The guitarist Jimmy Page said “didn’t make mistakes”

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Embarking on the journey to musical greatness often involves navigating through a multitude of errors. Despite the virtuosos who effortlessly master their craft, there are those who dedicate years to their instruments before ascending to legendary status. Take Jimmy Page, for instance, who, long before Led Zeppelin, accrued countless hours perfecting his skills as a session musician. Amidst his pre-band days, he vividly remembered encountering a guitarist who flawlessly executed every note during a session.

Before co-founding a band, Page had already become a seasoned session player before reaching his late twenties. Delving into lead guitar basics, Page’s musical essence resonated through numerous 1960s classics before receiving the call to join The Yardbirds.

Page’s trajectory mirrored that of other session musicians-turned-legends. Concurrently, John Paul Jones, while crafting various string arrangements and providing bass lines for studio sessions, was weaving his musical tapestry. The expectation for session bands was prevalent at the time, yet The Beatles had begun transforming the collective into an anticipated norm. In contrast, The Rolling Stones, under Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, pivoted from a blues cover band to a global sensation, writing hit after hit inspired by the Lennon-McCartney duo.

Despite Brian Jones as the lead guitarist in The Stones, Page found himself behind the studio glass during the 1970s recordings. As Jones drifted away and Mick Taylor loomed, Page engaged in jam sessions with Richards between Led Zeppelin albums. Surprisingly, Richards, lacking formal musical training, emerged as a groundbreaking innovator. Employing the signature open-G tuning, Richards crafted iconic licks in tracks like ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ and ‘Start Me Up.’

Page, initially awestruck by Richards during the jam, recollected, “The thing I remember the most is that Keith was solid and driving, and he didn’t make mistakes. I realized just what a powerful force he is behind those Rolling Stones records.” Richards, despite the absence of formal training, showcased unparalleled innovation. Serving as the anchor for The Stones, he influenced Page’s perspective on instrumentation, emphasizing the significance of rhythm in crafting alternate tunings for Zeppelin songs.

In a world where many lead guitarists strive for virtuosity through shredding, Richards stands as the ultimate example, showcasing that mastery begins with a profound understanding of rhythm.

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