#1
hey guys i hope you are having a wonderful day, i was just asking if you more experienced players could give me tips or suggestions on how to make riffs? I have created a few intros but i never finish them songs usually its a soft intro that i make single picking but i just struggle on coming up with ideas for making a heavy riff any tips? thanks
#2
Many rock songs just repeat the main riff over and over again. Add a good melody over the riff and add other instruments and it makes it sound better. If you come up with a "soft" riff, you can make it sound heavier - do a variation of it. Add distortion, maybe change the rhythm a bit, maybe add more notes, use power chords.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#3
listen to more music

also just "do it". write and play it back and if it sucks, scrap it. it takes a lot of bad songs before you find a good one, much less reach a creative stride where you can write more than one that fit cohesively together without much effort.
#4
Just write something simple and catchy. Mess with it, so you have a few "variations". Then, do what Maggara said.
#5
it just kind of happens, usually when you least expect it.
Someone is wrong on the internet. Only you can help.

Quote by Tulkas

Stairway is required on any list of anything involving the words guitar or song, I believe Congress amended the constitution in order to put it into federal law.
#6
Tips about the variations are useful, at least for me.

I for example came up with a nice, pentatonic-esque melody a while back. From that melody I came up with a chuggy riff. From that riff I came up with an another chuggy riff that used a different chord. From that chord I came up with a not-chuggy riff and a clean arpeggiated chord progression. From that progression I came up with an another one.

So, from that one pentatonic melody I came up with four riffs and two nice progressions, all of which I'm happy with. So I guess you can also come up with some nice stuff from your intro as well, right?
#7
Thanks guys i much appreciate the help, i actually just finished making a intro and a verse for a song they really came out of nothing and usually im very delicate when it comes to metal music so the fact that i actually like how it sounds got me a little hype it sounds really nice thanks a lot everyone
#8
Usually when I write riffs, I tend to think up of a musical technique or interval that I haven't tried to use. For example, I'll think of something like, "I can't think of anything I've written that revolves around a minor 6th;" or "Why don't I try going down a minor scale with a 5/4 accent pattern?" I tend to try to experiment with new things and just see how I can use them the best.
#9
Quote by guitar/bass95
Tips about the variations are useful, at least for me.

I for example came up with a nice, pentatonic-esque melody a while back. From that melody I came up with a chuggy riff. From that riff I came up with an another chuggy riff that used a different chord. From that chord I came up with a not-chuggy riff and a clean arpeggiated chord progression. From that progression I came up with an another one.

So, from that one pentatonic melody I came up with four riffs and two nice progressions, all of which I'm happy with. So I guess you can also come up with some nice stuff from your intro as well, right?

Sounds to me like you have like 75% of a song done, already.

Quote by DarkF1ame777
Thanks guys i much appreciate the help, i actually just finished making a intro and a verse for a song they really came out of nothing and usually im very delicate when it comes to metal music so the fact that i actually like how it sounds got me a little hype it sounds really nice thanks a lot everyone

Awesome. Keep it up, dude.

Just remember, if you get stuck, don't get discouraged. It happens to everyone. Just step back and come back to it later.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 3, 2014,
#10
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Sounds to me like you have like 75% of a song done, already.


Actually, it's supposed to become a Townsend-esque scifi-y prog metal song that's well over ten minutes, so I have a lot less of it ready than what it sounds like
#11
sounds like he's got 4 songs done once you've written more than an F# you're into wankery
#12
Quote by willT08
sounds like he's got 4 songs done once you've written more than an F# you're into wankery

i liked you plenty when you were just the bass clarinet guy but this is great

e: nvm that was the other will lol
Last edited by Hail at Aug 9, 2014,
#13
I dunno if this will help you, but here are few tips i use that are foolproof, at least for me.

1) Dont just listen to more music, PLAY it. When i need to write a couple of songs i dont even start improvising until i learn at least 10 songs, in the spirit of what i want to achive. Songs have to be new, and from different bands. Thats how i feed my inner self with *inspiration*

2) Get hyped. Fall in love, break up, get depressed i dont care. I need a poverfull emotion to kickstart the process. If life is bland at the moment alchohol and smokes can help, but that works ones or twice, and is band for your health whatsoever.

3)Play A LOT before you start wandering for the riffs or solos. When i get to writing i am already warmed up, in a groove if i may.

Anyway can write a couple songs in one siting, can be 40 riffs straigt, can be just one riff that i cant get away from. Try some of my stuff if you are stuck. Godspeed.
#15
Quote by DarkF1ame777
hey guys i hope you are having a wonderful day, i was just asking if you more experienced players could give me tips or suggestions on how to make riffs? I have created a few intros but i never finish them songs usually its a soft intro that i make single picking but i just struggle on coming up with ideas for making a heavy riff any tips? thanks


just listen to a lot of riffs from various bands. Riffs come in all shapes and sizes

A lot of classic riffs were some variation of 2 chords back and forth...or something like 2 chords and then a little lick of some kind

I used to program a drum machine with like 4 or 8 bars of one beat then 4-8 bars of another beat and then id just jam on that and usually something will come out.

for me its all based on drums and it would be a little hard to just come up with a bare guitar riff with no drums to bounce off of
#16
I think there are a couple of key ingredients: inspiration i.e. a reason to write something good which could be a woman, your band, your album etc. and the initial idea: once something comes to you live with it for a few days and let it grow organically rather than forcing it.
#17
Quote by DarkF1ame777
hey guys i hope you are having a wonderful day, i was just asking if you more experienced players could give me tips or suggestions on how to make riffs? I have created a few intros but i never finish them songs usually its a soft intro that i make single picking but i just struggle on coming up with ideas for making a heavy riff any tips? thanks


If you have trouble coming up with riffs, you most likely lack experience playing riffs.

solution:
Learn a bunch of songs that feature riffs. Get really good at playing those songs (by memory/ear), then come to writing your own.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 10, 2014,
#18
Usually I just jump around in the key, starting by playing the scales and then exploring the fret board until something resonates with me. I use intuition a lot...
#19
Try to build tension and use the scale degrees to your advantage. Transitions from verse to chorus to verse to pre-choruse should all be smooth, and NEVER forced.
#20
If you know the secret called the Key Concept then creating a nice riffs on the guitar is pretty easy once .Riff is the song's main idea.The riff is the essential part of a good Metal song. Once you have a create a good riff , songs seem to come together naturally.
Last edited by richardsnelson at Aug 25, 2014,
#21
Quote by DarkF1ame777
hey guys i hope you are having a wonderful day, i was just asking if you more experienced players could give me tips or suggestions on how to make riffs? I have created a few intros but i never finish them songs usually its a soft intro that i make single picking but i just struggle on coming up with ideas for making a heavy riff any tips? thanks


Spend time learning riffs you love by ear.

Eventually, you'll internalize what makes them "riffy" and start creating your own.
#22
Quote by richardsnelson
If you know the secret called the Key Concept then creating a nice riffs on the guitar is pretty easy once .Riff is the song's main idea.The riff is the essential part of a good Metal song. Once you have a create a good riff , songs seem to come together naturally.


Secret?

No. There is no secret. A Key concept is not a secret.

Best,

Sean
#23
Lots of "Rage Against The Machine" style riffs are pentatonic with chromatic passing notes.

Internalize the pentatonic scale and know all its intervals.

More chromatic notes will give your riffs a certain recognizable "darkness" or "heaviness".

Tuning your guitar down can lead to significant results due to the timbre of the strings.
Riffs are often very simple harmonically and stripped-down melodically, so the ears are drawn to the other elements of sound: Rhythm and timbre.
#24
Quote by richardsnelson
If you know the secret called the Key Concept then creating a nice riffs on the guitar is pretty easy once .Riff is the song's main idea.The riff is the essential part of a good Metal song. Once you have a create a good riff , songs seem to come together naturally.

No. Just no. Get this "learn this secret" nonsense out of here.
#25
Listen

Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Do You Promise Not To Tell?

Whoa Oh Oh

Closer

Ooh Ah Ooh

Let Me Whisper In Your Ear

Say Those Words You Long To Hear

I'm In Love With You

Ah Ooh Ah Ooh Ooh
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
#26
Quote by Hail
listen to more music

also just "do it". write and play it back and if it sucks, scrap it. it takes a lot of bad songs before you find a good one, much less reach a creative stride where you can write more than one that fit cohesively together without much effort.

Seriously, listen to all of it.
STRIKING MINORS
#32
I'd analyze the chords of the song, the key, and the core rhythmic elements. Then I'd note the style and feel that I want to add to the song. I think a riff should ADD to the song, and make it better, so what I play has to fit that criteria. I then consider range, where in the harmonic spectrum do I want my riff to play? Tight to the bass or with more separation. Do I want melodic, or kept simple? Double stops? Maybe a pedal point idea? Maybe chord extensions implied against the tonic, or maybe some other harmonic idea/device. What am I hearing/feeling inside about the song?

There's a lot that goes into me making a riff, and those are just a few of the things I consider when coming up with something. I always look at the big picture.

And simple is not a bad thing either, if it's effective. A good riff can be very very basic and simple.

Best,

Sean