Learn To Play 5 Led Zeppelin 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.
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.