#2
i'd say a riff is a pattern that you can play continously, and a lick would be something that you could use in a solo.
#3
Quote by bikersbasin
How can I write better ones and what classes as a riff and what a lick?


Practice practice and practice. Write down EVERY riff or lick you make (or tab it out eg. in Guitar Pro). Analyse those riffs, see what you like in them and what you don't. My first writing efforts sucked badly, very badly. Now after a while they suck only a little Just don't stop writing.
For a real pervert, any exit can be an entrance.
Quote by sTx
Awesome post, dude.

Gear:
Epiphone Les Paul Studio Goth
Peavey Valveking 112
My metal band, Nilfgaard
#4
I recommend recording yourself . I do it for an hour
ever week on my cpu. When you listen to yourself
you hear it differently than when you play sometimes.
Kinda like when you hear your own voice and you think...
*wow...is that really me talkin?*

I think you will see results in 2-3 sessions
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
#6
i was wondering about this same thing, and recording yourself does seem to help, but still i dont like it..i want to be able to get the sound i want like sometimes a hard rock sound, then be able to get a very melodic sound, but when i play most of the time it comes out sounding very far from what i want, any suggestions on that
#7
I think everybody here has pretty much given the best advice, but I think watching a guitarist playing the kind of stuff you want to play can inspire you as well. Sometimes there are things you can pick up on regarding technique, area of the fret board, or if they're primarily sticking to chords or doing giant sweeps through modes. I don't know... it inspires me sometimes.
#8
the best thing you can do is study music dynamics. you can take something and make it sound a hundred different ways depending on the dynamics you use on it.
#9
Quote by Led_Zeppelin_27
i was wondering about this same thing, and recording yourself does seem to help, but still i dont like it..i want to be able to get the sound i want like sometimes a hard rock sound, then be able to get a very melodic sound, but when i play most of the time it comes out sounding very far from what i want, any suggestions on that



I know this sounds cliche...but i would learn some songs that i want to
sound like. I wouldnt use this to steal..but to instead..learn the keys they
are in and the scales used in the songs. The chord progressions used in
the songs too will be good for you. This will give you some of the best
examples of applying theoretical scales and chords (or arpeggios) to real
music.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
#10
I'm in the same category as wanting to be able to write riffs and stuff, but I think I more want to know how to write catchy riffs. I mean, I can write a thrash metal or heavy metal riff with ease, but the problem is it's not exciting. I mean musically it works, it fits into a bar, it doesn't sound dissonant, but it's not exciting to listen to. It's just a lot of notes being played. So my question is, how do you write hooks? Also, how do you write in different styles? I know different scales help, but really you can make any scale give whatever sound you want if you approach it right.
sig goes here
#11
Quote by z4twenny
the best thing you can do is study music dynamics. you can take something and make it sound a hundred different ways depending on the dynamics you use on it.
goddamn it, you sound like my music teacher. Dynamic interest that, use dynamics. As a guess you play piano?

Dont have too many hints for licks, they just come to me when imporvising (sorry ). Although as a suggestion for writing interesting riffs, use interesting timing and rhythymic devices. Maybe syncopation for jazz and blues and maybe the galloping rhthym for metal and spanish folk.

I noticed that I could write countless metal riffs that sounded generics when I couldn't care about rhthym. Rhythym really makes the riffs.
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#12
Quote by Washburnd Fretz
I recommend recording yourself . I do it for an hour
ever week on my cpu. When you listen to yourself
you hear it differently than when you play sometimes.
Kinda like when you hear your own voice and you think...
*wow...is that really me talkin?*

I think you will see results in 2-3 sessions


That's true. I record every wekend. Sometimes I record a song by playing both guitar parts and mixing them together, but a lot of times I just listen to myself play. You can really amaze yourself at your own playing sometimes, while other times you may find that it actually sounds worse than you thought. Audacitiy is free, just find a mic.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
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Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Marshall JCM2000 DSL401
#13
Quote by demonofthenight
goddamn it, you sound like my music teacher. Dynamic interest that, use dynamics. As a guess you play piano?


hahahaha. yes technically i CAN play the piano, though i very rarely do. i'm moreso a guitarist than anything else. but i have found the dynamics of a composition are just as important as the composition itself. you can turn a country song into a reggae song (with a few changes in the dynamics) or a pop song into a metal tune.
#14
hmm.... these dynamics you speak of, where can I learn more about em?

I sorta have a vague idea what they are, and that it would really help me, but i know nothing else about em other than it's how you make something feel a certain way....

could someone point me to a thread or lesson somewhere about it?

or as 4chan would say: MOAR?
#15
Quote by Ryan Unplugged
I would recomend going through different scales, chord progressions, or maybe take little parts of other peoples songs and fuse them together with yours!

i agree with this dude, scales modes progressions learn time sigs of yr favriot bands, this will all help and the diff between a riff and a lick is that the riff is often a pattern like the rythem of the song and the lick is almost like a mini solo acting as a break down
#16
Yeah. You don't realize it but most famous riffs come from the Pentatonic or variations of it.

Voodoo Chile Intro, the part after the powerchords in "I Love Rock 'n Roll"... just think about it. You'll realize there are more than you thought.

As for coming up with your own: "I would recomend going through different scales, chord progressions, or maybe take little parts of other peoples songs and fuse them together with yours!"

^That pretty much sums it up.

Good luck! Keep rockin'!
#17
to 4th horseman

Dynamics, my boobed avatar friend, are the louds and softs of music, as my school music teacher puts it. Think of it as playing one note loud and the other soft, and that is dynamics. Dynamics, to oversimplify it, is just the changes in volume of your music. Writing music without dynamic interest will sound flat. Good examples of dynamic interest influencing feeling is that angry climax are almost always loud and helpless and sorrowfull parts of songs are normally soft.

Get to know these terms:

Pianississimo: Ridiculously soft, as in barely audible
Pianissimo: very soft
Piano: soft
Mezzo-piano: mediumly-soft
Mezzo-forte: Mediumly-loud or strong
Forte: loud or strong
Fortissimo: very loud
Fortississimo: Stupidly loud, to the point that your bashing your strings and breaking piano keys.

Sforzando: Going abruptly to a fortississimo. Good for waking up unsuspecting listeners
Crescendo: Going from soft to loud, gradually. In sheet music you will see a "<" (its longer horizontally but oh well) symbol. This is a crescendo. You start of slow at the point and progress louder to the prongs.
Decrescendo: opposite of crescendo. Start of loud and progress softer. The symbol would be ">." Good for finishing a song with the sound decaying to nothing.

How mr Z4twenny uses dynamics to distinguish genres like reggae from country and metal from pop music, I dont know. Personally, melody and rhthym and tone is what I use to distinguish genres.
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Last edited by demonofthenight at Nov 9, 2007,