Guitar Lesson 8: Unpacking the riffs, licks and styles of Jimmy Page and Gary Moore

I’m really excited about this lesson, not only because I listened so much to these two players when I was first becoming inspired about guitar in my youth but also the clarity with which Dan picks out so much useful information about them for me!  I ask Dan about the styles of two players which he has studied in the hope that I can benefit from the time he spent absorbing their method.  We settle on Jimmy Page and Gary Moore and now that I have gone away and collected further resources together in this website, there is enough here to keep me (and hopefully many other guitarists) busy long into the future.

I did struggle to keep up with the pace, but I really appreciate how much Dan pushes me and challenges me both in my playing and mentally.  Dan begins by sharing 5 Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin riffs and then we examine how Jimmy Page puts together his solos. Then I find myself being pushed to recall some of Gary Moore’s popular melodic solos and studying his virtuoso technique.  All in all, this podcast episode should appeal to guitar players whatever their genre and skill level.



This post is a chronological overview of our lesson, but I have also added YouTube tutorials which I found useful to help me to learn the riffs, licks and solos. I also include some guitar covers which demonstrate some of the techniques we discuss in our podcast.  So listen to the podcast, absorb it, then use this blog as an additional resource to practise some of the ideas, concepts and techniques and listen to the versions I have linked. Finally, I would appreciate any comments, thoughts or suggestions and encourage you to follow this website to keep informed about future episodes.

Some of Dan’s playing and clips from the lesson:

“DOWN THE BLUES SCALE” as a demonstration of stuttering rhythms:

ERIC JOHNSON inspired lick:

Outline of this podcast episode – Guitar Lesson 8: Unpacking the riffs, licks and styles of Jimmy Page and Gary Moore:

  1. We begin by discussing the styles of a few players including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.  I list some players who I really like and Dan does the same.  With so many players to choose from, we eventually turn our attention to Jimmy Page at Dan’s suggestion.
  2. I love Led Zeppelin and these tunes are deeply engrained into my psyche, however, I don’t think I have ever sat down and worked out how to play these riffs.  You will see links for each riff which I used after the lesson to go back over what we had learned and study it for myself.  Thanks to ‘Shutup and Play’ and  ‘Guitar Lessons 365’ for these brilliant videos.
    1. The riff for Whole Lotta Love (at 9 minutes 30 seconds)
      Whole Lotta Love – Shutup and Play
    2. Immigrant Song (at 11 minutes 20 seconds) and use the open E string.
      Immigrant Song – Shutup and Play
    3. Communication Breakdown (at 14 minutes). Use the full chord!
      Guitar Lessons 365 – Communication Breakdown 2 riffs
    4. Heartbreaker (at 15 minutes 55 seconds)
      Guitar Lessons 365 – Heartbreaker lesson
    5. Black Dog (at 17 minutes 15 seconds)
      Black Dog – Shutup and Play
  3. Dan now explains some ways in which Jimmy Page composes his guitar licks and solos and gives me some ideas to look into further.  The first idea to explore is his stuttering rhythms (21 minutes – Dan uses Eddie Van Halen’s way to describe this as “falling down the stairs and landing on his feet”) and the second idea is the technique of overbending and then returning to the target pitch.  We look at the Whole Lotta Love solo (Again, ‘shut up and play’ covers this well)
  4. Finally we look at some ideas which Gary Moore used in his playing (26 minutes 30 seconds).  I absolutely love Gary Moore’s energetic and exciting playing and tone – see the video linked at the bottom of this post for an incredible interview with the man himself.  We start by examining two very similar Blues Rock songs of his – Still Got the Blues from his ‘Still Got the Blues’ album and Parisienne Walkways (29 minutes 30 seconds) from his ‘Back on the Streets’ album (featuring some vocals from Thin Lizzy’s frontman – Phil Lynnott.
  5. Finally we look at some ideas which Gary Moore used in his playing, including the use of open strings, hammering on to notes and pedalling to the open string (35 minutes), and Celtic riffs.
    • Walking by Myself solo – Guitar Force – solo tuition Walking by Myself
    • I also found this superb G Force solo cover which has some great techniques in it including Gary Moore’s classic trilling technique and hammering on and off, some pinch harmonics and his use of the tremelo – Because of Your Love
    • Dan briefly compared Gary Moore’s use of hammering on and pulling off to open strings with the riff from Iron Maiden Wasted Years (cover) (38 minutes 20 seconds)
    • Cyclic licks (38 minutes 40 seconds)
    • Emerald – Guitar cover
    • We then look at the riff and solo for Over the Hills and Far Away (41 minutes 25 seconds)
    • And finally Dan introduced me to the intro for Murder in the Skies – see a great cover here. (44 minutes)

Do spend some time absorbing the videos below, particularly Gary Moore’s amazing playing on this live version of Parisienne Walkways.  It is superb! Check it out and enjoy his tone:

A great live version of ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ and below  a great interview with Gary Moore:

When researching, I found this great acoustic version.  It really retains the atmosphere of the song and is a superb cover:

Our philosophy: Our podcast and blog has organically grown and I do appreciate all feedback, follows, likes and suggestions.  It is now meant to be used as a way of introducing some ideas and themes which are useful to be aware of as you develop your practice on your guitar.  Hopefully, you’ll find them useful in the audio format which we release them in as this way you can listen while doing another task and then use the suggestions we raise in each episode to do some extra research and practise of your own.  It is my hope that you find this a useful listening exercise, to support the development of your musical ear.  It is good to think that you, our listeners, are not immediately looking for tabs, but rather using your ear to find the notes yourself.  This is so important to develop your feel, phasing and dynamics and can be lost if you spend too much time relying on tabs.

The way I myself find these lessons useful is to study in great depth what Dan introduces me too, including guidance on who or what to listen to, and I feel lucky that I can return to each lesson and not forget all his excellent advice as was the case prior to the recording of our lessons.  I also find studying my own mistakes hugely valuable, I hope you do too 🙂

I plan to continue producing posts for each podcast episode, linking in some guitar lesson videos from online tutors and guitar covers from players out there.  I hope that you will find our lessons and blog useful and that we help you to see the big picture.  I certainly think that I could have organised my own practice to be more effective earlier in my own learning and if this had been the case, then I would have developed my skills more quickly and easily.  For further ideas about this I would encourage you to spend some time looking at my article on guitar practice, apps and software and then dedicate some time NOW into learning to recognise intervals, rhythms and chords by ear.  This will hugely fast-track your learning.

I hope you enjoy this lesson as much as I did and that you keep listening.  If you want to support us further, then like us on Facebook, follow us on SoundCloud, Twitter or Google+ and subscribe, rate and review on iTunes  to help us conquer the Apple algorithms.  You can also follow my online magazine: Lessons and Gear for Guitar Geeks and Fanatics

Good luck on your musical journey!

Gary and Dan 🙂

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