how to play "Going to California" on guitar by Led Zeppelin – acoustic guitar lesson tutorial

you okay so going to California this one’s in double drop deep okay so we’re gonna drop our E string to D or low E and our high E so those are all gonna be D okay and basically it’s a very simple song it’s based on just okay just two chords really over and over and over and then you got your middle break okay adds a couple more chords okay and then you’ve got your minor E like a d-minor see a name okay so it’s really the structure of it is not complicated but it’s all the variations that are flying around this thing that make it kind of overwhelming when you look at it right and what I did in the demo is I recorded two guitar parts and both parts are kind of using some of the mandolin stuff okay so it’s sort of a combination of everything that’s going on because there’s at least one mandolin in there and I think sometimes there’s two you can mix and match all these parts okay so for instance I’ll just give you the basic overview on this on that D chord there’s at least seven ways of playing that D chord and yeah that is a little overwhelming and there’s seven different variations on that and on the G there’s three different ways of playing that I mean this is just my way to okay this is not you know it is exactly like this on the record this is my sort of interpretation of combining all the two guitar parts and the one to two mandolin parts to make it kind of sound like the song right then you’ve got the break again there’s two different ways of playing that and then you’ve got the middle bit and there’s two different ways of playing that two different variations okay so what I’m gonna do is I’m going to attempt to teach you all these variations and then what you can do is when you play it you can put these variations together any way you want okay and a piece it together and just keep it open and just be creative with it right anyways okay the very first variation on the D chord I’m gonna show you all seven variations on this D chord and then we’ll go to the G then we’ll go to the break then we’ll go to the middle bit and hopefully I can do this under half an hour there’s so much going on right okay so we got the double drop deep right we’re gonna kind of fret like a D chord to take our middle finger off

and throughout the song it’s Travis picking right so we’re gonna do that with our thumb just Lodi opening that’s a hundred percent of the time when we’re on this D chord that’s what we’re gonna do with our thumb okay and then our fingers are gonna go which is d D open D if you don’t know by now yeah those are all these the it’s all I know okay so that’s the basic pattern and then we’ve got this lick this is the mandolin like right and we bar up here on the seventh fret and basically we’re just going to do this with our thumb right but we’re gonna put this in there it’s upstroke in that high krikey string every other time right right okay it sounds really hard but it’s super easy okay so we’re gonna be in this let me get into all that stuff so okay now there’s variations that I’ve done in the demo okay and one of them is incorporating some of these mandolin Lin licks so I would call this variation – there’s one there’s two okay so what we’re gonna do here is gonna keep that going we’re gonna slide up here from b5 to b7 and in up – yeah p7 back to b5 down to b3 but actually when we kidnap we’re gonna hit the open D right and then we’re gonna go what she just said we’re gonna use that open be there right okay now third variation almost exactly the same just different timing so you know the thumb just never changes always says that and when we keep that high near anchor Heidi ringing when we slide up there okay so get a second variation or sorry third variation fourth variation same luck just different timing again but we’re not gonna pick all those okay so the three variations is right that’s one two is three is okay so now we’ve got four variations on the depot okay now fifth variation is we’re gonna do this okay so we’re all gonna be up here and a bar here on the fifth fret the B string the E string we’re gonna fret here on B sub let me go pull that off right

and we can get a piece of that too when we pull it off it sounds really good you’re gonna go right in the thumb just doing that okay now we’re gonna go right put together then we throw a listen again let’s with all those together okay that is numbers five number six is going to be at the end of the song where one of the guitars desist kids were gonna be here a third finger on g7 first finger on b5 and we’re gonna pull off from b7 then we’ll hit that that open D face again justice okay so that’s six seven is real easy it’s like a decoy up the octave right and we’re just going to go so founders just again their fingers g string B string e string okay so there’s all seven variations so I’m gonna try and get through all seven of these variations okay so here’s one to three for six seven okay so there you go seven variations just on that D and actually there’s there’s I’m putting in a simulator because I remembered there’s an eighth one that the the mandolin does coming out of this okay and what it does is he goes okay so what we doing there is we’re gonna out of this okay so what we’re doing there is we’re just going to go the higher part is going to start here on b8 and we’re just going to go right 7 B 5 B 3 and then here in G 2 G 4 b2 b3 okay so that whole thing would be and what I do is I just include the base notes in there made I don’t alternate them although I probably should but I just can’t pick one of them and play them with those notes so I go

right so coming out of this and then went to that part okay okay now let’s go to the G chord so we’re gonna fret here on e5 + e5 okay third finger first finger okay and we’re gonna play this lick and that is the most basic look you could play the whole song just playing that and it would be just fine okay so here the base is gonna go east string g string okay and that’s kind of weird because we’re skipping two strings there okay which is kind of unusual for a finger picking normally only we’ll skip one string like here right but when you skip two it just takes a little getting used to that different distance okay and the upper strings are going to go like yes okay and with the base okay so that’s the basic one and then there’s another way of doing it which is like this okay so just the same opening and we’re just gonna go the B string g string D string with the base okay so that’s another variation and then there’s another one that I kind of added which incorporates that mandolin part right so what I did is I did half and a half I did this bit and then here okay so we’re here on e nine and just adding those to open strings then here with the open G and the O behind EEP did she use those three fingers to do that and then we’re back into the D right okay so all three of those variations at the basic one okay the second one okay and the third one okay so there’s your three choices on that G chord okay so now we get into the break and the break goes like yes okay so what we’re gonna do here is like a D minor shape but barring here on the third fret and base again is going to be just here I’m gonna go right and then we come to this which is like a g7 now all right are we gonna pull that off like that and we’re gonna play that be in the bass so the base there is is gonna go right so it’s DDD just listen to the bass part

and the upper strings pull up here that part’s tricky to do because you tend to mute that open D with your first finger so you got to make sure you get your wrists well away there we’re back into that okay so that first variation of that second variation is sort of the rhythmic thing which goes okay and that is just here G for B 3 and the rhythm is okay festivals for the record if you really want to study this rhythm but as far as I can tell and it changes later on – it’s different but I just did it the same every time it’s like dad at and then you get the B note here and I’m plucking the B string the g string the D string was my three fingers there and then they go and you could go but with this tuning that note there just doesn’t work so I prefer to do it up here so I go here which is G 2 and B 5 up to g7 b7 and then we do the slick so the whole thing keeping that thumb going right and then the second time I owe me go okay so same let just different timing and then I just go and this was the instead of being here it’s gonna do it here okay and then it will actually goes up to that figure okay so those are the two ways of playing that break and now the only bit we got learning is the middle bit which is the minor part okay so we’re gonna do that thing there and just like a b-minor there right that’s shape and we’re just gonna be interested really in the g string and the B string again the bass is here we’re gonna go and then we’re gonna go to this a chord but we’re not gonna use that okay that’ll be open so we’re just d7 and G sick she can we’re gonna go like this with the base about a core so just B string D string g string basically deaths Canton repeat same thing and then we’re back in an ID chord okay so that’s the first way doing it and then the second way is up here we’re kind of gonna do this d7 shape here with g7 b6 e 7 and we’re gonna kind of go like yes bass is gonna be here and where it says she is going we’re fretting here on them it is a v8

right okay and then it’s gonna go down to this a cord and I play it like that but you most guys will play it like that hate doing the X like crowding my fingers thing some guys will do with like that too right but I just do it like yes and the pattern there is bass is gonna do here in a string D string and the fingers are going to go right you can combine both those by going like this so what I’m doing there is I’m just gonna do a cord like that okay little finger here on e7 it’s it’s like that right to d7 but I’ve got that there too on b5 and I’m going to go here and I’m gonna lift off my middle finger my little finger so I’m barring those to play my god and I’m gonna hit those with my three fingers here while I’m doing the bass so I’m gonna go I’m kind of bouncing off this note here with my first finger okay and then you’re into whatever section you’re gonna play next and then it ends you know when one guitar is son the other one is okay so now you’ve got all these parts you’ve got to sort of pick and choose which ones you want to use okay so like I said earlier you can do it super simple or you can use any of these variations seven eight nine ten eleven twelve eight fourteen different variations of certain parts and those are only the ones that I came up with right there’s probably a whole bunch more that you could add to anyways hope you get something out of this I hope you enjoy playing it it’s a real project you know it’s not something you’re gonna bang out in an hour but you know if you put the time in its really satisfying to play and such a beautiful song right anyways yep hope you get something out of it talk to you next time