Is the guitar riff dead?
Posted: 28 February 2019
Defined as a ‘repeated musical phrase’, guitar riffs are usually instantly recognisable, easy to remember, and set the tone for the song. Regularly credited as the DNA behind rock and roll, we delve into what goes into some of our favourite riffs of all time, how they have evolved, and if there’s still a place for riffs in today’s tunes.
Read time: 7 mins
The late ’50s brought the guitar riff to the forefront of music. Rock and roll riffs until that time were associated with the piano thanks to artists like Little Richard, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. It wasn’t until Chuck Berry took these influences and laid them down on 6 strings that the guitar riff burst into modern consciousness. Since then riffs have been a constant weapon in the arsenal of almost all rock guitarists, so we’ve taken a look at some classic riffs to help discover what makes particular riffs so iconic, and asked if they’re going to stick around any longer.