Guitar lesson for
Stairway to Heaven
by Led Zeppelin • Lesson #69
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In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to play the first part of the intro riff to Stairway to Heaven. I’ll show you tabs, but also give a tutorial on the chord positions needed, finger picking patterns, how to practice the difficult parts, given an introduction to barre chords, and everything else you’ll need to play the the openin bars of this classic Led Zeppelin song.
- 0:00 Playthrough
- 0:26 Lesson overview
- 1:46 1st chord (barring basics)
- 3:50 2nd & 3rd chords (walking bass notes)
- 5:30 4th chord (big jump to D/F#)
- 7:25 Final 3 chords & turnaround
- 9:21 Add the fingerpicking
- 10:42 Closing thoughts
Intro, part 1
Play this twice:
E |––––––––5–––7–––––7––|––8–––––8–––2–––––2––|––0–––––––––0––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| B |––––––5–––––––5––––––|––––5–––––––––3––––––|––––1–––1–––––1––––|––0–1–1––––––––––––| G |––––5–––––––––––5––––|––––––5–––––––––2––––|––––––2–––––––––2––|––0–2–2––––––––––––| D |––7–––––––––6––––––––|––5–––––––––4––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| A |–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––2–0–0–––0––/8–7––| E |–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| Am Am/G# Am/G D/F# Fadd9 G/B Am
The key to learning this, if your’e just getting started with it, is to learn the chord shapes first. Get them down pat before you even worry about the finger picking pattern. Here are the chord shapes with the fingerpicking pattern removed:
E |––5–––––––––7––––––––|––8–––––––––2––––––––|––0––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| B |––5–––––––––5––––––––|––5–––––––––3––––––––|––1––––––––––––––––|––0–––1––––––––––––| G |––5–––––––––5––––––––|––5–––––––––2––––––––|––2––––––––––––––––|––0–––2––––––––––––| D |––7–––––––––6––––––––|––5–––––––––4––––––––|––3––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| A |–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––2–––0–––0––/8–7––| E |–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––| Am Am/G# Am/G D/F# Fadd9 G/B Am
Once you get these worked out, adding the fingerpicking is much easier an ordeal.
Learn to play the interlude
This second lesson teaches you the “Oh, it makes me wonder” part heard between 2:14-2:38 of the song.
This second video explores some more of the acoustic nooks & crannies of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. In this video I’m going to break down the interlude section heard between 2:14 and 2:38 of the official recording (which has the vocal “Oh, it makes me wonder”). I’ll teach you how to play this section on guitar: playing the chord shapes, approaching strumming, and how to get over the hump with the triads & difficult transitions.
Get the PDF for this interlude section on my Patreon page.
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