Jimmy Page’s Most Popular Solos and A Deeper Look into His Style

Every now and then, all guitar blues fans, especially those of us who are also playing or learning to play, should take a look into the style of a major guitar legend for a beautiful source of inspiration (and perhaps also motivation to keep practicing). The latest such source of inspiration presented here was Johnny Winter, unfortunately under the sad circumstances of his departure, but today’s choice is definitely very much still alive and kicking. Jimmy Page has been described as one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all times, the wildest guitar hero or the pontiff of power riffing, and the fact that he’s still alive makes these distinctions be all the more powerful somehow. We rarely hear such undoubtedly absolute appreciations about people who are still around and not conveniently shrouded by the mystifying layer of history separating them from us.

Jimmy_Page_-_A.R.M.S._Concert,_Oakland,_Ca._1983

Born in 1944, Jimmy Page activated in the music business with more than one act, but he is mostly associated with the band which propelled him to his current fame, the band which he founded in 1968, Led Zeppelin. He acted as both a producer and a musician within the band, heavily contributing to its unique style and blend of heavy metal, hard rock, folk influences, blues and acoustic guitar. Jimmy Page’s own style as a guitarist, both within the band and by himself in the post-zeppelin era, is legendary in itself. There are so many things regarded as being so Jimmy Page, that it’s actually hard to pick just a few to start with, but here goes a short list of techniques or moments that made his aura within the blues guitar community what it is today.

First of all, the double guitar riffs and harmonies have to be mentioned before anything else. As you can notice in the picture above, taken within the outstanding performance in Oakland in 1983, sometimes, one guitar wasn’t enough for Jimmy. His dual guitar harmonies then influenced  whole generation of new musicians, like Tom Schultz from Boston, but even if anyone were to perform it as well as the original (though it hasn’t happened so far), the world would still call it Jimmy’s move. The great thing about it, beyond the boldness of the attempt and the previously unseen improvisation and creativity, is how surprisingly good it actually sounded. Each time you will search for and watch a video of his dual harmony stunts that will be the thing that will surprise you the most: how truly harmonious it indeed sounds.

Next, his famous guitar solos shouldn’t be overlooked, as they contributed to teaching the next generation of various musicians how to take bits of Jimmy Page’s style and transport them into their own style. No one is as complex as the original, but mastering just a bit of the guy’s techniques is still a huge deal. His solo during “Stairway to Heaven”, for example, is considered the ultimate masterpiece of guitar riff playing and of acoustic down-stroke picking, two of Page’s favorite techniques. Another one of his legendary solos within the song “Heartbreaker” is considered an inspiration for the two-hand tapping technique displayed by Page throughout it, a technique which musicians like Eddie Van Halen or Steve Vai took a while to emulate.

His double-necked Gibson EDS-1275 guitar which Page sported I concerts all-throughout the late seventies and eighties became a cult icon of guitar-oriented popular culture. Any blues or hard rock fan would recognize the shape of that guitar and its statement value anywhere. A grad student even named a new species of fish after it in 2010, because the fish’s fin reminded him of that famous double necked-guitar. All in all, few blues guitarists can ever dream of achieving at least a bit of Jimmy Page’s glory, or a fraction of how mind-blowing his guitar solos were and are.

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