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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 AM   #1
FlavorCrystal7
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What's the diff - Riff vs. Lick

I know this seems like a dumb question.

What's the difference? To me, a lick is a small part of a solo, almost a technique.

A Riff is maybe a longer portion of a guitar part, repeated during a song?

Help. Trying to explain stuff to FlavorCrystal7 Jr
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:58 AM   #2
Wild_One
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if i'm not mistaken, lick is a small part of lead guitar work that a guitarist create, while riff is a repeated phrase, and mostly become the base of the song...
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
Zoomyrs1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild_One
if i'm not mistaken, lick is a small part of lead guitar work that a guitarist create, while riff is a repeated phrase, and mostly become the base of the song...


You got it.

A riff is rhythm work usually, think Pantera, I'm Broken, that song is mostly riffage.

A lick is a a "section" of a lead I guess you would call it, you can chain them together and move them around but the pattern doesn't really change.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:23 AM   #4
Bad Kharmel
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nope, they're the same, just you normally say riff in metal, and lick in blues or jazz (i.e. did you hear that metal lick, or I can play that jazz riff...... both sound a little strange)
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:40 AM   #5
Zaphod_Beeblebr
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It's not really a question that has an answer, it's a very small semantic difference and you can really use the two terms interchangeably and no one will say anything because everyone will know what you mean.

That said, I usually go with the idea of a lick being a small lead part that is easily recognizable and a riff is a part that forms the basis of a song or section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Kharmel
nope, they're the same, just you normally say riff in metal, and lick in blues or jazz (i.e. did you hear that metal lick, or I can play that jazz riff...... both sound a little strange)


I'm not sure about this at all, I mean listen to something like Four On Six by Wes Montgomery; the opening part of that is clearly a riff
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr : 11-16-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #6
Kenjisan231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Kharmel
nope, they're the same, just you normally say riff in metal, and lick in blues or jazz (i.e. did you hear that metal lick, or I can play that jazz riff...... both sound a little strange)


A lick is "a stock pattern or phrase" consisting of a short series of notes that is used in solos and melodic lines and accompaniment

A riff is a short repeated phrase, frequently played over changing chords or used as a background to a solo improvisation

Internet's definition, for all that copyright jazz. Importantly though, not the same.

Last edited by Kenjisan231 : 11-16-2012 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #7
CryogenicHusk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Kharmel
nope, they're the same, just you normally say riff in metal, and lick in blues or jazz (i.e. did you hear that metal lick, or I can play that jazz riff...... both sound a little strange)


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