Difference Between A Lick and A Riff???

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by m_waleed86, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. m_waleed86

    m_waleed86 KhaMosh GhuStAk

    Can anyone tell me the difference between the two?? :think: :think: :think:
  2. dharmatma

    dharmatma Banned

    licks are short phrases..that are sometime signature stuff from a particular artiste or a standard genere lick..which u can identify with immideatly.

    riffs are more "song driving" basically they are like short lead passages..but the main diff is that riffs are what the songs based upon.
  3. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    pretty much what dharmatma said.

    furthermore riffs are small repeated melodies that drive the song, licks are not repeated they are just very small succession of notes that are phrases.
  4. jekyll

    jekyll Banned

    one further addition (this is my personal feeling)

    riffs are more particular to the band's music style

    licks are the charchteristic quirks displayed by the guitarists whiile playing notes (or even intervals)

    frankly a riff can be a lick or a lick can be a riff ... its how u use it.

    suppose u take the "Smoke on the Water" opening - that is a riff
    however in the leads, Ritchie Blackmore plays his charachteristic licks
  5. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    I know one song off the top of my head that is a fantastic example of differences between riffs and licks because it has both in it.

    Listen to Dire Straits - Sultans of Swings.

    The bit where he plays the chord riff in the chorus (middle tri chords of Dm-C-B-C-Dm-C-Dm-C) is a riff, but when the little twangs he plays here and there in between his words are basically licks. And if you know enough licks you build them up together to give you an entire solo, or in other words a series of musical licks that sound nice together.
  6. DrSaurabh

    DrSaurabh Wh@+s Up D0C

    interesting..am waitng for more....
  7. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    and in your opinion?
  8. ronnieanand

    ronnieanand n00bier th@n th0u

    Actually I have seen even big artists use Licks and Riffs interchangeably. I used to think that the Riffs are more Rhythm Based and Licks are more Lead oriented. Again can be interchangeably used.
  9. m_waleed86

    m_waleed86 KhaMosh GhuStAk

    ^^so in that case why dont keep a single name like........LIFF??
  10. rocking_devil

    rocking_devil Banned

    @rabi - consider the intro lead riff of dire straights - money for nothing!
  11. rabi_sultan

    rabi_sultan <Bulla Ki Jana>

    yeah thats a riff, another chord riff which is heard being played throughout different parts of the song.
  12. a lick is a lick and a riff is a riff.not vice versa

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