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Whats the differance between a Lick and a Riff?

22 Feb 2011 20:25 | Quote
Joined: 24 Jan 2011
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22 Feb 2011 20:42 | Quote
Joined: 28 May 2009
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Not really that much. I think of a lick a musical idea you use to solo and a riff more as chord progression. As in, something you play over and over even when your not soloing. I hope that cleared it up.
22 Feb 2011 21:12 | Quote
Joined: 24 Jan 2011
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yeah thanks
22 Feb 2011 22:07 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
This is something i found. I dont kow how acurate it is.

Mabye someone can elaberate.

A riff is a series of notes repeated throughout the verse chorus etc.
A lick is like a part of a riff just like a few little insignificant notes that give it that extra hell ya
23 Feb 2011 05:06 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
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What is the difference between a lick and a riff?
Marvin Berry
New Orleans, Lousiana

A lick is a short, formulaic phrase generally used in improvised solos. Licks tend to be common to an idiom: bluegrass pros recognize common bluegrass licks (like a Lester Flatt G-run), which differ from the licks a jazz cat would use. Many players string these licks together, letting their fingers remember what to do next. They instill their own personality in the solo in the way they play the lick or in the moments between the licks, as well as in the melodies they pull out of their head.
Some folks use riffing to mean jamming, but a riff can also be thought of as a clearly defined phrase that is unique to a song. The riff in "Day Tripper," for example, is instantly recognizable as an important part of the song; it's the hook, the musical catchphrase. In jazz, riff has a specific meaning: a short melodic phrase that is repeated, often over changing harmonies. It can function as the melody of a song or as an ostinato for a soloist to improvise over. Riffs likely are derived from the call-and-response patterns of African music, and the word itself is thought to have originated in New Orleans marching band music, from which it entered the jazz lexicon. Count Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" and Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" are two popular riff-based tunes. But the word riff has come to mean different things to different people.
23 Feb 2011 07:15 | Quote
Joined: 09 Sep 2008
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a riff is a single note rhythm, a lick is a little solo idea.

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