Wednesday Question: Most Complex Guitar Riff Ever

Name a riff you've been struggling with for years.

Ultimate Guitar

If there's one thing to get a guitarist tingling, it's a tasty riff. But tasty can mean quite a few different things.

On one hand, there are riffs stunningly simple, yet incredibly tasty. But on the other, the proper mixture of technique and guitar mastery can result in riffs stunningly complex, yet once again incredibly tasty. So as the title reads, we're focusing on the latter group, making this week's Wednesday Question:

What is the most complex guitar riff ever?

'Tis your time to shine, prog lovers. Name that single riff that just takes you on a journey with its staggering intricateness. Or that riff you've been struggling with for years now. There can only be one No. 1 of course, and you get to choose it.

Same rules as always apply - only one suggestion per comment, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG Top 10. Let the complexity battle begin!

633 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
    if you break it up into sections its actually pretty easy, EJ was always very pattern minded.
    I thought that's a good song, but the opening in Breaking All Illusions was waay harder to play.
    The opening to Breaking All Illusions is amazing. Too bad the video you linked starts a minute or so into the song, and doesn't have it. =P
    Waves by Guthrie Govan.
    Took me forever to get the smaller spaces between the notes as equal sixteenth notes as the others. Amazing once you finally get it.
    Yes! I spent a whole summer chipping away at learning that song & I still could never quite seem to get it right
    Animals as Leaders - CAFO
    I think AaL could fill half this list by themselves, but this song is probably the most known. And awesome.
    Deep Purple - Smoke on the water
    Black Sabbath-Black Sabbath
    Oh and the ending to Lil Wayne-Leather So Soft. Have gotten blisters trying to play it.
    Aww, the more I see of Lil' Wayne playing guitar the more sympathy I feel for him.
    For once I'm happy that YouTube has blocked this video in my country.
    This is the most hilarious high-production guitar playing performance ever. Like dude, someone actually PAID you to play that?! He's atrocious on a guitar. Luckily for him, he has his ignorance or he'd probably be so ashamed of himself that between the choice of living or throwing himself off a bridge; my money is on the bridge.
    Ha, his stuff is pretty embarrassing but with the metric fuсkton of cash he makes off it I doubt he'd give a single shit whether he knew or not.
    I somehow made it to 1:14, and hit pause so I didn't have to listen to it anymore. There's three guys - two guitarists (for some reason) and a drummer, and all three of them look like they're trying to hide their faces. The guy in the white shirt is looking at the camera as if he's saying to the camera man: "Dude, don't point that thing at me, I might be able to maintain some credibility as a musician if I can't be identified."
    pjn7000 · Jun 04, 2014 03:14 PM
    why? its the first riff any kid learns so it cant be that hard. even when played properly its not exactly complex