Techniques – Guitar Riffs Lessons

Learn to play and create your own guitar riffs: Because every great song has a memorable musical signature

Every rock guitarist looks for the magic musical phrase that provides both rhythm and personality to their song.

There are some riffs so powerful and inspiring that, once heard, they stay in your memory forever. A well known guitar riff is the one that comes before the start of the song Hotel California by The Eagles.

8 Useful Things To Know About Learning and Enjoying Guitar Riffs

  1.  What is it? – A riff is a short, repeated chord progression, usually pitched low on the guitar. It is a pattern of notes derived from a scale or a chord. A riff can be as simple or complex as you like it to be.
  2. It’s a shortcut – Riffs are one of the first things you learn when learning guitar. Most introductory chapters on guitar training contain short and easy riffs. Each song has its own riff which makes it unique. Riffs offer a shortcut around learning how to play an entire song.
  3. Hypnotic repeats – Riff songs usually contain a single riff repeatedly played over changing chords. An example of this style is Eminence Front by the Who.
  4. Common techniques used in guitar riffs are power chords and double stops, changing scale, changing chords, palm muting, diminished power chords. You shall learn these in our guitar course.
  5. Power chords and double stops  – Simply play two strings at a go. This is an easy way for beginners to create a riff.
  6. Changing chords –  Chords are changed within a scale because it usually sounds good. The most popular chord changes are between A7, D7and E7. The best way to make a riff is to start strumming, play chords and see where your fingers take you.
  7. Palm muting – Adding dramatic pauses in between the song can make it unique and unpredictable. Palm muting is a very popular technique in most styles of guitar music. Palm muting involves placing the side of the strumming hand on the strings before they meet the bridge. It is important to place the palm of the hand correctly.
  8. Create your own riffs – Most musicians and songwriters first write their music by either coming up with a chord progression or a riff, or harmonizing a melody. Since riffs are simply a pattern of notes following a given scale in a given key, it is fun and easy to try out a few and create your own tune.

Through our lessons you shall learn all these and more about guitar riffs.