The Rain Song

Hi Folks, a first video upload of me attempting to play this Jimmy Page classic. Complete with beginner guitarist mistakes and pauses! Such a beautiful piece of music… lots of things I need to work on with this one, but enjoyable to try something a bit above my level. Fun ditching the pick at 4:30 JP style :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve had a couple of goes with this, the first on acoustic, the second (more complete but still omitting some repeated sections for brevity) on an unplugged electric.

Take 1.

Take 2.



You’ve done really well with this and probably been over self-critical. The playing is generally very good: it’s a long piece and a memory test as much as anything. Well played.


Thanks Brian, that’s very kind. I’m looking forward to working on all the parts that need some polish! The camera seems to have a strange effect on my playing too!

Hi Chris - such a beautiful piece.
Jimmy Page + acoustic guitar = sounds of bliss.

The main encouragement I am going to give you is to slow it down and maintain a steady and consistent hand movement down-up in your strumming arm and hand.


Thanks Richard, yes, very good point - I seem to have developed a bad habit there of not keeping my strumming arm moving. Will work on that too.

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Hi Chris,
How good that you post your first attempt, because if you have the feeling after weeks (or months) of practice that things are still going not much beter/smoothly, it is super fun to look back at this quite complicated song, it seems, but there is also a lot going on. already a lot of good things hearing…keep on going :sunglasses:

Hi Chris

I like that your chords and notes sound nice and clean, and kudos for taking on such a challenging piece.
As you say, there’s stuff to work on - for me the biggest immediate improvement would be to getting to playing it at an even tempo without the pauses. It wouldn’t have to be the tempo of the original recording - slower is good too. Keep at it and it will come, I’m sure.

Thanks Roger, much appreciated.

Thanks Jacob, ah yes, really need to find a consistent rhythm. Loving that DGCGCD tuning, makes for some beautiful sounding chords.

Nice work Chris, I know you pointed out the hesitant parts, but in most of it, you projected the spirit of the tune very nicely to my ears!

Hi Chris, it is a very good first attempt. Well done!
I am looking forward to seeing a more rehearsed version soon. :slight_smile:

Thanks Twistor. It’s such a lovely piece it does inspire you to keep working on it.

Thanks Boris. Easy to get tempted by all the other great Zeppelin songs of course! Just had a try with it on my electric, definitely easier to play, but that’s cheating so I need to work more on my acoustic guitar chord grips etc.

Exactly my thoughts. Slow down, make it even, play with a clicker or a recording…
But isn’t it the hardest part of the practice - playing really slow?
I struggle with it. I wanna speed up way too prematurely every time I learn a new piece…

Hi Alex, yes, that desire to play at the speed of the real recording is strong. Also as you say the discipline to keep time and play to a metronome is needed before raising the tempo. I had another go this morning on my electric unplugged, I think I’ve improved a bit, but lots still to work on!

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Ok. This playing-slow-but-steady thing is not new, but recently I was inspired to take it much more seriously, after listening to Tatiana Ryzhkova, a classical guitarist. It goes like this:

  1. Whatever you practice - you perfect what you repeat. If you make same mistakes time after time, you learn these mistakes
  2. If you don’t see a progress in a couple of days - you practice it wrong! This one is really an eye opener, and tough to implement. We assume that it takes months to progress with a challenging tune, but we still should see some progress after almost every practice session
  3. After you’ve learned a piece enough to actually play thru it, do it slow, in short chunks, to a metronome. This way you are not practicing your mistakes. And if you stick to it, the progress will show itself pretty soon

We tend to forgive ourselves little imperfections during practice. But they don’t go away with time.

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Practice makes permanent as Justin would say :slight_smile:

Here’s take 2. Some of it is better, but some new mistakes too. Am going to go back and practice each section slowly and to a metronome, thanks for all the feedback guys.

@ivymike hi, is this in open G like the recording?

Hi. It’s DGCGCD. Or Open Page tuning as some call it!