Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
osoz

So is Jimmy Page a 'sloppy' player?

Recommended Posts

I happen to think that Hot Dog is a GREAT SONG and adds to the arsenal of styles that Led Zeppelin recorded and played. I’m also rubbed a little the wrong by people who think that he is “sloppy”, I think Guitar wizards are sloppy, because to my ears they play with almost no emotion at all. I could never imagine someone saying that Bode Miller or as someone else pointed out Aryton Senna as sloppy, yet they refer to Jimmy Page in that manner. I find it odd actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I happen to think that Hot Dog is a GREAT SONG and adds to the arsenal of styles that Led Zeppelin recorded and played. I’m also rubbed a little the wrong by people who think that he is “sloppy”, I think Guitar wizards are sloppy, because to my ears they play with almost no emotion at all. I could never imagine someone saying that Bode Miller or as someone else pointed out Aryton Senna as sloppy, yet they refer to Jimmy Page in that manner. I find it odd actually.

Well, Page himself has declared his playing as sloppy on more than one occasion.

Let's look at some of the many synonyms of 'Sloppy' and see how it applies to the other technical Guitar Wizards:

"careless, slapdash, untidy, messy, hit-or-miss."

None of them can be described like that - if anything they are the exact opposite, they are defined by their precision, and that's why their music often lacks in emotion - because it might as well have been played by a machine in some cases.

Don't take 'sloppy' as a bad word to describe Page's playing - it is after all one of the things that defines him as a player and makes him truly unique, and without that we'd never have the depth and reach that Zeppelin achieved.

Edited by woz70

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing you can be sure of with me is that there is nothing to read between the lines. I can't be doing with bitchiness or people being snide. There are plenty of people on here for whom English is a second language, so making myself as clear, readable and comprehensible as possible is very important, in my opinion.

I'm trying to give my insights and share my knowledge as somebody who's been involved in playing, writing, analysing and performing music in some form or other for about 38 years. If you want to throw a sulk about what I have to say because you don't agree with it then that's really up to you.

Same for me, and don't worry, if we are at war, you will be the first to know it. I'm not known for holding my punches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same for me, and don't worry, if we are at war, you will be the first to know it. I'm not known for holding my punches.

Seriously dude, is that sort of talk even necessary? I know where the permanent ignore button is as well as you do. I thought we were all adults here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this discussion now, is mostly about Jimmy's sound again! Not that much in latter years, when he was rather sloopy, but I just think that there is such a thing, that his style of playing, his sound, might bring a feeling of a less technical player to some people, but there were many players in history, that had their own sound, infact we don't even know how some of the classical greats actually sounded, beacuse they couldn't record them!!

Some people just prefer a typical sound of someone who practised many hours a day for decades in various music shools and therefore has no sound of his own and no originality! I'm not saying all such people lack a true interest in music and creativity, but some certainly do and many times listen to something at cheap high class social events!

Jimmy is a true great, that was more then enough brilliant technically aswell, especially early on!

Edited by Matjaz1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing that must be brought to this debate is whether Jimmy Page wanted things rough around the edges.

I heard in interviews he wanted to capture spontaneity, the emotion of the moment, rawness, brutality, human condition - are they all words that could be substituted for 'sloppy' I wonder?

I'm another who has played guitar for more than 30 years, sometimes it is just better on the first run through, it's easy enough to practice a piece over and over until it is 'perfect' but in doing so it seems to lose emotion or turn into nothing more than exercise rather than a piece of music. I honestly feel when I listen to very technical guitarists that I'm listening to a string of exercises played one after the other rather than listening to music.

The more I think about the discussions here the more I see the 'mistakes' as totally essential to his playing style and capturing of the moment in production. It's almost a statement of attitude in itself.

I know he felt restricted as a session musician and was looking to escape the rigidity of perfection for raw emotion in a rock group, it all seems to fit together at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a long time Zeppelin fan (38 years) I am not really a fan of the Hot Dog track overall but that doesn't mean its not a great example of the genre. How do any of us know what Jimmy intended to play?

So what if that pinky isn't clean maybe its just how he wanted to play it!, ever think of that.?

We cannot/should not pigeonhole Jimmy into playing things the way You/we/they/me "think" it should be played any more than you can tell a fish how to swim.

Edited by juxtiphi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing that must be brought to this debate is whether Jimmy Page wanted things rough around the edges.

I heard in interviews he wanted to capture spontaneity, the emotion of the moment, rawness, brutality, human condition - are they all words that could be substituted for 'sloppy' I wonder?

I'm another who has played guitar for more than 30 years, sometimes it is just better on the first run through, it's easy enough to practice a piece over and over until it is 'perfect' but in doing so it seems to lose emotion or turn into nothing more than exercise rather than a piece of music. I honestly feel when I listen to very technical guitarists that I'm listening to a string of exercises played one after the other rather than listening to music.

The more I think about the discussions here the more I see the 'mistakes' as totally essential to his playing style and capturing of the moment in production. It's almost a statement of attitude in itself.

I know he felt restricted as a session musician and was looking to escape the rigidity of perfection for raw emotion in a rock group, it all seems to fit together at some point.

^Some nice points here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one thing that must be brought to this debate is whether Jimmy Page wanted things rough around the edges.

I heard in interviews he wanted to capture spontaneity, the emotion of the moment, rawness, brutality, human condition - are they all words that could be substituted for 'sloppy' I wonder?

I'm another who has played guitar for more than 30 years, sometimes it is just better on the first run through, it's easy enough to practice a piece over and over until it is 'perfect' but in doing so it seems to lose emotion or turn into nothing more than exercise rather than a piece of music. I honestly feel when I listen to very technical guitarists that I'm listening to a string of exercises played one after the other rather than listening to music.

The more I think about the discussions here the more I see the 'mistakes' as totally essential to his playing style and capturing of the moment in production. It's almost a statement of attitude in itself.

I know he felt restricted as a session musician and was looking to escape the rigidity of perfection for raw emotion in a rock group, it all seems to fit together at some point.

This is a really good point, and very valid.... but there are those who claim that Jimmy is the consummate perfectionist - I think it's very difficult to reconcile perfectionism with 'rough around the edges'. Can you really have it both ways?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a long time Zeppelin fan (38 years) I am not really a fan of the Hot Dog track overall but that doesn't mean its not a great example of the genre. How do any of us know what Jimmy intended to play?

So what if that pinky isn't clean maybe its just how he wanted to play it!, ever think of that.?

We cannot/should not pigeonhole Jimmy into playing things the way You/we/they/me "think" it should be played any more than you can tell a fish how to swim.

Yeah I know what you mean.Page probably sat back to the final take of Hot Dog and thought I want it to sound a bit rough like a barrel house blues so that will do.But trust me when he misses those notes in the opening riff it sticks out like hot dogs balls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think overall it would be accurate to call Jimmy a not infrequently sloppy player. But things are much more complex than that.

Live, let's say from 71' to 73', there are plenty of live Heartbreakers where Page is very fluid and is playing sometimes 25% faster

Than the studio version. Also live DAC after the vocal verses with the "double time" part, there are many versions where Page is

Fluent and almost playing thrash metal speed. But absolutely, even from the start, Page would sometimes get sicky fingers. I

Actually believe this might be partially just part of his physical makeup, just like his large hands, long arms, etc.,. Everybody has

Commented on almost everything else , but I must add: Get a hold of some early VH boots ; for all of EVH's technique, his live

playing Is just totally kamikaze and wild, he in fact often does the Page thing of completely ignoring the rhythm section, and also

Sometimes barely comes back in on the verse in time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is precision playing with the same sweeping looseness and soul that Page played when at his best. The structure feels like Stairway to me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think overall it would be accurate to call Jimmy a not infrequently sloppy player. But things are much more complex than that.

Live, let's say from 71' to 73', there are plenty of live Heartbreakers where Page is very fluid and is playing sometimes 25% faster

Than the studio version. Also live DAC after the vocal verses with the "double time" part, there are many versions where Page is

Fluent and almost playing thrash metal speed. But absolutely, even from the start, Page would sometimes get sicky fingers. I

Actually believe this might be partially just part of his physical makeup, just like his large hands, long arms, etc.,. Everybody has

Commented on almost everything else , but I must add: Get a hold of some early VH boots ; for all of EVH's technique, his live

playing Is just totally kamikaze and wild, he in fact often does the Page thing of completely ignoring the rhythm section, and also

Sometimes barely comes back in on the verse in time.

Yes I have 3 early Van Halen boots and its pretty well all over the place,not to mention David Lee Roth attempting to sing.Its up to Mike and Alex to hold it together like Mitchell and Redding when Hendrix went off on wild tangents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously dude, is that sort of talk even necessary? I know where the permanent ignore button is as well as you do. I thought we were all adults here.

Woz, Mr. Dark is really only joking, he is a great guy and being funny and a wee sarcastic is just his personality, there are a few dicks on this board but Dark ain't one of them.

Now if you want a list...Joking, joking, I swear, I joke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Now if you want a list...Joking, joking, I swear, I joke.

Geez - I'm British. We invented sarcasm. Anyway, I already have a list of my own..... :peace:

It's growing.....

Edited by woz70

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a player of 30+ years when I first started playing in 83' the only live Zep I ever heard was TSRTS and listening to NQ & D&C or the Stairway solo all I could think was how any human could play an instrument so brilliantly. Yet i also noticed on other songs him sounding like he really either did not give a shit, let's get on to D&C, or he was just chill in the groove.

Anyway, I started in classical playing trumpet in jr. High in 79', classical & jazz only with an occasional Chicago, Chuck Mangioni, or Alpert tune thrown in for good measure. After years of conductors and teachers screaming, "allegro, allegro, tempo is dragging" or after playing a Bizet composition flawlessly, having the instructor say, "you were flat on the C at the beginning of the second movement" I figured fuck that. After all if Chopin & Beethoven could improvise fro time to time, why not me? No song is sacrosanct, they are ALL up to the individual's interpretation. So, I got out of classical, dropped the trumpet, picked up the guitar and began playing music with feel...the blues. Blues is still my all time favorite genre.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I can go to ANY town and find a 12 year old guitar phenom who will hand Vai or Satriani their ass on guitar without so much as raising a sweat, however I have NEVER met a 12 year old or even 18 year old guitarist who could phrase like Page. I don't care how proficient someone is, without feel it is meaningless, and that is a very, very hard line to walk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geez - I'm British. We invented sarcasm. Anyway, I already have a list of my own..... :peace:

It's growing.....

Ohh NOOOOOoooooooo :nhl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a player of 30+ years when I first started playing in 83' the only live Zep I ever heard was TSRTS and listening to NQ & D&C or the Stairway solo all I could think was how any human could play an instrument so brilliantly. Yet i also noticed on other songs him sounding like he really either did not give a shit, let's get on to D&C, or he was just chill in the groove.

Anyway, I started in classical playing trumpet in jr. High in 79', classical & jazz only with an occasional Chicago, Chuck Mangioni, or Alpert tune thrown in for good measure. After years of conductors and teachers screaming, "allegro, allegro, tempo is dragging" or after playing a Bizet composition flawlessly, having the instructor say, "you were flat on the C at the beginning of the second movement" I figured fuck that. After all if Chopin & Beethoven could improvise fro time to time, why not me? No song is sacrosanct, they are ALL up to the individual's interpretation. So, I got out of classical, dropped the trumpet, picked up the guitar and began playing music with feel...the blues. Blues is still my all time favorite genre.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I can go to ANY town and find a 12 year old guitar phenom who will hand Vai or Satriani their ass on guitar without so much as raising a sweat, however I have NEVER met a 12 year old or even 18 year old guitarist who could phrase like Page. I don't care how proficient someone is, without feel it is meaningless, and that is a very, very hard line to walk.

The reason so many young kids are playing that way is because of Guitar Hero and other digital programmers.I played along to garage band and found myself stagnating as opposed to a live drummer/bassist.Also there has been so much advancement in technology with guitar equipment that kids are getting more involved with that than actually music.Also guitar magazines are filled music tabs and free cds transcribing every technical nuance of Satriani,Malmsteen,Petrucci and those ridiculous guys out of Dragonforce.Very rarely does it mention anything about feel,emotion.When I was a kid I just had a cheap guitar and an old homemade amp,but I tried to get the most out of what i had.Nowadays kids have got loop stations and other gizmos doing the work for them.Perhaps i'm just grumpy old man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason so many young kids are playing that way is because of Guitar Hero and other digital programmers.I played along to garage band and found myself stagnating as opposed to a live drummer/bassist.Also there has been so much advancement in technology with guitar equipment that kids are getting more involved with that than actually music.Also guitar magazines are filled music tabs and free cds transcribing every technical nuance of Satriani,Malmsteen,Petrucci and those ridiculous guys out of Dragonforce.Very rarely does it mention anything about feel,emotion.When I was a kid I just had a cheap guitar and an old homemade amp,but I tried to get the most out of what i had.Nowadays kids have got loop stations and other gizmos doing the work for them.Perhaps i'm just grumpy old man

No, not grumpy, or old, just plain true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a player of 30+ years when I first started playing in 83' the only live Zep I ever heard was TSRTS and listening to NQ & D&C or the Stairway solo all I could think was how any human could play an instrument so brilliantly. Yet i also noticed on other songs him sounding like he really either did not give a shit, let's get on to D&C, or he was just chill in the groove.

Anyway, I started in classical playing trumpet in jr. High in 79', classical & jazz only with an occasional Chicago, Chuck Mangioni, or Alpert tune thrown in for good measure. After years of conductors and teachers screaming, "allegro, allegro, tempo is dragging" or after playing a Bizet composition flawlessly, having the instructor say, "you were flat on the C at the beginning of the second movement" I figured fuck that. After all if Chopin & Beethoven could improvise fro time to time, why not me? No song is sacrosanct, they are ALL up to the individual's interpretation. So, I got out of classical, dropped the trumpet, picked up the guitar and began playing music with feel...the blues. Blues is still my all time favorite genre.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I can go to ANY town and find a 12 year old guitar phenom who will hand Vai or Satriani their ass on guitar without so much as raising a sweat, however I have NEVER met a 12 year old or even 18 year old guitarist who could phrase like Page. I don't care how proficient someone is, without feel it is meaningless, and that is a very, very hard line to walk.

in terms of phrasing i'm with you... there are guitarist that i can pick up their phrasing and comprehend the "flow".... but not really Page... i can learn the parts but his feeling is amazing and hard to nail... i will take all the "sloppiness" in the world from Page because out of that comes moments where he plays notes on that guitar that make me feel like no other... and make a cat purr for days ;-) ...

...as far as Page and his physical stature even hand size I feel like the tele may have fit him better... but come on who could resist a les paul...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously dude, is that sort of talk even necessary? Etc

Anyway, there is often a high degree of sarcasm in my posts. No offence intended, but I don't really agree with what you have said about Hotdog, but that's okay. Peace.

By the way, I'm of British extraction, and have family there still.

Edited by The Dark Lord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woz, Mr. Dark is really only joking, he is a great guy and being funny and a wee sarcastic is just his personality, there are a few dicks on this board but Dark ain't one of them.

Now if you want a list...Joking, joking, I swear, I joke.

Thanks brother. Back atcha. I'm not good at mincing words, and I tend to be very frank, which doesn't translate well into the written word. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Now, back to the Robert Wears Sexy Blouses thread where I can make a real contribution. Edited by The Dark Lord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really good point, and very valid.... but there are those who claim that Jimmy is the consummate perfectionist - I think it's very difficult to reconcile perfectionism with 'rough around the edges'. Can you really have it both ways?

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Any result can be considered perfect by the creator and it doesn't mean that a mistake/s weren't made during the process. If you feel the final outcome of your work is perfect then its perfect no matter what anyone else thinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason so many young kids are playing that way is because of Guitar Hero and other digital programmers.I played along to garage band and found myself stagnating as opposed to a live drummer/bassist.Also there has been so much advancement in technology with guitar equipment that kids are getting more involved with that than actually music.Also guitar magazines are filled music tabs and free cds transcribing every technical nuance of Satriani,Malmsteen,Petrucci and those ridiculous guys out of Dragonforce.Very rarely does it mention anything about feel,emotion.When I was a kid I just had a cheap guitar and an old homemade amp,but I tried to get the most out of what i had.Nowadays kids have got loop stations and other gizmos doing the work for them.Perhaps i'm just grumpy old man

No, not grumpy, or old, just plain true.

These kids today with their Rock' Em' Sock' Em Robots and their Spirographs and their Moby Grape and their 90210...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Any result can be considered perfect by the creator and it doesn't mean that a mistake/s weren't made during the process. If you feel the final outcome of your work is perfect then its perfect no matter what anyone else thinks.

I understand what you are saying, and not to be critical of Jimmy, but his reputation of being a perfectionist is largely mythical. He's conscientious, but he is far from being a perfectionist in all aspects of his work. He had the potential to be though.

Btw, I can't believe that you don't like Hotdog. :(

Edited by The Dark Lord

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×