Three Fun & Easy Alternative Rock Riffs

Learn to play three fun and easy alternative rock riffs with Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman, aka Uncle D. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with the step by step video instruction and you will be rockin’ these modern alternative rock riff classics tonight!

alternative rock riff

Introduction

How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing you this video Lesson and today I’ve got three fun and easy alternative rock riffs for you.

Right now Guitar Control is giving away this really cool free chord chart, there’s a link in the description where you can download yours. It’s in PDF format and shows every chord you could ever need all neatly compiled onto one sheet. So you can print it off, put a copy in your gig bag, put a copy or you practice; so just whatever situation you’re in you can have any chord at a glance.

So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tab so let’s get close up and take a look at these three alternative rock riffs.

Alternative Rock Riff-1 – Island In The Sun – Weezer

All right, so the first alternative rock riff to look at is the rift from Island in the Sun by Weezer. So this one is just made up of a bunch of Triad shapes so if you’ve seen any of the lessons I’ve done on triads you probably already know these. For the first one here if you just take your regular D minor chord shape and just move it up a whole step so that way your second finger is on the fourth fret of the G string and your first finger is on the third fret of the B string or excuse me on the third fret of the high E string and your third finger is on the fifth fret of the B string. So that’s our first chord and we strum this is as a quarter note on one and then we strum it again on the downbeat of two and then on the and of two we’re going to change chords. So when we change chords we’re going to simply just take our ring finger here and we’re going to lay it down we’re going to barre it here so it’s picking up the fifth fret of the G, B and high E strings and we hit this on the end of two and then we hit it for beat three… On the downbeat of four we have a mute strum so if you just release the pressure so you’re just you know touching the strings lightly so that way you just get that percussive sound. And then we come down to your regular D major shape and we hit that on the and of four… So that’s the first measure and it’s tied to the downbeat of the second measure so then on the and of one we hit this again and we do that mute strum and then we’re going to come up to our last chord here this is like a first inversion triad on the first three strings. So my first finger is barring the third fret of the high E string and the B string and my middle finger is picking up the fourth fret of the G string and we hit that on the and of two and then for beat three and four. So the whole alternative rock riff…

Alternative Rock Riff-2 – Creep – Radiohead

All right, so the next alternative rock riff to look at is the riff from uh Creep by Radiohead. So this is just using barre chords here mostly kind of revolving around, well it’s all revolving around this major shape with the root note on the low E string. So we start off with G major so what I’m doing is I’m just barring all the way across all six strings at the third fret and then my second finger is going to the fourth fret of the G string, my third finger the fifth fret of the A string and my fourth finger to the fifth fret of the D string. So this shape we’re going to be moving it around so we start off and we just pick starting on the low E; so we go E, A, D, A, D, G, D and it’s one and, two and, three and, four and. So the it’s kind of weird because it’s all eighths except the second to the last note is a quarter note so it just rings out a little bit longer… Then starting on the second measure we start picking still on the same chord start picking on the B string; B, G, D, G and then B and D. So that’s our first two measures and starting on the third measure we’re just going to take this shape and we’re going to move it all the way up so we’re here at the seventh fret. I’m barring up the seventh fret and so now this is B and we’re going to do a similar kind of picking. So we’re going to start with the low E to A to G, D, A and G again. So that’s measure three… Then starting on the fourth measure we have B suspended four (Bsus4) so we’re going to keep this shape, but how I do it is I just take my pinky and I just lay it down so it picks up the ninth fret of the G string and then you just roll it back up for B; hit that so it only does that just for that single note it’s just to get that single note in there… All right then, for the next measure we just move this up a half step so now we’re doing C major; E, A, G, A, E, G, A and that’s measure five. So now we’re going to go to C suspended four (Csus4) and we can do that same thing. We’re going to take our pinky and roll it up so we’re gonna pick up the 10th fret of the G string, back to the A string and then roll back up to be on C again. And then on the next measure it’s C minor so we just take your middle finger off… and that completes the progression and it just starts over again. So when you’re playing this it’s really easy to end up missing a string like you mean to go to play the D string but you play the G string instead or vice versa, something like that, it still sounds good as long as you have that same timing… So there I just kind of winged it and just kind of went with that for that Rhythm. So that’s what I recommend that you really do you use the notation for the timing and then try to pick those strings accurately, but if you miss one just pretend like you hit the right one so that way you can just keep the flow of this alternative rock riff going.

Alternative Rock Riff-3 – Believe – Yellowcard

All right then the last alternative rock riff to look at is Believe from Yellowcard and this is the acoustic version. So we’ve got F sharp minor so I’m barring all the way across all six strings of the second fret and then my third finger is on the fourth fret of the A string fourth finger on the fourth fret of the D string. So we’re gonna have sharp minor we’ve got a D, an A and an E. The strum is the same so each measure is one chord. So we start off with the F sharp minor and we play a quarter note; so it’s one, and then on the downbeat of two it’s a mute strum. So I go one, two and you just release the pressure so when you just hit the strings to get that percussive sound. So one, two and, three and, four and. So after the mute strum it’s a quarter note so this is one, two and, three and, four and. So that’s the strum for each chord… and then it just repeats…

Conclusion

All right, so there you have it, three fun, not too terribly difficult alternative rock riffs. So if you like this alternative rock riff lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this or other guitar related topics. If you haven’t already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching this three fun and easy alternative rock riff lesson and have a great day.

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