Was Jimmy Page the most versatile guitarist in terms of style?

I know most will say Hendrix or Van Halen and they are great, but its like they were only ever good for the most part at just one aspect of the guitar. Like Jimi was mainly good at weird chords which sounded fantastic and Van Halen mostly for his tone and tapping.

Jimmy Page on the other hand was a session musician so he was able to read music those 2 weren't.

I mean yeah he was sloppy live compared to those but he wrote great riffs and songs. I'm thinking to my head he can go in various styles.

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Bron Yr-Aur, and Kashmir which to me is like hi m making classical pieces like a composer

Then he can write songs with hard riffs like Moby ****, Good Times Bad Times, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Darlene etc...

Then he can kick it up a notch and play some country in Going to California, Bron Yr-Aur, Over the Hills and Far Away, The Rain Song, Ramble On..

It doesn't end here, he can even play some reggae like D'yer Maker

Then he can write songs where its not bluesy, not rock or metal, or even Pop, like The Rover, Ten Years Gone, No Quarter, etc...

I mean it helps to have 3 other band members who are equally as talented, but he was great. No other guitarist really dove into other styles.

12 Answers

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Page isn't even remotely close to being the most versatile guitarist in rock, not by the measure of any sane, rational human being who's well versed in rock and isn't deaf. Keep in mind that when a guitarist is playing in a band and not heading up a solo project, that guitarist is likely going to tailor the music to suit the sound and feel of the band. 

    Jeff Beck, Ritchie Blackmore, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Toni Iommi, Brian May, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Eddie Van Halen, Angus and Malcolm Young... I find all of them to be better than Jimmy Page because they all have a certain style and they all excel at doing something that defines their signature sound. Even contemporary guitarists like John Mayer and Slash blow Jimmy Page right out of the water. 

    It's not always about pound for pound who's the better player. Obviously Santana is immeasurably better than Jerry Garcia, but that doesn't mean that people are going to prefer Santana's music to The Grateful Dead. The reason why Jimmy Page attempted to break the mould so often - playing with a violin bow and a lot of other gimmicky nonsense, is because Led Zeppelin was a weaker band than a lot of their contemporaries and the songs they wrote were not as strong. 

    Led Zeppelin have some good stuff to their credit, but even their best records - whichever ones you would list as the cream of the crop, pale in comparison to the best records that Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones and The Who have to offer. 

    Just because Jimmy Page tried his hand at doing a greater number of different things in the studio doesn't mean that he's inherently more innovative or versatile as a musician. Over the course of 12 years or so, Led Zeppelin recorded 8 albums or roughly 70 songs, many of those albums ranging from mediocre to poor and the songs featured on them being primarily filler with a few decent tracks and an occasional standout. 

    Nobody who knows anything about playing the guitar and has a solid foundation in rock would argue that Jimmy Page ought to place ahead of phenomenal players like Hendrix or Van Halen on any list.      

  • 9 months ago

    Nah, that would probably be Bill Frisell.

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Glen Campbell was up there too...

  • 9 months ago

    His playing was about as versatile as Scott Stapp's singing.

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    he's up there. breaking into the industry through studio work will do that. similarly i might list tommy tedesco and larry carlton. maybe marc ribot. joe gore. bill frisell.

  • 9 months ago

    It all depends on opinion I suppose

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Your research sucks and your theories are rudimentary. 

    Go back and listen to Jimi Hendrix's 3 studio albums and "Band Of Gypsys" for good measure and then come back with a more well thought out claim than the one that you are making right now. 

    Source(s): 79
  • Tony B
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    First I doubt that anyone would claim, from what what we've heard, that Hendrix or Van Halen were particularly “versatile”. Neither were known for the huge range of styles they played in or the many techniques they had.

    Like you, I accept that both of these players are/were “great” although I disagree about what you claim they were good at or known for (but that's another issue).

    From what we've heard I would agree that Page appears to be the “most versatile” of the three (although we have no idea at all of what the other two could do on guitar). Partly though that's because, as you say, Page did session work and was required to play in a range of styles.

    I've got to say though, that compared to a lot of other players I don't regard him as especially versatile either. 

    Tome there are many other players who can play in lots of really different styles using different techniques - listen to Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Howe or Richard Thompson for example.

    I think the three players you mentioned are/were all talented players and I don't know that “versatility” is particularly important at that level. I'm thinking of the phrase, “Jack of all trades master of none”.

  • 9 months ago


  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    there's tons of great guitarists out there, and probably just about as many different opinions about who the best ones are or were

    personally i like frank zappa, but i wouldn't pretend to think there aren't lots technically better than him


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