For many novice guitar players, chords remain the sole focus of their practice sessions. Guitar riffs are a great addition, as they give you the satisfaction of learning a new song, whilst being easy to master and fun to play around friends. Here are five songs to get started with:
1. Day Tripper – The Beatles
What better way to start off the list, than with a song by one of the best bands in the world? The riff on this chart-topping track is played on the lowest three strings of the guitar, and the same pattern is later moved down one string to play it over the A major chord.
2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
Continuing with songs from the 1960s, we have Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones. It is arguably the most famous and easily recognizable guitar hooks ever, and for a riff this good, it could not be easier to play. All it uses are three notes, with a distinctive rhythm that is easy to get the hang of.
3. Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
Another classic rock song, Smoke on the Water is a staple among guitarists, and for good reason. The riff can be simplified by playing it on just one string, before gradually moving up to the actual riff played on the recording.
4. Redemption Song – Bob Marley
This acoustic track by the reggae legend is one of his most influential songs. It features a beautiful riff, played over the open position G, C, and D major chords.
5. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Although it may sound like a bassline, this iconic riff was actually played by Jack White on his semi-acoustic guitar through a Digitech Whammy pedal, which resulted in the pitch being lowered by an octave.
Learning to play guitar riffs not only boosts your confidence in yourself as a guitarist, but also aids in laying a solid foundation for lead guitar skills, by making you comfortable with playing single notes and building finger strength and dexterity, as well as improved co-ordination between the fretting and picking hand.
Tired of inaccurate tablature and music notation getting in the way of your guitar progress? Do not fret! Get high quality guitar tabs and sheet music transcriptions for all these songs, and any other piece of music you wish to learn by placing a request on our Guitar Tab Transcription Service!