"The “Holy Trinity” of RIFF Training (Blues, Rock, Country)

Riff training (including song-riff workouts), are a bit of a mislabeled term. If you want your skills for playing riffs to expand as much as they can you should never only focus on practicing song-riffs from within one music style... 

When it comes to riff development, I've found it is best to focus on what I call the “holy trinity,” of riff training. 

This simply refers to working on riffs in at least three different music styles at one time. And, they should all be practiced in one session. It builds an incredibly high level of skill in a very short period of time.

In this lesson's video, I demonstrate a sequence of 3 riff-builder exercises that you can learn in three different music styles. 

The riffs are basic enough that you could learn them in one evening of practice. And, the best part is that these riffs will hit three styles; "Blues-Rock," "Pop-Music," and, "Country."


In the TAB for the Blues-Rock riff below, the images are showing "3" riffs that you can probably learn in an evening, (depending upon your skill level).

They’re fairly easy if you go at your own pace and speed, and they cover three different playing styles across; Blues-Rock, Pop-Music and Country.

For a lot of guitar players, (especially players who are just starting out), learning anything that’s fun, fairly easy, and highly musical will go a very long way to building motivation.

That is exactly why learning guitar riffs across several different music styles is such an excellent skill-builder.

Let’s get things started with a riff that’s based within a style of music that pretty much every guitar player loves jamming on - Blues-Rock...


Part One...

Part Two...

Part Three...


The next riff that we’re going to learn will be a two-part riff in the style of, “Pop-Music /Pop-Rock Guitar.”

You’ll hear ideas similar to this type from musicians like, “Tom Petty,” “John Cougar,” and also “Bryan Adams.”

This riff sound is more or less established around a chord strumming approach that helps build a good sense of rhythm guitar and it also helps a lot with learning how to add passing lines that employ short scale phrases.

 Part One...

Part Two...


The 3rd riff that I have for you is going to be from another incredibly popular style of music, and that’s Country Guitar.

This country riff has two parts that function between the main riff and a turnaround idea.

 Part One...

Part Two...


It kind of goes without saying that if you’re a beginner or an intermediate player and you have an interest in staying motivated at learning and practicing guitar, (as most practicing guitar players obviously do), then there’s nothing better than learning guitar riffs, (from all kinds of different music styles).

Studying song riffs and invented riffs that are a part of some of the more popular styles and directions of playing will definitely go a long way toward making every student of this instrument maintain their interest level.

Not only that, learning riffs is an excellent way to keep up a guitar student's motivation to continue learning more and more about playing music on this instrument.

Let’s face it, guitar riffs are generally quite straight-forward to learn and best of all they’re a lot of fun to play both for yourself and when it comes to playing for others too.



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