Communication Breakdown (Solo)

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

The solo in Communication Breakdown is very typical of early Jimmy Page. During this stage of his career he used a lot of licks based on the E pentatonic minor scale. This is one such example. Due to the fast speed it's not beginner-friendly. However, if you endeavour to play these licks at a much slower pace you will still learn some good classic rock licks. As always, the speed will come with practice.

The solo starts with the 1st finger holding 2 notes at fret 12 on the highest 2 strings. Notice that these fingers remain in this position throughout the licks. These 2 notes are E and B, which are the strongest 2 notes from the E pentatonic minor scale. All the little bends, pull offs, etc 'work' around these 2 notes.

Halfway through the solo he shifts down to fret 9. He still uses the scale pattern of the E pentatonic minor scale. Except at fret 9 it becomes C# pentatonic minor. It still works fine over the backing music here even though it isn't a perfect fit in terms of traditional use of backing chords and lead scales.

Although he bases most of the solo on the standard E pentatonic scale pattern, sometimes he does add in other notes. You don't have to rigidly stick to scales to make solos sound good. But it does give you a ballpark notion of what to play. If you become familiar with the scale, and especially licks / phrases commonly used with that scale you will have a better idea of how to learn the solo. Some of the lead phrases he uses here are very common in rock music. Especially the opening phrases.

If you are a beginner interested in learning scales, then work through the various Jamzone / Theory articles on the site. For the scales used in this solo, we recommend the following starting places:

E pentatonic minor scale

Natural minor scales

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