#1
So I have stumbled upon a large roadblock in my guitar playing. I cannot for the life of me come up with an original consistant riff and it is sucking the life out of me. I feel like if I can come up with a catchy intro bit or chorus bit I am useless. Anyone use any techniques or rituals to get the creative juices flowing?
#2
listen to alot of music
Gear:
-Squier Bullet Strat

DUNLOP CRY BABY

-Peavey ValveKing 212
#3
Quote by prleLTD
listen to alot of music

When I do that I just keep trying to imitate riffs andf I want to just make one from scratch. Btw I own a Squier Bullet,granted its been through Hell.lol
#5
Listen to new types of music, or start another instrument. Both helped me.
#6
Quote by robhc
Listen to new types of music, or start another instrument. Both helped me.


I do not have money to start a new instrument, although that would be some nice inspiration.
#7
Do you ever just sit there and hear melodies in your head ?

When you do, pick up the guitar and try to translate them on to the instrument.

Also

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of stuff like 8th notes and 16th notes etc.
#8
Quote by mrbabo91
Do you ever just sit there and hear melodies in your head ?

When you do, pick up the guitar and try to translate them on to the instrument.

Also

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of stuff like 8th notes and 16th notes etc.


I get little glimpses of bits and that is honestly how ive come up with half my parts. Just today for some reason I got nothing.
#9
Just sit down in a quiet room and think about what would sound good, or just look cool playing, and just play around with the fret and notes and stuff and you'll get some ideas after a little bit.
#10
I go through weeks or months of becalmed creativity and then have bursts in which I'll write one or two whole songs in a week. It happens.

There are three or four things I use that help me out directly with composition.

The first is to try to look at scales or arpeggios differently. I learned my scales as patterns to start with, and although I've learned all of the notes on the fretboard, looking at scales as patterns and then messing with that pattern helps me get thinking about different ideas and phrasings.

The second is to take a program like guitarpro or tuxguitar and tab out everything I write. I right now have over a hundred riffs and passages, some just guitar, some full band, and some completely removed from a four-piece band context. Every now and then, I go back and look at some of those riffs and see if I can try to string them together in interesting new ways. Having a riff library of stuff I've written already is pretty fantastic and really helps me to get thinking in new and interesting ways.

The third is to take my tabbing program (I use tuxguitar) and pick a random key signature and or time signature, then see what I can come up with. I remember reading an article by a guitarist I really respect (AJ Minette of The Human Abstract) in which he argued that you really get to see how creative you are when you apply certain limitations to your composition. For example, I've come up with riffs and melodies by taking a Hungarian dance rhythm and time signature (really weird stuff that i highly recommend everyone take a look at some time).

The fourth thing I do is to start looking at songs that I like and see what exactly is going on in the parts I like best. Then I try to imitate that approach (or just outright plagiarize it) and see how it works in a different context. For example, I have a song I'm working on that takes the main melody riff from Awaken Mustakrakish, but the guitar part is transposed over to a string quartet, slowed down with a Human Abstract style chugging part underneath.

That's all I've got, anyway.
#11
Quote by Geldin
I go through weeks or months of becalmed creativity and then have bursts in which I'll write one or two whole songs in a week. It happens.

There are three or four things I use that help me out directly with composition.

The first is to try to look at scales or arpeggios differently. I learned my scales as patterns to start with, and although I've learned all of the notes on the fretboard, looking at scales as patterns and then messing with that pattern helps me get thinking about different ideas and phrasings.

The second is to take a program like guitarpro or tuxguitar and tab out everything I write. I right now have over a hundred riffs and passages, some just guitar, some full band, and some completely removed from a four-piece band context. Every now and then, I go back and look at some of those riffs and see if I can try to string them together in interesting new ways. Having a riff library of stuff I've written already is pretty fantastic and really helps me to get thinking in new and interesting ways.

The third is to take my tabbing program (I use tuxguitar) and pick a random key signature and or time signature, then see what I can come up with. I remember reading an article by a guitarist I really respect (AJ Minette of The Human Abstract) in which he argued that you really get to see how creative you are when you apply certain limitations to your composition. For example, I've come up with riffs and melodies by taking a Hungarian dance rhythm and time signature (really weird stuff that i highly recommend everyone take a look at some time).

The fourth thing I do is to start looking at songs that I like and see what exactly is going on in the parts I like best. Then I try to imitate that approach (or just outright plagiarize it) and see how it works in a different context. For example, I have a song I'm working on that takes the main melody riff from Awaken Mustakrakish, but the guitar part is transposed over to a string quartet, slowed down with a Human Abstract style chugging part underneath.

That's all I've got, anyway.


Interesting my friend. I stumbled upon a riff that is extremley simple but definitly what I was looking to create
#12
It's weird, but after listening to Slipknot I play simple chuggy rifts, that sound pretty sweet. I'm kinda influenced by whatever type of music I've been listening to in the past ten minutes.
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#13
I just learn tons of songs by loads of bands i love and transpose their riffs to the same key, gives me lots of options.
#14
I constantly come up with stuff, it's remembering it long enough to get it down that's difficult.
#15
Quote by Sickz
I just learn tons of songs by loads of bands i love and transpose their riffs to the same key, gives me lots of options.


I may do this. I'll just find some random tabs on UG and learn them and I guess tweak them.
#16
Quote by Sickz
I just learn tons of songs by loads of bands i love and transpose their riffs to the same key, gives me lots of options.



Now this is just stealing. You could come up with a riff in the style of some band, but copying it note to note is just low.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#17
Quote by Flibo


Now this is just stealing. You could come up with a riff in the style of some band, but copying it note to note is just low.


I did never say i stole riffs note for note, he asked for inspiration for riffs. I get inspiration by learning many different stuff i like.
#18
personally, I just sit down, watching tv, and when commercials come on, i figure out the key of said commercial and try to play something interesting over it. it may be a little tricky at first if you're not quick enough to figure it out, but as soon as you get it, you end up playing some really cool riffs and progressions. works for me sometimes.
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#19
Quote by randomhero93
personally, I just sit down, watching tv, and when commercials come on, i figure out the key of said commercial and try to play something interesting over it. it may be a little tricky at first if you're not quick enough to figure it out, but as soon as you get it, you end up playing some really cool riffs and progressions. works for me sometimes.


I have never heard of anyone doing this.lol
But I am not a stickler, so I shall give this a try as well.
Ive been playing ALL day and dear God am I getting angry.
#20
Quote by NihilistNixon
I have never heard of anyone doing this.lol
But I am not a stickler, so I shall give this a try as well.
Ive been playing ALL day and dear God am I getting angry.


Have you ever considered not playing your guitar for a while (like a day or two) and then get back to it? Let the creative juices settle for a bit and then let them boil and bubble when you get back behind your instrument.
#21
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
Have you ever considered not playing your guitar for a while (like a day or two) and then get back to it? Let the creative juices settle for a bit and then let them boil and bubble when you get back behind your instrument.


Or at least take a 30 minute break...no need to get frustrated.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#22
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
Have you ever considered not playing your guitar for a while (like a day or two) and then get back to it? Let the creative juices settle for a bit and then let them boil and bubble when you get back behind your instrument.


Its hard to do that. The guitar is tempting and I must get better!
#23
Listen to new bands half arsedly until you conciously hear a riff you like
Stop the song
Go through the melody in your head

YOu should have a cool riff, that's simliar but not the same
#24
1. Frustration does not mix well with creativity. If you're beating your head against a wall now, it will only get worse.

2. Keep it SIMPLE. Maybe you'll stumble upon an incredible riff that has wild intervals and takes you from one end of the fretboard to the other... more than likely, however, you will not. Try limiting yourself to 4 or 5 notes.

3. Put on a backing track that sounds good (some guy named Jawesome01 has some amazing stuff on YouTube). LISTEN, don't just start playing. After a minute or two, just start fooling around a little but focus on coming up with a theme you can keep coming back to. This is the cornerstone of good soloing and also great for riff writing.
Last edited by pbskl at Aug 9, 2011,
#25
just noodle a bit,i often pick up guitar and play **** all,i just play around,even if its crap it gets u more comfy with guitar,also try playing when your dog tired.
#26
Quote by NihilistNixon
So I have stumbled upon a large roadblock in my guitar playing. I cannot for the life of me come up with an original consistant riff and it is sucking the life out of me. I feel like if I can come up with a catchy intro bit or chorus bit I am useless. Anyone use any techniques or rituals to get the creative juices flowing?


How's your ear?

I've found that the better my ear gets, the more I spontaneously come up with musical ideas - at or away from my instrument.

When your ear is good and your really hearing the music in the world all around you all the time, you'll subconsciously be processing it into different ideas. There are sounds all around you that can inspire you - maybe it's a piece of a jingle you hear on the TV, maybe it's the way tires squeal going around a nearby corner.

If your ear is good, these things will make you think of musical ideas. Get yourself THINKING in musical sounds, not in terms of physical patterns on the fretboard. Then just listen, and see where the world leads you.

If you don't have the ability to, say, hear a little piece of a tune and sing it accurately, then at a certain point you're trying to write riffs by moving your fingers around and seeing what you come up with. This would be like trying to write words by pushing your fingers around on the keyboard, without regard to the letters underneath them. Sure, sometimes you'll come up with words, particularly if you've drilled certain patterns into your fingers ... but it's going to be really hard to actually say anything!
#27
Quote by HotspurJr
How's your ear?

I've found that the better my ear gets, the more I spontaneously come up with musical ideas - at or away from my instrument.

When your ear is good and your really hearing the music in the world all around you all the time, you'll subconsciously be processing it into different ideas. There are sounds all around you that can inspire you - maybe it's a piece of a jingle you hear on the TV, maybe it's the way tires squeal going around a nearby corner.

If your ear is good, these things will make you think of musical ideas. Get yourself THINKING in musical sounds, not in terms of physical patterns on the fretboard. Then just listen, and see where the world leads you.

If you don't have the ability to, say, hear a little piece of a tune and sing it accurately, then at a certain point you're trying to write riffs by moving your fingers around and seeing what you come up with. This would be like trying to write words by pushing your fingers around on the keyboard, without regard to the letters underneath them. Sure, sometimes you'll come up with words, particularly if you've drilled certain patterns into your fingers ... but it's going to be really hard to actually say anything!



Yeah I finally made a nice little riff. I need a phone or somethign so I can post songs on here.
#28
Quote by robhc
Listen to new types of music, or start another instrument. Both helped me.

This is what i did and it worked wonders for me
#29
Maybe not riffs per-se, bt try "creating" your own chords. Place one finger on a random fret, then try and create a "good" sounding chord from it. (I'm terrible with notes on guitar, but i know some chord patterns).

Also, try a different tuning.
Caution:
This post may contain my opinion and/or inaccurate information.

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#30
Quote by UnmagicMushroom
Have you ever considered not playing your guitar for a while (like a day or two) and then get back to it? Let the creative juices settle for a bit and then let them boil and bubble when you get back behind your instrument.


Yeah, listen to this guy. When I write and get jammed, its usually a 24-hr block. I put the guitar away and come back the next day, and try again. Hopefully its a good writing day and on those days I can just go for hours coming up with riff after riff. I record them with my iPhone with basic tabs as the title so I can remember how to play them, then put them together to form songs.