When I first heard the music of Led Zeppelin at age 15, I was in awe.

I was listening to the Remasters album (basically a ‘best of’ record).

It was full of amazing songs.

Funnily enough, “Stairway to Heaven” wasn’t one of the songs that stood out to me at the time.

“Black Dog”, “The Battle of Evermore”, and “Since I’ve Been Loving You” were the first songs I remember being stunned by.

In fact, “Since I’ve Been Loving You” was pretty much my first introduction to blues.


The other day, I came across a talk Jimmy did for the Oxford Union (it’s on YouTube).

Jimmy told a cool story about how just before he got his big break with The Yardbirds he was a studio musician.

He had already done three years of studio work, doing five or six days a week.

It’s clear being a studio musician is probably one of the reasons why he was so hot at playing a wide variety of styles.


It was like an apprenticeship for him.

He had to learn how to read music.

He had to learn production and studio engineering techniques, such as microphone placement when recording (which is very important).

He had to learn skills such as arranging, and more.


Just before Jimmy joined the Yardbirds, he was not overly happy with the studio work.

He was talking with the great Jeff Beck about how, at the time, he was being asked to play “muzak”.

AKA elevator music.

“It was hell,” Jimmy said.

I can imagine it was.


What if Jimmy Page never left the session world?

What if he instead stuck with a comfortable and safe career of playing muzak?

Just how different would the music world of the last 50 years be?

Well, Jimmy took the leap, and the rest is history.


I like that and there are a few things that stand out watching that interview.

One… is that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone a little.

Two… is that we all have to put in the groundwork of building up our skillset before we can become the musician we want to be (no matter if you only ever want to play for yourself).

Three… Jimmy Page is one super cool guy.


I like to watch snippets of interviews and read books and stories about my guitar heroes and get to see a little behind the curtain.

It reminds me they are human and often found things tough at various points.

Who’s your guitar hero or the guitarist in a band you love?

Whoever that may be, it can be good to watch some interviews and find out their backstories.

Inspiration is always a good thing and keeping your “inspiration jar”, as I call it, topped up is a good thing.


Anyway, if you’re a fingerpicker or you would love to learn this style, you may like to check out my book below…

Fingerstyle 101 – a step-by-step guide to beautiful fingerpicking guitar playing


Have a great day of practice! 

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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