Jimmy Page's low-slung guitar position.

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
I’ve always been intrigued by Jimmy Page’s low slung guitar position. I know he’s not the only one to do that, but most times it’s the young guys that will do that…and then at some point they realize it’s very awkward and even bad for your wrist to play like that…yet Jimmy Page has never changed, and he works the fretboard pretty darn good for such an awkward hold….I mean, he ain’t just playing some punk rock chords, which you can get away with on a low slung guitar.

Here’s a couple of images:


jimmy_page.jpg


139266_main.jpg



Just for a goof…I’ve experimented with that low slung playing position just to see how much you can pull off…and man, it’s not easy! :D
I notice that Page also tends to angle the neck way up high, which makes it easier to play up toward the headstock even with the guitar slung low…but when you come down towards the 12th fret…your wrist really gets a nasty kink! OUCH! :eek:

And it’s not just the fretting hand…as his strumming hand is really stretched out down low, which makes it hard to work with a lot of up/down picking…he has almost no support for his right hand, like one might get by placing the palm on the bridge, etc. with a bend at the elbow, which is a more flexible and stronger arm position.

Anyway…as I’m a major fan of Jimmy Page…it’s just a curiosity for me how come he preferred to play in that position (other than it looks real cool :cool:).
I like the guitar up higher…so that the neck is almost parallel to the floor, with only a slight upward tilt of the headstock, and when it’s in that position, I raise my guitar so that my arm makes almost a 90 degree bend at the elbow when I’m holding the fretboard at about the 8th fret…halfway up/down the neck.
I’ve tried many other positions…and I always come back to that.
 

mshilarious

Banned
It was for looks. He has really long fingers that enable him to get away with it, but he's paid the price in terms of back problems from huncing over while leaning back (which was also part of the cool).

I sling it low but I don't play complicated stuff live, because generally speaking I can't :o
 

cavedog101

Well-known member
He also has freakishly long arms. So even though that position for some would be uncomfortable (it is for me) it works for him. Look at his thumb position even when its slung low.....he's still able to wrap around and have his hand square to the back of the neck.
 
Yeah...he had a deal with Gibson just like KISS did...he could only play them onstage...Ive seen him with the FIRM and the Outrider band and he was playing fender telecasters and that danelectro...and rumors were because of back pain...he did strap on the doubleneck to play Stairway though.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
Yeah...he does have long fingers and arms, but still has to slouch over in order to make that low-slung position workable.

I wonder how much the low position has contributed to his playing sloppy at times, which I actually like, and I think it adds to his coolness. I would rather listen to him than some guys who play meticulously all the time.
 
D

dintymoore

Guest
Yeah...he does have long fingers and arms, but seems to usually sluch over in order to make that low-slung position workable.

I wonder how much the low postion has contributed to his playing sloppy, which I actually like, I think it adds to his coolness.

Absolutely.

It does seem to have an accompanying attitude that comes with it. Sort of a "I don't give a fuck", which is a great place to make great music from!
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
:D

I was checking out some YouTube clips of Page/Zep earlier...and it's funny and very cool how Jimmy NEVER flinches when he slops his playing!

He just plows through like he meant to play that way...never missing a step.
He never gets that "Oh Shit" look. :p
 

antichef

pornk rock
When I was 16, I was playing a Les Paul slung down low - I got tendinitis so bad I'd be in fiery pain for days - sucked - then I moved up the guitar some and it all went away...
 

true-eurt

Maneater
I would say, it was due more to the fact of his long arms and waist. It would seem very uncomfortable for him to have it hanging high.

I doubt any axeman with a passion for playing would sacrifice their sound for looks...and perhaps..just perhaps, he found playing with it up high was a detriment to his playing, moreso than slung low.

If anything was for looks, it's that bare belly..:D
 

ggunn

Crystal Flavolian
:D

I was checking out some YouTube clips of Page/Zep earlier...and it's funny and very cool how Jimmy NEVER flinches when he slops his playing!

He just plows through like he meant to play that way...never missing a step.
He never gets that "Oh Shit" look. :p
Never grimace when you miss a note, but if you can't help it, look at someone else in the band when you do it. :D
 

ocnor

Lord Of The Thighs
:D

I was checking out some YouTube clips of Page/Zep earlier...and it's funny and very cool how Jimmy NEVER flinches when he slops his playing!

He just plows through like he meant to play that way...never missing a step.
He never gets that "Oh Shit" look. :p

If you were as high as those guys were back in "the stoned age" you wouldn't flinch either. :D
 

YorkshireTrippe

New member
I've always played my guitar long slung like this, I started to learn because I wanted to be like Slash - who started to learn cos he wanted to be like Page. I think the point is if you lean like that from the start its perfectly natural.

It may sound odd but I feel uncomfortable playing a guitar strapped higher up, I'm quite skinny and the body knocks against my pelvic bone any higher, plus I pick with my right arm clamped to the body and basically facing up so that's weird to change when the guitar is higher. People go on about your back but if you stand right its not a problem (or never has been for me) but again - if you didn't learn the guitar slung that low you won't of learnt how to stand to distribute the weight properly - hence all the "bad back" stuff. The disadvantages is its hard to play the low strings high up the fret board, but there are many advantages like being able to move around on stage a lot more freely. And the whole looking cool thing is completely dependent on what kind of band you are in, if I was in Hockey and played my guitar strapped like that I wouldnt look cool - so its about context.

...oh and I'm freakin awesome :p
 

Dani Pace

New member
For me, it's more about comfort than looking cool, I'm too old to worry much about looking cool. Hung too low just feels sloppy to me, too high and I feel cramped and restricted. Somewhere in the middle (bridge about over my hip bone, neck tilted up at about 30 degrees) feels right to me but would probably feel awkward to others. Why Paige plays with his axe slung low, I don't know, maybe that is where he feels most comfortable.
 

YorkshireTrippe

New member
For me, it's more about comfort than looking cool, I'm too old to worry much about looking cool.

in my opinion, its more about being a good performer and entertainer than just looking "cool", and that applies at any age. I mean people don't just go to your gigs to listen to your music - it would be nice if they did - but they don't, that's a fantasy world. People go to your gigs to be entertained and they will judge you. They will judge you on what you wear, how attractive you are, how likeable you come across, how professional you appear, and, yes, how cool they think you are. It sucks, I know, but you can't avoid it and your never too old for it not to apply. Just I guess when you get older and play to more mature audiences different things become "cool", a low-slung guitar becomes a glass of whiskey by your side and a husky voice.

So everyone that gets onto a stage in front of people that have paid money to be there should be trying to look "cool" just as much as they should try to look professional, well dressed and amiable. If not your in the wrong game.
 

mshilarious

Banned
Nah, it's more important to look cool and rock. I mean you can be Steve Howe and strap the thing under your chin if you want, but the chicks dig dudes who sling it low :cool:
 

Lt. Bob

Spread the Daf!
Never grimace when you miss a note, but if you can't help it, look at someone else in the band when you do it. :D
ya' know ..... who CARES if you miss a note?
The audience sure doesn't unless you're talking some horrendous thing, 'cause they don't have a clue.
Everyone misses notes ...... there's no such thing as perfection ...... getting upset about it is silly.
The very best players miss notes and they just laugh, if anything, because they're comfortable enough with their skills to not worry about the inevitable clam.
Just relax and keep on keepin' on.
 
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