Guitar Riffs to Learn

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A guitar riff is a cool thing. The best guitar riffs are memorable and get stuck in your head. Think about Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” or just about anything by AC/DC. A guitar riff is a musical pattern that can be built around chords, single notes, or a combination of the two, and is repeated frequently within a song. Very often the riff serves as the entire musical foundation, as it does in “Smoke on the Water” or “Shook Me all Night Long.”

When you start playing guitar, one of the first things you probably want to do is learn some of those great riffs you’ve heard in your favorite song. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, and there are plenty of guitar tab websites where you can find your favorite riffs transcribed for you, ready to play.

Check out this GUITAR LESSON ON A CLAPTON RIFF

Why learn guitar riffs in the first place? Because learning to play some of the most classic riffs of all time can help you understand how they’re built and can make it easier for you to begin constructing your own riffs. Some guitar riffs to learn include the classic riff in Ted Nugent’s “Catch Scratch Fever,” which Ted claims is the most recognizable and famous riff ever, the riff in the KISS song “Detroit Rock City,” Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” or “Double Vision,” the world-famous (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, which can be tricky with its string muting and quick rhythm pattern.


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Guitar tab sites are full of great guitar riffs to learn. Chances are once you start looking, you’ll find more great must-know riffs than you know what do with. Don’t let this discourage you. Start with your favorites and make a list of riffs you want to learn in the future. Set a goal for yourself. Try to learn a new riff every week. After you’ve started getting a few of them under your belt, you’ll start to find it’s easier as you go along.

There are no specific guitar riffs to learn, although getting familiar with the classics is something just about any guitar player seems to want to do from the start.

If learning riifs and complete songs on guitar is your goal, I recommend you to check out these courses:

GUITAR SONG COLLECTION