Communication Breakdown

Animated Communication Breakdown tab by Led Zeppelin on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

Communication Breakdown is one of those Led Zeppelin songs that's easy to learn, but hard to master. There are only 3 basic song riffs. Each is quite simple to learn, especially if you go slowly. The difficulty is in playing these riffs at full speed smoothly. Just go as slow as you need to at first. Then work at building your speed during practice.

Verse Riff - This riff is 9 palm muted downstrokes on the Low E string, followed by the D major - A major - D major chords. Then repeat.

In later verses, Jimmy Page later uses fuller stabs of those same chords (just strike more strings). If you fret the full chords like we show you, then no matter how many strings you strike, it will sound fine.

These chord changes are fast, and will take practice. They are the hardest part of all the main riffs. We recommend just playing these 3 chords over and over until you get them up to speed, sounding clean with no fretbuzz etc.

Chorus - This is an adaptation of a very common rock n' roll riff (the kind that Status Quo use in many of their songs). Start with a standard A5 powerchord and add in the 4th finger 2 frets up, as shown. The chord is an A7 barre chord. Halfway through the chorus, just shift up 2 frets and do the same thing again.

For the rock n' roll part of the riff Jimmy page uses alternate pick strokes, but you can use only downstrokes if you need to. However, try to keep the A7 chord stabs as up-strums if you do that.

Solo Backing - This is like the main verse riff, except using full chords and no palm muting. Use normal strumming instead. The chords are:

E major - D major - A major - D major chords. Repeat.

You can continue to use thumb-muting to kill the Low E string during the D-A-D major chords if you need to.

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