Where do awesome guitar riffs come from?

Jun 24, 2016 | Guitarability

Awesome guitar riffs don’t just drop out of the sky. In fact, some of the most iconic riffs have a story behind them that goes way beyond one person sitting down with a Gibson…

Sometimes all it takes is a little self-belief to write something incredible, other times it takes a little more than that. While it might be made to look like the rock stars have it easy when they release a new track, at the very least they have spent many onerous hours practicing and honing their sound to create something that sounds smooth and effortless. There’s something altogether divine about legendary guitar riffs.

When you’re enduring the long hard slog of turning something from it’s infancy into an awesome riff, it’s easy to find yourself getting a little disheartened. To help you keep believing in yourself, we’ve had a look into the inspiration behind some of the most iconic riffs ever written…

You Really Got Me – The Kinks

Few power chord riffs are as memorable as this one by 60’s legends The Kinks. It first came into being while the band were playing along to Louie Louie by The Kingsmen – if you were ever wondering why those two songs sounded alike, that’s why. That riff is often described as one of the first true rock and roll power riffs. According to legend, that snarled fuzzy sound on the track was created when brothers Dave and Ray Davies had a fight and the amp was cut up. Pretty rock and roll right!

Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

Often one of the first riffs new guitarists get their fingers round, the story of Sweet Child O’ Mine is the perfect example of band members working together. According to Slash he was just playing around on his guitar when the riff manifested. His bandmates started jamming with him and apparently the whole song had been written in 5 minutes flat. It’s certainly not always that easy, but sometimes when inspiration hits and you just roll with it awesome things can happen!

Walk This Way – Aerosmith

The story behind the iconic riff in Aerosmith’s Walk This Way is a perfect example of being led by your inspiration. It goes that Joe Perry was messing around and attempting to write an R&B-influenced riff with echoes of The Meters, when he started playing this instead. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid to let yourself go with the creative flow.

Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles

It may come as no surprise to you that the main source of inspiration for Here Comes The Sun was in fact the sun. (We know right, weird!) The story goes that George Harrison was seeking refuge from arduous business meetings in Eric Clapton’s garden one sunny day in spring, guitar in hand. Along comes the sun and boom, one of the world’s most famous riffs by one of the world’s most revered bands is created.

What about your very own Guitar Riffs?

With Guitarability’s hundreds of unique riffs  your moment of inspiration is just a download away. What are you waiting for?

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