ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Iconic and Most Influential Classic Rock Guitar Riffs Ever

Updated on February 19, 2013

The way to Rock!!

Source

Following on from the Best guitar players ever, here are my top ten best guitar riffs ever. The riffs I have picked in this list are the most iconic riffs I can find or have heard. They are, in my opinion, the most influential or most powerful guitar pieces of recent history.

Radiohead - Creep

If only for the intro to the chorus, this riff is perhaps one of the strangest pieces of music ever to go mainstream. The song follows pretty normal conventions until the palm muted guitar leading into the chorus, which does not seem to follow the beat or the offbeat, until the chorus actually hits, then it all fits somehow. Masterful guitar work.

Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

This epic piece is all about the guitar part. The arpeggio and long soulful guitar solo are almost without compare. This song is a good one to show to those who believe Metallica and bands like them are not capable of beautiful melodies.

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

A piece that cannot be left out of any list of great guitar riffs in my humble opinion. The beginning of this song is so well known that I haven't actually met an electric guitarist who doesn't know how to play at least this part.

Deep Purple - Smoke On the Water

This riff has been used in countless adverts aimed at men between 18 and 40, simply because it oozes masculinity. Very powerful, yet simple guitar. Another one almost anyone could play, yet difficult to play well. The sheer power of the start is enough to make the hairs on the back of the neck of any muscle bound behemoth stand on end.

Guns 'n' Roses - Sweet Child of Mine

This piece is the first thing you will often hear drifting out of a guitar salesroom after those immortal words "can I try it?". A true guitarists guitar piece.

Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven

So overplayed was this riff, that it was actually spoofed in comedy rock film "waynes world", where a sign actually forbade the playing of the riff in a guitar shop. One of the most well known intros ever.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Perhaps one of the longest songs ever recorded by a popular music artist, bohemian rhapsody has stood the test of time. The huge build up to the main guitar riff is what makes the riff stand out. Without the unbelievable production prior to the riff, it would probably not have been quite so spectacular, however, it is still one of the most famous riffs ever.

Motorhead - The Ace of Spades

The seventies produced a huge number of classic guitar riffs, however this riff can still be heard regularly on advertisements, in action films and montages etc around the world. A simple, driving riff that aims and succeeds in blasting its audience with loud, heavy rock.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

This riff was heavily overplayed in the nineties. It has somehow lost some of its significance in recent years, however it is the defining riff of the grunge era. It is the antithesis of the majority of guitar styles in the years preceding it. It is simplicity and power and only has four chords, all of which are power chords.

The Beatles - Helter Skelter

Defined by some as "the original heavy metal riff". Heavy metal barely existed when the Beatles wrote this huge, powerful and iconic riff. Listening to it puts you in mind of most of the heavy metal bands of the last fifty years. A truly prescient riff.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • xxtonybxx profile imageAUTHOR

      xxtonybxx 

      6 years ago from wales

      :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I think this is a good collection! Thanks!

    • xxtonybxx profile imageAUTHOR

      xxtonybxx 

      6 years ago from wales

      Tbh mate, I've not heard much genesis. Will have a listen though thanks :).

    • profile image

      bidding-sites 

      6 years ago

      great line up thanks for sharing

      btw what do you think of Steve Hackett and his time in Genesis I think he brought in quite a sound

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)