When writing riffs, one of the greatest challenges is to create parts that are not just melodically and rhythmically effective but also memorable and powerful. The best metal riffs—like “Crazy Train,” for example—contain all of the qualities necessary for a great riff: hard-driving power, strong melody and, most importantly, a “star quality” that makes the riff instantly recognizable. This is true for both fast and slow riffs, because a really great riff doesn’t have to be impressive exclusively in a technical sense. This month, I’d like to present a couple of riffs that I believe exemplify these qualities.
Dave Rose runs Deep South Entertainment, a successful business and artist management company that’s been around since 1995. Over the years, he’s worked with some big names, including Michael Sweet, Bruce Hornsby, Marcy Playground and Allison Moorer, to name just a few.
Welcome to String Theory, a new column dedicated to imparting guitar-centric music theory concepts in a practical, useful way that you can readily apply to composing and improvising. Rather than show you a bunch of dry, abstract textbook examples of how chords are built from and live within various scales, I will try to keep things interesting and inspiring by presenting etudes.
January is "gear month" in the music industry — the month when manufacturers and retailers gather at the annual Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, to show and sell what's new for the coming year. With NAMM in the air, the Fender Custom Shop released its 2013 Custom Collection last week (Check it out here). It consists of eight new guitars and two new bass models.
In January, DiMarzio will release its three new Ionizer 8 pickups, all of which were designed for Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi's new signature 8-string Ibanez guitar. The pickups are two years in the making.