by Steph Lexner
Jimmy Page remains the quintessential riffmeister of rock, as documented by the success of Led Zeppelin, arguably the most popular rock band of the seventies. During his Zep period, Pagey also served us some memorable solos, including one that is the focus of this week’s lick. Heavily inspired by the song “Since I’ve been lovin’ you” from Led Zeppelin’s third release, this lick showcases Jimmy Page’s emotionally charged playing in a slow minor blues context.
Based in the key of C minor, the phrase starts with some whole-note bends, in the blues tradition of Albert and BB King. Page makes use of the C minor pentatonic scale (C-Eb-F-G-Bb) emphasizing the high G, then repeats the motif throughout bar 1 for added effect. In bar 2, Page switches to F dorian (F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D-Eb), and gives us a descending F minor arpeggio in the first beat, sweeping the top 3 strings with a single upstroke. The phrase finishes with an angry 2-step bend from Eb to G on the second string -watch the pitch! - that eventually resolves to the tonic C in bar 3.