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What simple riff causes you problems?


02R96

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For me it's the opening to U2's Sunday, Bloody Sunday. It's simple enough: Bm-D-G6 repeat. But that little switch from Bm to D has got me pulling my hair out. My fingers are tripping over each other. Now I could just play Bm twice and most people would never know, but...

 

I'll get it with sufficient practice but anyone else find the simplest riffs the hardest to nail?

Dan

 

"I hate what I've become, trying to escape who I am..."

 

 

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Just ONE? lol...

 

Well, there's that guitar riff interlude in "Help". You know...during, or rather, right after the opening?

 

Then there's the opening 12-string riff that starts off John D. Loudermilk's "Language of Love".

 

To name a couple....

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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For me it's the opening to U2's Sunday, Bloody Sunday. It's simple enough: Bm-D-G6 repeat. But that little switch from Bm to D has got me pulling my hair out. My fingers are tripping over each other. Now I could just play Bm twice and most people would never know, but...

 

 

Can you do the Bm at the second fret and make it sound right? You only have to lift your little finger up on a Bm bar chord to get a D. Or, you can slide your bar finger back to cover the E, B, & G strings at the 2nd fret, and leave your middle finger on the B at the 3rd fret.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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This isn' a riff but the F chord and Dm in first position will never feel right to me no matter many zillion times I play them. The F is always a few cents sharp, the Dm is just a fumble waiting to happen. Dunno why, jess is. Why do Bengals offensive linemen get ten offsides penalties per game when they've been doing it their entire lives? Dunno that either.
I was born at night but I wasn't born last night...
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Holy fret buzz batman that's it.

 

Thanks Picker for pointing out the obvious (bar the EBG strings etc). I just grabbed my acoustic and tried it; it works! So simple.

 

Can't see the forest from the trees?

 

or

 

Can't see the notes from the chords?

 

Thanks! :thu:

Dan

 

"I hate what I've become, trying to escape who I am..."

 

 

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The intro to Stairway and Sweet Child still make me throw up just a little in my mouth when I hear it at Guitar center...

 

I wish that's what I would hear at ours. It's usually down tuned and down stroked chords from some Best of Cookie Monster album into a Line 6 amp.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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I don't mind learning a simple riff and repeating it exactly as part of an arrangement - especially if doubled by the bassist - but to have to repeat it over and over and over and over would drive me nuts, too! Drive me nuts, too.. drive me nuts, too..... LOL

 

Having said that, I've heard some African music (and 80s King Crimson) where the riffs are tricky enough, and well orchestrated enough, that it would be fun to work them up in a band and repeat them! Hypnotic as opposed to simply boring.

 

And some swing music uses riffs well, too. Yes, they overdid it sometimes.

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The main guitar figure in "Pleasant Valley Sunday." I always struggle with the timing on that one.

 

I play in a Monkees cover band sometimes, and this riff was hard for me to get... not when I was younger, but when I started playing in this band (not bothering to really woodshed on it because I already knew it) I'd play it wrong, and the other guys figured out I had mentally crossbred it with the damned Friends theme riff by The Rembrandts. Took a lot of concentration to get it right, again.

 

"Tear Drop City" was another tricky Monkees riff.

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For me it's the opening to U2's Sunday, Bloody Sunday. It's simple enough: Bm-D-G6 repeat. But that little switch from Bm to D has got me pulling my hair out. My fingers are tripping over each other. Now I could just play Bm twice and most people would never know, but...

 

 

Can you do the Bm at the second fret and make it sound right? You only have to lift your little finger up on a Bm bar chord to get a D. Or, you can slide your bar finger back to cover the E, B, & G strings at the 2nd fret, and leave your middle finger on the B at the 3rd fret.

 

You beat me to it... barre the first finger across the 2nd fret... use the 3rd finger play the B note at the 4th fret on the G string, lift... lift first finder to make the Emin7(no 5)/G

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Almost any arpeggiated chord riffs where you have to be spot-on in time, like Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train To Clarksville, dozens of 80s songs. Those arpeggiated riffs that use an open string, skip strings... I'm not great at those. Message In A Bottle.

 

Maybe it's because I'm a left-hander who plays right-handed guitars. I can do the arpeggios, but I like songs and styles where I can be a little looser with them because plucking them right on time is tough. Mayor Of Simpleton is loose and easy enough--I love that one.

 

Otherwise, I have pretty good timing with my right hand. Popping the pick, or even fingerpicking, arpeggiated chordal riffs across open strings challenges my timing a lot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got one to add...

 

I'm doing an acoustic solo thing tomorrow at an art center lobby here, a happy hour thing, and I mentioned in a few forums locally that if people requested a song today that fit that set up I'd play it if they showed up tomorrow. A sound engineer I know, probably trying to take the piss out of me, requested "20 million things" by Lowell George, but I know the song... I just haven't heard it since I was 12. Anyway, pulled it up on the 'net to brush up on it and it's a great little melodic thing with great use of the old slash chord voicings... but there's one phrase in the chorus that he stretches out that I can play along with, but doing it by myself it's killing me to keep the time... moreso on the vocals than the guitar part, I guess.

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For years I've been trying to master crosspicking. I can do the various patterns just fine...Just not up to tempo on fast tunes.

 

I listen to masters like Doc Watson effortlessly throw little crosspicking sections into a solo or even an accompaniment and wonder how that works...

At 65, it may be a bit late to teach this old dog a new trick, but I do keep trying. Occasionally I "almost" get it.

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Almost any arpeggiated chord riffs where you have to be spot-on in time, like Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train To Clarksville, dozens of 80s songs. Those arpeggiated riffs that use an open string, skip strings... I'm not great at those. Message In A Bottle.

 

Maybe it's because I'm a left-hander who plays right-handed guitars. I can do the arpeggios, but I like songs and styles where I can be a little looser with them because plucking them right on time is tough. Mayor Of Simpleton is loose and easy enough--I love that one.

 

Otherwise, I have pretty good timing with my right hand. Popping the pick, or even fingerpicking, arpeggiated chordal riffs across open strings challenges my timing a lot.

 

I'm also a lefty who plays right-handed, and "Clarksville" never gave me any trouble. Can't say for sure about "Pleasant Valley Sunday", because I don't recall ever trying to learn it, and it's been years since I've heard it, and don't have a recording of it for referrence. When I try to recall it, I keep coming up with the "Hidden Valley Ranch" commercial :laugh:.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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