Quik Axe Player
The quickest of the quick
Join date: May 2006
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I'm not sure if this is the right forum. So I have heard both of a guitar riff and a guitar lick, but what is the difference.
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2006
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Riff = repeated phrase, often for the majority of the song
Lick = one small idea used usually in a solo and normally not repeated in the same song but sometimes can be, but not as regularly as a riff.
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Registered User
Join date: Apr 2007
229 IQ
I don't know either. Well, a Riff is usually played during the main chorus, and it is repeated over and over again (2 time or more). A lick is a succesion on notes, but it is not repeated.

haha ok. Not really uh?
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Join date: Nov 2005
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sinan 90 pretty much has it right, at least from what i've always understood it.
Blind In 1 Ear
Join date: Jun 2006
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Quote by nightwind


The key to the lick is that it's a stock pattern. It's like public domain.

yea pretty much. ive always thought of lick as a stock phrase you use when soloing. it can be used and altered whenever. and a riff would be like the main "melody" or theme of a song repeated at the chrous or something like that. it can also only be used for that song. think the riff for back in black. its like the main theme. you wouldnt use that in a solo. but any of the licks played in the solo could be used because its not a main theme.
Join date: Jun 2006
3,466 IQ
easy way to remember it

Riff = rhythm
Lick = Lead

more detailed it means a riff is a rhythm pattern played throughout a song whereas a lick can be played over a riff as a melody or as part of a solo or whatever.