Led Zeppelin

IsaacIsaac Posts: 3,088
edited December 1969 in Songwriting
led zep was the first band that realy got me into music big time. the first thing i ever played on a guitar ever was the vocal melody in stairway to heaven, the first thing i played when i got an electric guitar and an amp was the riff to heartbreaker. i love led zeppelin. they're easily the most unique and creative band out there, and it couldn't exist without the massive musical entities that are plant, page, jones, and bonham. no substitutes have ever captured the magic that zep has. pages use of different textures, light and dark, heavy and subtle, the dynamics of it all really shaped my songwriting. everytime i listen to a zep album, new things jump out at me. melodies underneath the layers of guitars, the raw heavieness of pages riffs (considering it was the 70s), the interplay with the drums and bass in conjuction with the guitar, etc. led zeppelin will forever be remembered as changing and influencing all rock/metal music that came after it. hey, we wouldn't have deep purple's machine head if it weren't zep. what i really want to know is how did led zeppelin affect YOUR songwriting and musical outlook? share your stories and tell everyone what you think are great led zep classics, and why.

i'm into "in the light" right now. the intricate acoustic melodies coupled with powerful lyrics and a really catchy melodic solo make for a great led zeppelin song. 


  • Well, there is the Sunburst Les Paul, and for years I wore it too low. I think I switched from bass to guitar because of Jimmy.

    My songwriting . . . . I don't know. I think whatever Zep influence is undoubtedly in me, is subconscious.  The only time I consciously thought that a part of a song was Zeppy was in the intro part of T-Rection. The heavily phased acoustic intro reminded me (sonically) of the Page/Plant version of No Quarter -- if not other Zep things. That's the only tangible one I can point my finger at currently. OTOH, with my new studio back in the works, I'll be writing and recording again, and my Zep influence will undoubtedly rear it's head again.
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • JasonJason Posts: 1,931
    Movable chords. I think they're called open chords but someone will confirm this. I stumbled upon this while learning chords awhile ago. I wanted to see which chords I could move up the neck without barring and I discovered the dmajor shape and emajor shape etc. Unfortunately moving the gmajor shape doesn't work too well.  :chuckle:
    I'm not sure which particular Zeppelin song I got it from, but I think Jimmy uses it a lot, especially on slide and in those other tunings.
    A7 chord:
    Sometimes I'll whack the low E an A strings, but it depends if I hear that it sounds in tune or not.
    This is featured in one of my songs.

    Other than that...I think I always played off the drums, Zeppelin influence or not. Uhm, some of my stage moves are Zep influenced, but the one I use the most is when I bend a note up, I lift my picking hand and point upwards. I actually did this before I saw Jimmy do it on DVD, and thought I was cool, using a disco move in rock.
  • merlo_zeppelinmerlo_zeppelin Posts: 1,402
    hey Isaac +1 for you I didnt know you were such a Zep fan, Im so into them myself, I really really like Zepp, a lot. I get a lot into the atmosphere and the vibe they create in the songs. Some things that just blow  my mind are thing like Since Ive been loving you, it has a really complex harmonic structure so far away from your typical blues, the turnaround is just awesome, and the emotional display of the songs is really amazing. I ve diggin deep on Page`s tunings like things like Rain Songs, Kashmir, Bron Y-Aur, its all really well tought out stuff. I also like songs like Ten Years Gone, or the Rover that have this really complex strucutre with lots of tension and releases, and full of melody everyhwhere, Pagey and the guys were true masters, and the "zepics" are well Ill never understand how to write those stuff, Stairway, I know its really burned out song for a lot of you guys, but not here, it stills knock me very time I listen it.
  • IsaacIsaac Posts: 3,088
    thanks merlo!

    i've been on a old school dino kick lately. lotsa led zep, the who, pink floyd, deep purple, and ozzy era sabbath spinning right now. after listening to almost purely 80s metal for about a year, this 70s stuff is a joy. dont get me wrong, i love metal especially the 80s stuff, and its my favourite type of music for sure, but that music kinda weras you out. the dynamics aren't as strong IMHO, even with the most dynamic metal bands. that stuff is great for guitar oriented stuff, and improving your lead playing and riffs, but for overall enjoyment of the music and songwriting, 70s stuff is the winner for sure.

    after i posted this thread, i decided to learn a chunk of a song that i believe is one of the most beautiful and original pieces of music recorded, so i tuned my acoustic to DGCGCD and learned the intro to... the rain song. man, that song is so beautiful :boohoo:. the complex chords and arangement are pure genius.

  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,701
    Nice to see so much love for Led Zep.
    Page is really a genius of harmony & chord voicing. I know that his lead playing is less revered nowadays, but when I started playing, he was considered as a god. I find him so much more interesting than many contemporary technical monsters...

    My favorite LZ songs are:
    - Achille's last stand  (THIS is godlike guitar playing in my book)
    - Since I've been loving you (lots of drama and melody under the seemingly simple blues... )
    - Ten Years Gone
    - Dazed and Confused
    - No Quarter... wait, no, Stairway... no, Heartbreaker....    the list goes on...

  • LegacyLegacy Posts: 878
    They were my favorite band and probably the first Dino-band I ever heard, I remember a friend of mine buying me LZ II for my 13th birthday, and I couldn't put it down for one second.

    When everyone got hyped up about the LZ reunion it kind of threw me off them a bit, and there were a lot of arseholes on the LZ forum as well.

    Though I still love them, they were so powerful.

    Jimmy Page was my guitar hero for a good couple of years.

    I remember just always watching the Stairway To Heaven video from Earls Court in 1975, that was just an amazing perfomance.

    When The Levee Breaks was probably one of my favorite Zep tracks, I just got blown away by it when I first heard it.

    In My Time Of Dying, Achilles Last Stand, The Ocean and countless others, superb!

    No doubt probably some of the best songwriters ever.

  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,701
    [quote author=Legacy link=topic=8066.msg120455#msg120455 date=1236090419]
    I remember just always watching the Stairway To Heaven video from Earls Court in 1975, that was just an amazing perfomance.

  • LegacyLegacy Posts: 878
    The Song Remains The Same version is great as well.

    Have you heard the Earls Court version? Page does a great improvised extended solo.

  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,701
    [quote author=Legacy link=topic=8066.msg120467#msg120467 date=1236098370]
    The Song Remains The Same version is great as well.

    Have you heard the Earls Court version? Page does a great improvised extended solo.


    Nice. I haven't been able to find it...  thank you.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    Big Fan here too .

    I can't listen to the SRTS version . That slightly out of tune G string just irritates me to the point of distraction . :chainsaw:

    Otherwise Jimmy Page rules . :metal:
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,144
    When I was getting serious about learning guitar, I was also discovering Led Zeppelin. The Led Zeppelin Complete songbook, which was the first five albums, was like a bible. The riffs, like "Whole Lotta Love" and "Out on the Tiles," were what really got to me. But when it came to songwriting, I took more of an influence from the acoustic stuff like "Ramble On" and "Going to California."
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • mr_crowleymr_crowley Posts: 6,582
    I think we all in some ways have been influenced by Led Zeppelin in our songwriting.

    Myself I haven't been direct influenced by them but lots of the artists I admire and have been influenced by have been influenced by Led Zeppelin in the first place.

    Although I think they are among the most overrated bands on this planet (please don't hate me) I can appreciate most of their stuff. I saw one old live shows (that one from '73 that is on some DVD) when it was broadcasted on Swedish television and thought it was pretty cool.
    Black Dog and Immigrant Song are my favs. About Black Dog I would love to hear that guitar-riff in between the sung parts harmonised. Would sound killer I think...

    And without Robert Plant the "rules" about how a frontman acts would be completely different. He sat the standard :up:
  • DargavelDargavel Posts: 601
    [quote author=mr_crowley link=topic=8066.msg120684#msg120684 date=1236367292]
    I think we all in some ways have been influenced by Led Zeppelin in our songwriting.

    couldn't agree more, crowley. I owe a lot to Page in my acoustic work, and although I write unique compositions, I can't help but letting a lot of zep slip in. There are always going to be the many aspects of my soloing that are owed to Page, but many of the techniques that he popularized have become so commonplace that they aren't necessarily immediately related to Page. That being said, when writing a really good riff or solo, nobody's more than a few degrees of separation away from Page. The other thing that I've noticed lately is my tendency to play off the drummer when we're jamming. It really helps with my phrasing, and I can think of few who did this better than Page in his time.
  • VandenbergVandenberg Posts: 3,873
    I agree with pretty much all that has been said and the ZEP has an impact on all the I do songwriting wise, just because of how the did what they did, abit like the Beatles and the JHE for me, however as regards to frontmen, I think Roger Daltrey may have a few things to say about setting the Standards, as he was doing the Plant a couple of years before Robert, so the rules are not def with the rubber, a nod to the mod is required.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,492
    Was just looking over this old thread and looking back on the question "how did led zeppelin affect YOUR songwriting and musical outlook", I have to laugh at what I said 6 years ago:
    I think whatever Zep influence is undoubtedly in me, is subconscious.

    A lot has changed for me musically since I said that.  Having started back playing seriously, being in a band again, writing songs and producing them, I think I can now safely say that Zeppelin and more specifically Page is a fucking, huge, conscious influence on MUCH of what I do.

    The Zep influence is in everything from how and why we picked our drummer (his Bonham-like kick drum sound), to the kind of band we created, to my ideas for guitar riffs and songs, to loads of my production ideas.  In fact, as big a guitar influence Page is on me, he is an even bigger influence on me  as a producer.  Shortly after I originally posted on this thread, I wrote and recorded So Far to Go which had strong Zep influence. And more recently, I wrote Hudson Valley Stomp which is basically a love letter to Jimmy Page both the player and even moreso, the producer. There are so many times when we're either tracking or mixing and I think to try some idea I learned from Jimmy. Either as something as I've planned ahead of time, or it comes to me on the spur of the moment.

    So 6 years later (based on significantly more data points  :chuckle:), I can revise my original statement and say that when I'm making music, the influence of Jimmy Page is pretty much always sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. Sometimes I let it run totally free, other times it's more subtle, but it's always there.  

    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
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