Top 7 Red Hot Chili Peppers Riffs of All Time

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have provided the goods over the years when it comes to tasty guitar riffs and licks, so what are the top 7 RHCP riffs of all time?

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers have provided the goods over the years when it comes to tasty guitar riffs and licks, so what are the top 7 RHCP riffs of all time?

In this video countdown, I'll play one by one, the top 7 Red Hot Chili Peppers riffs from their discography - at the end of the video I'll teach you how to play each riff in an easy step by step breakdown for beginners.

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7. "By The Way"

Perhaps one of the easiest riffs in the countdown, "By the Way" is introduced with a basic power chord guitar riff and a guitar tone that is so uniquely John Frusciante.

6. "Scar Tissue"

No other RHCP riff will make you want to take a desert road trip with your buds more than this riff and song (...other than "Road Trippin'").

5. "Can't Stop"

This riff is just loaded with funk! Don't forget to mute those strings for the best possible percussive Frusciante sound!

4. "Otherside"

Together with "By the Way," perhaps the easiest riff of the bunch. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in pure melodic genius. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have mastered simple yet beautiful melodies over their career and this is perhaps their best example.

3. "Snow (Hey Oh)"

The only riff that comes from any of their last 3 albums - "Snow (Hey Oh)" has a fast riff that will give your fingers a good stretch! Viewed as the best song from "Stadium Arcadium" by many, "Snow" gave us perhaps one of John's last genius guitar riffs for the RHCP's.

2. "Californication"

A genius guitar riff built off of two chords, "Californication" has become one of the most recognized guitar riffs/intros in modern rock. "Californication" showcases the true chemistry between Flea, Chad and John that is so fluid and genuine.

1. "Under the Bridge"

Few songs in history have a guitar intro this epic. "Under the Bridge" ends our countdown with a guitar riff that is so bare, raw and beautiful it sounds good on any guitar! Top the song off with a killer chorus and outro, and "Under the Bridge" takes the cake for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' best guitar riff and possibly their best song of all time.

What are your thoughts? Any songs that I left out? It was tough choosing from their massive catalogue but I'm sure most of you will agree on atleast 4-5 of these guitar riffs!

N.B. I'm aware that these riffs were all built for a Strat. I unfortunately had to make do with my Les Paul.

By Dave Tran

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A list of Pepper riffs without Funky Monks is not worthy of my time
    You are correct. Also, the bass line from Mellowship in Slinky B should get an honorable mention. I have played bass for 12 years, and I still play that song every time I pick it up. That, and I wish by Stevie Wonder.
    Readymade. Get on Top. My Lovely Man. This Velvet Glove. Suck My Kiss. Fight Like a Brave.
    YES Fight Like a Brave. Most "RHCP Fans" haven't heard of the song. One of the best.
    I thought get on top as well, though I don't think it's actually one of their better songs. Readymade is kind of safe but it has a kickass solo (clean it up Johnny!).
    What about Goodbye Angels and The Longest Wave? This isn't top RHCP riffs of all time... It's the most overplayed RHCP riffs of all time.
    Rebel Scum
    I reckon the best RCHP riff was by Dave Navarro. That mellow riff in Transcending is so smooth.
    Mellowship Slinky, My Lovely Man, Sir Psycho Sexy, Funky Monks, The Greeting Song... my god this list should've just been BSSM
    As much as I hate to be that guy, this video feels like it should be 'Clickbait video with 7 chilis songs I found after searching 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' once'
    Missed all of the nuggets pre BSSM - Subway to Venus, Good time boys, fight like a brave, black eyed blonde,never mind, green heaven, mommy where's many more!
    I logged in just to tell you how much this list sucks. Not anywhere close this best riffs Johnny and Hillel have made.