Breaking It Down: What Makes a Great Riff?

what makes a great riff

It can be just a couple of notes, but you’re hooked. A great riff is the very essence of an “earworm.” It gets in your head and won’t leave — though (mostly) in a good way.

Admit it: you’re thinking of a handful of ’em right now.

In this next episode of their new “Breaking It Down” podcast, pro musicians John Montagna and Jeff Ganz strap on their instruments and unleash a blizzard of classic riffs upon each other — trading them, and analyzing what makes them so great. And they cover A LOT of ground, too: rock, pop, R&B, jazz, standards and even classical.

The next step is yours. Let us know your favorite riffs, as Volume Two of “Riff Pong” awaits…

Listen below — or on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher. (Other platforms, like Spotify, are coming soon.)

P.S. Click here to hear Episode 1 of Breaking It Down which examines the contributions of bassist James Jamerson.

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