Joe bonamassa on Jimmy page

Guitarist64

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I never thought about this until Joe mentioned it. Don't remember if it was a vid or an article, but he said the sloppy way that Page tends to play at times is intentional. Page was in the studio for years, playing 2 to 3 hrs a night on tour. If he wanted a note perfect solo on a track, I'm sure he could do just that. I used to think he was just sloppy, not that he may have actually thought about it and did it intentionally. What do you think?
 

pak1001

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Joe is right, IMHO. I've seen Page with The Yardbirds, the Zep first tour and MSG 1975. In every live situation I got the sense that he was pushing the envelope re: his own abilities, reaching for the edge, if you will. This is a direct contrast to his very, very prepared and orchestrated studio work.
 

derekd

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During a time now in music where clear precision is valued, I'd certainly say JP's playing was sloppy.

He is a good enough player he could have approached it any way he wished. I think @pak1001 is right.

His approach to a tune was as much an effect as any pedal in his arsenal.
 
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2HBStrat

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Joe is right, IMHO. I've seen Page with The Yardbirds, the Zep first tour and MSG 1975. In every live situation I got the sense that he was pushing the envelope re: his own abilities, reaching for the edge, if you will. This is a direct contrast to his very, very prepared and orchestrated studio work.
No, I don't think that Jimmy Page is being intentionally sloppy when playing concerts...why would he do that? If he is "pushing the envelope" and not meeting his intended goals that's just bad playing, bad execution, not intentionally sloppy...as if intentionally sloppy is a thing, anyway...
 

zep41

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Joe Bonamassa is correct -- but to an extent.

There are many instances of Page's live playing that so many people consider to be sloppy. But for me personally, having literally studied the guy's playing since I was 13 years old, I hear him playing exactly what he wants to play the way he intends to play it. To an "untrained" ear it could pass as sloppy. But to one who comprehends well enough what he is doing, it's exactly what it's supposed to be. There are countless examples (and debates) about this on you tube.

But on the other hand, there are a variety of live Page examples out there (particularly in the years 1977 and 1980 - and guess what that coincides with) where his playing is just plain bad, by the standards of what he is intending to do. You can tell what he's trying to do, but whatever forces that be are just preventing him from getting it across.

Now I'm sure a small part of that is attributed to us listening to it on a dry and dull soundboard recording that was mixed for live presentation to a crowd of 50,000 in an inside dome. So for sure it sounded much better to the concertgoers that were actually there. But even still there is sloppiness.

Interestingly enough, a good portion of that sloppiness went away when he sat down and played acoustic (1977). So I always wonder if there's a correlation there whatever it may be.

Bottom line is, though, that Joe B.'s point should be well considered next time one wants to take the cliched easy way out and say Page is just sloppy and that's that. In more cases than not, I think it's sloppy listening.

A true sloppy guitar player cannot create what Page created on guitar on tracks like Since I've been Loving You, The Song Remains the Same, Ten Years Gone, or Achilles Last Stand. Or go on some of the crazy guitar runs that he effortlessly pulled out of nowhere on live performances of Dazed and Confused, No Quarter, Stairway, Over the Hills, or the Whole Lotta Love medley.
 
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zep41

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No, I don't think that Jimmy Page is being intentionally sloppy when playing concerts...why would he do that? If he is "pushing the envelope" and not meeting his intended goals that's just bad playing, bad execution, not intentionally sloppy...as if intentionally sloppy is a thing, anyway...
Maybe, maybe not. But I think it's worth noting that Page is quoted as stating he stopped "practicing" guitar after 1973 because he intentionally wanted to convey that instant spontaneity. He always felt that the "in the moment" delivery was always the best representation - as in something that's rehearsed and planned takes away from the possibility of the true artistry. For better or worse.
 

2HBStrat

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Maybe, maybe not. But I think it's worth noting that Page is quoted as stating he stopped "practicing" guitar after 1973 because he intentionally wanted to convey that instant spontaneity.....
I saw LZ on TV playing at the Atlantic party..Jimmy Page should have re-thought that no practicing philosophy...
Page was a great artist and a master in the studio...
I agree...
 

Blanket Jackson

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Page is a great riff writer, and I agree that he always pushed himself to the edge of his ability live, but come on folks, dude was an extreme hedonist and had a (by all accounts) nasty smack habit for some time. There are a lot of players that played mind blowing on smack, but it's not a recipe for amazing playing and I always figured for mental impairment in any clip where I might hear sloppiness in his playing.
 

Terry McInturff

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When I had the fun opportunity to play Jimmy Page's 1999 tour guitars (Black Crowes tour) in order to acquaint myself prior to building him a guitar, I did notice a couple of things that gave me a little insight into his sound (and this has nothing to do with "sloppy").

The guitars included the two iconic "Led Zeppelin" old Les Pauls, and I paid more attention to these since they were the main guitars.

The frets were wide and very low; the strings (9-42) were set down very low as well. In addition, he uses a very thin pick (can't recall the brand but his tech begged me to find more as they were no longer available) that wasn't celluloid, rather nylon and white semi-translucent.

When the guitars were played with a regular Fender tortoise shell pick, the strings would rather easily buzz at every fret. However when played with Jimmy's choice of pick, that sort of "scribby" response happened. Hammer ons/pull offs were a breeze, and overall it became easier for me to understand how the guitars responded to the pick attack.

The guitars weren't setup in a way that would be ideal for a very legato, sustainy style ala Carlos Santana, but it was ideal for the more staccato approach that we know and love from JP.
 

derekd

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Page WANTED to sound bad?
Considering their sales and concert attendance, I don't think it was considered bad at that time. Look how many players he has influenced.

To call it playing bad today is a bit of revisionism. We generally value precision today more than in the past.

Plus, @Blanket Jackson makes a very good point. How many times was JP sober while on stage?
 

prototype

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3,524
To me, "sloppy" would mean out of tune, out of time, or off-key.

I certainly don't hear that hear that in Pagey's playing.
What I hear is "looseness", if you will, rather than sloppy playing.

I will admit that later Zeppelin live stuff is perhaps a bit too loose...;)
i'm not sure i agree 100% but i see what you're getting at. Iommi I think is a good comparison because he was a master of timing and would play behind the beat a lot on purpose, but it just made the riffs sound ****ing huge and foreboding - perfect for the band. But his playing was also very in tune and his bending was very smooth and symmetrical.

Page I think was a little "looser" to the point where it can sound sloppy. You're going to hear clams every now and then and lots of other artifacts from what some would call sub-standard muting technique, but I think that was used for effect by Pagey on songs like Heartbreaker or I Can't Quit You Baby. I think his vibrato/bending also ends up out of tune a little more often than someone like Iommi, but to some degree that works to an effect of making the guitar jump out a little more. I recognize this stuff because by that standard my own playing is sloppy too!
 




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