If you’re just starting out with electric guitar playing, these straightforward riffs will be invaluable to help build confidence and improve your skill level.
This riff begins with three notes on one string, but you can customize it to include pull-offs and slides for a completely different vibe. Learn these techniques so that you can incorporate them into this riff for an entirely new sound!
1. All With One Finger
All With One Finger is a classic rock riff that anyone with an acoustic guitar can learn to play. Not only does it provide excellent practice for fingerstyle techniques, but it’s also easy enough for electric guitarists to play without losing its effect.
This riff features two bars repeated multiple times throughout the song and it’s based on the E minor pentatonic scale. Learning this riff will help you master this popular rock scale used in many songs. Plus, once you get it down pat, you can pretty much play along with the whole song!
Play this riff one note at a time, sliding up your fretboard until the seventh fret. Use distortion pedal or other guitar effects for added effect if needed, but don’t go overboard or your sound will sound muffled and unsteady.
Beginning to play guitar can be daunting due to all the different riffs available. Some are entirely chord progressions, others utilize melodic notes and some combine both. Depending on where you are in your journey with guitar playing, you may feel more at home with one type of riff over another.
No matter if you’re new to guitar or just need a refresher on your riff-playing abilities, these easy guitar riffs will get your fingers moving and head bobbing along with the music. Additionally, they help build hand strength and endurance so you can play for hours on end.
This slide guitar riff is ideal for beginners to learn, as it’s not difficult at all and can be played on both acoustic and electric guitars. Just remember, practice makes perfect; so be patient and don’t try to learn this one quickly.
Slides are an excellent way to add a unique sound and flavor to your playing. Not only that, but they’re also an entertaining way to expand the repertoire of songs you know and create new musical genres.
If you’re just starting out playing slides, tuning your guitar to an open tuning and practicing sliding the strings up and down will help you become comfortable with this instrument and enhance your phrasing.
Before you learn to slide, it’s important to ensure your fingers are placed correctly in order to prevent creating unsettling sounds. A common error beginners make is resting the slide directly on top of a fret instead of above its bar between each fret. Doing this may cause your slide to sound out of tune and create an unpleasant buzz when picking it off the string.
Another tip for playing slide guitar is to hold your fingers firmly to the fretboard and avoid slanting the guitar. Doing so may cause your instrument to tune out of tune and make it difficult to slide your fingers back and forth between frets, an essential skill when sliding.
You can learn to slide with a lap guitar, an electric guitar that sits on your lap and allows for greater freedom when moving your hands. This will enable you to practice sliding and create more complex riffs.
Starting slide guitar is a breeze as long as you have all of the right equipment and instruction. Just be mindful of your fingers, and purchase slides that fit properly on your guitar frame.
One of the simplest methods for learning how to play slide guitar is using a pedal known as a phaser. This will enable you to create an elegant, bluesy tone without having to fret notes on your guitar’s open strings.
Another technique you can try is playing with your eyes closed, which will enable you to feel your finger placement through touch rather than sight. Doing this will improve your technique and boost confidence levels.
3. Power Chords
Power chords are a classic way to create loud, heavy guitar riffs. They’re especially useful for guitarists who want to add distorted sounds without losing the key they’re in or altering the chord structure of their song.
Guitar chord kits allow guitarists to build an entirely new set of chords for a song without needing to master every note on the fretboard. As such, they are ideal for beginners who want to play rock and metal music easily but may not have much experience playing guitar yet.
Starting to practice power chords requires familiarizing yourself with the shapes formed on your guitar’s lowest E and A strings. These positions are the most common for power chords, so it’s wise to become acquainted with them before moving on to other strings.
Once you’ve mastered these fundamental power chord shapes, try playing them across three strings. Doing this will build the finger strength and dexterity necessary for learning more complex chords in the future.
When learning this riff, it’s best to use your pinky finger instead of your index finger on the 7th and 10th frets. This will be more comfortable for you to play and enable easier position changes.
Another essential tip when playing power chords is to mute strings 1, 2 and 3. Doing so prevents these strings from ringing out and interfering with your guitar’s tone, so make sure they remain muted while playing them.
Practice this riff until it feels comfortable to you, and use a metronome to practice the changes between key power chord shapes. Doing so will guarantee smooth transitions between chords and help develop your timing as a guitarist.
Finally, the aim of this riff should be to create a sound that fits seamlessly into the groove of your song. So be patient and practice regularly; after several months of regular practice, you should be able to pick this riff with confidence and ease.
4. All With Two Fingers
Every guitarist should have a few go-to guitar riffs that they can quickly pull out when necessary. These easy riffs will boost beginners’ confidence on the instrument and enable them to develop their skills as guitarists.
Riffs are musical ideas taken from a song and usually played off of the main idea or chorus. These could be scale notes or chord progressions connecting other chords. On occasion, however, a riff may also be an independent solar part that does not relate to the main theme of a song.
For instance, if a song features a minor pentatonic scale riff, then it likely belongs in the key of E. Knowing this scale is essential if you plan to play any riffs based on it.
For beginners, learning a straightforward riff composed of scale notes can be immensely helpful. These riffs tend to be simpler to learn than chord riffs and will allow you to hone your rhythm and timing skills.
These riffs are more versatile than other types of riffs due to their composed nature of scale notes. This allows them to be played on both acoustic and electric guitar without compromising sound or effect quality.
Another great aspect of these riffs is that they tend to be instantly recognizable. If you have ever watched any rock or metal videos, chances are good you’ve heard them playing somewhere along the way!
This riff is an ideal opportunity to practice power chords, as you’ll be sliding them up and down the strings with each bar. Additionally, it offers you a chance to practice bending strings.
The riff is an ideal opportunity to practice hammer-ons and pull-offs in a subtle manner. You’ll discover that the fingers you select will drastically alter how easy or challenging the riff feels to play.
This guitar riff has been around for more than eighty years, making it one of the easiest riffs for beginners to master on either electric or acoustic guitar.