In this series of articles, you’ll learn to play your first five guitar riffs. Each one of these five riffs is easy to learn and fun to play. Most importantly, each riff represents a small win. With each victory, you’ll begin building momentum for success. After all, success is built on creating and celebrating small wins every day, whether it’s in the classroom or on the guitar.
What’s a Guitar Riff, Anyways?
Riffs are the short, repeated musical phrases that keep you coming back again and again to your favorite songs. From Suzie Q to Seven Nation Army, a great guitar riff can grab you by the scruff of the neck and pull you all in! Riffs are great to learn on the guitar because they’re often easy to play, instantly recognizable, and immediately rewarding.
Riff #2: Sounds Like Smoke on the Water
If you’re just getting started on the guitar, then this riff that sounds like Smoke on the Water is the perfect starting point. Released in 1972 by the legendary English hard rock band, Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water was ranked the fourth greatest guitar riff of all time by Total Guitar magazine.
Smoke on the Water is known for it’s opening guitar riff written by Richie Blackmore. According to Blackmore, the riff is an interpretation of Symphony No. 5 by Beethoven. “I owe him a lot of money,” Blackmore said.
How Do I Read Guitar Tab?
Guitar tablature—more commonly known as guitar tab—is a simple way for guitarists to learn how to play chords, melodies, and songs. If you write original music, it’s also a great way to communicate your musical ideas to other musicians.
The horizontal lines represent the guitar strings, and the numbers represent the frets. The most challenging aspect of reading guitar tab is the string order because it’s counter-intuitive. The low E-string is at the bottom and the high E-string is at the top.
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