Once you have created an interesting guitar riff that you like, what should you do next? Just repeat it over and over until the listener can’t take it anymore? Probably not. What I would suggest is taking that initial idea and developing it into something a little more dynamic. But how is that done?
Many beginner songwriters get stoked when they find their first really cool riff. However, the sadness and doubt begins to creep in when they realize they aren’t sure where to go with it. You can hear this happening to other composers when a tune has a great initial idea that just gets used to death.
It just takes a little effort and perseverance to take that riff to the next level. If you are having a hard time with this yourself, don’t worry. You just haven’t been taught how to manipulate your riff in interesting ways yet, so you are probably resorting to lots and lots of repetition.
It doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t know how to properly use it. You may already know about some of these techniques, but I am going to show you how you can start applying it creatively. In this video you will see (in real time) how I teach this technique to a student, and how he them immediately apply it to a riff that he has been working with.
These very same tricks can be used in your writing too!
Did you notice the riffs begin to sound like they are going somewhere? This is how you can open up your short musical ideas into something a little more interesting. Try it yourself!