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Thread: Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

  1. #1
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    Default Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

    This is my absolute favourite type of guitar playing and guitar player. The ones who can play a simple riff that anyone can learn quickly, but absolutely nobody can give it the feel and groove and vibe that that player does because of the way they play. It's all in their hands.

    Some examples:

    Le Freak - Nile Rodgers
    Just for fun, go and listen to the first 20 seconds of this on youtube. Then afterwards listen to literally any cover or lesson on it on youtube. Nobody gets absolutely anywhere near what Nile is doing. Listen to the brittleness and the deftness of the way he plays that riff. The sheer force, feel and timing of the groove. Then listen to how clunky and heavy-handed all the other versions are. For me, this is the ultimate easy to learn, difficult to master riff.

    Controversy - Prince
    For all the same reasons as le Freak. If anything Prince was an even better funk player than Niles. The best ever in my opinion. Saw him live in 2011 and it was the best gig I've ever been to. Listening to him play the Controversy riff live was a force of nature. It just powered and drove everything in a way I've never experienced before or since.

    I'm Broken - Dimebag Darrell
    Another one butchered online by many. This one is all about his vibrato and where he applies it and the way he applies it to give this riff impossible groove. So incredibly deeply in the pocket.

    Honorable mentions: TNT, Just Kissed My Baby.


    Anybody have any riffs they want to add to the list or talk about?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

    Pretty much any riff by any REALLY good rhythm guitarist. I find a lot of guitarists focus WAY too much on developing their lead technique and completely ignore rhythm as something you don't have to practice.

    And then its funny to listen to them play what they are calling "easy" riffs... They're playing the notes..., but they have no sense of touch sensitivity, palm muting technique, harmonic bleeding, and it's too clean, there's no sense of that 'magic and ease' that only comes when you actually study and take rhythm guitar seriously

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Junior Member toneking77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

    The hardest thing to play is nothing. Seriously, just sit there and don't play anything. No solos. Nothing. It's not easy. lol

    In all seriousness, I think these two riffs are somewhat easy to learn and really difficult to master and be able to play as good as the studio versions.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey oh)
    The Police - Every Breath You Take

    Both of them have odd fingering and really strain your hands.
    "In the hair metal days, I didn't want to learn how to play guitar for the girls. I wanted to make noise and make people mad."

    -James Hetfield

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeKindRewind View Post
    Pretty much any riff by any REALLY good rhythm guitarist. I find a lot of guitarists focus WAY too much on developing their lead technique and completely ignore rhythm as something you don't have to practice.

    And then its funny to listen to them play what they are calling "easy" riffs... They're playing the notes..., but they have no sense of touch sensitivity, palm muting technique, harmonic bleeding, and it's too clean, there's no sense of that 'magic and ease' that only comes when you actually study and take rhythm guitar seriously

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Yep, definitely agree, and am probably guilty of that myself in terms of playing these "easy" riffs but not with the same feel as the originals! Rhythm masters are the best masters

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Easy to learn, difficult to master riffs?

    Quote Originally Posted by toneking77 View Post
    The hardest thing to play is nothing. Seriously, just sit there and don't play anything. No solos. Nothing. It's not easy. lol

    In all seriousness, I think these two riffs are somewhat easy to learn and really difficult to master and be able to play as good as the studio versions.

    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey oh)
    The Police - Every Breath You Take

    Both of them have odd fingering and really strain your hands.

    Agreed! And Frusciante and Summers play them so casually too. Machines.

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