How to Tune Your Guitar for Led Zeppelin's The Rain Song


"The Rain Song" is classic Led Zeppelin: big guitars, lush chords and orchestration for days. Jimmy Page uses his full bag of tricks on this song, including one of his favorite tricks of all time--using alternate guitar tunings. If you want to get that lush guitar sound then you need to learn how to tune your guitar for "The Rain Song." So strap on and plug in.

  • Double check the tuning of the D, A and E strings (the fourth, fifth and sixth strings). You won't have to alter the sounding pitch of these three strings, but it's a good idea to check before you begin re-tuning, especially if you don't have an outside tuning source.

  • Raise the pitch of the G string (third string) by one whole step to a sounding pitch of A. Once tuned, this note should be exactly one octave above the sounding pitch of the open fifth string.

  • Raise the pitch on the B string (second string) by one and a half steps to a sounding pitch of D. Once properly tuned, this note should be exactly one octave above the sounding pitch of the fourth string.

  • Check the tuning of the high E string (first string). Although you do not need to re-tune this string to get the same tuning used in Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song," changing the tuning of the other strings will sometimes alter the tuning of the E string.

  • Re-check the tuning of all of the strings. From low to high, the guitar tuning used in Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" is spelled EADADE. This creates a fifth interval between the fourth and third strings, and an interesting suspended second interval between the second and first strings.

Tips & Warnings

  • "The Rain Song" tuning creates a lot of potential for using octave intervals and unison notes. Once you have figured out how to play "The Rain Song," try this tuning out to play with other familiar songs.
  • The step and a half re-tune of the B string up to D may cause excessive string breakage. Consider swapping out your normal B and G strings for a pair of lighter gauge strings if you plan on using "The Rain Song" tuning in recording or performance.

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