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Friday, December 09, 2011

The Art of the Riff

The Art of the RiffSomeone asked me yesterday: what's the difference between a lick and a riff?

Ok, so lick vs. a riff... Well, a lick is few notes , or a short musical phrase... It usually relates to lead guitar or maybe a "fill" as part of a rhythm.

A riff is more of a musical statement on its own - usually a rhythm part, creating a main theme of a song, often using full chords or partial powerchords... Although sometimes they could be single notes. But maybe you already know all that :-)

Riffs are great to write songs with.

I like how Virtuwul divides up riffs into 2 main categories -- powerchord riffs, and single note riffs. Like he says "ITS JUST THAT SIMPLE." Try this technique -- take any scale, like a major or minor scale, and play a simple melody. Then take each note of that melody and turn it into a power chord. See what you can come up with!



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Another really powerful way to learn to write your own riffs is first learn a lot of the all time classic riffs to give your bag of tricks some meat. Then you'll be READY :)

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