Countless great songs are based on riffs—catchy guitar phrases that repeat until they’re seared into your brain forever—or snappy chord sequences as memorable as any melody. Riffs get people excited, whether they are musicians or listeners. Advertising agencies use riffs on television, internet videos, and cinema trailers. Riffs sell concert tickets, guitars, and downloads. Youtube is full of guitarists playing riffs.
This book now in its third and updated edition digs deep into the world of the guitar riff, identifying 30 distinct types and illustrating them with reference to 150 examples: from Howlin Wolf to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Chuck Berry to Limp Bizkit, the Kinks to the Strokes, Black Sabbath to the White Stripes, Coldplay and Kings of Leon. The book includes 56 tracks of audio, illustrating all types of riffs covered, plus notation and TAB for 40 original example riffs composed by the author. In the book you can
Rikky Rooksby is a guitar teacher, songwriter/composer, and writer on popular music. He is the author of How to Write Songs on Guitar (2000, revised 2009, 2020), Inside Classic Rock Tracks (2001), Riffs (2002, revised 2010, 2021), The Songwriting Sourcebook (2003, revised 2011), Chord Master (2004, revised 2016), Melody (2004), Songwriting Secrets: Bruce Springsteen (2005), How to Write Songs on Keyboards (2005), Lyrics (2006, revised 2021), Arranging Songs (2007), How to Write Songs in Altered Guitar Tunings (2010), and Songs and Solos (2014). He has also written fourteen Fast Forward guitar books and transcribed and arranged over forty chord songbooks of music, including The Complete Beatles. He has written entries on rock musicians for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and published interviews, reviews, and transcriptions in many UK music magazines. He is a member of the Society of Authors, Sibelius One, and the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society. Visit his website at www.rikkyrooksby.com for more information.