Fun Guitar Riffs to Learn

Learning guitar and practising is meant to be fun, so we asked PMT College students what riffs they think are fun to learn and fun to play - and we came up with the following songs.

Here are 7 of those riffs that you suggested, fully-tabbed and with an instructional video to match!

Aerosmith – Eat The Rich

The fun 80s rock riff will have you nodding your head in no time.

The trick here is to capture the groove. Aerosmith never played anything overly tight. It’s all about the feel and the vibe of the riff.

The trickiest part of the little 16th note burst at the start of the second bar of the single note riff. Listen closely to the record and try to nail that groove.

Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way

This bluesy bending riff is a great finger strength builder. You will be bending the 2nd fret on the G up a whole tone, there is a lot of string tension here so don’t forget to support that bend with your other fingers.

The Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane

This riff is pretty quick. It was originally written as a finger exercise by guitarist Joe Walsh before the band decided to build a whole song around it.

Start slow, play it bit by bit and then work up the speed once you’ve gotten your technique clean.

Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name

For this riff you will need to turn your guitar to Drop D tuning - this involves tuning your Low E string down a full tone to a D.

The great thing with Drop D is that you can now play power chords with a single finger.

This riff combines power chords, single note hammer ons and percussive muted strings. Similar to the Aerosmith riff you learnt earlier in this lesson, the groove is important here.

Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train

This riff looks pretty tricky on paper, but if you break it down into small chunks you will find that it’s quite manageable.

The main bulk of the riff consists of open A strings with triad style chords on the D, G and B strings.

The first and second repeats are identical up to the A power chord.

The final run is pretty quick but the pull off pattern is the same on 3 strings. Start slow with this and work up your speed.

Led Zeppelin – Black Dog

Jimmy Page was the master of strange riffs and this is no exception (Except it was actually written by bass player John Paul Jones).

The riff does not come in on the 1 beat as you’d typically expect it to. Zeppelin often played behind the beat to emphasise the groove of the track.

Velvet Revolver - Slither

This final riff is also a Drop D power chord riff, it’s straight eighth notes so you should have no problem putting this together. It’s a very fun riff to play and sounds great on humbuckers with your guitar slung low around your knees!

Crank that gain and rock out with this fun riff.

This PMT College lesson was brought to you in partnership with, and written by experienced guitar teacher Leigh Fuge. Leigh works as part of a community of guitar teachers based across the UK. Click here to find a teacher near you.