#1
I have always been told that there are two kinds of musicians. Those who can solo naturally, and those who can riff naturally. I'm not saying there aren't people that can create wicked solos and epic riffs, but one probably comes easier than the other. I have always been the solo type. Able to create soulful blues solos, or shredding metal compositions, but I just CAN'T write riffs. I have looked on various other sites for techniques on writing riffs, but still I struggle. The genre that my band plays is metal, that is the kind of music I want to play. I want to write riffs like Pantera and Megadeth, either or both. Any tips? Cool progressions to follow? Thanks!
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#2
Ear Training
Scales
Arpeggios
Transcribe lots and lots of the riffs you like. Figure out how they work.
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#3
Practice.

Though, I would say two kinds of guitarists, as opposed to two kinds of musicians, but that's just me.
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#6
Those aren't two kinds of musicians at all. Those are 2 kinds of who cares.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#7
You've created a false dichotomy here. Riffing and soloing are not the only two sides of guitar playing, nor are they even mutually exclusive.
#10
Quote by TheHydra
You've created a false dichotomy here. Riffing and soloing are not the only two sides of guitar playing, nor are they even mutually exclusive.


I didn't really come up with this theory (if you want to call it that) But yes, there is quite a lot more than soloing and riffing. But in the broad scheme of things, what I'm saying is there are people that find it easier to solo (improvise, tie licks together, etc.) and there are people that write genius rhythm pieces with very little effort. And you can be good at both, don't get me wrong, but one will most likely be easier for you to do.
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#11
Quote by DRMguitar
I didn't really come up with this theory (if you want to call it that) But yes, there is quite a lot more than soloing and riffing. But in the broad scheme of things, what I'm saying is there are people that find it easier to solo (improvise, tie licks together, etc.) and there are people that write genius rhythm pieces with very little effort. And you can be good at both, don't get me wrong, but one will most likely be easier for you to do.


Not really man.

Those things are more related than you realize.
Quote by The Spoon
Unless you're sure she likes you, telling her you like her has a 110% chance of failing.

But hey, at least you have a 10% chance of absolutely guaranteeing failure.
#12
Quote by DRMguitar
I didn't really come up with this theory (if you want to call it that) But yes, there is quite a lot more than soloing and riffing. But in the broad scheme of things, what I'm saying is there are people that find it easier to solo (improvise, tie licks together, etc.) and there are people that write genius rhythm pieces with very little effort. And you can be good at both, don't get me wrong, but one will most likely be easier for you to do.

Is a solo not a rhythmic piece?
#13
What crappy advice. It should be those musicians who play for the song, and those who play for themselves.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
When you improvise a solo - well, you improvise it. Playing a decent sounding solo over a chord progression is quite different to writing riffs/songs. In a solo you can play all the licks you remember and it will still sound bitchin'. But writing riffs is songwriting. It's not improvising. Also, improvising solos is a bit different to writing solos (maybe not if you are really good at improvising). Some people (like me) can't really improvise good solos but can write them. And some people like Tony Iommi only improvise solos.

But to write riffs/songs, you need to use your ears, not just noodle around with your guitar (well, same with improvised solos - you shouldn't really just noodle around with your guitar but by noodling around you can still play a decent sounding solo).
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 10, 2013,
#15
^^^ Generally speaking the solos I at least preplan to some extent will sound better than pure improv. I find that if I improv a lot during a set I'll run out of ideas at some point and the improvs will start repeating themselves. This is especially noticable when doing 4 hour gigs. As a result I think it's best to at least have a combination of pure improv solos and pre-written solos.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
Quote by DRMguitar
I didn't really come up with this theory (if you want to call it that) But yes, there is quite a lot more than soloing and riffing. But in the broad scheme of things, what I'm saying is there are people that find it easier to solo (improvise, tie licks together, etc.) and there are people that write genius rhythm pieces with very little effort. And you can be good at both, don't get me wrong, but one will most likely be easier for you to do.
Um...no. Sorry.

Btw, why do you think a lot of guitar solos either start off based on the vocal melody or start off based upon the "safer" notes to play against X chord progression or even start off as a reprise of X riff? Simple. Because rhythm guitar and lead guitar are actually inherently tied.
#17
Quote by AlanHB
What crappy advice. It should be those musicians who play for the song, and those who play for themselves.


+1, I've never heard of what TS is trying to say and this better generalizes musicians imo
#18
^^ what he/she said ! (sorry for the one I got wrong) . I am a sucky guitarist , but a mate of mine is pretty good , and I was speaking to him of some my chemical romance stuff I was watching live , and not knowing the mcr guitarist from a bar of soap I said to him " jeez that guy was awesome , he didn't just play lead guitar , when he wasn't soloing , he was jumping in giving the rythym guy a hand and really making it awesome " ( I am pretty sure it wasn't remastered as the vocals sounded pretty ordinary compared to the recorded versions , but the guitar solos in it sounded amazing , and when they stopped he didn't) .
I think I compared it to the faith no more stuff , where the guitarist is good , but he seems to just stop and hang around till its time for him to shine again . Just my 2cents , but I know wich type of guitarist id wanna be .
#19
^ In most bands with two guitarists the lead guitarist plays rhythm when he doesn't solo. Most of the time the two guitar parts are pretty similar (for example Metallica - Kirk and James both play pretty much the same riff until there's a guitar solo or melody or something). In Faith No More there's just one guitarist so he has more freedom in the songs. I think not playing is many times better than playing all the time. It gives the song a lot more space and also adds dynamics. I don't like it when all instruments have to play all the time.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115