How do I write a riff??

Kat the metalhead

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  • Jan 20, 2020
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    So I want to join the new contest really badly so I can get out of my comfort zone but the issue is I don’t know how to write riffs or solos at all! I have pretty much zero theory knowledge. I know the major scale and the notes on the fret board but that’s it 😅 I have no clue where to start. Does anyone have any tips or things I must know to be able to write my own riff? Thanks!!
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Don't overthink it too much! A riff is as simple as putting different chords together and creating a progression! It doesn't need to be super complicated or intricate. Just a repetition of a couple power chords can sound pretty bad ass! Trust yourself and have fun in the creative process! :)
     

    Kat the metalhead

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    Don't overthink it too much! A riff is as simple as putting different chords together and creating a progression! It doesn't need to be super complicated or intricate. Just a repetition of a couple power chords can sound pretty bad ass! Trust yourself and have fun in the creative process! :)
    I was really over thinking it 😅 Thanks so much!!
     

    Donovan Etue

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Like Radu said, don't overthink it. Some of the greatest riff masters know little to no theory. Mark Morton from Lamb of God constantly mentions he knows like 3 scales, a couple of licks, and a couple of simple chord progressions. The rest is using his ear to find what sounds cool to him. Lamb of God has some kickass riffs. As far as I know Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day knows about as much theory as a kid who just picked up the recorder. He just uses his ear to find something that sounds cool. I know that what's worked for me is thinking about what types of patterns sound good from riffs/songs I've learned in the past and using my ear to come up with something from there. You've got this! Don't overthink it. Just use what knowledge you do have both theory and the knowledge of what worked/sounds kickass from your favorite guitarists repertoire and go from there.
     
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    Kat the metalhead

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  • Jan 20, 2020
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    What Radu said !!!


    a riff in its very basic form is a repeating progression !

    You wanna rock some power chords ? Go for it !
    Open chords and arrgegio’s ? Cool beans !
    Some sick tapping ? You got it !

    point is, don’t over think.
    Take what what you love and just create !
    Thanks so much! Like I said before I was really over thinking it for sure 😅
     

    Dominik Gräber

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Really I was in the exact same position as you were, still am in parts. What helped me at that stage was just noodling around with chords and notes from the scale I know, for example while watching TV. If you got something that sounds cool hold onto it and try to add stuff, or use the lessons to figure out why it sounds cool. PG's six magic notes lesson also helped me understand how to do really simple solos without needing to shred.
     
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    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I'd try not to have too many expectations about it and use the tools you have already. It could be any technique you're confident with, as long as it feels & sounds good to you. Most of the songs/riffs I've wrote for with my band have popped into my head while walking my dogs, like there's just something about forward motion that makes my mind wander to the right places :ROFLMAO:

    Basically, just experiment & have fun. Whatever comes out will be your unique thing!
     
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