Guitar Instructor Lick of the Week 01-11-2011
Posted by Michael Mueller on January 11, 2011 at 8:02 PM
Since Jimmy Page celebrated his 67th birthday this past Sunday (1/9/2011), Led Zeppelin has enjoyed a considerable amount of time playing in my iTunes library. Even though it's not their most popular song, Zeppelin's cover of the Willie Dixon classic "You Shook Me" (Led Zeppelin I) is a defining example of the band's affinity for the blues.
Most of the guitar parts in "You Shook Me" are played with a slide, but starting on the last beat of bar 4 in the solo, Pagey lets loose with some fiery traditionally picked E blues scale (E-G-A-Bb-B-D) licks that presage some of signature lines from "Whole Lotta Love" on Led Zeppelin II. In the lick below, which is based on those opening picked salvos in bar 5 of the solo, we see how Page included diatonic tones like the major 3rd (G#), 6th (C#), and 9th (F#) to create the hybrid blues-Mixolydian scale (E-F#-G-G#-A-Bb-B-C#-D) favored by bluesmen like B.B. King and Freddie King. Perhaps the most recognizable phrase is the opening chromatic descent, which is famously heard in the aforementioned "Whole Lotta Love." It's an evergreen move that oozes so much cool factor that when you use it in your own solos, people will say, "Hey, he's ripping off Jimmy Page there ... Cool!"