10 Best Rock Guitar Riffs Of The 1980s

9. Where Is My Mind - Pixies (1987)

Who would have thought such a simple configuration of notes would have resulted in such an enduring sound.

Only several years after the release of Surfer Rosa, the grunge scene would hit the world. The album would go on to have a monumental effect on those at the forefront of the movement. Indeed, Kurt Cobain explicitly named it as the main source of inspiration when writing Nevermind.

Although the songs sound very different in terms of melody, the basic song structure of Smells Like Teen Spirit shares some striking similarities with Where Is My Mind, especially when it comes to the hook. It's easy to draw the comparisons, you get the quiet verse followed by the loud chorus and the stripped back and simplistic picking patterns of the main riff.

Guitarists like Slash needed a multitude of notes to get their point across, and the Pixies did it with just four. The techniques are a world apart and who's to say which is the superior, but it just goes to show what you can do when you keep things simple.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.