Black Mountain Side by Led Zeppelin | acoustic
An acoustic guitar lesson on how to play "Black Mountain Side" by Led Zeppelin. From their self titled debut album released in 1969.
Jimmy Page's acoustic playing was heavily influenced by Bert Jansch and this piece is no exception. Jansch had released a song he called "Black Waterside" on his 1966 album "Jack Orion". This was his version of a traditional folk song called "Down By Blackwaterside". He played it in drop D tuning and sung the lyric and melody.
As it turned out, Jimmy Page was a session player on one of Al Stewart's (famous for "The Year Of the Cat") albums and Al taught Jimmy Bert Jansch's version of "Black Waterside". Al had toured with Bert, that's how he knew the song.
Jimmy wound up playing it as instrumental in DADGAD tuning (it's DADGAD, but down a half step on the record) and changing the title to "Black Mountain Side". That's what appears on the Led Zeppelin album.
The percussion was played by Viram Jasani who played the tabla. John Bonham did not appear on the track.
I did my best to transcribe this as close to the recording as I could. Of course Jimmy would never play it the same way twice but as I often say, most people who have been listening to a piece for over fifty years want to play it like the record.
It's a very hypnotic, almost trance-like piece of music. It's a lot harder to play than it might sound! There's no rest! The parts keep coming at you. Add in the quirky timing that's synonymous with Jimmy's playing and it's a very challenging piece to get through.
I hope that you enjoy the video and that it helps you to decode this very unusual and complex guitar piece. Cheers
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