Jimmy Page is a legendary musician who has had a massive impact on rock music. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and is revered for his innovative approach to the instrument. His playing style combines a soulful, blues-inspired sound, and his use of effects and production techniques helped to define the sound of 1970s rock and heavy metal.
Page is also known for his songwriting and production skills, and his work with Led Zeppelin is widely regarded as some of the best rock music ever created. Though he had his critics at the time, his ability to blend elements of blues, folk, and hard rock helped create a unique and influential style that has influenced countless musicians over the years. Let’s look at the tools he used to create his iconic sound.
Jimmy Page’s Guitars
Jimmy Page has used a wide variety of guitars throughout his career, and he is known for his love of vintage instruments, though early in his career, they weren’t so vintage! Some of the most famous guitars associated with Page include:
Gibson Les Paul
Jimmy Page is most closely associated with this iconic guitar, which he used extensively throughout his career. He owns several vintage Les Pauls and has used a Les Paul in almost every Led Zeppelin album.
This was Jimmy Page’s most iconic guitar during his time with Led Zeppelin between 1969 and 2007. The guitar is still owned by Page, but it is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art In NYC. Page customized the guitar throughout his time playing it, but only modestly. He changed the pickups but always kept humbuckers in. He also changed the tuners and added a “push-pull” knob that allowed him to switch the phase of the pickups.
During his career, Page has also used Fender Telecasters, which are known for their bright, twangy sound. He used a Telecaster on Led Zeppelin’s early recordings, and it can be heard on tracks like “Communication Breakdown.”
Page used this unique guitar on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” and its distinctive sound helped to create the song’s Middle Eastern-inspired riff.
Double-Necked Gibson EDS-1275
Page famously used this guitar on “Stairway to Heaven,” using the 12-string neck for the opening chords and the 6-string neck for the rest of the song. This guitar is essentially a double neck Gibson SG, with 4 humbucker pickups, standard Gibson knobs and switches, as well as another switch to toggle between the 2 guitars.
Martin D-28 acoustic guitar
While Jimmy Page was primarily an electric musician, he occasionally broke out an acoustic guitar for songs such as “Over The Hills And Far Away” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”. The Martin D-28 was a legendary acoustic guitar that was used by many guitarists such as Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and Neil Young, as well as Jimmy Page.
Jimmy Page’s amplifiers
Jimmy Page is known for using a variety of amplifiers throughout his career, and he is renowned for his distinctive, high-gain tone. While he had a vast arsenal of amps throughout his career, some of the most famous amplifiers associated with Page include:
The Marshall Super Lead is the most closely associated amp with Jimmy Page. He primarily used the Marshall Super Lead and other Marshall tube amps to create his signature overdriven sound. He often paired the Super Lead with a cabinet loaded with Celestion speakers, which helped to define the sound of 1970s rock.
Page also used this classic amplifier known for its bright, chimey sound. He used an AC30 on Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” and the distinctive sound of the amplifier can be heard on many of his recordings.
Fender Dual Showman
Jimmy Page used this powerful amplifier on Led Zeppelin’s live shows, and it can be heard on recordings like “How Many More Times” and “Dazed and Confused.”
Page used this amplifier during the later years of Led Zeppelin’s career, and it can be heard on recordings like “Kashmir” and “In the Evening.”
What amp to use if you are on a budget?
If you are on a budget but still want the overdriven sound of Jimmy Page, here are a few of my top amp recommendations for amps less than $1,000.
Jimmy Page’s effects pedals
Jimmy Page was an innovator. Led Zeppelin, along with Black Sabbath, is considered one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time. This is largely due to Page’s impressive guitar skills and the creative effects he used to push his gain, volume, and distortion to unforeseen levels. Here are some of the iconic effects pedals Jimmy Page has used throughout his career.
The first effect I’ll mention isn’t actually an effect pedal at all, but a standard violin bow!
One of Jimmy Page’s most distinctive techniques as a guitarist is his use of a violin bow to create ambient textures. Page first experimented with using a bow on his guitar during his time with The Yardbirds, but he really began to explore the technique in depth during his years with Led Zeppelin.
On songs like “Dazed and Confused,” Page would use a violin bow to create a haunting, ethereal sound by bowing the strings of his guitar. He would also use the bow to create a percussive effect by tapping the strings, and he would occasionally use the bow on other instruments like the mandolin and the bass guitar.
Page’s use of the bow helped create a distinctive, otherworldly sound unlike anything else in rock music at the time.
Now onto the actual pedals. Some of the most famous effects pedals associated with Page include:
Dunlop Fuzz Face
Page used this classic distortion pedal to create his signature overdriven tone, which is heard on many Led Zeppelin recordings. He often used the Fuzz Face in combination with other pedals to create more complex and layered sounds. The Fuzz Face was one of the first guitar distortion pedals and was initially made popular by Jimi Hendrix.
Page used this pedal to create the distinctive “wah-wah” sound that is heard on tracks like “Whole Lotta Love.” He often used the Vox V847A wah-wah in combination with other pedals to create more complex and expressive sounds.
Blue Box Octave Fuzz
This is a crazy little effect pedal that Jimmy Page used on a few songs, most famously his solo on “Fool In The Rain”. The MXR Blue Box mixes an intense fuzz tone with a doubled copy of your tone 2 octaves lower. This creates a powerful and unique lead sound.
Jimmy Page also uses the Dunlop Echoplex delay effect to create the distinctive echo and delay sounds that are heard on many Led Zeppelin recordings. He often used the Echoplex to create complex and layered textures, which helped define the sound of 1970s rock.
Here are the strings that Jimmy Page typically uses on his guitars.
Electric guitar strings
For his electric guitar strings, Jimmy Page typically uses Ernie Ball Super Slinky .09-.42. These strings have a light string gauge that allows him to move around the fretboard fast and get a bright bluesy sound.
Acoustic guitar strings
For his acoustic guitars, Page uses Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Light .10-.50 copper wound strings. Acoustic guitars should have a slightly higher string gauge than electric guitars due to the difference in tension and construction of the instruments. These extra light strings deliver a well-rounded, bright guitar sound.
Jimmy Page’s influence cannot be overstated. From incredibly technical songs like “Black Dog” to intricate classical-style pieces like “Stairway To Heaven”, he has wowed the world with his impressive guitar and songwriting skills. He’ll continue to influence musicians until the sun burns out.