Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Sweet 16 — "Stairway to Heaven" (Jimmy Page) Vs. "Heartbreaker" (Jimmy Page)

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PaulRocksGuitar

Hi guys,

This is the best online guitar lessons site imho. There are general lessons and note for note solos. Great teaching and a lot of free videos too. For solos, this guy has A LOT of Led Zep OFF THE RECORD. I've never seen anyone get Heartbreaker absolutely note for note like this guy. The site is

http://guitarbyjimi.com/

Paul

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Blackm0resuks

Just an FYI - There is a web-troll that goes by Ritchie Blackm0re (fan club dude, not the real guy) who develops websites (currently, more than 20) to discredit Led Zeppelin/Jimmy Page. If you log on to challenge him he blocks you. I guess this is some vain effort in dirty politics to elevate Deep Purple, whom I used to like. Now, not so much....

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GEENGADE

Soloing to a three chord rhythm or just playing a solo in the the middle of a song is a solo. This is known as a solo. I don't know if any one else has done this. Stopping in the middle of a song just to play a solo. Also this is tele verses gibson les paul.

Zazou32

This is an impossible question to answer! My brain is about to explode!

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oneunder

Both solos are great. To say one is better than the other is just a matter of opinion.

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jceremic

The break solo on "Heartbreaker" is just a great example of the genius of Jimmy Page. It is a complete mess that you might hear from some kid trying to show off at Guitar Center if it wasn't played with drama in the middle of a rock classic tune followed by a great guitar interlude before it goes back to the main verse. A fantastic arrangement, to say the least. That said, I have to stick with the StH solo. It just has great tone, structure and feeling that I always enjoy listening to even though the song has been thoroughly worn out on the radio waves. To me it is up there with the solos on Moonage Daydream, Comfortably Numb, One Way Out, Like a Rock and The Messiah Will Come Again (Gary Moore Live at Montreaux). All of which are much better than the majority of solos in this little exercise here.

jefffos

Jimmy Page vs. Jimmy Page?? Won't this make Guitar World turn in on itself like a dying star and make a huge black hole?? Like dividing zero by zero...

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mbrandt77

Yeah the Stairway solo is dead simple. No double HO PO, no behind the nut bends, none of what makes the Heartbreaker solo a tough workout. But that simply perfect bridge to the outro is beautifully composed and flawlessly executed. The vibrato on many of the bent notes,so sweet....the technique throughout blows me away. I "learned" these solos also but still don't sound like Jimmy...Party On!!!

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celticknight

Hmmm, lets see who should I vote for ... I think I'll go for Jimmy Page :) But really it's a no brainer a somewhat sloppily played solo that has no connection whatsoever with the song, contrasted with, arguably, the best song ever written (well, it is to me) with a solo that complements it so well that it's almost criminal.

So my vote goes to tada ..... "Heartbreaker", oops, temporary insanity there, it really goes the song that shall not be named :)

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ardiril

I learned both solos decades ago, and I still do not see what people find so staggering about the Stairway to Heaven solo. It's dead simple, and no more expressive than the solo in the Eagles' "One Of These Nights".

The song itself is a masterwork of composition and manipulating vintage studio tech, but the solo plays a very small role overall and Page was smart enough to not overplay it.

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doughsellz

Agreed that JP was smart not to overplay but there's nothing wrong with simplicity either. Filler solos that bridge gaps between chorus & verse with bent notes & whammy bar whimsy aren't memorable. Tom Scholz played simple solos too but More Than A Feeling rings true with it's no nonsense approach & desire to add only another melodic layer. K.I.S.S. Always.

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doughsellz

In "Hammer of the Gods" Jimmy offers another nugget of Zeppelin lore: he'd been using Les Pauls throughout the recording of the album most have become comfortable calling Led Zeppelin IV. But during the taping of Stairway's solo he set the Gibson down after several attempts to achieve the desired sound & created his masterpiece with a Strat in just one take.

strat714

Telecaster.

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doughsellz

My bad. A rush to brag left me egg-faced.

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Darth Compton

I read it was a tele.

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onanboy

Same here

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celticknight

Gotta admit, I've read the same thing, a telecaster given to him by Jeff Beck in 1966.

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gypsyblues73

Yep, it was a Tele. Look up or Google some old pics of Jimmy, he was playing Teles long before he took a liking to Les Pauls, and used a Tele extensively throughout his tenure in the Yardbirds. A lot of people don't realize that David Gilmour did also, despite associating him so much with a Strat. Another surprising piece of trivia: that iconic, big, crunchy intro riff from "Smoke on the Water" was played with a Strat, of all things!

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jceremic

Most of Page's recorded solos and other guitar work were played on a tele. The LP was mainly used on stage and Led Zep II. The real tone magic on the StH solo was a small Supro amp (the model escapes me at the moment) that Page used frequently in the studio and aa judicious amount of studio delay. Its funny how wrapped up people get with the gear used, when it really has much more to do with the person playing.

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