Developing A Simple Guitar Riff Into Something More Interesting

You're noodling on the guitar when all the sudden you find a great guitar line that you are really happy with. So happy, in fact, that you can't think of anywhere else to go with it.

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You're noodling on the guitar when all the sudden you find a great guitar line that you are really happy with. So happy, in fact, that you can't think of anywhere else to go with it. How does one develop an interesting riff into a fully realized musical idea?

Many beginner songwriters get stoked when they find their first really cool riff. However, the sadness and doubt begins to creep in when they realize they aren't sure where to go with it. You can hear this happening to other composers when a tune has a great initial idea that just gets used to death.

It just takes a little effort and perseverance to take that riff to the next level. If you are having a hard time with this yourself, don't worry. You just haven't been taught how to manipulate your riff in interesting ways yet, so you are probably resorting to lots and lots of repetition.

It doesn't matter what you know if you don't know how to properly use it. You may already know about some of these techniques, but I am going to show you how you can start applying it creatively. In this video you will see (in real time) how I teach this technique to a student, and how he them immediately apply it to a riff that he has been working with.

These very same tricks can be used in your writing too!

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Did you notice the riffs begin to sound like they are going somewhere? This is how you can open up your short musical ideas into something a little more interesting. Try it yourself!

About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and composer with a passion for teaching songwriting. Visit his YouTube channel for more videos

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