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osoz

So is Jimmy Page a 'sloppy' player?

323 posts in this topic

Yes, Jimmy Page was a sloppy player. Not that he couldn't be a very fluid player, see his 1968-1971 and previous session work playing. But he consciously chose form over function with regards to his playing style and presentation. Every inch he lowered his guitar his fluidity took a hit and resulted in sloppiness. From 1975 on he had horrible pick attack on his strings. This resulted in his consistent breaking of strings, the Earls Court version of Stairway To Heaven on the dvd bares this out. I can't find it at the moment but I've read an interview article where Jimmy stated he had to adopt his playing style to incorporate the lowered guitar and stance.

Edited by tyler19

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The thing with the real low-slung guitar, wasn't that actually because Page said(I can't remember) that that was necessary

because of back or shoulder trouble ?? Also Jimmy had overlong arms and big hands. I have those attributes as well

and it's easier to play than it would seem. I mean if Jimmy was doing some serious jazz, absolutely  the guitar would be

much higher. And there are pictures from 73' where Jimmy is just a inch or two away from 77'  gunslinger. Still, it

seems rather foolish, but with my overlong arms, I can't have the guitar halfway up my chest.

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5 hours ago, Mithril46 said:

The thing with the real low-slung guitar, wasn't that actually because Page said(I can't remember) that that was necessary

because of back or shoulder trouble ?? Also Jimmy had overlong arms and big hands. I have those attributes as well

and it's easier to play than it would seem. I mean if Jimmy was doing some serious jazz, absolutely  the guitar would be

much higher. And there are pictures from 73' where Jimmy is just a inch or two away from 77'  gunslinger. Still, it

seems rather foolish, but with my overlong arms, I can't have the guitar halfway up my chest.

Regardless of ones arm length a guitar should not go lower than the waist / crotch midpoint, anything lower and you may do damage to your fretting hand in particular through the increased likelihood of tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome due to the stress of the wrist - forearm angle. Also, the lower the guitar is the lower the center of gravity which would result in an exaggeration of back problems, not a reduction of.

This also explains why when Jimmy played acoustic (sitting down) he always played spot on, even in his most messed up periods. Those acoustic sets and most BMS/WS from 77' were excellent and precise.

Jimmy had enough problem performing live while both high and drunk from 77' on, slinging the guitar that low was just sauce for the goose. Looked cool though...style over substance.

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11 hours ago, IpMan said:

Regardless of ones arm length a guitar should not go lower than the waist / crotch midpoint, anything lower and you may do damage to your fretting hand in particular through the increased likelihood of tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome due to the stress of the wrist - forearm angle. Also, the lower the guitar is the lower the center of gravity which would result in an exaggeration of back problems, not a reduction of.

This also explains why when Jimmy played acoustic (sitting down) he always played spot on, even in his most messed up periods. Those acoustic sets and most BMS/WS from 77' were excellent and precise.

Jimmy had enough problem performing live while both  high and drunk from 77 ' on, slinging the guitar that low was just sauce for the goose. Looked cool though...style over substance.

Thank you, Mel Bay.

Let's take a quick moment to summarize what we know:

LP Man = bar mitzvah, Quiceneras, & jr. High School dances

Jimmy Page = Worldwide acclaim and musical immortality

What kind of a nut climbs on this board to tell Jimmy Page how he shoulda held his guitar?  Somehow, someway, 39 years later, Page's turbulent '77 output is collected, shared and still enjoyed by apparently many despite the fact he couldn't figure out how to hold a guitar.  Go figure.

Jimmy Page, style over substance. Astute observation. I'll keep that in mind next time i spin my favs from '77.

My Les Paul has been hanging below my waist for pert near 30 years and i haven't experienced any of those symptoms. But maybe that's why i'm not playing any Quiceneras. Dios mio!

 

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2 hours ago, Badgeholder Still said:

Thank you, Mel Bay.

Let's take a quick moment to summarize what we know:

LP Man = bar mitzvah, Quiceneras, & jr. High School dances

Jimmy Page = Worldwide acclaim and musical immortality

What kind of a nut climbs on this board to tell Jimmy Page how he shoulda held his guitar?  Somehow, someway, 39 years later, Page's turbulent '77 output is collected, shared and still enjoyed by apparently many despite the fact he couldn't figure out how to hold a guitar.  Go figure.

Jimmy Page, style over substance. Astute observation. I'll keep that in mind next time i spin my favs from '77.

My Les Paul has been hanging below my waist for pert near 30 years and i haven't experienced any of those symptoms. But maybe that's why i'm not playing any Quiceneras. Dios mio!

 

What's wrong Badge, is your cat spurning your advances again? Just do what Trump does and grab that pussy. Of course it will hiss and spit, and possibly even piss on you but hey, if you're into that sort of thing who am I to judge, I just play bar mitzvahs.

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21 hours ago, IpMan said:

What's wrong Badge, is your cat spurning your advances again? Just do what Trump does and grab that pussy. Of course it will hiss and spit, and possibly even piss on you but hey, if you're into that sort of thing who am I to judge, I just play bar mitzvahs.

Don't be modest, you lay down plenty of judgements around here. And chin up - you pay bar mitzvahs, Quiceneras, and jr. High School dances.

Is there a snowball's chance you could stay on topic? You never did expound on SRV's one trick. And my cat's sexual appetite really has nothing to do with Jimmy's guitar strap.

Living in the moment, Jimmy's playing produced results reflecting honesty too raw for some listeners. He took chances to get those results and personally i'll forgive the lows because the highs are so rewarding. Generalizing this as sloppy playing mystifies me.

 

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1 hour ago, Badgeholder Still said:

Don't be modest, you lay down plenty of judgements around here. And chin up - you pay bar mitzvahs, Quiceneras, and jr. High School dances.

Is there a snowball's chance you could stay on topic? You never did expound on SRV's one trick. And my cat's sexual appetite really has nothing to do with Jimmy's guitar strap.

Living in the moment, Jimmy's playing produced results reflecting honesty too raw for some listeners. He took chances to get those results and personally i'll forgive the lows because the highs are so rewarding. Generalizing this as sloppy playing mystifies me.

 

I can't believe you took the bar mitzvahs and Quinceanera bit seriously. C'mon man. I never claimed to be Jimmy Page or even Jimmy Fallon on guitar, I play in a local bar band and we enjoy ourselves. 

SRV's one trick was he played in a consistent blues style, he was no Page, he did not push any boundaries. Was he an amazing player hell yes, did I enjoy his music, hell yes, I just commented that I did not like his tone as I prefer a more percussive tone vs. a clean, twangy tone as SRV had. It's just my opinion, who cares.

I love Jimmy's playing, all phases, all times otherwise why would I be on this forum. Jimmy Page is second only to Jimi Hendrix to me and only barely. I am simply lamenting the fact of his addiction appearing to prefer the presentation over the performance. It appeared Jimmy pushed the rock star persona to the limit, sacrificing his craft at times toward that purpose. Believe me, I understand, I was around in the 70's though a child, I was still very aware. I believe Jimmy thought that since none of the 77' tour was being professionally recorded he could focus on the visuals. Plus, I can guarantee even the infamous Tempe show sounded god damned awesome if you were there live. The combination of volume, distortion, and ambience can make even a poor performance sound like music from the gods. Hindsight is 20/20 and Jimmy, nor anyone else, had any idea all these boots would be out there and available, in all their soundboard glory, for everyone through social media and the like. And of course the drugs just added to that attitude.

Jimmy is my main influence on guitar, even more than Hendrix because he pushed the boundaries, played different styles, and even re-invented his whole approach to guitar in the 80's with the b-Bender...who else has done that? 

It's all good Badge, we all like to sling barbs here and there but I hope you know it is just in jest, In hold no animosity.

Have a good night and give your cat a nice handy for me will ya. Peace Brother.

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24 minutes ago, IpMan said:

I can't believe you took the bar mitzvahs and Quinceanera bit seriously. C'mon man. I never claimed to be Jimmy Page or even Jimmy Fallon on guitar, I play in a local bar band and we enjoy ourselves. 

SRV's one trick was he played in a consistent blues style, he was no Page, he did not push any boundaries. Was he an amazing player hell yes, did I enjoy his music, hell yes, I just commented that I did not like his tone as I prefer a more percussive tone vs. a clean, twangy tone as SRV had. It's just my opinion, who cares.

I love Jimmy's playing, all phases, all times otherwise why would I be on this forum. Jimmy Page is second only to Jimi Hendrix to me and only barely. I am simply lamenting the fact of his addiction appearing to prefer the presentation over the performance. It appeared Jimmy pushed the rock star persona to the limit, sacrificing his craft at times toward that purpose. Believe me, I understand, I was around in the 70's though a child, I was still very aware. I believe Jimmy thought that since none of the 77' tour was being professionally recorded he could focus on the visuals. Plus, I can guarantee even the infamous Tempe show sounded god damned awesome if you were there live. The combination of volume, distortion, and ambience can make even a poor performance sound like music from the gods. Hindsight is 20/20 and Jimmy, nor anyone else, had any idea all these boots would be out there and available, in all their soundboard glory, for everyone through social media and the like. And of course the drugs just added to that attitude.

Jimmy is my main influence on guitar, even more than Hendrix because he pushed the boundaries, played different styles, and even re-invented his whole approach to guitar in the 80's with the b-Bender...who else has done that? 

It's all good Badge, we all like to sling barbs here and there but I hope you know it is just in jest, In hold no animosity.

Have a good night and give your cat a nice handy for me will ya. Peace Brother.

Agreed , on all counts.  Jimmy Page, innovator , soulful, creative, multi- faceted and sloppy. SRV was most definitely a one or two dimensional player. A great modern blues player and that's about it.  I really liked his playing though and when I heard him live at the University of Chicago in 1983 I was blown away. But most of his solos sound the same and I only listen to him once in a great while.  However,  Page I can listen to everyday, except for 77 and 80. No comparison as far as interesting soundscapes and compositions. Page had a way bigger arsenal of styles and sounds. SRV was way more precise than Page live but not as musically broad . 

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Also, this thread title should be "Was Jimmy Page a Sloppy Player". Jimmy Page doesn't play anymore, as woefully demonstrated by his absence from the live music scene for years and his refusal/unwillingness to strap on a guitar and jam on a blues in Tokyo recently. 

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The SRV thing, totally agree, not too broad. But don't ever dare say that around a fan, or that Jimmy was a visionary

and SRV was just a great PLAYER. Hot tamales !!! Also Page's gunslinger pose, Ipman is right on certain accounts that

from a standpoint of physics it can be harmful to various body parts to hang a guitar so low. But also Page's Les Paul's

were lighter than normal,  and if there was damage caused, why was Page still wearing the LP's low( not like 77'), but

still low ?? Think about baseball, where you have quite a few .300 + hitters whose batting stance is all wrong , the

follow thru is all wrong, everything is contradictory to success. About the sudden acoustic "perfection", (77'), I have

played standing up drunk and stoned, and then sitting down with an acoustic, yes . Of course it's easier to play, but

in many interviews Page has said at home he mainly plays acoustic, so that element of his playing may be far more

internalized than the electric, by 77' anyway. And if you listen to Page playing with Roy Harper in 2011, again Page

plays excellent. But a major contradiction in 77': the sitting down usuallly chaotic versions of White Summer/Black

Mountainside. Page simply didn't rehearse it much, of course the substances are also there. But the mention of style

over substance, the visuals, etc., definetly a factor in all this as well.

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On 18/11/2016 at 1:45 PM, Badgeholder Still said:

i'll forgive the lows because the highs are so rewarding.

nuff said.

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I don't think it was just a case of Page being committed to how the shows looked visually but also of being committed to a certain playing style up to and including the 77 tour. Zep had always had the "tight but loose" seat of your pants style of playing rather than something more rehearsed yet as you got to the bands latter years I think you were often dealing with material that made this less suitable. There was some decline as well but I think you can see in 79 for example a switch towards a more rehearsed style and performance(at least the Denmark shows and the first Knedworth) that are considerably more polished.

I have to say though that when it comes to listening to a lot of material I prefer 77, there are obviously limited shows from 79 but if that year had involved a big tour I'm not sure I'd be greatly interested in hearing more than 3-4 shows anyway, the same with the P&P tours. I can imagine it being similar for Page playing, the looser style was probably more fulfilling to play night after night.

Edited by greenman

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Well those are some interesting observations. But talking about Jimmy, he was the most problematic concerning the

looseness. Some totally champion Page's live playing from 68'-73' for example, but even then here and there you will

find the "seeds" of what could result with Jimmy with lack of practice, drugs, etc. It is also telling that the further Jimmy

got away from sessions and constant touring, so the technique declined. Nobody else in Zep screwed up like Jimmy.

Also most consider the two 79' Copenhagen shows as a real return to glory, whereas, sure, the Knebworth shows

got really mixed reviews. IMO the95'-96' P&P shows were average to excellent, but the 98', Page has almost shredder

technique and some of the solos match up almost to 73' Zep levels. In fact of all the 98' shows I have, Page is not sloppy,

and no solo/song is below above average.

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You seem to hold up "shredder" as the ultimate standard to meet but I and many others would disagree with that. I think theres a clear trade off in moving to a more rehearsed style rather than the looser one we saw up to 77, less energy and sense of wildness/unpredictability to the performance.

As has been mentioned if you listen to the acoustic set in 77 and Page was most certainly capable of playing in a slicker fashion but chose not to for the electric material. Its I think this looser style that needed him in his best form to carry off most effectively hence the results becoming patchier with longer layoffs between touring and issues with injuries/drugs. Still though for me when it did come off even by 77 I think the results are superior that anything we've heard since, I'll definitely take say the LA 77 shows over any Page and Plant 98 show.

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I saw a couple Page Plant shows from all their tours. In 98 Jimmy was playing extremely well but it's not Zeppelin so I'm in the "I'll take a 77 show over Page and Plant camp"

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Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking those shows, they are very good and preferable to some Zep performances for me but still I think they are much more obviously rehearsed and lacking in the same wild power as the better 77 shows still had.

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3 hours ago, juxtiphi said:

I saw a couple Page Plant shows from all their tours. In 98 Jimmy was playing extremely well but it's not Zeppelin so I'm in the "I'll take a 77 show over Page and Plant camp"

True that. And he never had the "Zep tone" again on these P&P shows.  If you listen to the official recordings like TSRTS or HTWWW... he had a big sound!

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On 18.11.2016 at 7:09 AM, porgie66 said:

Agreed , on all counts.  Jimmy Page, innovator , soulful, creative, multi- faceted and sloppy. SRV was most definitely a one or two dimensional player. A great modern blues player and that's about it.  I really liked his playing though and when I heard him live at the University of Chicago in 1983 I was blown away. But most of his solos sound the same and I only listen to him once in a great while.  However,  Page I can listen to everyday, except for 77 and 80. No comparison as far as interesting soundscapes and compositions. Page had a way bigger arsenal of styles and sounds. SRV was way more precise than Page live but not as musically broad . 

Jimmy played Rock, Blues and Folk. SRV played Rock, Blues and Jazz. Doesn't seem to me that Page was more versatile then Stevie.  Page was more influential, surely. He came to the scene 10+ years earlier than Stevie. So all of Stevie's solos sound the same to you? That is rather rubbish! Stevie was known for making a solo more interesting the longer it goes. Listen to his version of "Little Wing" or his song "Lenny". Page doesn't even come close to that!

Of course,  this is a matter of personal taste. I enjoy Zep's music more than SRV's, but Page didn't write the Zep songs alone.

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11 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

Jimmy played Rock, Blues and Folk. SRV played Rock, Blues and Jazz. Doesn't seem to me that Page was more versatile then Stevie.  Page was more influential, surely. He came to the scene 10+ years earlier than Stevie. So all of Stevie's solos sound the same to you? That is rather rubbish! Stevie was known for making a solo more interesting the longer it goes. Listen to his version of "Little Wing" or his song "Lenny". Page doesn't even come close to that!

Of course,  this is a matter of personal taste. I enjoy Zep's music more than SRV's, but Page didn't write the Zep songs alone.

Personal taste indeed. I strongly disagree, Page was clearly more versatile than Stevie. Consider all the variety of styles and influences represented in the Zeppelin catalog compared to Stevie's. The different effects that Jimmy either pioneered or commanded in his arsenal, the use of alternate tunings, the variety of sonics, the compositional variety. I'm certain that his experience in the London session scene contributed to his versatility. Stevie was a great blues player, but he didn't have that breadth of variety. Also, when did Stevie Ray Vaughan play Jazz? He is by no means a jazz player. Talk about rather rubbish! Still, Jimmy was sloppier. 

Edited by porgie66

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2 hours ago, porgie66 said:

Personal taste indeed. I strongly disagree, Page was clearly more versatile than Stevie. Consider all the variety of styles and influences represented in the Zeppelin catalog compared to Stevie's. The different effects that Jimmy either pioneered or commanded in his arsenal, the use of alternate tunings, the variety of sonics, the compositional variety. I'm certain that his experience in the London session scene contributed to his versatility. Stevie was a great blues player, but he didn't have that breadth of variety. Also, when did Stevie Ray Vaughan play Jazz? He is by no means a jazz player. Talk about rather rubbish! Still, Jimmy was sloppier. 

Here is Stevie playing jazz. He recorded a number of jazz tunes. Of course he is no George Benson or McLaughlin but his jazz playing is as good as Jimmy's folk playing IMO.

 The use of effects isn't something I'd call "versatile". I think about versatility in being able to play different styles of music.

Stevie had a much better technique and more feeling. Jimmy wrote better songs and was more experimental. I like them both a LOT, but if I could choose whose playing capabilities I'd like to have I'd chose Stevie's.

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Stevie playing jazz does still sound like Stevie to me though where as I do think theres a more significant divide in sound(beyond FX/tone)with Page playing different styles, his folk playing really doesn't sound at all like his bluesy playing for example.

Not sure I'v say Stevie had more "feeling" so much as the two of them tended to be aiming at rather different results, Page was generally either going for power/drama or very relaxed folk where as Stevie was naturally much more playful/friendly.

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21 hours ago, the-ocean87 said:

Jimmy played Rock, Blues and Folk. SRV played Rock, Blues and Jazz. Doesn't seem to me that Page was more versatile then Stevie.  Page was more influential, surely. He came to the scene 10+ years earlier than Stevie. So all of Stevie's solos sound the same to you? That is rather rubbish! Stevie was known for making a solo more interesting the longer it goes. Listen to his version of "Little Wing" or his song "Lenny". Page doesn't even come close to that!

Of course,  this is a matter of personal taste. I enjoy Zep's music more than SRV's, but Page didn't write the Zep songs alone.

SRV didn't write his songs alone either, only a handful. Half of any SRV albums consisted of covers, and Doyle Bramhall was a major writing partner of SRV's from the beginning. SRV was one motherfucker of a guitarist, no doubt, but when it comes to songwriting..... he's not even close to Jimmy Page.

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On November 16, 2016 at 10:28 PM, Badgeholder Still said:

Thank you, Mel Bay.

Let's take a quick moment to summarize what we know:

LP Man = bar mitzvah, Quiceneras, & jr. High School dances

Jimmy Page = Worldwide acclaim and musical immortality

What kind of a nut climbs on this board to tell Jimmy Page how he shoulda held his guitar?  Somehow, someway, 39 years later, Page's turbulent '77 output is collected, shared and still enjoyed by apparently many despite the fact he couldn't figure out how to hold a guitar.  Go figure.

Jimmy Page, style over substance. Astute observation. I'll keep that in mind next time i spin my favs from '77.

My Les Paul has been hanging below my waist for pert near 30 years and i haven't experienced any of those symptoms. But maybe that's why i'm not playing any Quiceneras. Dios mio!

 

Thank you, Mel Bay, best opening to a reply I've ever heard, LOL LOL LOL

mel-bay-guitar-670x405.jpg

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