How to Play Like Jimmy Page
Today in this Guitar Control video, instructor, Robert Baker if going to show you how to play like Jimmy Page! Robert is going to break down 3 classic Jimmy Page pentatonic licks. He has so many great ones that have just become staples over the years. So it’s a very good idea to take notes from jimmy Page, the man himself, and study his approach to tackle the pentatonic scale and how he makes it his own. Robert has picked three different licks today that also range in different difficulties. The first one is a pretty easy lick, the second one is starting to get a little bit more difficult, and the final one is probably one of Jimmy’s more complicated pentatonic runs he does.
Step 1: Lick One
First off in learning how to play like Jimmy Page, our first lick comes from the Zeppelin classic, Since I’ve Been Loving You. For this lick Jimmy has a very simple, but powerful approach, and has a really nice slow bend in it. This lick is in C minor pentatonic, if you don’t know this scales, Robert demonstrates it at about the 1 minute mark. All 3 of these licks are actually out of the box 1 pentatonic scale, but they are all in different keys. This means we will learn one box pattern and shift it to different spots on the beck for the 3 different licks. So it’s easy in a sense where we learn one shape, but it will be slightly challenging at first learning how to adapt and move the same box to different keys. It becomes very simple, however, once you learn the notes on the 6th and 5th strings. To Play the C minor pentatonic scale in box one, start with you pointer playing the 6th string 8th fret and your pinky grabbing the 6th string 11th fret, then for the 5th 4th and 3rd strings use your pointer to play the 8th fret and your ring finger to play the 10th, on the 2nd and 1st strings you will go back to pointer grabbing the 8th fret and pinky getting the 11th fret.
Lick one starts with Robert using his pointer to bar the 2nd and 1st strings. To bar somethings means to use one finger but hold down multiple notes with it. So in this case, we are barring the 2nd and 1st strings with our pointer. With his bar down he now picks the 2nd string first and then the 1st string. He kind of rolls his finger down to get the 8th fret on the 1st string. Then he reaches up with his pinky to the 2nd string 11th fret and then back to the 8th fret 2nd string. You can use either your pinky or ring to reach out to the 2nd string 11th fret. Robert uses his pinky in this lick, but notes that he does often use his ring finger for similar licks so either is truly fine, whatever is most comfortable to you. Why he uses his ring finger usually is because he tends to bend with his ring finger, the ring finger is better for bends or can be more comfortable because naturally it is just a stronger finger than the pinky. Now go back to the 11th fret 2nd string and now bend it very slowly. He is bending up to the root, a C. This is a full step bend and then he adds lots of vibrato on it when it’s in the air. If you are enjoying Roberts Jimmy Page lick lesson, be sure to check out his lesson on how to play Jimmy Page style guitar chords
Step 2: Lick 2
Lick two is probably Jimmy Page’s most epic and famous pentatonic lick that is at the beginning of his Stairway To Heaven solo. It’s almost all pentatonic, there is one note that isn’t, which we will be talking about, but it is basically based out of the Box 1 A minor pentatonic shape. So same shape we used before in C, but now rooted on the 6th string 5th fret, which is an A note. So on the 6th string you play the 6th string n 5th fret with your pointer and the 6th string 8th fret with your ring finger, for strings 5, 4, and 3 you will play the 5th fret with your pointer and the 7th with your ring finger, for the 2nd and 1st string you will go back to playing the 5th fret with your pointer and the 8th with your pinky. This lick is a descending run, so you will also want to make sure you can turn this scale around and play it backwards since he will be doing that in the song. This solo is strictly pentatonic except for the very last note where he steps out of the box but it also makes this specific lick sounds weird and different, and stand out and give it that Jimmy Page special touch and style.
Start by bending the 7th fret 3rd string a full step. To check your bend, pick the 9th fret and listen to that note. We are going to match that notes pitch on the 7th fret, by bending it until it is exactly what the 9th fret sounds like when picked. The pitches will be the same buy the vibe and fell of picking a note and bending a note to a pitch are very different. Robert uses his third finger for this bend, and then goes straight to picking the 5th fret 1st string with his pointer holding it down. Then he pulls off the 8th fret to the 5th on the 2nd string using pinky to pointer. Then go to the 7th fret 3rd string with your ring finger and pull off to the 5th string 3rd fret. You are almost walking straight down the pentatonic scale at this point. Then pick the 7th fret 4th string, and here is where it gets a little bit tricky, you have to roll your ring finger back to that 7th fret on the 3rd string and then pull off back to the 5th fret. Then pull off the 7th fret to the 5th on the 4th string, ending with the 8th fret on the 6th string with your pinky, and of course, lots of vibrato and feel. Such a great, iconic Jimmy Page lick. This lick is all A minor except when he lands on the 8th fret on the 5th string which is not part of the A minor pentatonic scale, it is part of A minor. Robert mentions that we will worry about that later, but wants to make sure you know that most of the notes we’re strictly A minor pentatonic with the exception of that one.
Step 3: Lick 3
Now for the final lick of the lesson which is from Good Times Bad Times, this is one of Jimmy’s more challenging pentatonic runs. He kicks of this run with a super fast, shreddy lick that has lots of repetition and a pattern to it’s madness. This lick is again, pentatonic box 1 but now in the E minor position. To play box 1 in E minor, start on the 6th string pointer on the 6th string 12th fret to pinky on the 15th fret, on the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings use your pointer to play the 12th fret and your ring finger to play the 14th fret, then back to pointer on the 12th fret and pinky on the 15th for the 2nd and 1st strings. This is another descending lick so make sure you can play this scale shape both up and down. This lick starts off with the 12th fret on the 1st string followed by the 15th fret pulled off to 12th fret on the 2nd string. Then pick the 14th fret 3rd string. Then back to the 12th fret on the 2nd string, then back to the 14th fret on the 3rd string, and then back to the 12th fret on the 2nd string. Then go to the 14th fret 3rd string and pull off to the 12th fret. Then pull off the 14th fret to the 12th fret on the 3rd string again. Then go to the 14th fret on the 3rd string, and now here is where you are going to see a pattern here, so we were on the 14th fret 3rd string and now we are going to go to the 12th fret 3rd string. Then back to the 4th string and go to the 14th fret and pull off to the 12th fret, twice. Now you’re going to go to the 14th fret 5th string. Back to the 12th fret 4th string, then go to the 5th string and go to the 14th fret pull off to the 12th fret, twice. Then slide your finger out of the E minor pentatonic box 1 to the 5th string 10th fret. 12th fret pull off to the 10th fret on the 5th string and then 12th fret pull off to the 10th fret on the 6th string, back to the 12th fret 6th string. He actually might walk it up chromatically, which would be 10th fret to 11th, to 12th. To play something chromatically means the notes are right next to one another. Now I know we did shift out of box 1 at the end there and went into box 5, but this lick is mostly all in box 1.
Recap: How To Play Like Jimmy Page
I hope you enjoyed Robert Baker’s lesson demonstrating how to play like Jimmy Page. Robert gives us tons of cool tips to rock the pentatonic scale like icon Jimmy Page and does so in three different levels of difficulty! Remember to pay attention to detail, to master the pentatonic box 1 and be able to move it to our three different keys, and to play these licks slowly before speeding them up. And of course, as always… have fun!