“As soon as I pick up the guitar and play that riff, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. You just jump on the riff and it plays you”: The Rolling Stones’ 10 best guitar riffs

Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

From 1968 on, The Rolling Stones’ sound was dominated not only by Mick Jagger’s swaggering vocals and the funky rhythm section of Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, but the guitars that somehow sounded unlike anything else out there at the time. Keith Richards had discovered a new rhythm sound, and with it an unprecedented burst of creativity.

Open tunings are common in the world of fingerstyle acoustic and blues slide, but far less so with regular strummed rhythm guitar. But when country-blues legend Ry Cooder showed Richards open G tuning while working with the band during 1968, it was a lightbulb moment for Keith. With this new tuning he would go on to write some of the most memorable riffs of all time.

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.