Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Stairway to Heaven figure

This is something I did for a student who was looking for some help playing Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. On the out chorus— or whatever you want to call it; the song is basically just a four bar verse plus a bridge and a C section, and doesn't really have a chorus— there is a rhythmic figure which John Bonham plays a few different ways, and uses as the basis for his fills. I haven't transcribed what he plays exactly, but I wrote out some obvious ways of playing the figure which are very similar to what he's doing.

Learn the orchestrations individually, then practice them as part of the two-measure practice phrase— which happens to be the same way it happens in the song. When you have it up to speed, run them along with the practice loop. The orchestrations are not meant to be married to any particular drum or cymbal. They also don't need to be played exactly; you can improvise your own way of playing each basic idea.

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