Learn To Play 5 Led Zeppelin Riffs

What can you say about Led Zeppelin? great musicians, great songs and great hair, well maybe not so much these days 😂
Joking aside Led zeppelin are one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock bands in history with so many GREAT riffs and below you will find 5 of these great riffs for you to learn.
These five riffs have been taken from a workshop I delivered a couple of months ago. To watch the full workshop and access 46 other workshops come and join the academy for a 14-day trial for just $1, click here to sign up.
Ok, on to the riffs…

1: Communication Breakdown

Communication Breakdown is a great riff for level two students to practice their open power chords as it contains E5, A5 & D5 open power chords. The only problem is the speed, at 178bpm it isn’t slow. Use a metronome and start slow gradually increasing the speed and you will get it in no time.

2: Whole Lotta Love

Us English folk will remember this riff as the theme tune to Top of The Pops.  In case you are wondering Top of The Pops was a music chart television programme, made by the BBC back when people brought music.

Whole Lotta Love if not number one always features in the top 5 greatest riffs of all time. The riff uses an E5 power chord and the E minor pentatonic scale and like most great riffs it doesn’t seem too hard but to get the right sound will take time so be patient and listen to the song to pick up the nuances.

3: Kashmir

This riff uses Drop D tuning. Drop D tuning is where you simply have to tune your low E string down to a D note. Drop D tuning is a common tuning and can be heard in many songs such as Everlong by The Foo Fighters, Killing in The Name by Rage Against The Machine and Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana. 

The riff requires you to only play the A & G strings so is great to help build up your strumming hand accuracy. You will also need to have good left-hand muting to make sure that when you are strumming you only hear two strings rather than all six.

4: Black Dog

Black Dog was written by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones who was inspired after listening to Muddy Waters controversial 1968 album Electric Mud. The riff uses the A minor pentatonic scale and includes some lead techniques such as hammer-ons, pull-offs and quarter-tone bends. 

As usual, start slow with this one while slowly building up the speed making sure you are paying particular attention to your fretting hand accuracy. 

5: Heartbreaker

The Heartbreaker riff starts in the A Blues scale which is then moved up to the B Blues scale and then back to A Blues as the riff unfolds. Heartbreaker has inspired many musicians over the years including Eddie Van Halen who once claimed that the Heartbreaker solo was the origin behind his tapping technique. In an interview with Guitar World, he said:
“I think I got the idea of tapping watching Jimmy Page do his Heartbreaker solo back in 1971. He was doing a pull-off to an open string, and I thought wait a minute, open string … pull off. I can do that, but what if I use my finger as the nut and move it around? I just kind of took it and ran with it.”
I hope you enjoyed these riffs and had fun learning them.