The 50 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs
Guitar World presents a critical analysis of Led Zeppelin's 50 best tracks.
31. “Four Sticks” (Led Zeppelin IV)
Named after Bonham’s literal use of four sticks on the track (two in each hand), this tribal dance–like song features exotic rhythms and harmonic modalities that conjure images of Near Eastern and North African wildernesses from an earlier century.
The arrangement is built around three guitar riffs, each incorporating an open-string bass pedal tone, or drone. As mentioned previously, Page used, for the song’s primary riff, the same “bending away from a unison” trick he employed in his “Whole Lotta Love” riff, with equally haunting results. In this case, he strums the open G string together with that note’s fretted equivalent on the D string’s fifth fret and pushes the fretted G slightly sharp by bending it upward (away from the palm).
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