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Stairway to Heaven Tablature

August 21st, 2010 · 2 Comments

Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

Hello everyone. There is one guitar song that has made more people want to play guitar than any other and that Sairway to Heaven and more searches for Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

The initial riff from the “Stairway to Heaven” song by Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971 and since then having become one of those songs that every guitar player attempts to play at one time or another. The song, almost eight minutes long, is made up of several sections, which increase in speed and volume. I would want you to take a look at the intro riff, which resembles a lot a slow acoustic-based folk song.

The song is not only pleasing to the year, but also does teach use some theory behind it. It is written in the key of Am, and it starts with an arpeggiated chord progression played with fingers, accompanied by a chromatic descending bass line (A-G#-G-F#-F-E.). Let’s take a look at how it is constructed. The first bar opens up with an arpeggio, based on the A minor. As we already stated an arpeggio is nothing more than a consecutive play of the root, third, and tonic, so in Am you have – A, C, E and back to A an octave apart.

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


E-------5-7-----7-
B-----5-----5-----
G---5---------5---
D-7-------6-------

Take a look at the picture showing the A minor arpeggio fingering:

Followed by the 7th fret on the high E string played together with the 6th Fret on the D string.
This 6th fret on the D string or Ab is a passing tone.
The last 3 notes of the first bar create a C major 7.

Take a look at the proposed C Major 7 fingering:

This all leads intro riff to C major, which is the relative major to A minor.
(This is out of the G Form – See Ultimate Fretboard). In the 2nd bar the first 4 notes are a C major (G Form 2nd Octave)

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


E-8-----8-2-----2-
B---5-------3-----
G-----5-------2---
D-5-------4-------

This picture bellow shows the C Major fingering:

The following 4 notes in the 2nd bar create a D major Arpeggio, which is a C Form Inversion. Take a look at the D Major fingering:

The third Bar of the into riff is an Open F major7 Chord played as an arpeggio:

Stairway to Heaven Tablature


E-0---------0-----
B---1---1-----1---
G-----2---------2-
D-3---------------

Look at the shown F Major 7 fingering:

Finally, the last bar of the riff rests on one beat of G major before going into A minor.


-----------------|
-0-1-1-----------|
-0-2-2-----------|
-----------------|
-2-0-0---0--/8-7-|
-----------------|

It is interesting to note, that the last two notes lead into the second set, and are virtually identical to the first 4 bars.

Here are the 8 Bars together:

Intro:
E-------5-7-----7-|-8-----8-2-----2-|
B-----5-----5-----|---5-------3-----|
G---5---------5---|-----5-------2---|
D-7-------6-------|-5-------4-------|
A-----------------|-----------------|
E-----------------|-----------------|

E-0---------0-----|-----------------|
B---1---1-----1---|-0-1-1-----------|
G-----2---------2-|-0-2-2-----------|
D-3---------------|-----------------|
A-----------------|-2-0-0---0--/8-7-|
E-----------------|-----------------|

The Second 4 bars follow the first 4 bars, except the very first note which is an extension of the previous bar.

E---------7-----7-|-8-----8-2-----2-|
B-------5---5-----|---5-------3-----|
G-----5-------5---|-----5-------2---|
D---7-----6-------|-5-------4-------|
A-0---------------|-----------------|
E-----------------|-----------------|

E-0---------0-----|-----------------|
B---1---1-----1---|-0-1-1-----------|
G-----2---------2-|-0-2-2-----------|
D-3---------------|-----------------|
A-----------------|-2-0-0-----------|
E-----------------|-----------------|

Be sure to check the video, showing how the forms are used to create the “Stairway to Heaven” intro riff.

Admittedly this is not a perfect performance by any means. I suggest using the video and pictures to find the forms and then listening to the original to perfect your performance.

http://www.guitar5day.com/video/stair.wmv

I hope you enjoyed the lesson with pictures and Stairway to Heaven Tablature.

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Tags: guitar · Guitar Lessons · Riffs and Licks

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