Top 10 Weirdest Riffs of All Time

artist: Misc date: 06/20/2014 category: entertainment
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Top 10 Weirdest Riffs of All Time
For this week's Wednesday Question, we asked you guys to name the single weirdest guitar riff in the history of rock and metal. Summing up your votes was quite an experience, check out the final list below.

10. Tool - Schism

Did you know that "Schism" changes time signature 47 times? It kicks off with two 5/4 bars, goes on with one 4/4 bar, followed by bars alternating 5/8 and 7/8, until the first interlude, which further consists of alternating 6/8 and 7/8 bars.

Then there's the verse, the middle section and the outro, featuring more 5/8, 7/8, 11/8, 6/8, 9/8, 10/8, 2/8, 4/4 and 5/4 bars.

Making matters even weirder, the band is referring to the "Schism" time signature as 6.5/8. Many composers would use 13/16 instead, but 6.5/8 is still a valid fractional time signature nevertheless. Granted, this is the explanation of the full song, but it's still weirdness galore here.

9. Rage Against the Machine - Ashes in the Fall

This one might remind you of an old dial-up modem, but it's a riff and of course, it's played on a guitar. Just goes to show that Tom Morello always has plenty of tricks up his sleeve.

8. Mr. Bungle - My A-s Is on Fire

One of those blatantly weird, yet awesome tunes - Mr. Bungle and "My A-s Is on Fire." A bit of King Crimson, a bit of Zappa and a teaspoon of magic weirdness. And shouting, never forget shouting.

7. The Fall of Troy - Dirty Pillow Talk

Up next are the Fall of Troy and their 2009 track "Dirty Pillow Talk." Squeaky sound, weird vibe, 'tis all there.

6. Alice in Chains - Sickman

This one came about when late singer Layne Staley asked guitarist Jerry Cantrell to "write him the sickest tune, the sickest, darkest, most f--ked-up and heaviest thing he could write." The resulting track is right below.

5. Buckethead - Jordan

It's hard to believe that "Jordan" riff was recorded on a guitar, but that's the mastery of Mr. Buckethead right there. You guys also made sure to point out the "chicken-picking riff" at 3:02.

4. Mastodon - Divinations

Mastodon's "Divinations" kicks off with that nice banjo-sounding riff right before jumping into the Black Sabbath-like monster riff right afterwards. A fine tune, and quite a peculiar one as well.

3. Primus - Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

Primus sucks. And that's a bass riff.

2. Nirvana - Hairspray Queen

Driven by Krist Novoselic's weird bass line, Nirvana's "Hairspray Queen" is further fueled by Kurt Cobain's weird guitar riff, serving as a perfect introduction to some weird vocals. It's a weirdness frenzy here!

1. Queens of the Stone Age - I'm Designer

Taking the weirdness crown, Queens of the Stone Age claim the throne with "I'm Designer." Josh Homme and co. have the power of turning what seems as doodling guitar wankery into a genuine catchy tune and they demonstrate it perfectly here.

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