Memorable Guitar Riffs

Guitar Riffs

Every rock guitar player looks for the perfect little musical phrase that should provide the rhythm and personality of the song. There are riffs that, once you've heard the song, never leave your memory. There are very simple riffs, of only two notes and there are also complex, deliberated riffs. Some guitarists are remembered for only one riff, others were true riff factories. I listed only those that got sticked to my mind. The selection is personal so you can suggest your own choice at Contact.


Jan Akkerman Focus

Hocus Pocus

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Chad AllanThe Guess Who

American Woman

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Duane Allman, Dickey BettsThe Allman Brothers Band

Whipping Post

You Don't Love Me

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Berton Averre, Doug FeigerThe Knack

My Sharonna

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Martin BarreJethro Tull

A New Day Yesterday


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Ritchie BlackmoreDeep Purple


Knocking At Your Backdoor


Perfect Strangers

Smoke On the Water

Space Trucking

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Erik BraunnIron Butterfly


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Eric ClaptonCream



Sunshine Of Your Love

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Kurt CobainNirvana

Come As You Are

Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Eddie CochranEddie Cochran

Summertime Blues

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Dimebag DarrellPantera

Five Minutes Alone


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Dave DaviesThe Kinks

You Really Got Me

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K.K. Downing, Glenn TiptonJudas Priest

Breaking The Law

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Don Felder , Joe WalshThe Eagles

Life In The Fast Lane

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John FogertyCreedence Clearwater Revival

Fortunate Son

Proud Mary

Up Around The Bend

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Robert FrippKing Crimson

21st Century Schizoid Man

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Rory GallagherRory Gallagher

Walk On Hot Coals

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Billy GibbonsZZ Top

La Grange

Sharp Dressed Man

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David GilmourPink Floyd

In the Flesh


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Scott Gorham, Brian RobertsonThin Lizzy

The Boys Are Back In Town

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Eddie van HalenVan Halen, Michael Jackson

Ain't Talking Bout Love

Beat It


Running With The Devil

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Kirk Hammett, James HetfieldMetallica

Enter Sandman

Master Of Puppets

Sad But True

Seek And Destroy

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Jeff HannemanSlayer

Raining Blood

South Of Heaven

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George HarrisonThe Beatles

And I Love Her

Come Together

Day Tripper

Drive My Car

In My Life

Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds


Paperback Writer


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Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix


Foxey Lady

Purple Haze

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

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Steve HoweYes


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Tony IommiBlack Sabbath

Children Of The Grave

Iron Man


Sweet Leaf

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Mark KnopflerDire Straits

Money For Nothing

Sultans Of Swing

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Paul KossofFree

All Right Now

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Robbie KriegerThe Doors

Love Me Two Times

Roadhouse Blues

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Alvin LeeTen Years After

Good Morning Little School Girl

Love Like A Man

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Alex LifesonRush

Working Man


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Yngwie MalmsteenYngwie Malmsteen

Deja Vu

Queen In Love

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Brian MayQueen

Bohemian Rhapsody

Death On Two Legs

Dragon Attack

Hammer To Fall

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Mike McCreadyPearl Jam


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Tom MorelloRage Against The Machine

Bulls On Parade

Wake Up

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Dave MustaineMegadeth

Hanger 18

Symphony Of Destruction

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Ted NugentTed Nugent

Cat Scratch Fever


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Roy OrbisonRoy Orbison

Oh Pretty Woman

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Jimmy PageLed Zeppelin

Black Dog

Communication Breakdown

Dazed and Confused



Rock And Roll

The Ocean

Whole Lotta Love

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Joe PerryAerosmith

Walk This Way

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John PetrucciDream Theater


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Trevor RabinYes

Owner Of a Lonely Heart

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Vernon ReidLiving Color

Cult Of Personality

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Randy RhoadsOzzy

Crazy Train

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Keith Richards 

Brown Sugar

Jumping Jack Flash


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Mick RonsonMick Ronson

Ziggy Stardust

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Carlos SantanaSantana

Black Magic Woman

Evil Ways

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Joe SatrianiJoe Satriani

Satch Boogie

The Extremist

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Paradise City

Sweet Child O' Mine

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Frankie SullivanSurvivor

Eye Of the Tiger

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Kim ThayilSoundgarden


Rusty Cage


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Pete TownshendThe Who

I Can't Explain

My Generation


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Steve VaiSteve Vai

Erotic Nightmares

The Animal

The Audience Is Listening

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Adrian VandenbergWhitesnake

Bad Boys

In the Still Of the Night

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Stevie Ray VaughanStevie Ray Vaughan

Couldn't Stand The Weather

Scuttle Buttin

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Angus Young, Malcolm YoungAC/DC

Hell's Bells

Highway To Hell


You Shook Me

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Neil YoungNeil Young & Crazy Horse

Cinnamon Girl

Rockin' In The Free World

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Frank ZappaFrank Zappa



What's New In Baltimore

Zoot Allures

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