Communication Breakdown Guitar Lesson – Led Zeppelin

Released in 1969 on Led Zeppelin's debut album, "Communication Breakdown" went on to become a live staple of the band's throughout their career.

The popularity of "Communication Breakdown" is in large part due to Jimmy Page's hard driving opening riff. In fact, this riff, with it's rapid downstrokes, became a huge influence on bands like the Ramones.

In this Communication Breakdown guitar lesson video, I will demonstrate how to play all of the riffs and the killer guitar solo note-for-note.

The first video lesson tackles the two riffs that make up the entire song. The first riff starts with rapid downstrokes on the low E string, followed by some quick barre chords. In the video I will demonstrate a couple of ways to play those chords, both the way Jimmy Page plays it and the way anyone that doesn't feel comfortable using their thumb to finger notes on the low E string can play it.

The second riff is very Chuck Berry influenced, and is built around a dominant 7 barre chord shape. Just like I demonstrate in the lesson, it is better to focus on the Chuck Berry style rhythm first before adding the full dominant 7 barre chords into the mix. This will help you keep the riff more stable and also let you feel where those dominant 7 chord stabs are much easier.

In the second video lesson, I will do a note-for-note breakdown of Jimmy Page's blistering guitar solo. This solo is full of very fast blues inspired licks. I teach the solo phrase-by-phrase so you can learn it in a more digestible format. I suggest getting a couple of phrases down a day then coming back for more each day until the solo is complete.

You really want to make sure you absorb all of those techniques before trying to put the entire solo together into one cohesive unit. Everything just flies by so fast you don't have much time to think.

So have fun with this excellent and challenging Led Zeppelin classic!


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Communication Breakdown Guitar Lesson Pt.1 - All Rhythms

Communication Breakdown Guitar Lesson Pt.2 - Solo


  1. Luigino Brusco on February 1, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Congratulations, another great lesson!

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