How To Play A Hard Rock Blues-Inspired Guitar Riff

Welcome back! In this lesson I’m to show one of my personal top 20 guitar riffs. I feel like almost every guitar player on this planet has been influenced by Slash in some way.

This is completely separate from whether you like Guns N’ Roses or not; he is just an icon in the
music industry and he will always be one of the Top 10 best guitar players of all time. The next
riff I’m about to show was not taken from any of the Guns N’ Roses songs or any of the other
projects Slash was part of. Nevertheless, it is very a very Hard Rock-inspired riff that I use a lot
and I personally credit Slash to it, because it just sounds like something he would potentially


The idea is very simple: you play a Power Chord, followed by its b3 (blue note) and a ♮ 3 (natural
3rd). This is a very Blues inspired lick that a lot of Hard Rock players would use a lot back in the
days. Slash was very inspired by the Blues, so there’s surprise on why he would jam to these
type of chops a lot.

In the example I am basically playing an E5, A5, D5 and back to an A5. Very simple. One way
to make this riff sound way cooler is to anticipate the first chord. So it’s almost as if you had a
pickup measure:


The strumming pattern is specified but you can always just play downstrokes all the way
through to achieve a heavier sound. Another thing you could also do is palm mute only the
single notes which sounds really good, specially if you were to use this riff on a verse let’s say.

One big piece of advice I can give is to barre the chords using your Index finger. This way it’ll be
easier for you to play the single notes.

That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this lesson.If you wanna learn more about Riffs please visit:

Rock Riffs Made Simple

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


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