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Creating a riff

12 May 2009 18:59 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2009
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 1
How do you guys start making a riff, what things do you do to make one, ideas you use.
I tend to take the key, a pitch i want, find the correct mode, and play more of a "lead tone" riff, I'm not much of a rhythm player
12 May 2009 19:03 | Quote
Joined: 26 May 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 3
Just playing around, pretty much everyone is going to tell you that

Play a scale, chord, ect. and just have fun with it and you will quickly develop a good lick of your own
12 May 2009 20:11 | Quote
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
United States
Karma: 2
my method is to basically just start playing anyhting i can think of and wait till i hit something good and then work around it. so basically i stumble into them.
13 May 2009 16:48 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
let there be rhythm, let there be guitar, let there be rock, let there be riff... im kinda same way than toastninja... sometimes i had idea on my mind, but its usually morphed to something else when i start to experimenting and playing...
13 May 2009 19:15 | Quote
Joined: 26 May 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 3
Empirism says:
let there be riff

thats so epic
13 May 2009 19:38 | Quote
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
United States
Karma: 2
try picking a riff from a song you know and slowing it down or speeding it up while still adding a little of your own twist to it, ive gotten some interesting riffs that way also.
14 May 2009 17:18 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Karma: 8
i just improvise and record what i play, then if i hear a riff i can use in a song i write it in guitar pro and add onto it or somthing
14 May 2009 17:54 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
Sometimes I go into the creative process with an idea in mind, like: I want to try to play something in B Mixolydian, let me start with that. So I'll noodle around in that key until i find something I really like.

If I don't know what I'm going to start with, I usually pick a chord and let my body find where I'm going to go. Usually listening to a lot of music helps because it will give you ideas of things you want to include.

Just today I was playing around with something. The riff goes like this:

C, Emin -> Repeat this back and forth in any tempo/rhythm

Amin, Dmin, G, C

From there, I then try to find a voicing that enhances the melody/tune that I want to portray. Since I do play fingerstyle this is a very important step in the riff making process. However, you can skip this.

From there, it's just little things you can add here or there to enhance the mood. That's just something that comes from playing it a lot.

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