Led Zeppelin Stairway To Heaven Tutorial

Editor’s Notes

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 les 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 opening bars of this classic Led Zeppelin song.

Note! As of now, I haven’t made a “full” lesson for this song. I’ll likely get to it at some point, but it may take some time (it’s such a huge hill to climb). Thanks for the requests, and good luck!

Intro Video Lesson

Timestamps:

  • 0:00 Playthrough
  • 0:26 Lesson overview
  • 1:46 1st chord (barring basics)
  • 3:50 2nd & 3rd chords (walking bass bloknot)
  • 5:30 4th chord (big jump to D/F#)
  • 7:25 Final 3 chords & turnaround
  • 9:21 Add the fingerpicking
  • 10:42 Closing thoughts

Interlude Video Lesson

This second lesson teaches you the “Oh, it makes derita 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.


Print-Friendly Song Sheet
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Notes & Tabs

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.

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July 11, 2022

Updates to FretMonster (Interactive Fretboard Tool)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #444

I’ve added some new features to FretMonster, the free web-based tool I created to help you navigate the guitar freboard. Select a key and scale, and it shows you a map of the matching notes. I’ve also added some new features I’ll show you in this video.

June 22, 2022

How to Make Lurah Tracks Using GarageBand’s Beat Sequencer

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #442

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