Top Ten Greatest Guitar Riffs

DeathToMayo

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Rock You Like a Hurricane - Scorpions

Scorpions are definitely underrated I see. Rock you like a hurricane, Believe in love and some handful other of their songs have the greatest of riffs in rock history.

I would also vote for boston... These two songs made me want to play the guitar

The Scorpions invented shredding... This song epitomizes this technique

This song completely rocks! The Scorps have so many GREAT guitar riffing songs, it makes your head spin. Women also love the Scorps.

V 2 Comments
22 You Really Got Me - The Kinks

I love the the guitar work ihope tobe that good someday

Wonder to see it down here. Undoubtedly, "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks is one the best riffs ever. Just check it out, it's awesome. So upvote, come on.

23 Can't Stop - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Can't stop the spirits when they need you, this life is more than just a read-through - Psykosauron

No guitar riff can be better than this... Just too good

John Frusciante Is A Beast In This Song - Dglass23

The best song ever!

V 6 Comments
24 Killing In the Name - Rage Against the Machine

Why is this all the way down here? This is the greatest guitar riff in the history of rock, metal, nu metal, and all music genres

One of the best riffs in rock history, when you hear it you know what it is right away.

25 Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry

Should be higher up, probably lacks popularity because it's so hard to play but it is an awesome song.

The Father of them all, this Riff gave rise to half of the other riffs on this page so there's no way it should be this low down.

Awesomeness

This is the father of rock'n roll, must be number one

26 Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet Home Alabama! ROLL TIDE ROLL!

27 Holy Wars... The Punishment Due - Megadeth

Wow. Just wow. You people who voted must not know what a guitar riff even is if Holy Wars is all the way down here. The fact that Enter Sandman is at number 3 shows how ignorant and simple minded everyone is. That is a total joke. Enter Sandman should be on the worst riffs list. I know I sound like a fanboy, but any Megadeth song would beat the riffs ranked higher than this. The entire top ten list is nothing but simplistic rubbish that happens to be popular. Just because they are iconic does not mena that they are by any means the best riffs. In fact, a list of "best guitar riffs" should consist of songs by Megadeth, 80's era Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, Death, Death Angel, Sacred Reich, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and newer bands like Havok, Evile, Warbringer, etc. But as usual, I get to see a list containing Guns N' Roses, Avenged sevenfold, System of a Down, and slipknot. Yay... -_-

Go to hell this is one of the best riffs ever written and it deserves at least a top 5 place. Don't believe me? Go and listen to the song. It will blow your brains out!

Only 45...wow, seriously I get the classic ness or whatever of smoke on the water but seriously that riff is SO simplistic, holy wars is complex, thrashy, fast, intense and just awesome

Underrated, Megadeth OWNS RIFFS!

V 14 Comments
28 Highway To Hell - AC/DC

It's a legendary riff the best three chord riff ever

Simple
BUT THE BEST RIFF EVER - shatti

Very catchy and hard-ass

Try All Right Now by Free. same sounding riff. that was released before this song. - zxm

29 Layla - Derek And The Dominos

Don't vote for this, vote for the one on page 1.

This is way to far down. This is a classic, and seriously, GIVE IT A LISTEN!

Best riff of all time, by far. way better than claptons original acoustic

bare 42?

30 Master of Puppets - Metallica

When I saw the list, I fully expected this to be number one. Clicking on the list and having to scroll to 36 to find it thoroughly disappointed me. Every time I scrolled, I died a bit.

#1 is Smoke on the Water. Even if it is the most 'recognizable', that does NOT mean it's the best. In comparison with a lot of things, it's actually a really bad riff.

#3 is Enter Sandman. The Black Album (not to mention everything after it) sucks.

I don't feel like critiquing every "riff" before Master of Puppets, but here's a hint: ALMOST ALL OF THEM SUCK.

To quote another comment: "You people wouldn't know a riff if the guitar itself slapped you in the face. "

You people wouldn't know a riff if the guitar itself slapped you in the face. This is the best metal riff full stop, such honest metal, Metallica in their prime.

One of the greatest riffs ever! This should be at least in top 5. How the hell is it 35?

MASTER!

V 18 Comments
31 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

First song I ever learned on guitar, and the opening riff is still my favorite riff of all time.

This is one easy song and still it rocks, and think how many covers this song has, so if you don't like the original, there somewere would one you would like. Vote for the best song ever

32 Painkiller - Judas Priest

Priest has some of the best and heaviest guitar riffs of all time and they can't get even one song in the top 10?!

My favorite Riff of all time - christangrant

58? People are idiots

37? Really? Wow people, I don't even know what to say, this is one of the most amazkng riffs ever :(

33 Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love - Van Halen

why is this not on the list?
the best intro of all time - richie4life

V 2 Comments
34 Raining Blood - Slayer

While not as hard to play as people make it sound, it's very memorable and melodic.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore

35 One - Metallica

Should be in the top 10 because if you listen to the song you will hear the word "help" being tapped out in morse code. - thomasnirvanastroud

Why is this all the way down here?! It's one of the greatest guitar riffs EVER! AND one of the most recognisable, it should e in the top 20! - HenP

That clean intro is awesome and ya know, the OD. This is perfection at it finest

It should be in the top 1

36 Plug in Baby - Muse

This should be number one. Matt is a revolutionary guitarist and an amazing song writer. I understand some people do not like Muse's style or how Matt uses his voice (I think he is amazing), but even they have to admit this riff is amazing. Forever a Muser.

This is the best Total Guitar voted of the past decade! :)

He should be in an higher rank! :)

It is also really good to play, and all the song is great ;)

Great riff...
When I go in Guitar shops I see everyone play this its so good. - GlonnAtronnAdonnAdict

This is the sickest riff. Take it to the ER now. Call a doctor.

V 12 Comments
37 Money for Nothing - Dire Straits

WHY IS THIS NUMBER 85? This is such an incredible riff! How is Avenged Sevenfold, Nirvana, The White Stripes and "SLIPKNOT" (what) ahead of this amazing riff? Get your money for nothing' an' your chicks for free!

This is one of those that you just can't prevent yourself from playing the air guitar to. Mark Knopfler's tone with this song, as well as the overall beat make for one of the best songs of the 1980's. - c0mf0rta61ynum6

It even sounds great on acoustic, but when distorted it becomes as iconic as anything. Sure, some of the higher-rated riffs come from great songs, but taking just the riff alone, it's clearly top-ten material.

Nothing compares, easily the greatest riff. Sure, there are more universally known riffs, but none of them come close to the beauty of this

V 7 Comments
38 Raise Your Hands - Bon Jovi

The whole song is a guitar masterpiece! - richie4life

Really amazing riff listen to it now - ballaboi17

Haha! Not one you'd expect to be here but it totally deserves it! Total master work!

Raise your hands, as first song in concert : everyone obeys Jonny ^^

V 1 Comment
39 Aqualung - Jethro Tull V 2 Comments
40 Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix

This is a disgrace. Voodoo Child at number 42? Wow, this lists needs some serious contemplation.

Clearly more people need to take The Jimi Hendrix Experience!

This is one of the most iconic guitar riffs EVER. It hurts me to think about how many of the first 65 songs don't deserve to be on this list.

Putting Bon Jovi above Hendrix? ain't gonna let that happen

V 8 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 17 Aug 2017

12,000 votes
495 listings
10 years, 81 days old

Top Remixes (54)

1. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
2. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
3. Smoke On the Water - Deep Purple
DaRealXgen
1. Smoke On the Water - Deep Purple
2. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
3. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
himanshu22
1. Smoke On the Water - Deep Purple
2. Iron Man - Black Sabbath
3. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
ryanrimmel

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