Making Riffs!!


Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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04/15/2002 3:38 pm
Ive been messing around trying to put the theory to the test!! I looked at the pentatonic scales and used the 5 notes as power chords to make little tunes! what d'ya know the first scale i picked was what a guns n roses song was based on, "back off bitch", anyway, the main point, how do you invent origonal riffs? do you pick a couple of chords n mess around with them or just shred!
I taped myself shredding to "knockin on heavens door" by guns n roses and discovered a couple of small riffs i accidently did!
Joe Perry from aerosmith jams and sometimes doesnt notice of he pulls off something really good. Steve tyler n brad whitford often have to point it out.
So is it really only while in a band with the other instruments playing that you can make good riffs.

later AXL

PS. you guys will be proud to hear i learnt all about the roman numeral system!
# 1


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04/15/2002 4:24 pm

Good riff is subjective but I do get my riffs from jamming.

I don't have a band, so I always jam by myself. I never jam to a tape to find new riffs, I just fool around with notes.

I also never rely on scales, I just let the feeling drive me. The main thing I do is find a good riff, record it and then add another guitar.

It maybe a weird way of doing things but it does work great for me.

I do try numerous ways of picking swhen I get a good riff, just to see if I can make it better.

I also would quote James Hetfield who found the riff of Nothing else matter while talking on the phone!!!!!!!!! Pretty neat.

# 2
Christoph
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Christoph
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04/15/2002 6:34 pm

Use your ear. Like Benoit says, good riffs are entirely subjective.

You're off to a good start though. If you don't have other people to play with then recording yourself and playing back over it is great practice.
# 3
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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04/15/2002 8:48 pm
Riffs, to me, are based on rythm a little more than notes...
Find a cool rythm (maybe a drum sample) and try putting notes to the beats that are played. That's how I work...
# 4


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04/15/2002 10:32 pm

Now that you mention it Lalimace, I remember how easy it was to find riffs with a drummer. Never jammed a lot with other people but I remember jamming with drummers and be able to create songs really quickly.

A lot more than with two guitars.
# 5
magicninja
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magicninja
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04/16/2002 4:00 am
Yeah Im usually sitting messing around and stumble across something I like. God works in mysterious ways.
Magicninja
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"If it feels right, play it. If it feels wrong, play it faster” - Magicninja
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# 6
Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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04/16/2002 9:24 am
On saturday i did this awesome thing, i recorded me playing the rythmn part of 'wild horses' on my PC, it goes G Am G Am G Bm G Bm G Am C etc!!! And what do you know! as i played the lead part along to it i could instantly see how where on the guitar i was playing related to the solo! Amazing learning experience! Plus its good to have free reign over the solo, i mean not having slash playing it in the background! I'm gona record some more chords on my PC tonight!! Silly question here. "chord progression"? does that simply mean a set of chords that fit well together?

Later Axl
# 7
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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04/16/2002 3:42 pm
Yes, it is.
I personally see chord progression as sets of notes that move diatonically or chromatically.
Let's say you have C, Am, F, G...
To go from C (which is CEG) to A (ACE) you need to change the G to A: one step! And if you play a C6 (CEGA) You have only one note to remove, or maybe you just have to consider that you're playing the C6 (CEGA) followed by a Am7 (ACEG) they are the same notes, but in another order!! You can do this with the two other chords...
# 8
Christoph
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Christoph
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04/26/2002 6:06 pm

That's exactly what piano players do. Only changing one note and playing inversions is easier on the fingers.
# 9
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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04/28/2002 6:40 pm
piano is my first instrument, maybe that's why I think like this!
# 10
Christoph
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Christoph
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04/28/2002 10:19 pm

I was taking some keyboard lessons a while back, but I gave it up because I didn't have a decent instrument to practice on. Maybe when I get a new job, and can afford to buy a nice stage piano, I'll pick it up again.

# 11
dan5050
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dan5050
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05/01/2002 4:49 am
when i think i created a cool new riff, it usually turns out to be a in a song that i subconsiously remember or have heard before.
# 12
pstring
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pstring
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05/01/2002 6:51 am
Originally posted by lalimacefolle
piano is my first instrument, maybe that's why I think like this!


We were all wondering what had happened, now we know!

Just joking, I haven't messed with you in a
while, and didn't want you to feel left out....
# 13
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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05/01/2002 8:51 am
lol :D
# 14
Bardsley
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Bardsley
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05/01/2002 1:49 pm
I think a similar way though. A lot of the time a song sounds really well put together with subtle movements from chord to chord, so that it flows. Then, of course, are times when you want the chord to be as different as possible, but I agree with that idea. I often come up with chord progressions by getting a four note chord, moving each note chromatically up or down until I am in a completely new shape, then figure out how each movement can be played as a different chord.
Here's a bit of a progression I was working on earlier..
G|--8--8--8--7
A|--6--6--5--5
D|--------------
E|--7--8--8--8

As you can see, move each note at a time. Then, these notes imply these basic chords (among others):
Gmin, G, Cmin, Csus2. It's a sort of Radioheady progression, which sounds pretty cool with strings, etc.

"Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year, it's just not that widely reported".
# 15
templd50
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templd50
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05/05/2002 2:39 pm
If you want to be a good lead player you must:
1: Learn all the modal scales and pent. scales and the arpeggios in those scales.

2: The only way to succsesfuly learn the above is to ALWAYS record yourself playing progressions. I started with just one chord, then two, then three and so on.
---EX. Play Amin for 10min (or loop it)jam along to Amin for a month if you need to, but lean all the fingerings for Amin. THEN--do the same for Dmin.
AFter that record Amin going to Dmin. Then the magic happens: Play Amin scales over Amin and Dmin scales over Dmin!!!!
In the course of only 2 years Ive learned to play over any chord in a progression---as long as it dosnt move to quick.
Trust me do this and your playing will take a HUGE leap!!!
When a progression goes like Emin for 4 messures then Amaj for 4 then F7 for 4 to Bmin then back to Emin-----nail your lines to each chord. Switching to a new fingering without moving from the 7th or 12th fret is hard at first but It can be done, just take your time and learn how to do it---it time you will be playing like a pro.
# 16
Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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05/08/2002 9:50 am
If you strum the chord G for an hour and solo a scale in G along to it, its obviously gona fit in! But no song ever stays with one chord for that long, long enough to solo over it.
This is where i'm stuck, and where no ones been able to help!!!

Take a song that goes G5 for 2 seconds, D5 for 2 seconds then C5 for two seconds! Im hoping this is in the key of G! I know you can aim notes, i mean while the G5 chord is sounded you also hit a single note G so make it fit in.
Thats all very well if those 3 chords are played close together. But imagine if you had a song, a crap song probably, that strummed G for a minute, D for a minute, then C for a minute. Wouldnt you be outa key most on the time if you played the same G scale over all of it?
So can you talk about scales having different keys? Like play the G scale lower down the guitar and then move and play the same G scale but part thats a higher pitch as the chords also go up?


[Edited by Axl_Rose on 05-08-2002 at 04:59 AM]
# 17
lalimacefolle
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lalimacefolle
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05/08/2002 10:05 am
if you play a G D C vamp, you're pretty much playing a blues (I V and IV degrees) so the pentatonic fits perfectly over each chord, but you need to have target notes, that fit better. Eventually, you'll learn how to fit each chord's pentatonic, so you'll switch the set of notes that you're playing along with the chord. That's called playing the changes. Jazz cats do that to the extreme, since some progressions change keys every bar or so.
# 18
BlackBox
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BlackBox
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05/30/2002 2:03 pm
Woa, I learned Roman Numerals in grade school. I thought everyone did!
Rock on.
# 19


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05/30/2002 7:09 pm

Hope this can be helpfull. This is how I build multiple guitar riffs.


http://www.guitartricks.com/2000/trick.php?trick_id=4461
# 20

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