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What is the difference between a lick and a riff???

Music Theory
guitar_person  
7 Jun 2012 19:18 | Quote
Joined: 07 Jun 2012
United States
Karma: 1
I'm really confused about this :(
DarkRiff  
7 Jun 2012 19:32 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
Riff = Rhythm
Lick = Lead

Take any Guitar Solo. The Rhythm guitarist would be playing a riff while a Lead Guitarist would be performing a solo (a combination of licks) over it.
gshredder2112  
7 Jun 2012 20:08 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
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Karma: 22
Not this argument again X.x

\
DarkRiff  
7 Jun 2012 21:50 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
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This was an argument?

It's kind of a set in stone thing. There's nothing to argue if you ask me.
gshredder2112  
7 Jun 2012 22:03 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
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It was neccessarily an arguement. Just a long winded debate with minor disagreements. Ill see if I can find the link.
bluesguitar101  
8 Jun 2012 07:58 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Netherlands
Lessons: 1
Karma: 5
@guitar_person: Just as darkriff mentioned, a riff is used as sort of a main theme or rythm section for a song, while a lick is used for soloing. A solo is usually a sequence of different licks.

welcome to the forums by the way ;)
MoshZilla1016  
8 Jun 2012 15:11 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
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1-Welcome to the forums
2-DarkRiff gave a great explanation.
3-I've never seen an argument ending with 3 question marks.
pxm  
9 Jun 2012 05:05 | Quote
Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Sweden
Licks: -3
Karma: 4
Isnīt just a riff shorter than a lick ?????

DarkRiff  
9 Jun 2012 13:34 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
@pxm

It can be but doesn't necessarily have to be.

A lick can be one measure whereas a riff can be up 8 (conventionally) and vice versa.

The length of either doesn't really matter. All that's really for certain (if you ask me) is
Lick = Lead
Riff = Rhythm
Empirism  
9 Jun 2012 23:52 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Lick is phrase consisting short series of notes that is used on a melodic lines or solos, it can be used as a "hook" too, where the song theme built for.

Riff is similar, but can consist a repeated chord progressions. Just like Darkriff mentioned. Riff can be also "Building ground" for a song theme.
guitar_person  
15 Jun 2012 10:43 | Quote
Joined: 07 Jun 2012
United States
Karma: 1
Uh, OK...I think I get it.
Guitarslinger124  
15 Jun 2012 13:21 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Lessons: 12
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Moderator
If you ask a Jazz musician, chances are he'll tell you that a lick and riff are one and the same. Ask a rock musician and he'll quote DarkRiff.

My opinion: It is irrelevant. Unless you are writing a paper for school.
Empirism  
15 Jun 2012 13:52 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jun 2008
Finland
Lessons: 4
Karma: 35
Haha, Gs is darn right, You should been give definations to music terms XD.
DarkRiff  
15 Jun 2012 15:52 | Quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2008
United States
Licks: 2
Karma: 12
Do jazz musicians even know that riffs exist?
A riff is usually repetitive in a song. A Jazz musician barely plays the same thing twice....Wait, was this the argument?


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