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January 9, 2022

20 Amazing Photographs of Jimmy Page Playing Guitar With a Violin Bow in the 1960s and 1970s

At times Jimmy Page has used a violin bow on his guitars, exploring the sonic possibilities of this technique and applying them to psychedelic rock. He played the bowed guitar in live solos with the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, and uses this bow to this day.

In 2017, Jimmy Page was asked by the American Academy of Achievement on how he started using a bow as:
“This is an interesting story. Because the string sections didn’t really like [rock musicians] – I mean, they’ve spent years mastering their bowing techniques and there were these people – drummers and bass players and guitarists... I think they thought they just made a bit of a noise rather than music as they saw music.

“And one of the violinists came to me one day and he said, ‘Have you ever considered playing a guitar with a bow?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think it’ll work.’ Because the strings are uniformed wheres a violin is arched.

“And he said ‘Well here’s my bow. Would you like to try?’ And I said ‘Absolutely.’ So I tried it and i could see there was massive potential. After that I went and bought my own bow. But this fellow was the father of an actor David McCallum. ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ - that’s it!”

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