Battle of Evermore (mandolin noodling)

Not the complete song: just a “sound sample” of some of the mandolin parts from Led Zeppelin’s Battle of Evermore.

Battle of Evermore mandolin noodling (Dropbox/WAV)

Of note, my father built the mandolin that I’m playing. My mother had wanted to learn mandolin, so he ordered a kit, then built and finished it for her. After she passed away the mandolin came to me.


Things passed like this mean 100% more than custom shop trinkets ever could. Hope you enjoy for many years

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Hi Jason,
Nice Noodling,
Wonderful to play an instrument with such a story, I wish you many beautiful memories from this side…

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Excellent Jason, that’s another of the Led Zep tracks that I really like! Your noodling was much more than recognisable, it was pretty damn good!
I always fancied getting myself a Mandolin but got sidetracked with Ukuleles, maybe some time I might still get one - other half permitting :grin:. The only real attempt at Led Zep on my Ukulele was Kashmir, that was fun to tame it with the amount of dirt needed :joy:

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That’s one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs. It was so cool to hear just the mandolin part by itself!

I play the guitar some and bought a mandolin that was on sale at our local music store at the beginning of the pandemic. I looked at it a few times, but never really got into trying to learn how to play it. My Grandfather played the mandolin (and banjo) at square dances in rural Kentucky.

Your post makes me feel inspired to take it back out and try and find some online resources to get started. It’s such a great instrument.

That’s also a great story about your parents. It looks like a lovely instrument and has that traditional bright, crisp mandolin sound.

Thank you!

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A very nice bit of noodling Jason. The mandolin sounds niiiiiiice.

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Not a big fan of this type of 6 string, mind you. But, you picked the right song to noodle on and I found this very enjoyable. I have to ask, can you do this on a regular 6 string? No big deal there, just wondering. Very nice and well done/played!

Good job and keep rock’n,

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Thank you. For what it’s worth, this (and most) mandolins are technically 8-strings, but they’re arranged in 4 “courses” (just like a 12-string guitar has 6 courses). The four mandolin courses are tuned exactly like a violin: G D A E (lowest to highest).

I’ve never tried playing the mandolin part on guitar, but I’m sure one could do something similar. There’s a separate guitar part for this song, though.

Hey JW! Man that was sick, great mandolin skills very nice!!! I wouldnt mind actually learning to play one of those! Is it as hard as guitar? Or about the same? I know my fingers would probably be cramped trying to play one.

Hi Jason,
You know I actually tried to count the tuning pegs on the mandolin in your video and came up with 6. So thanks on the correction! It was very early in the am on this side, perhaps once the eyes clear up, I could see better… LOL

Ah, more good info! I did not realize this at first glance or rather, listen. Yet when I think back to the record on this part, yeah… it sure does sounds different that a 6 string, now I know why! Great stuff, great play and thanks for allowing me to learn a couple of things!


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Well, it’s a fretted instrument like guitar, so having some experience with guitar helps a lot. Its tuning is like a violin, so coming from guitar you’d need to adjust to that in order to learn the mandolin fingerboard (and, of course, experience with violin would help with this part). However, that’s no different than playing guitar in a different tuning, so I wouldn’t call it a major obstacle. As you note, the greatest difficulty when coming from guitar is probably the size of the mandolin fingerboard.

The fingerboard is tiny. Playing single note runs isn’t too bad (like playing similar runs on a 12-string guitar), but chords often take a different approach compared to guitar. For example, instead of barring with the side of your finger you often use your finger tips to fret adjacent courses. So one finger (with the tip) is fretting multiple strings across two courses. In such cases, you might find your fingertip mutes a string in one of the courses instead of fretting it cleanly. That’s okay, though, because of the two strings per course. As long as you get a clean note out of one string in a given course, you’re fine. That may be one of the reasons for two strings per course. It also means that, somewhat ironically given the tiny fretboard, larger hands with wide fingers are not a big disadvantage.

Ahh ok cool thanks!! Ill keep that in mind if i ever get one!!

Jimmy Page wrote this song (with Robert Plant) while messing around on John Paul Jones’s mandolin. I’m not sure who played what on the studio recording, but I’d guess that Jimmy Page did both guitar and mandolin in the studio.

Live, Page played mandolin and John Paul Jones played the guitar part and sometimes sang the second vocal part, although not as well as Sandy Denny (the guest vocalist on the studio recording), and Bonham played a tambourine (with a padded beater). There’s a video of a 1977 live performance floating around on youtube.

That was played really well, Jason, I missed whatever warts you were talking about though! The mandolin’s story is quite moving as well, nice to hear you playing it.

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I keep seeing the word “NOODLING” - What do you all mean?

I use it to mean “not playing a whole song, just playing around.” It also implies some improvisation (like the little runs I play at the end of the mandolin recording).

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Well that was sweet.

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That was fantastic Jason. Your mandolin is beautiful. I have my late father’s mandolin that I often have wanted to try out but never quite seem to know where to begin. I’m going to have to look for some tabs to get me started.

That was great - I really enjoyed that. Thanks.
And a lovely story about your Father building the mandolin for your Mother. It looks beautiful.

Absolutely awesome @J.W.C That was not only different for this forum but a really pleasurable listen. It must be fun being able to play all the instruments you play. I know it’s fun from this end. Thanks for sharing this one. Great backstory too!