The guitar is one of the most iconic and exhilarating instruments in the world. It has captivated audiences for years and has remained at the forefront of music ever since its inception.
The best thing about the guitar? Guitar riffs of course. Not only do they provide the beating heart of a piece of music but they also capture a certain time and place in history that cannot be replicated.
Believe it or not, the art of writing a great guitar riff is simplicity. Basic melodies are what keeps that tune stuck in your head, on repeat, over and over again. Catchy is key in the music world, and the only way a riff can truly survive.
Writing a catchy guitar riff can be difficult. That's why the majority of them are constructed by mistake. Tons and tons of amazing guitar riffs were figured out by accident, some in the strangest of ways while others stemmed from different songs and sounds.
10. The Kinks - You Really Got Me
The beginning of the '60s saw an influx of great musicians all projecting their own unique sound of scratchy guitars and rock and roll.
At the time, The Kinks were a somewhat mediocre band with a small following, so much so, their label decided that they weren't worth the effort and gave them one final chance to write a hit song.
Kinks frontman Ray Davies knew he had to pull something spectacular out of the back so he sat down at his piano and poured out his feelings to what initially sounded like a jazz-inspired melody with a lighter edge. This jazz-inspired melody then turned into an early version of the now-classic "You Really Got Me" only much softer.
Davies took the jazz-oriented tune to the rest of the band and told them that he wanted it played against the backdrop of a saxophone (can you imagine?!). Thankfully, Ray's brother, Dave Davies, ended up messing around with the riff on his guitar, resulting in the fantastic fuzz sound that we know today.
The song was an instant hit and is now one of the most recognizable riffs of all time.