“Absolutely, under no circumstances at all are customers allowed to play “Stairway to Heaven,” “Sweet Child Of Mine,” or “Smoke on the Water” while trying out guitars.” Sign in the window of a music store on Denmark St, in England.
It’s imperative that anyone in the market for a new guitar have a grab-bag of great licks at his or her disposal. Ask any sampling of store clerks which riffs are played most often by potential buyers, and chances are you’ll get a fairly wide range of selections. Still, when a shopper takes a seat and cradles that Les Paul or SG, some licks just beg to be played. Below are a couple of songs that boast riffs likely to be heard on a daily basis in guitar stores throughout the world.
See the full top ten list on Gibson.
10. “Walk This Way” – Aerosmith
Based on the E blues scale (E G A B-flat B D), the opening lick to this funk-rock romp is a snap to master. Lots of novice players never venture past those first four bars, but that brief snippet comprises one of rock’s most instantly recognizable hooks. Shoppers who go deeper into the song are guaranteed to cause heads to turn.
The opening riff for this Guns N’ Roses classic has all the ingredients aspiring six-stringers love: majesty, melody and just enough difficulty to constitute a challenge. Comprised of a simple eight-note pattern, the riff pedals around the fifth note of the key – a standard exercise in rock guitar. It’s ironic that a riff that started out as a throwaway exercise for Slash is now regarded as a prime example of why melodic octaves sound so great.