Joe bonamassa on Jimmy page

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Guitarist64, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Guitarist64

    Guitarist64 Member

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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?
     
  2. pak1001

    pak1001 Member

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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.
     
  3. JRC4558Dude

    JRC4558Dude Member

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    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...;)
     
  4. Guitarist64

    Guitarist64 Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I wasn't being critical (critics couldn't make music no matter how hard they rub their legs together). I fronted a band that did a zeppelin show...like most people reading this, I have jimmy's DNA.
     
  5. derekd

    derekd Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  6. Doomrider78

    Doomrider78 Member

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    It's because his guitar was hanging around his knees, live :p:hide:roll
     
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  7. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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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...
     
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  8. Brutus

    Brutus Member

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    You can play it safe or go for it. The second approach means you’re on the edge, which also means you’ll occasionally fall off. Thats fine with me. I like my music raw much more than over-cooked.
     
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  9. zep41

    zep41 Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  10. zep41

    zep41 Member

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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. 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.
     
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  11. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    THIS.
     
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  12. killer blues

    killer blues Member

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    Page was a great artist and a master in the studio. He wasn't a technician on the guitar.
     
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  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I saw LZ on TV playing at the Atlantic party..Jimmy Page should have re-thought that no practicing philosophy...
    I agree...
     
  14. Blanket Jackson

    Blanket Jackson ¿Qué Hiciste? Silver Supporting Member

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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.
     
  15. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I agree with Joe on this one. Page was fully capable of playing anything he wanted on guitar. He played the way he wanted. I happen to like it.
     
  16. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Page WANTED to sound bad?
     
  17. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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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.
     
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  18. derekd

    derekd Member

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    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?
     
  19. prototype

    prototype Member

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    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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  20. toasterdude

    toasterdude Member

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    I think bonham was intentionally sloppy. At times sounded like he was falling down stairs but landed on his feet and on the one.

    I think page had “unique” timing. Sort of like lightnin hopkins.
     

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