Which Led Zeppelin Guitar Riff Was Written by John Paul Jones?

January 4, 2015
Bass, keyboards, harp, double bass, mandolin, guitar, lap steel, continuum, sitar, keytar, banjo, saxophone, flute, viola, cello, violin — it might be quicker to list the instruments John Paul Jones doesn't play.

The Led Zeppelin bassist — who celebrated his 69th birthday this January 3rd — is credited with writing the main guitar riff to "Black Dog," saying he wanted to write a song with complex rhythm changes that people couldn't "groove" or dance to.

Think about trying to dance to "Black Dog" for a second.
 
Mission accomplished, JPJ.

In an interview with Cameron Crowe, Jones explained: "I wanted to try an electric blues with a rolling bass part. But it couldn't be too simple. I wanted it to turn back on itself. I showed it to the guys, and we fell into it. We struggled with the turn-around, until [John] Bonham figured out that you just four-time as if there's no turn-around. That was the secret."

 
*Photo of John Paul Jones by seminar Guitar Player photographer, Jon Sievert. Image is copyrighted by Jon Sievert and cannot be used without permission. Read more about Jon and the early days of GP in the upcoming book by Jim and Dara Crockett, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever.

 
 
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