How To Play Black Dog By Led Zeppelin On Guitar


Black Dog is best suited for a standard tuning of E A D G B E. Start by getting used to the melody of the song. Then, become comfortable with the basics of the guitar chords used in the song. The key chords used in the song are Em, C, G and D. It is important to become familiar with how the chords sound and feel. Additionally, you should be aware of the notes that you are playing when finger-picking the song.

Chord Progression and Strumming

The chord progression of Black Dog is as follows: Intro | Em | C | G | D | Em | Verse | Em | C | G | D | Em | C | G | D | Chorus | Em | C | G | D | Em | C | G | D | Pre-chorus | Em | G | D | Em | C | G | D | Em. To start, practice playing the chords smoothly and in time. Load your guitar with light gauge strings that have plenty of tension. This will allow you to strum confidently and powerfully.

Finger Picking

Led Zeppelin’s music is rooted in the blues, and much of the band’s music is based closely on fingerpicking patterns. Becoming proficient in fingerpicking is essential for playing Black Dog on guitar accurately. Try starting with the basic fingerpicking patterns and then explore various different techniques that you are comfortable with. All throughout the song, the chords being used should be sounding clear and strong. This will give the song its unique sound.

Intro Riff

One of the more unique features of Black Dog is the four bar intro riff. This riff is commonly played by guitarists who are familiar with the script. The riff is broken down into the following notes: 11th fret G string, 8th fret D string, 10th fret G string, 10th fret B string, 12th fret D string, 8th fret A string and 7th fret D string. Once you become comfortable with playing these notes, it should be easy to incorporate them into the song.


The solo of Black Dog is a classic blues solo. It is played at a fast tempo and is generally improvised. To play the solo accurately it is advisable to practice the style of blues licks that are commonly used by guitarist such as Jimmy Page and BB King. Additionally, practice the various techniques of bending, vibrato and slides to gain an understanding of the song’s sound and style.


Vocally, Jimmy Page is a master of vocal delivery. The vocals are sung in a soulful, bluesy style. Practice singing along to the song several times before attempting to sing and play the song together. Have patience with this task. When playing the song live, sing along to the song to add to the performance. Do not be afraid to get creative with your singing and add improvisational sections.


Practice playing the song slowly, and take your time learning it. As the tempo increases, be conscious of the timing and make sure that each chord and note is being heard. As you gain more experience playing the song, feel free to add improvisational sections.Lastly, record your performance and listen to it regularly to identify areas in need of growth.

Layered Guitars

Adding layers of guitars to your sound can take it to the next level. Try to keep each guitar part unique and not have them completely overlap each other. For example, a rhythm track and a lead part or a rhythm track and a harmony part could work well in the same song. Furthermore, experiment with different tones and sound effects to create a greater diversity in your sound.


Playing Black Dog on guitar is definitely an achievable goal. Remember that practice makes perfect. Start by mastering the basics, such as the chords and finger-picking techniques. Then, move onto more advanced techniques, such as the solo. Before long, you will begin to make the song come alive and sound like the original recording.


Playing Black Dog with the correct dynamics is essential. Emphasizing the strums on the guitar will improve the song’s overall sound. For the solo and other sections of the song, you should vary the dynamics by playing some sections louder than others. This will make the song more interesting and provide more contrast between sections.


Led Zeppelin put together an unforgettable classic with Black Dog. The composition of the song is quite unique and contains several musical layers. Start by listening to the song and studying the various different sections. You can learn a lot from the song by understanding the different musical layers that make up the song. This will help you to compose your own version of the song.


Adding counter-melodies to the song can be a great way to give it a unique and different sound. Experiment with using a higher pitched guitar part that is playing the same chord progression. This will add a bright and shimmery layer to the song. Be careful not to overpower the lead guitar line, as this may distract from the song’s overall sound.

Fret Hand Muting

Using fret hand muting is a great way to give your playing style some crunch. Fret hand muting applies to both rhythm and lead guitar playing. This technique is used to cut off notes and create a staccato effect. Additionally, fret hand muting can be used to create a percussive sound. Experiment with different techniques to find a sound that is unique to you.

Edgar Grizzle

Edgar D. Grizzle is a passionate writer and music lover with a deep understanding of the rock and metal genres. A lifelong fan of classic and modern bands alike, he has honed his craft in writing about the music he loves over the past decade. He is committed to giving readers an accurate and captivating look into the music that he loves, and he is dedicated to helping fans discover new music and explore the rich history of rock and metal.

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