#1
this may seem stupid but i get confused over this. What makes a riff a riff and what makes a lick a lick. and can a riff/ lick have a riff/lick in it ?
#2
Well, from what I usually hear within the context, a riff is like the theme to a song: "The *riff* in Black Dog by Zeppelin... "

A lick is something played once, like a fill at some point in a song: "The *lick* right before the start of the 1st verse in Sweet Home Alabama..."
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#3
no

a riff is just something you play. in a song there are many riffs, the riff isnt the main part of the song. take an example... come as you are. the main riff/verse riff is the famous riff. and then for the pre-chorus, there is another riff. and then the virse has its own riff. a lick is something you would find in a solo, like a certain part of it, or something you might add in over a riff, but it would be something that you would find in a solo.
#4
^What I was ALLUDING to was that it's a theme. A theme is a repeated idea, generally speaking. Your example of how many riffs are in a song is too specific and doesn't account for all songs, thus creating a weak general definition.

"A riff is just something you play."
So is a lick.

Otherwise you just completely agreed with me...
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#5
i tend to think of it this way


riffs- rhythm

lick- part of a solo, lead break, something that deviates from the main rhythm
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#6
To make it easier to understand what a riff is. A riff can be a series of power chords which makes up a song. A lick is a series of notes played together only once through out the song. A lick can be part of a solo, or be the into into a song. and yes a riff can have a lick in it, and no a lick can not have a riff in it becuase i dont believe having a riff inside a lick would sound to... whats the word..........smoothly
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#7
A riff is a melody line that follows the chord progression...
A lick is what has already been stated by redwing_suck and night_lights...
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#8
A good example of a riff is Walk by Pantera. It's simple, but it's what makes that song. A lick something like mini solo. It is possible to have lick/riff like Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rage Against the Machine. And whoever said that the Black Dog thing was a riff is out of his mind. Licks are usually played by the lead.
Riffs are done by the Rythmn guitarist.
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#9
Quote by redwing_suck
Well, from what I usually hear within the context, a riff is like the theme to a song: "The *riff* in Black Dog by Zeppelin... "

A lick is something played once, like a fill at some point in a song: "The *lick* right before the start of the 1st verse in Sweet Home Alabama..."

^
yeah
#10
Quote by GuitarSymphony
And whoever said that the Black Dog thing was a riff is out of his mind. Licks are usually played by the lead.
Riffs are done by the Rythmn guitarist.

Ok I don't mean to come off as the asshole of this forum but what you just said is ridiculous. There is NO, I repeat NOOOOOOOOOOOOO classification as to WHO plays WHAT in a song.

My point being... The RIFF in Black Dog is a RIFF. I don't know who illusioned you into thinking what you do. I hardly think I'm out of my mind when I say that. LZ has ONE guitarist, so who's lead and who's rhythm? Figure that one out.

A riff is a theme, either for a section or an entire song. It's repeated. It has nothing to do with who plays it. At. All.

A lick is a part of a solo, or a fill, or part of a riff. Read ANY, ANY tab book and you'll see that this is how they use those terms.


red
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