Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Favorite Guitar Riffs

Years' end generally produces lists of the top events of the year just past. As this is a blog, the most narcissistic tool a person may indulge, so have I a few lists. I will post new lists each day for as long as I have lists to post. If you agree please let me know, if you disagree or have alternatives to present please do that too. Here is the first list:
  1. The lead in Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" by Charlie McCoy in D Major. This is a very subtle lead that is there and then it's not. It actually simply variations of the D Major scale using techniques commonly found in other genres. Just as you begin to enjoy the lyrics you hear this lovely underlying lead run that complements and enhances the entire composition. Try it.
  2. The lead in the Rolling Stones "Can't you hear me knockin'" is very good but the solo at the end of the verse, which continues nearly to the end is one of the most remarkable pieces of rock music ever recorded.
  3. The bridge in "Going Home", another Stones favorite of mine, is one of the most, if not the most, subtle solo line in any of their compositions.
  4. Of course the Brian Jones performance in "Sympathy for the Devil" is unsurpassed, though few have heard it since it was supplanted by another version on the album Let It Bleed. The original version was released as single in 1968.
  5. John Mayhall's "Saw Mill Gulch Road" and "California" are two fabulous examples of blues, rock, and jazz fusion. The bass riff is unreal because it provides the only percussion in the performance, yet the absence of drums is not really obvious.

Any string of lists can be expanded indefinitely here are some others to consider: The Best Rock and Roll performers of the 20th Century, The most important contributors to the evolution of blues, jazz, and rock music. Got some ideas of your own? Let's hear about them.

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