Led Zeppelin – Going To California Guitar Lesson

In this Going To California guitar lesson video, I will show you how to play this highly requested acoustic classic by Led Zeppelin.

First things first, we need to make sure you are in the right tuning. The tuning Jimmy Page used in "Going To California" is Double Drop "D" Tuning.

This tuning basically requires you to take a standard tuned acoustic, and tune both of the E strings down a whole-step to D. The resulting notes, starting from the 6th string are,  D A D G B D

"Going To California" is one of the great acoustic classic rock songs. Jimmy Page's fingerpicking creates sort of an atmospheric quality to the music. I will mention though, that he usually used a thumb pick during the song, however you can just play it without one like I do in the lesson.

One thing that you will hear immediately in "Going To California" is that there are multiple acoustics playing and a mandolin playing melodies throughout most of the song. What I will be teaching in this lesson is sort of a combination of the acoustic parts so that it will sound good with one guitar. Kind of like Jimmy Page would play it live.

I will go through each section of the song in the order that it appears and will break down all of the picking patterns as well.

The main thing to focus on in the picking hand is the thumb. Jimmy Page is employing Travis Style picking which makes the thumb play the main role in driving the rhythm of the song. It will all be explained in the lesson.

I hope you guys enjoy learning yet another acoustic masterpiece from Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin!


If these free lessons help you, please donate to keep new ones coming daily. Thanks!! 🙂

Donate to GuitarLessons365
Other Amount:

Led Zeppelin - Going To California Guitar Lesson


  1. Jambo on July 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Great lesson, Carl! Thanks!

    • Jambo on July 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Also loved your “The Rain Song” lesson. Drifting away from Led Zepplin for a moment, any chance you could do a couple of lessons from The Pursuit of Happiness? “I’m and Adult Now?” “Man’s Best Friend?” Thanks for considering them.

  2. Skip on August 3, 2022 at 10:02 am

    A great lesson! Wonderful, thank you!

  3. Peter F Licursi on July 11, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Love for your lessons!!!!
    I am having a tough time with Going to CA, is there a tab for this song?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.