How to play Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin

The "Immigrant Song" first appeared on Led Zeppelin's 1970 album Led Zeppelin III. It was also released as a single and charted in several countries.

It is another fine example of Led Zeppelin completely reinventing itself over and over again. There really was nothing that sounded like "Immigrant Song" when it was released.

Most of track is built off of Jimmy Page's iconic staccato driven guitar riff. This riff gives the entire song quite a lot of energy.

Pay close attention to the picking pattern I demonstrate for this opening riff in the video lesson. It is essential to get a consistent technique when performing the main riff in order for it not to sound erratic. The way the riff is performed, a lot of guitarists fall victim to just trying to wing it, which causes them to pick the riff differently every time they play it. That obviously won't build very good consistency both in sound and technique.

Even if the picking pattern that I will demonstrate feels a bit awkward at first, keep sticking with it. You will notice as the riff is sped up and repeated that the picking pattern that I demonstrate is actually quite natural feeling and will give you a very consistent sound.

It is also essential to have the proper amount of palm muting with this riff to help the notes pop-out better.

From there we have a few basic chords that revolve around the main riff. Nothing very challenging with them though.

The end of the track does require you to play the main riff while constantly doing quick chord stabs on an C9 chord. I will demonstrate the timing of that part as well towards the end of the video lesson.

So have fun learning this classic Led Zeppelin song and make sure you keep that riff tight! It also makes an excellent picking exercise!!


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How to play Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin


  1. Kenneth Hettinger on December 24, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Great lesson fun song to play !!!

  2. Bill degroot on March 2, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Just love those gallop beats

  3. Ben Wasson on May 11, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Was I the only one doing the aaa-eee-aaa- ahhh while he was playing?

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