#1
Hey just wondering if there is any helpful tips on creating good sounding riffs. I've been trying for awhile but can't come up with anything good. I'm going for something like a chiodos feel or coheed and cambria, i know they're not similar but I love all their music
#2
Use your scales, and just play around. I've found, if I am trying to make a riff, I can't come up with anything. But if I'm just jamming out, I'll come up with something good.
#3
I use to strictly stay within scales and my music was boring but when I realized that using the scale as just a guideline is much better I started making awesome riffs and awesome solos. What helps a lot is to stay "Who's riffs do I like?" then combine all their styles into one song and you basically have a brand new style of your own.

Also, studying intervals is helpful.
#4
yup, learn some music theory, at least major and minor scales, and chord shapes. the more you know, the better off you'll be.
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#5
don't think about what you're trying to do. put everything out of your mind and just jam and something will come!
#6
there are many different ways you can do it.

-jam out stuff and try and get a feel for a good rhythm
-play your instrument differently, switch hands or something strange so that your normal playing is limited. i find it to be more about melody instead of shredding it out with technicality/complexity or whatever. it can get you out of those typical movements your fingers automatically make after playing them constantly for so long.
-fool around on a new instrument. it has that second point quality to it as well: it will get you thinking more about how each phrase sounds rather than thinking of it as a finger pattern. bob dylan has said he very rarely comes up with anything (melodies) on guitar, he claimed it was too complicated an instrument (something along those lines). i don't necessarily believe that, but it makes a lot of sense.
-think something out in your head instead of while playing, then find out how to play it on guitar and improve on it.
-get a new sound out of your guitar. if you always play with the generic metal distorted tone, play clean or with an effect pedal or two.


My mind is going. I can feel it.
#7
Quote by TatarSalad2
Use your scales, and just play around. I've found, if I am trying to make a riff, I can't come up with anything. But if I'm just jamming out, I'll come up with something good.


100% the truth.. for me anyway
#8
I sing riffs before I even pick up a guitar. Then I work 'em out.
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#9
I usually do it like Jimi. Just imagine your music in your head. Then play it.
Thats were some of my better riffs come from. My best usually come from improv that happens to catch my ear.
#10
Ussually the riffs I have are things I come up in my head. For instance, alot of the time I'm about to go to sleep or something I get awesome idea's going through my head. I hop outta bed and see if I can figure out how to play it, and just try to remember it til the next day. Other times I'll be goofing off, playing without paying attention, like talking to somebody while playing or something, and things will just happen.

Really, if I try grabbing the guitar and writing a riff or anything, theres about 2% chance of me coming up with something. If I'm trying really hard, my chances are even smaller then they ussually would be.
#11
-Learn music theory

-Develop some skill in playing the guitar. You don't need to be Satriani, but it helps if you know how to make the guitar sound like you want it to sound.

-Learn more music theory

-Jam. You can jam with a group of friends, or, like I do a lot, with records. Just play the record, and use your guitar to add another layer of music to it. Apart from being real awesome aural training it stimulates your creativity.

-Learn some more music theory

-Don't attempt to write a riff. It's something that comes naturally and randomly, when you least expect it. I think of guitar riffs while in the shower, or watching TV, or when I'm at work (my work has nothing to do with guitars). It also happens a lot while I'm playing the piano.

-Learn even more music theory

-Wait for a riff to come by.

Also, from Justinguitar.com, originally by Charles Bukowski, a great lesson on songwriting. It's really about writing lyrics, but it applies to writing riffs as well.

Quote by Charles Bukowski
if it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your typewriter
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or fame,
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-love.

the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to sleep
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.

unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.
Thomas hopes to not have offended anyone with this post. No responsibility whatsoever is taken for any spelling or grammar mistakes, should there be any.

last.fm
#12
Learn the modes of the major scale and what root notes are. After that it's just a matter of repeated improvising until you start figuring out what sounds good, what doesn't, and how to turn somthing that doesn't sound good into somthing that does. It takes time and patience, it isn't somthing that happens overnight. The few meager riffs I've come up with that aren't grating to the ears are ones I've been working at for several years now. It isn't somthing you want to rush, first you learn to speak, then you learn to sing, then you develop your own voice.
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