How to play guitar riffs

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OK, let’s say you are a beginner guitar player and you would like to play some nice guitar riffs such as “Smoke On The Water” (Deep Purple), “Purple Haze” (Jimi Hendrix), “Stairway to Heaven”(Led Zeppelin) and so on. So you start asking yourself: “how to play those guitar riffs?”.

Well, I know 3 ways to learn guitar riffs:

- You can buy the sheet music from any of the digital sheet music stores on the Internet. Sure, you have to know how to read standard notation.

- You can start searching Google for the song title followed by the word “tab”. Sure, you have to know how to read tabs.

- You can start listening to the music you like. You have to know nothing.

Guitar tab

Guitar tab is a music notation created by guitarists. Any guitar tab has 6 horizontal lines (each one representing a string of the instrument) and numbers (each one representing the fret you have to play). As you can see, guitar tabs are easy to read. The downside of guitar tabs is the lack of rhythmic notation: this is the biggest flaw you’ll find in guitar tab around the web.

Standard notation

Learning to read standard notation on the guitar is a lot of work. Everything about any song can be represented in standard notation (rhythm, harmony and melody). Just search Google and you will be able to download thousands of free sheet music pieces for guitar, piano, choral, brass, violin and so on. There are 2 disadvantageous aspects here: first you couldn’t find that particular song you like so much, second you have to work hard to learn standard notation. Comprehending sheet music requires a special form of literacy: the ability to read musical notation.

Listening to riffs

This is the easiest and effective method I know. First, you have not to be able to read standard notation. Second, you can start playing guitar immediately. The downside of listening to riffs is the lack of ability to play them: you can’t play guitar riffs because you are trying to learn them. It’s a catch-22 situation. Anyway there is a simple solution here: you can slow down music to learn guitar riffs easily. All you need is a slow downer. This kind of software is helpful for transcribing, working out a difficult riff, helping you learn new song techniques and so on. It is a piece of software that allows you to slow down songs without changing the pitch. Slowing down the music to a more reasonable pace gives you a distinct advantage that would take years of experience otherwise.

About the Author

Hi, I’m a software developer and I love playing guitar. Do you want to learn fast licks? Then you need a slow down music software.

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