In this guitar lesson, we will be looking at the Whole Lotta Love TAB and I will be guiding you on how to play this Led Zeppelin classic and one of the most iconic rock songs of all time. Some also consider Whole Lotta Love to be the song with the greatest guitar riff of all time so this is surely a must learn for any self-respecting rock guitarist. This is a track that’s largely based around a riff and there’s a very cool guitar solo section in there too.
Whole Lotta Love was released as a single in several countries and it was also the opening track to Led Zeppelin’s second album, Led Zeppelin II. It became a hit and has subsequently been ranked highly on many lists such as Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and VH1’s Greatest Rock Songs of All Time.
It’s a song that I’d consider a right of passage. At some point, all rock guitar players learn Whole Lotta Love and today is your turn. I promise that this will be a riff and a track that you will play for the rest of your life. Let’s do it.
Whole Lotta Love TAB and guitar lesson
Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin is a track that you can learn relatively quickly. It will require a lot of listening to the track and playing along with the track to get a grasp of the arrangement but in terms of parts to learn, there isn’t much. There’re in fact only four sections that you’ll need to learn. There’s the intro, the verses, the choruses and the guitar solo section. The intro, verses and choruses are very similar and they’re based on the same riff. Let’s attack these sections one at a time, starting with the intro section.
Whole Lotta Love TAB – Intro section
Naturally, we start this Whole Lotta Love guitar lesson with the intro section. This is the most important section because this riff is used throughout the track in different forms. Here’s the TAB.
There’s not a lot that needs to be said about the above riff. It’s fairly straightforward for guitar players of any level. That said, a little advice wouldn’t hurt for those who want it.
Let’s start with the individual notes that are seen in the first bar. Firstly, the 5th fret A string note. You can add a slight bend to this if you like. I’ve not included it in the TAB because I’d consider it optional. Experiment with a slight bend on this note throughout the track. You’re going to be hitting that note a lot so play with it a little.
You can also execute a slide from that note up into the following power chord which sounds pretty cool. I’d bend on the first of these notes, and slide on the second when the chord looms.
Then there’s all those open E notes. You’re going to want to palm mute them. How harsh of a palm mute you apply is ultimately up to you so experiment with it and see what works for you.
Whole Lotta Love TAB – Verse section
The verse sections are pretty much the same as the intro only, the time spent on the chord is shorter. All of the Whole Lotta Love verses can be summarised with two simple bars of TAB. Here it is.
Remember, the notes from the previous section lead into this.
As you can see, nothing has really changed. We’re just going back into the individual notes sooner than we were before.
As for the length of the verse sections, you’re best establishing that via playing along to the track. Get a feel for the queues. Using your ears is best in this situation because of the repetitiveness of the riff. If you try to count bars, you’ll lose track.
Long story short, verse section = this guitar riff over and over.
Just two sections left now.
The chorus section of Whole Lotta Love is again, a modification of what we’ve done before. This modification utilises the addition of a new chord. Here’s the TAB.
You can see where that new chord slots in right away. The chord is the three finger D power chord. Normally, I don’t particularly care whether you use a two finger power chord or a three finger power chord but from time to time, it’s important to use one or the other. Here, please make sure that you use the full three finger power chord where indicated. It’s important that you get that full sound. You could even consider switching it out for the full five string D major barre chord if you like. That would work too. Give it a try and see what you prefer.
The rhythm may feel a little tricky at first here, but play along with the track and you’ll get it with a little practice of course.
Just one section left now. The guitar solo section.
Whole Lotta Love Guitar Solo TAB
The final piece of the puzzle for Whole Lotta Love is the guitar solo. The guitar solo can be split into two parts. The rhythm guitar, and the lead guitar. I’ll cover the rhythm first because it’s quite simple and therefore, TAB isn’t required.
The rhythm guitar simply performs and E power chord around the licks. You can hear the rhythm and placement in the track so an explanation isn’t required. Just use your ears.
What about the lead? Well the lead guitar for the solo is separated into a few licks. Here’s the TAB.
I’m not going into a huge explanation of each lick here. If you’re tackling this guitar solo, you’re already at a stage where you can use the TAB and recording combination to learn the part.
Most of the guitar solo isn’t particularly difficult, but it does have a couple of tricky moments in there. The second bar is the hardest. The fact that the lead is broken up into these phrases with the chords is very helpful though.
Speaking of the chords, one thing that I encourage you to do is to play the rhythm part and the lead part together as one. Jumping from the chord to the licks and back is a great workout and a nice little challenge.
Whole Lotta Love – the two chords that I haven’t covered yet
The four sections above are all you need to play 99.99 percent of Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. That’s because there are two chords that haven’t been covered by the TAB. These chords appear in the later breakdown of the track. The chords are strummed just once each, so a TAB section isn’t necessary. You can hear the chords clearly in the recording, so finding them won’t be an issue. The chords that are played are an open A major chord and the E power chord that rests above it.
That concludes the Whole Lotta Love TAB, guitar lesson, and guide. That was certainly different to the last two lessons that I wrote for Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat which were both classical guitar lessons which you can see here.
If you want to stay in the territory of rock, check out these guitar lessons.
Hello. My name is Ryan J Mellor and I play the guitar. I’m also the creator of Eat Sleep Guitar Repeat. I’ve ben a guitarist for many years and my guitar playing has been described as “above average”. My guitar and music knowledge is somewhat impressive but most importantly, I have a passion for creating great guitar and music related content.