Jimmy Page Lick


I have been trying to play this Jimmy Page Lick for years now. Can someone please tell me why my motion doesn’t work. I have 4 videos to share. My fast wrist motion feels smooth (Video 3) but tremolo on 1 string is trapped. Been trying forearm rotation (Video 4) for a few months, feels terrible, not smooth at all, very jerky and sticky.

Clip 1 - 2WPS Jimmy Page Lick Normal Speed

Clip 2 - 2WPS lick slow motion

Clip 3 - Fast smooth motion - Doesn’t escape though.

Clip 4 - Forearm Rotation - Ping Pong 6s - Not Smooth


Alternate picking that lick is not so easy and might take some time even if you practice according to ctc ideas. Why dont you use legato in The meantime? It will sound great!

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Hi! :wave:
I’ll try to give some feedback on each of the videos, although I’m no expert, so you have to wait for a response from someone else for that! :wink:

Starting with video 4, are you trying to do solely forearm rotation or a compound movement with the wrist? According to the Pickslanting Primer, it seems that forearm rotation in isolation works best with the picking hand and arm in an Eddie or Gypsy style of playing. As your wrist is in a more extended position (closer to the bridge) I suspect you’re aiming for a combination of wrist and forearm movement. I think – which often is suggested here on the forum – trying to find the motion on a single string first at a relatively high speed is beneficial before trying string switching examples. Are you able to do that yet with this type of motion? To me, it looks like the USX motion you’re trying to achieve escapes correctly, but you’re amplifying the string escape a bit when changing strings, i.e., the pick escapes farther, which might be something to consider, as the escape should happen from the motion itself as far as I know.

In clip 3 it looks like you’re using some wrist motion in combination with elbow movement. As elbow movement seems to work best with a DSX approach, you could try to incorporate some of that if you want the pickstrokes to escape, implementing some UWPS according to the pick motion angle. If you choose to do this, experimenting with the pick grip could also help, where the trigger-style grip often works well with DSX motions.

In videos 1 and 2, it looks like to me that you’re picking switching motions quite frequently and not sticking with DBX, as the DBX curve is missing when you’re staying on one string. I’m not sure if this is the source of the problem, but it might be something to take into consideration.

What you could try doing – unless you’re super keen on wanting to keep the DBX motion – is trying the lick using a single escape motion and allowing some swiping to initially happen. With this 3-notes pentatonic pattern, a USX motion involves two swipes when ascending per string change (6 notes in total) and one swipe when descending. The reverse is true for a DSX motion; one swipe on ascension and two on declension.

Here’s an example I filmed using USX:

and here’s one using DSX:

I tried to deliberately show where the swipes happen, but it’s quite tricky to do slowly, and I don’t think it’s something that one should force to happen as it happens quite naturally with the correct pickslanting angle. Once you’re able to do this, you can try to clean up the swipes with some minor movement corrections like you’re already doing in your video. If you, for example, do this with a DSX motion you only have one swipe per string change, and here you can change to a USX motion for one note to minimize or eliminate the swipe.

Hopefully, this helps a bit and that at least the majority of what I’ve said corresponds to Cracking the Code principles! :wink:


I second what @Hadalpelagiclife is saying. It is not an easy lick to play if you want to pick every note. In fact, I highly doubt Page himself played it that way. Try incorporating some pull-offs and hammer ons!

Of course, that doesn’t answer your question about what’s wrong with the motion. The video shows some kind of wrist motion with a little jump to get escape on upstrokes. It does not seem efficient and smooth. What motion are you going for?

The third video shows a slightly different motion. Or two. It is wrist with a little elbow, as far as I can tell. I don’t agree that it doesn’t escape. The first few seconds are USX, then you switch to DSX, then the pickstroke gets a little curved. It seems your hand hasn’t quite decided on what motion to use here!

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What’s the song? I’d like to hear the original lick.

I’ve suspected for a while that “classic rock” players have a double escaping technique. I’m not into shred or “modern” guitar so to speak, and the lines I find difficult to play don’t usually have a single escaped “solution”.

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Hi @AndreasNasman, thank you very much for putting in so much time to your response. It’s much appreciated!

I was trying forearm rotation, either blend or pure. Just trying to see if it helps clear strings on string changes. Doesn’t feel smooth though currently.

No not firearm yet, the only smooth tremolo I can do is the wrist elbow combination in video 3.

Actually it helps a lot, thanks again! You made the lick seem sooo easy! I am not sure how to try the swipe as using this “only try a new motion at speed” means that I always revert to wrist with slight elbow barely escaping motion I am trying to move away from. Anytime I try I new motion at speed when I look at the footage it’s my same old inefficient motion.

Hi @Johannes thanks for your response.

I am trying wrist deviation with 2 way pick slanting. Not sure how to clean it up though as constant high speed repetition has made no improvements in accuracy. I just can’t feel when I’m doing it correctly. And slow repetitions are supposed to not help either.

Haha :joy: this is true. I get a sore head trying to overthink it all!

Hi @stormymondays

The lick is from the solo in Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times, solo.

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Oh yeah, great song. Every time I hear those solos I picture Jimmy Page saying “well, that was close enough!” :smiley: The ideas and the attitude are fantastic, but the playing is not very precise.

I doubt he’s picking all those notes, he’s getting as much help as he can from legato and probably shifting positions in the pentatonic scale.

If you want to play it like you shown in the video, which is a good thing to try in my opinion, I think it can only be done “crosspicked” (double escape).

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Lots of good answers here already!

Incidentally, we analysed this (type of) lick on Instagram a few weeks ago. This was a decent take I managed with wrist motion (and a bit of fingers maybe?). I can guarantee that I did not clear all string changes 100%, but it was close enough :slight_smile:

The trick seems to be to find a good “centralised” position for the picking hand (where upstroke & downstroke escapes are both easily accessible via wrist motion), and then to try and go for a very gently curved and wide motion. And as usual, start with speed :smiley: