How to sound like Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page

(Image credit: Led Zeppelin, March, 1969. Copenhagen, Denmark (Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns))

Decades before he was caught sneaking into Nando's and squabbling over the garden fence with Robbie Williams, Jimmy Page was pretty much the coolest electric guitar player alive. 

These days, we tend to picture him in dragon-stitched flares, Les Paul at knob level with a Marshall stack looming in the background. Of course, every novice guitar geek has that moment of clarity when they finally figure out that the Les Paul and Marshall set up that defines Led Zeppelin's 1969 debut album is in fact a '59 Telecaster, an ancient and modified Supro 1695T Coronado amp and a Germanium transistor-driven fuzz pedal. 

Jimmy didn't just employ this gear over the first couple of Led Zep albums, he used his old Yardbirds Tele and Supro amp on the solo for Stairway To Heaven. So, if you're looking to nail Pagey's tone on that record, step away from the Les Paul and embrace the power of singlecoils.

Fender Classic Player Baja '60s Telecaster

Reasons to buy

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Smooth, high-end sounds
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Clever pickup selection
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Wide range of sounds

Reasons to avoid

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Not one for Tele traditionalists

You can nail the wood and string part of Jimmy's early Led Zep tone with this fantastic Mexican built Telecaster. When it comes to spec, you're on the same, er, Page here with an alder body, maple neck, rosewood 'board and punchy singlecoil pickups. The dragon pants are strictly optional. On a budget? For £275 the Squier Standard Telecaster offers the classic looks, rosewood 'board and bright and ballsy tone of Jimmy's squeeze.

On a budget? (opens in new tab)

On a budget? (opens in new tab)
For £275 the Squier Standard Telecaster offers the classic looks, rosewood 'board and bright and ballsy tone of Jimmy's squeeze. 

Supro Black Magick Reverb 1x12 Combo

Reasons to buy

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Epitomises the old-world charm of small valve amps.
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Bags of clarity and sparkle for chord work 
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Brilliant natural overdrive

Reasons to avoid

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Should really have a footswitch at this price.

This 1 x 12" all-valve 25-watt combo is a replica of the heavily-modified late 50s Supro that Jimmy used on Stairway To Heaven and the first Led Zep LP. Like Jimmy's, the amp features a Brit-voiced speaker that pumps out a beefy blues and proto-rock tone. Cool name too...

On a budget? (opens in new tab)

On a budget? (opens in new tab)
The 15-watt Marshall MG15GFX has a classic '60s 'gold-panel' look and comes loaded with some digital effects - delay, reverb, chorus, octaver etc.

Supro 1304 Fuzz

Reasons to buy

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Solid build
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Versatility

Reasons to avoid

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Some small design niggles

If you want the early rock tone, you need a good fuzz box. The Supro 1304 is inspired by, among others, the classic Tone Bender used by Pagey back in the day. Don't let the pedal do all the work. Crank your amp and let the gain on the fuzz push it into overdrive and wring some serious vibrato out of your fretting hand.

On a budget? (opens in new tab)

On a budget? (opens in new tab)
Check out the Electro-Harmonix Satisfaction Fuzz. Pure '60s slashed speaker filth in a bullet proof box.

Ed Mitchell was the Editor of The Blues Magazine from 2012-16, and a contributor to Classic Rock and Louder. He died in October 2022, aged 52. A one-time Reviews Editor on Total Guitar magazine from 2003, his guitar-modding column, Ed’s Shed, appeared in print on both sides of the Atlantic (in both Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines), and he wrote stories for Classic Rock and Guitarist. Between them, the websites Louder, MusicRadar and Guitar World host over 400 of his articles – among them interviews with Billy Gibbons, Paul Weller, Brian Setzer, profiles on Roy Buchanan, Duane Allman and Peter Green, a joint interview with Jimmy Page and Jack White, and dozens of guitar reviews – and that’s just the ones that made it online.