Great songwriters know he musical value of a simple, catchy phrase at the beginning of a song. Sometimes a few seconds is all a listener gives to certain songs because it doesnt fit into their particular style, but by doing so they just might be missing out on a few key elements that could really change their lives forever.
Which guitar riff do you feel that changed your life in more ways than one, and the way that you play guitar? And can you describe the overall feeling, what was going on through your head?
Since no-one else has much to say...
Welll... 'might as well get this thread goin'
For me, it wasn't a riff so much as the chord progression for "That's The Way" on Led Zeppelin's third album.
That was the first time I set up an acoustic 12-string for an open tuning. The results were orgasmic!
LedZep did a lot of acoustic material, and from them I learned that you don't have to blow the windows out of the venue, to make music that will stay with your audience long after the show is over. Before that, I was just another string-slingin' fool trying play faster'n'louder than any other fool.
I play bluesey jazz these days. I don't think it's a coincidence that Led Zeppelin music has a lot of blues in it.
Well, I can't think of a paticular song that changed me, but I can think of a few things that immediately grab my attention and can alter my mood for the rest of the day:
SRV's version of "Little Wing" off of "The Sky is Crying"- Every time I listen to that song I find a new level it works on. I really belive that Stevie was tapping into some greater being or reality. This song moves me 10 times out of 10... you know?
"To Defy the Laws of Tradition" by Primus- I'm a bassist first and formost, and everytime I hear this song (which opens up the album "Frizzle Fry") I feel like I'm hearing something brand new and totally original. When I've been forced to listen to hit radio for an extended period of time this is one of the albums I run to largely because of the transition from the into to the main riff at the beginning of this song.
Morphine's entire "Cure for Pain" album. This whole album is psychological therapy for me. Also, Morphine is my big reminder that I don't have to play monster techniques all the time. They keep me in touch with just how powerful a simple idea can be, and how important it is to inject your feelings into your music.
Every once in a while you hear a song with an intro that grab you by the throat from the very first vibration of your speaker cone. These hooks don't necessarily have to be guitar-generated. The cowboy thwonks at the beginning of "Mississippi Queen" by Mountan are enoyugh to get your attention, and sometimes a simple drum groove can be a devastating hook, as in the primal beat at the beginning of "We Will Rock you" by Queen..Its all about the feeling that we get the first time we hear one of our favorite songs, not necessarily the feeling of shock, but the inspiration we recieve to go beyond the limit to reach our own form of satisfaction (with our own personal recordings).
There are so many great songs that come to mind, but the first Time I heard "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, it just blew me away, everything fit together rather nicely. That powerful bluesy rockish sound was more than I could ask for at the time, its just one of those songs that I'll never forget. I felt prone to teach my myself the volin as a result, wow.
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