape. Our root is on the 6th string 5th fret, and I’ll explain string by string. On the 6th string he plays the 5th fret to the 8th, on the 5th string, the 5th fret to the 7th, on the 4th string the 5th fret to the 7th, the 3rd string, the 5th fret to the 7th, the 2nd string the 5th fret to the 8th, and on the 1st string the 5th fret to the 8th.
To start this riff he plays the 7th fret 4th string twice, 5th fret also on the string, then 7th fret on the 5th string, and 8th fret on the 6th string. On the 8th fret 6th string, Jimmy adds a slide down the neck to give this riff an extra rock and roll edge. The he rakes his pick down the strings, muting them, both down and up. The he ends by picking the 5th string 5th fret, then the 5th string 7th fret. Then he plays the 5th fret 4th string, back to the 5th string to pick both the 5th and 7th frets again, ending this phrase with by picking the 7th fret 4th string. For the last part he goes all the way back to the 4th fret 5th string to the 7th fret 4th string then the 5th string 5th fret, and ending with our last note, the 7th fret 4th string.
Riff 3: Black Dog
The final Riff of Robert’s Jimmy Page lessons, the very famous “Black Dog” riff. This riff is also based off of the Pentatonic shape 1, which we just went over for “The Ocean” There’s a couple of different ways to play this riff, it’s the same notes, but there are different ways you can choose to phrase it. In this lesson, Robert, shows how to play it where we will drift out of position a little and venture into box 2 of the pentatonic scale by sliding up.
To start this riff Jimmy plays the 7th fret 5th string, then he drops to the 4th string and plays the 5th fret, 6th, and 7th, and then goes right back to the first note he played, 7th fret 5th string. So he added a nice, quick chromatic passage.
Playing something chromatic means the notes are all next to each other, there’s no space between them. The he goes to the 5th fret 3rd string to the 7th fret 4th string. Now Robert shifts up and plays the 7th fret to the 9th fret on the 3rd string, leaving the pentatonic box, pattern 1. He now returns back to pattern 1 with a hammer on pull off. He does a hammer on on frets 5 to 7, also on the 3rd string, and pulls back off from the 7th fret to the 5th, still on the 3rd string. Now to the 7th fret 4th string and he picks twice. Then he goes to the 5th fret 3rd string back to the 7th fret 4th string
Ending this riff by going to the 4th string 5th fret to the 7th fret and picking twice on the 7th fret. Then he moves up to the 5th string, also picking the 5th fret and then the 7th. Then shifting into box number 5 by picking frets 3 to 7 on the 5th string, ending it all with an A chord. And then one more A!
Recap: Learn 3 Jimmy Page Style Guitar Licks
A great, detailed walk-through of 3 killer Jimmy Page riffs! If you aren’t familiar with the scale shapes used in this video, make sure to check the timecode given for where to see them demonstrated. Remember to pay attention to detail and see how Jimmy transforms what seems like an overused scale into some of the most popular riffs off all time! Pay attention to detail, practice slowly first, and of course, as always, have fun!