Home » Witness Jimmy Page’s Acoustic Rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’

Witness Jimmy Page’s Acoustic Rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’

The Genesis of ‘Kashmir’ in Jimmy Page’s Hands The inception of ‘Kashmir’ can be traced back to Jimmy Page’s creative endeavors. The iconic Led Zeppelin guitarist, already immersed in experimenting with alternate tunings during the mid-1970s, had a penchant for a specific tuning featured in his guitar instrumentals like ‘White Summer’ and ‘Black Mountain Side,’ along with other tracks like ‘The Rain Song’ and ‘Bon-Yr-Aur Stomp.’

Armed with an acoustic guitar tuned to D-A-D-G-A-D (from the lowest string to the highest string), Page stumbled upon the riff that would evolve into ‘Kashmir’ while toying with a track called ‘Swan Song.’ Over the years, Page shared variations of this story with those curious about the song’s origins.

Page explained, “It originated from playing around on a tuning that I had been using quite a bit.” In the documentary film ‘It Might Get Loud,’ he further elaborated, “They call it ‘D-A-D-G-A-D.’ It’s pretty similar to a sitar tuning, actually. I’d been playing on this quite a lot, and it just so happened that I had this song called ‘Swan Song,’ believe it or not. It was all these intricate guitar parts, and at the very end of it, I had this thing.”

Demonstrating, Page played the main riff of ‘Kashmir.’ The tape concluded with that riff, and upon Led Zeppelin’s reunion, it was the concluding segment of ‘Swan Song’ that seized their attention. Page recalled, “We were doing some rehearsals – we were making an album, actually, with Led Zeppelin – John Bonham was there. The others, I don’t actually know where they were. They weren’t at the house, Headley Grange. I said, ‘I’ve got this riff.’ [We] turned it ’round, starting with the first bit first, and he lays on the rhythm on it.”

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