How to Play the Best Rock Guitar Riffs on Guitar


Welcome back! In this lesson I wanna show one of the best rock guitar riffs I know; this one is
definitely in my personal top 100. Before anything else, let’s check it out:


Looks familiar? It’s the main riff in Always On The Run by Lenny Kravitz. For some reason it is
just so groovy and funky. In fact, I have been playing it everyday for the past month, literally.
There’s just something very special about this masterpiece. For starters, it’s in E which is a
great key for rock riffs. You have the open 6th string (E) which is the lowest note in standard
tuning and let’s face it, the lower your tuning gets the more it sounds like rock!

Another thing, a very particular thing, is that it is a Dorian riff; that’s right, an E Dorian riff. If you
are not familiar with the Dorian scale, it is basically the scale starting on the second degree of a
major scale. Here are 2 diagrams:


With these 2 positions you could totally create your own riff, just like Lenny Kravitz.
Now, I think the challenging part about this riff is the pick pattern; what would it be? Very simple:
subdivision. Just keep your wrist moving all the time and don’t do sudden changes of direction.
Just keep it going and it’ll be natural.

Another technique Lenny uses on this riff is Hammer-on and Pull-off.
Here’s an exercise that will strengthen your legato technique:


Try to use 1 finger for the whole exercise. Experiment with just the pinky maybe, or just the ring
finger; it will help you improve.

Here’s another exercise to practice your picking technique; it will help you a lot:


Just choose a pick direction and keep going, don’t repeat any direction. Simply go Up and Down
all the way through or vice versa. This a great exercise to practice along with a metronome.
Some general tips:
● Try to be as clean as possible. Muting unused strings with your left or right hand is a
great approach.
● Try to lower the distortion level in your amp; this will help you get a cleaner sound.
● Just go for it.

This is all for today. I hope you enjoyed it and please remember to check out more lessons at:

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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