Yesterday marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of Stairway to Heaven, a tune with a riff that whether or not you’re a Zep fan is a moral imperative for any guitarist to learn.
As for myself, I was never that much into Zep. I dug certain tunes like Stairway, Black Dog, and Lady, but never bought a Zep album. But I do have to admit that the Stairway riff had a huge impact on me becoming a guitar player. It’s so simple, but it’s beautiful.
Another riff that compelled me towards playing guitar was Black Water by the Doobie Brothers. I was so proud of myself when I learned that riff. That gave me my first taste of alternate tuning; albeit it was only dropping the low E to D.
And I have to say that it wasn’t necessarily full songs that drove me to learn guitar, but rather little riffs that I thought were cool. Of course, the musician in me wouldn’t just settle for the riff, but I would have to say I was riff-driven. 🙂