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osoz

So is Jimmy Page a 'sloppy' player?

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It's been mentioned above about Jimmy's timing too, how many instructional videos on Youtube show the riff from Whole Lotta Love to beginners? How many of the 'instructors' play it right, not seen one yet, the chord is clearly pushed and the palm muted beats arrive in a little packet distinctly grouped together it's not evenly timed (1ena 2ena or what have you) as it is shown in all the music notation I've ever seen. It's that timing and the bend in the riff that just fills it with tension and makes it totally memorable and awesome.

With regards to Youtube instructors and covers, I was trying to analyze this girl's playing technique but unfortunately I'm easily distracted. :veryhot:

Anyway...

Apart from the technical aspects of the discussion, Jimmy could have continued his successful session work if he had been interested in playing precise note-for-note renditions from sheet music. His ambitions clearly took him to destinations that were beyond traditional expectations of how a guitar player should play. Experimentation, innovation and atmosphere trumped technique.

Edited by LordStanley

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I knew I wasn't alone. The only time clapton really wowed me was in a few songs songs from Cream and that one track with Blind Faith CFMWH its really the only song he sings well. I was into Clapton before I found Zeppelin. Got into Jeff Beck and Jimmy about the same time and then it was see ya later Clapton.The only other 2 guitarists to hang on were Tony Iommi and Jimi Hendrix.

Didn't Stevie Winwood sing CFMWH and Clapton played acoustic?

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Of the three Yardbirds Jimmy is the one for me because of the adventurous spirit of his playing and that goes for the whole band.Claption for the most part bores me because he is just really a blues player and easy laid back player at that,since he left Cream.Beck just leaves me cold.I love the English style to Pages playing.I think Clapton wished he was born in Chicago.But I do respect their playing (Beck and Clapton) but i probably wouldn't go out of my way to listen to them if they weren't so well known and revered.Give me 'sloppy'old Page any day

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Claption for the most part bores me because he is just really a white, English rock and roll guitarist who wants to be taken seriously as a blues player

Fixed it for you. Clapton's bluesman's pretensions/posturing always come across as so earnest...he's one of the few guitarists who actually manage to make playing the blues boring. He takes all the fun out of it, because his method is so studious and studied. Robert Johnson would be pissing his pants laughing if he ever heard Eric Clapton. Bottom line: when it's all written down Clapton is not going to be remembered for his blues playing, he'll be remembered for goddamn "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Tears In Heaven" and "Layla"- where's the fucking blues in those songs? EC's whole "Look at me! I am a serious fucking bluesman, goddammit!" attitude isn't fooling anybody...who is he trying to convince- the world, or himself?

Beck just leaves me cold.

Jeff Beck is a great guitarist but he's too technically proficient for his own good if that makes any sense. In his own way he's is as almost bad as Vai and Malmsteen and those guys- just playing a straightforward unadorned pentatonic type lick with no adornements, effects or whammy bar is beneath him. At least in the Blow By Blow/Wired era Beck still had a bit of soul in his playing, but generally speaking Beck's whole methodology and approach to playing doesn't move me much. So I think we're in agreement re: Jeff Beck :lol:

Give me 'sloppy'old Page any day

Indeed...Jimmy Page is the only one of the "Big Three" Yardbirds pickers who has any real soul in his playing. He plays like every fuckin' note could be his last, and who cares if he actually has the chops to do it at that moment. Page is as spontaneous in his playing as Clapton is predictable.

Edited by Nutrocker

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Didn't Stevie Winwood sing CFMWH and Clapton played acoustic?

I always thought it was Stevie Winwood on vocals but its been a long long time since I have heard this song and I never owned the album. I also used to get this band mixed up with Traffic too. I wiki'd the album to see who sang on it and Clapton is listed as being the vocalist for the band. So I figured it must have been Clapton singing.

I knew there was a reason I loved this song so much. Stevie Winwood!!!

Edited by juxtiphi

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I always thought it was Stevie Winwood on vocals but its been a long long time since I have heard this song and I never owned the album. I also used to get this band mixed up with Traffic too. I wiki'd the album to see who sang on it and Clapton is listed as being the vocalist for the band. So I figured it must have been Clapton singing.

I knew there was a reason I loved this song so much. Stevie Winwood!!!

I think the only Blind Faith tune Clapton sings lead on is "Presence Of The Lord", the rest is all Winwood. And, boy, talk about another 'supergroup' album that decidedly did not live up to its expectations (IMO)! As far as I'm concerned, Ginger's bit at the end is the best part of the record...Blind Faith was the beginning of Clapton's "anti-guitar hero" phase. Damn album's probably more famous for its cover than anything else...

Winwood's pretty awesome, though...we saw him open for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers a few years back and Stevie blew them off the fucking stage :lol: Petty and the boys might as well had not even bothered showing up to perform their by-the-numbers-greatest-hits-set.

Edited by Nutrocker

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I like monkeys, long strolls on the beach, and David Cronenberg movies while hanging out with artistic lesbians in a coffee house with beat poetry...

"I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party..." (I need one of you cheeky buggers to finish the lyrics and, ironically, Jimmy could actual utter this phrase and be making a factual statement :P)

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I like monkeys, long strolls on the beach, and David Cronenberg movies while hanging out with artistic lesbians in a coffee house with beat poetry...

"I met Andy Warhol at a really chic party..." (I need one of you cheeky buggers to finish the lyrics and, ironically, Jimmy could actual utter this phrase and be making a factual statement :P)

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playing LIVE ,enjoying himself with his band, letting the feeling of his creation grow & expand in the moment , while dancing and playing at the sametime!

(not to mention usually more than just buzzed !)

IS WHERE HE IS SHOOTING FROM!

its obvious he is not concerned about being technicaly perfect , his mind is playing 6 licks ahead enjoying where its going!

wouldnt YOU be sloppy too?

i bet if he wants to make a point to defend himself , "practiced "& grab a stool, sit down & concentraited & played " alongside most any ledgendary player" .

"JIMMY PAGE" would likely NOT be the sloppy one !

BUT THAT would likely be punishment for him & NO FUN!

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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.

YOU NAILED IT!

& thats why hes fun to watch , so enjoyable!

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playing LIVE ,enjoying himself with his band, letting the feeling of his creation grow & expand in the moment , while dancing and playing at the sametime!

(not to mention usually more than just buzzed !)

IS WHERE HE IS SHOOTING FROM!

its obvious he is not concerned about being technicaly perfect , his mind is playing 6 licks ahead enjoying where its going!

wouldnt YOU be sloppy too?

i bet if he wants to make a point to defend himself , "practiced "& grab a stool, sit down & concentraited & played " alongside most any ledgendary player" .

"JIMMY PAGE" would likely NOT be the sloppy one !

BUT THAT would likely be punishment for him & NO FUN!

:goodpost:

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There is a old deleted album called "Guitar Boogie" which as I remember features 3 tracks each from Page, Clapton, and Beck. I'm

pretty sure they all were 17 or 18 at the time. Jimmy plays these fast boogies and a B.B. King number, (or a soundalike) and lo and

behold, he actually has tremendous speed and spot on slow blues technique, all with much soul and feeling.

Jimmy absolutely wanted some rough edges, but as witnessed from all the boots, 77' was when Jimmy's technique became at

times not quite professional, and unfortunately his playing became sloppier and sloppier until the mid 80's at least.

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It certainly can be considered sloppy on some songs, but it's a good sloppy. Like Keef Richard's sloppy and loose playing. I'm not a big fan of surgical playing where every note is perfect--except a few like later Clapton work or EVH. But JP's sloppiness has such a cool swagger to it. John Frusciante's last couple albums with the RHCP's were VERY Page like, IMO.

Nowadays you get such clean and perfect notes it comes off as stale. I love hearing crunches and missed notes in songs, but those days are WAY past.

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I didn't read all the posts, but remember Jimmy was a studio player early on, and he has said he was expected to play perfect - or be shown the door. Maybe he just got a bit tired of perfection - I know I will take a track with a flub or two that has feel over a sterile impeccable track, any day. (Yngwie is a good one to cite, as others have on this forum thread - often he lacks feel. The guy is a damn, damn good guitarist, though).

When you improvise on guitar, as Jimmy does live, you take the bad with the good. Look at Hendrix at Woodstock - it's practically a train wreck, but Jimi pulled it off due to sheer will.

And Jimmy also slung his LP very low playing live, it looks cool, but it's not easy to play like that. Not to mention prowling the stage.

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Playing the song the exact same way night after night is boring, at least to me. Clapton and Gilmour both became that way later in their careers. Gilmour has loosened up a little bit, but Clapton doesn't seem to deviate much anymore. That's why I love Page. You never know what you'll get. Plus his guitar tone is second to none, IMO.

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If anyone considers Jimmy Page a "sloppy" guitar player (and I don't think he was), He was and is the Greatest "Sloppy" Guitar Player to ever grace this Planet Earth. Even in his "sloppiness", James Patrick Page was 95% better than any one that came before or after Him.

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Yes, he was sloppy, mostly during the latter years. It wasn't a case of making variations from the studio records, but a lot of bum notes that made the listener cringe a little. Plant's voice was also shoddy at times during the same period, no doubt due to over use. Still, even on their worst nights, and yes, they had them, they were still damn good. i like Clapton a lot, too, but both times seeing him live, I've gotten bored during the performance. sometimes, technical perferction, which Clapton personifies, can be a little dull.

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It wasn't a case of making variations from the studio records, but a lot of bum notes that made the listener cringe a little.

Uh Uh, Jimmy's playing is extremely loose and with all the improv and changes he made while playing some sloppiness is not only expected its accepted.

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There are generally three topics that I shrug and roll my eyes whenever they are brought up, because they've become infiltrated by bad internet information and overstated by Led Zeppelin haters to the point of silliness.

These topics are:

1. Led Zeppelin are satanists.

2. Led Zeppelin are plagiarists.

3. Jimmy Page is sloppy.

The Jimmy Page is sloppy trope didn't really get going until the 80s when the 1980 Tour boots started coming out in droves and the technical guitar-shredders and sweep-pickers were in vogue.

What is always forgotten is that when Led Zeppelin first burst upon the scene, even the critics who didn't like the first album still would find time to praise Jimmy's technical ability. There are plenty of early articles on Led Zeppelin that reference the brilliance of Jimmy's playing and his technical ability.

On the albums, Jimmy could be as clean as he wanted to be...often spectacularly so. When he wasn't, it often was a time and money issue whether to redo a part. I am sure he would have liked to take another stab at the solo for "I Can't Quit You" but as he was sinking his own money into the recording, he probably felt it was worth sacrificing 100% accuracy for the hot feel of the recorded take and left it as it was.

Even later tracks like Trampled Under Foot and Achilles Last Stand show Jimmy could still be technically precise in the studio. There's nothing sloppy about his playing on those songs.

Live in concert, where he wore his guitar slung to his knees and swooped and staggered and marched and slinked all around the stage, his playing wasn't as precise. But then most audiences of the time were used to a certain sloppiness by all guitarists in concert. The Alice Cooper Band, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, the Rolling Stones, Mark Ronson of David Bowie's Ziggy band, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane...there is plenty of evidence of sloppy playing in concert by all of those bands and more. But nobody gave a shit because it was loud as fuck and you usually couldn't hear the sloppiness and people were willing to forego technical perfection in favour of showmanship. Plus, everybody was high as a kite...the band and the audience.

For most of the 1970s, Jimmy was rated very highly and compared to the standard of the day, he was in the upper echelon as far as technical ability. Things started to change when the Eddie Van Halens and Randy Rhoads appeared on the scene. By the 80s, when people could dissect every note on every bootleg cd and Steve Vai and Yngwei Malmsteen were guitar gods, the "Jimmy Page is sloppy" gained momentum.

Of course, Jimmy's under-rehearsed ARMS, Live Aid, and Atlantic 40th Anniversary appearances did nothing to dispel people's opinion. Jimmy definitely should have practiced more from 1975 onward.

But to categorize all of Jimmy's playing as sloppy is nonsense and ignorant of the recorded evidence. Even in concert, it wasn't until 1975 where you can really hear the sloppiness come into play in a negative light. A broken finger, lack of practice, drugs and alcohol, and his crazy stage posture, all combined to take a toll on his fluidity.

Even so, one was hard-pressed to notice the drop-off at the actual concert. It wasn't until people could pore over the soundboards and YouTube clips that people noticed Jimmy flubbing a note here and there.

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Listen to the BBC recordings if anyone thinks Jimmy is/was a sloppy player! :stereo:

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This perception of Page being sloppy was created by the post Van Halen era guitarists from the 1980s who all thought that they could become the Mozart of the guitar. Speed picking, scalloped fretboards, pointless sweep picking, pinch harmonics, quoting Paganini, etc. And yet, every single one of them cited players like Page as a huge influence.

The trouble was that instead of being influenced by the phrasing or feel of the music (as embodied by players like Page, Hendrix, Beck, and Green), you instead had decades of guys who dissected the playing of their influences as if it was a recipe for making a cake. Add one part excessive solo + hair + stupid raunchy guitar face + horrible outfit. This is why the guitar playing from the 1980s is largely soul-less, because you had guys who thought it could be done like a formula. Just sad.

That's where the "sloppy" comments came from, because that's exactly what a hack would say when they can copy everything else yet still not get it to sound "right". And this is why pretty much any stranger on the street can recall something that Jimmy Page played on the guitar while nobody has even heard of the likes of Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, or Yngwie Malmsteen.

Best post on this topic, sir!

I agree 100%

Although, I wouldn't say folks in general haven't heard of Satriani, etc, it's just that none of their solos were memorable enough to recount, hum, etc. They were 80% flash, which to me is just throw away notes if they are not put into any sort of context or melody.

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