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Strider

Jimmy Page and broken strings...

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Jon Brion, in an interview with Guitar Player, once said that he liked guitarists who attacked their instruments and didn't baby them.

Well, judging from all the broken strings I witnessed over the years, Jimmy certainly didn't baby his guitar when he played...he must have been one of the hardest picking players I have ever seen.

What really strikes me, looking back now, is many of his broken strings occurred on his Gibson double-neck; usually during "Song Remains the Same" or "Stairway to Heaven".

So I was wondering if there was something(the bridge arrangement maybe?) about the double-neck that made it more susceptible to breaking strings or if it was just Jimmy's way of playing?

Of course, I saw Jimmy break strings on his Les Paul...a couple of Dazed's, an Over the Hill or two...but it was probably his double-neck that I saw him break the most strings, about 5 times in all, maybe 6.

And this is just counting the Led Zeppelin years...I'm not counting the times I saw him solo or with the Firm or the Plant/Page and Black Crowes tours.

Edited by Strider

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Kevin Shirley talked about mixing HTWWW, and how surprised he was when listening to JP guitar tracks isolated, how much range there is in his picking technique. He is almost obsessive about his volume and tone controls, and in conjunction with his picking technique, is able to get an astonishing range of tone out of the instrument.

Jimmy used Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, to enable him to bend notes more easily. The tradeoff with a smaller gauge string is a) thinner tone and B) less durable.

Not sure about why the double-neck would be more prone to string breakage- are you referring to the 6 or 12 sting necks, or both? I would hazard a guess that the 12 string may be prone to breakage as the sympathetic strings are much thinner than normal guitar strings. Or another theory, maybe the 12 string was used more than other guitars, therefore more prone to breakage?

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Kevin Shirley talked about mixing HTWWW, and how surprised he was when listening to JP guitar tracks isolated, how much range there is in his picking technique. He is almost obsessive about his volume and tone controls, and in conjunction with his picking technique, is able to get an astonishing range of tone out of the instrument.

Jimmy used Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings, to enable him to bend notes more easily. The tradeoff with a smaller gauge string is a) thinner tone and B) less durable.

Not sure about why the double-neck would be more prone to string breakage- are you referring to the 6 or 12 sting necks, or both? I would hazard a guess that the 12 string may be prone to breakage as the sympathetic strings are much thinner than normal guitar strings. Or another theory, maybe the 12 string was used more than other guitars, therefore more prone to breakage?

Another possibility is maybe the tech didn't change the strings on the double-neck after every gig. It was only used for the Rain Song, The Song Remains the Same, and Stairway to Heaven after all. So, that's one song on the 6 string, one on the 12 string, and one extra song that has half 6/half 12. Not a whole bunch of heavy nightly use there.

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Given that apart from the couple of times he broke strings during TSRTS, it was mostly during the solo of Stairway or during Sick Again on the 77 tour(which he played on the double-neck as it followed directly from TSRTS) that I saw him break strings, I would say that it was the 6-string part that broke more often than the 12-string.

Again, I am not a guitar expert, so don't know if it was type of strings he used or the nature of the guitar combined with his slashing attack that prompted the breaks...just struck me over the years that I saw him break strings more often than any other guitarists of the period: Beck, Clapton, Van Halen, Perry, Trower, Townsend, Gallagher et al.

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u can also see that he breaks a string during Trampled Underfoot in 75.

plus 12 strings are more susceptible to string breaks because of all the tension and how thin the e strings are

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Another possibility is maybe the tech didn't change the strings on the double-neck after every gig. It was only used for the Rain Song, The Song Remains the Same, and Stairway to Heaven after all. So, that's one song on the 6 string, one on the 12 string, and one extra song that has half 6/half 12. Not a whole bunch of heavy nightly use there.

That sounds like the more likely possibility, although if he were regularly breaking strings I don't see why he wouldn't ask his tech to change them more often. It's not like strings are expensive, and I think Jimmy could afford them anyway.

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That sounds like the more likely possibility, although if he were regularly breaking strings I don't see why he wouldn't ask his tech to change them more often. It's not like strings are expensive, and I think Jimmy could afford them anyway.

Yeah, but you simply don't have time to change strings in the middle of "Trampled Underfoot" or "Stairway to Heaven". You can't walk off stage, leaving the other members to their own devices. Besides, changing strings take care and time. You have to make sure it's tied securely so you don't have to stop yet again! Which would be a :slapface:.

:peace:,

Jo

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