Jimmy Page worked hard to become an expert guitar player. He practiced copying solos for hours on end as a child. That helped Page become an in-demand session guitarist before he formed Led Zeppelin. He wasn’t above copying Beatles tricks on Zep songs, but Page’s advice to aspiring musicians is something a motivational speaker would say. In fact, the guitarist followed his own words of wisdom more than once in Led Zeppelin.
Jimmy Page’s simple advice for young musicians — ‘Just believe in yourself’
Page wasn’t born a guitar god. Like anything in life, it took practice to become a master. When he found an old guitar in the house after his parents moved the family, the future star took to it immediately. Page spent hours meticulously mastering guitar parts — Buddy Holly chords, Ricky Nelson guitarist James Burton’s solos — to improve.
That hard work clearly paid off. Page was making good money as a session guitarist when he was just 19 years old. He became a guitarist other hopeful six-string heroes wanted to be with Led Zeppelin. Practice helps, but Page’s advice for young musicians was all about trusting the internal creative process (via YouTube):
“Believe in yourself. When you’ve got something which you know is individual to yourself, just encourage that and nurture it, because that’s what’s really gonna make you shine at the end of the day. Just believe in yourself.”
Page spoke those words in 2015, long after he left his imprint on classic rock music. It would be easy to criticize Page for giving such seemingly simple advice after making millions playing music, but those words were true well before he became a guitar legend. And he proved that staying true to your creative vision can pay off wonderfully.
Page believed in his vision for Led Zeppelin from Day 1 (and even before)
Page made a good living as a session guitarist. He played on songs by The Who, Kinks, Rolling Stones, and Donovan. His guitar showed up on the James Bond theme song “Goldfinger.” Yet he quit being a session musician when he realized it didn’t come close to scratching his creative itch. Page followed his own advice for the rest of his career.
He hooked up with the Yardbirds, one of England’s biggest bands. Some of his bandmates invited him to form a new group when the group folded in 1968. Page made an obvious comment — “I don’t want to do anything like The Turtles” — when he declined the offer and went off on his own. He could have played it safe, but he believed in himself and his vision.
Page trusted his instinct to reach into his own pocket and pay to record Led Zeppelin’s first album. Suffice to say, it worked out.
The band’s debut showcased their potential, sparked a bidding war, and helped Led Zeppelin receive a massive advance when Atlantic Records handed over the equivalent of $1.5 million to a band most people had never heard of. Page and his band believed in themselves when they released back-to-back albums (Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy) without the band’s name or faces on the cover.
Jimmy Page’s advice to aspiring music stars — believe in yourself — was simple yet powerful. Time and again in his career, the Led Zeppelin guitarist proved that trusting in your own talents can make a world of difference.
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Source: Cheat Sheet
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