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Zep Slide

Posted: August 8th, 2005, 8:04 am
by Ricochet
My blues purist buddies'd drum me out for this, but I love Led Zeppelin! A great favorite of mine has always been their version of "When The Levee Breaks." (An old Memphis Minnie song, but while they used her lyrics, the feel of the music is totally different.) But I'd never learned to play it. Listened to it yesterday evening and decided it was in G, and sounded like Open G. Just for curiosity's sake, I looked on the Web to see what had been tabbed out for it. Found a single tab that's been reproduced all over the place, showing it in a weird tuning, EACFAC. I think that's probably bogus, but whatever. Anyway, it's totally easy in Open G, and works just as well pitched down to D in Open D, moved over one string to the bass side.

I'm not experienced at tab (which I'm just typing here), but here's my interpretation of this tune:

Basic riff:

D-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-/3p0-0-0-0-/3p0-0-/3p0-/5-3p0-0-0-/3p-0--0-/3-0--------------------
G-/3p0-0-0-0-/3p0-0-/3p0-/5-3p0-0-0-/3p-0--0-/3-0--------------------
D-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Every now and then, you've got to play this one:

D-0-3/5-5-5-5-5-5/7-7-7-7-7---------------------------------------------------
B-0-3/5-5-5-5-5-5/7-7-7-7-7---------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------5\3-/5p0-5\3-/5p0---------------------------
G-----------------------------------5\3-/5p0-5\3-/5p0---------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A slide from the 12th fret down to the 3rd fret on those middle G and D strings makes a good turnaround to get you from there back to the main riff.

Then there's the "guitar solo," which is just a series of old classic Delta blues licks:

D--------12-12~~-----7-7~~--------5-5~~--10-10-10/12~~------------
B-10/12------------5/7------------3/5----------10-10-10/12~~------------
G-10/12------------5/7------------3/5------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

D-12\10---------12~~---7\5------7~~----5\3------5---/10-/10-10/12~~-
B---------10/12----------------5/7-----------------3/5-----/10-/10-10/12~~-
G-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The final riff:

D-0-0-3/5-5-5/7~~---------------------------------------------------------------
B-0-0-3/5-5-5/7~~---------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G----------------------3p0-0h3p0-0-----------------------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It also works well in Open D, DADF#AD, playing the same patterns one string over to the bass side, maybe switching which string you use tuned to an octave of the root or the fifth in a place or two. Try it and play around with it. It's got a killer growly sound out of a tube amp with a semihollowbody electric with 12s on it! Or from a tricone resonator! Really sounds like the Delta that way.

I reckon I'd better throw in David's usual disclaimer that he puts on his lessons:

These files are the author's own work and represent his interpretation of this song. They are intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.
:D

Posted: August 8th, 2005, 1:09 pm
by Big D.
Hey Ric - i LOVE Zep! Fond, misty memories of long-lost days (and nights! :shock: ) partying in the late '60's through to the mid- '70' when i had vinyl records, warm beer....and hair :wink:! I still to this day find the hairs (....well, those still there...) stand up on the back of my neck whenever i hear the slide intro to 'You Shook Me'....Ahhh :) My 'claim to fame' is accompanying old 'Percy' Plant in an impromptu slide/harp duet at our local pub (we lived in the same small village in Staffordshire) on a freezing cold Tuesday night - to an audience of 16, plus the barstaff!

Happy Slidin'

Big D.

http://www.diamondbottlenecks.com :wink:

Posted: August 8th, 2005, 2:50 pm
by Ricochet
Now, that's cool!

Zep's music has stood up well over time. My kids love it. My 17 year old boy (a fine guitarist) gets frothingly indignant whenever one of those silly MTV polls elects anyone besides Jimmy Page "The Greatest Guitarist of All Time." He plays that stuff all the time, himself.
:lol:

Posted: August 8th, 2005, 10:35 pm
by Grady Musick
Yes,,,that is way cool !!!

I also like some Zep's stuff.

Jimi Hendrix was always my favorite rocker,,,Robin Trower also.

But for me,,,that first Van Halen album was what really "Rocked my World".

Posted: August 9th, 2005, 1:43 pm
by smokindog
Page RULES as far as i'm concerned, my fav is "in my time of dying" He played that on a old danelectro guitar open G tuning( I thing he actually used open A). Black country woman was pretty cool to. Page opened my mind to the blues as well as a whole generation ( or 2 or 3 ) of kids to da blues. My nephews love led zep. :D

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 5:59 am
by teleplayer324
Zep has stodd up, In fact next month the Denver Symphony is doing a night of Led Zepplin. We got tickets, I was too curious not to go :lol:

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 6:10 am
by Ricochet
I went back and added in some stuff on my original tab. I'd forgotten to do the "guitar solo" and ending riff.

Dang, this stuff takes a long time to type manually, and it's probably going to look screwy with the spacing if viewed in a different font. I'm gonna have to get some tab software if I do this again!

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 7:31 am
by smokindog
teleplayer324 wrote:Zep has stodd up, In fact next month the Denver Symphony is doing a night of Led Zepplin. We got tickets, I was too curious not to go :lol:
That should be awesome :D

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 12:53 pm
by MattyPretends116
Thanks for that tab. You are right about the tuning. I read in a J Page interview yesterday that he played in in open G on a 12 string fender, then slowed the tape down to make it thicker. I'm going to try to arrange it in standard, I'll post it if it works out. With all the overdubs, thats a song I wish would show up in an issue of Guitar world or guitar one, which would save us all a lot of work! :D
Matt

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 1:42 pm
by Ricochet
Yeah, all I've got is just the basic core of it. Since strings 2-4 are the same in standard as in Open G, you won't have to change too much.

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 9:27 pm
by briank
What about "Hats off to Harper"? :o
That's my favorite slide blues song by Zeppelin, with "Travelling Riverside Blues" in close second place.
I think I might have to throw some Zeppelin III into the CD player- I haven't heard some Zeppelin in a while.
But "Hats of to Harper," for being a (rare) original piece of work by Zeppelin (I think), is definitely, in my opinion underrated.

Posted: August 12th, 2005, 9:45 pm
by smokindog
briank wrote:What about "Hats off to Harper"? :o
That's my favorite slide blues song by Zeppelin, with "Travelling Riverside Blues" in close second place.
I think I might have to throw some Zeppelin III into the CD player- I haven't heard some Zeppelin in a while.
But "Hats of to Harper," for being a (rare) original piece of work by Zeppelin (I think), is definitely, in my opinion underrated.
I agree :D Very much influenced by the old delta Blues men!! I'm listening to it now 8) 8)

Posted: August 13th, 2005, 3:26 am
by Vic Lewis VL
I got into the blues through listening to Zep, The Stones and Nazareth...all basically rock bands who did at least one out-and-out blues song every album. I think the first white-boys-doin'-da-blooze track that really got to me was Nazareth's version of Vigilante Man, and Manny Charlton was my first hero when it came to playing slide...Nazareth had a string of pop/rock hits, virtually every one of 'em featured Manny on Slide....

:D :D :D

Vic

Posted: August 13th, 2005, 7:47 am
by Ricochet
Foghat's version of "Terraplane Blues" is one I remember well, along with their take on "I Just Wanna Make Love To You." "Terraplane" is probably the first I recognized as being a cover of an old blues song, the original of which I'd never heard. I'd never heard Robert Johnson, either, and that was the first time I heard of him.

Posted: August 14th, 2005, 1:48 pm
by Ricochet
For anyone who hasn't yet heard it, here's a link where you can hear the original version of "When The Levee Breaks" by Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie (who were then husband and wife.) 1929, I think.
:D