First Easy Riff, Part 2 (Guitar Lesson)

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Will Ripley

First Easy Riff, Part 2

Will continues in this lesson by showing you how to read basic tablature for his Black Sabbath style riff.

Taught by Will Ripley in Rock Guitar for Beginners seriesLength: 9:31Difficulty: 1.0 of 5


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Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


roycetraylor2roycetraylor2 replied

I really enjoy playing along with the rock style backing track. Much better than an old folk or other outdated tune that many other methods use.

Lindsay1jockoLindsay1jocko replied

Awesome...I’ve tried a few teachers and now as Big Poppa said...I’v Got my motivation back. Thx

BigpoppaBigpoppa replied

bro... NOW IM MOTIVATED. THANK YOU

DarrenMHDarrenMH replied

Playing around with this riff, it made me think of a Green Day song, found Brain Stew, follows same notes, just a bit different riff, coolness to figure this on my own. Liking your lessons BTW.

KPryorKPryor replied

That's a beautiful SG.

freefly8freefly8 replied

Yes easy to catch on to this riff. I see I need to get the metronome out. The video lagged behind the audio. It was a bit distracting and may be worst in the future with more complicated stuff. All in all I liked this lesson. Great early lesson.

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied

I posted this in your other comments as well. If you continue to have trouble with the below information, send us an e-mail to [email protected] and we can further help you there. If that happens, try reducing your video quality using the "HD" button in the lower right hand corner of the video window. The symptom you are experiencing is usually attributed to not having enough system resources to receive the stream and decode it in real time. Going to a lower quality and thus smaller file makes it easier for your computer to handle that.

dgrigsby06dgrigsby06 replied

Dude. I'm playing Sabbath. Whoa.

DorichanDorichan replied

LOVE IT! You made it so easy. I can't wait for the next lesson. I'm a 60 year old gal (who loves Rock) and can't wait for my 25 year old son to get home from work so I can show him what I learned.

ReignReynReignReyn replied

Haha. Whatever they say. But this series is actually great. Thanks a lot will.

jboothjbooth replied

Glad you are enjoying it. Will is coming back this year for more lessons!

SurfpopSurfpop replied

It's obviously Chicago, for anyone wondering. Sheez.

SurfpopSurfpop replied

Well, I should admit that it's like some hybrid of Chicago and Sabbath. But I appreciate that this guy gets you playing something right off - maybe not the greatest for long-term development, but fun!

maxresultsmaxresults replied

I still keep expecting to hear the horns joining in.

BradleyABradleyA replied

I have to agree with some of the other commentors that this riff doesn't sound like anything like Black Sabbath. It does, however, sound very much like Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4," which is a very cool song. If you check out the tab for guitar 1, you'll find you can now play 90% of that song. Congrats! :) Here's the tab: https://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/chicago-25-or-6-to-4-tab-s4958t3

carmeldjcarmeldj replied

Thanks Will, after 10 years you are the first one that makes sense to me. At 61 this is my last chance.

pkoscakpkoscak replied

Stay with it. Don't give up. I'm 65 and hope to become proficient enough to form a band.

CNPCNP replied

Hi Will I have moved away from trying to string chords together for a while as TBH I am finding it really tough. I found this lesson by accident when I was looking through my badges to see what I could try. It's the first time i have ever played anything that sounds like a tune and I along with my neighbours, wife and children are very grateful to you. Appreciate your style of teaching and look forward to learning acoustic and rock guitar. Chris

CNPCNP replied

Hi Will I have moved away from trying to string chords together for a while as TBH I am finding it really tough. I found this lesson by accident when I was looking through my badges to see what I could try. It's the first time i have ever played anything that sounds like a tune and I along with my neighbours, wife and children are very grateful to you. Appreciate your style of teaching and look forward to learning acoustic and rock guitar. Chris

BradleyABradleyA replied

Chris: check out this tab, look at guitar 1's part, and you should be able to play that pretty easily, if you can play Will's riff properly now. That way you'll have a whole song to play: https://www.songsterr.com/a/wsa/chicago-25-or-6-to-4-tab-s4958t3

BamaJama1BamaJama1 replied

Jamplay you rock!!! Will your a excellent instructor I will b sticking with you because your just so easy to follow. If only I had found you sooner. Oh well I'm living the dream now & on my way towards rock n roll paradise. For those about to rock ....well you know the rest ✌

hemantsachdevhemantsachdev replied

Am I the only one who is seeing the video messed up? The sound does not line up with the video. It's annoying. I like these lessons.

jboothjbooth replied

Sorry about your issue. Have you tried changing quality settings to a lower setting? Generally this is an issue with decoding on the remote system, so lowering quality setting should help resolve your issue.

PocahontasPocahontas replied

Thanks Will. Picked up the guitar for first time. I can read music so thanks for including that with tab in the supp

rmallor4rmallor4 replied

Your a good teacher, thanks.

gannable1gannable1 replied

ive been "playing" for two years but its really been learning the chords and practicing changing chords. im trying to change my normal routine and actually learn how to play the guitar

d2jlkingd2jlking replied

Been "playing" for over 20 years. Finally decided to learn to play. Youre a very clear teacher and the lessons are very helpful. Thanks

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied

Fun stuff, thanks Will :)

MzamanMzaman replied

Don't you have the track for practice?

jaguitarjaguitar replied

This reminds me of a Chicago song 25 or 6 to 4.

BradleyABradleyA replied

Ah! I found it! It's very similar to Green Day's "Brain Stew." Stew uses half the notes, though.

BradleyABradleyA replied

I knew it sounded familiar! I couldn't place it, though. I just listened to Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" because I thought I recognized the progression from it. There's also a Zeppelin song that uses it, too, I think.

aleshaalesha replied

Yep, it's Zeppelin's "Babe, I gonna live you"...

AllTubeAmpAllTubeAmp replied

...and it also awesome to have a teacher that understands there is no such thing as too simple when it come to getting started...

AllTubeAmpAllTubeAmp replied

...and it also awesome to have a teacher that understands there is no such thing as too simple when it come to getting started...

machinehead1machinehead1 replied

I have been learning chords and frets u know the ultra beginner stuff..it is awesome to be able to learn something so simple ...but strait up rock ..thanks

Rock Guitar for Beginners

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learn to play the electric guitar like a pro! Will Ripley is a veteran teacher that will show you quick and easy ways to start playing actual music on the guitar! Start learning original classic rock style riffs right away, all the while learning solid foundations to your guitar playing. Get ready to Rip it up!!



Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

Join Will Ripley as he gives us all the details of his series, "Rock Guitar for Beginners". You'll be playing cool rock riffs from the very first lesson!

Length: 5:25 Difficulty: 0.0 FREE
First Easy Riff, Part 1Lesson 2

First Easy Riff, Part 1

Will wastes no time getting you playing actual music! Check out this cool riff in the style of Black Sabbath. You'll be rockin' in no time!

Length: 7:13 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
First Easy Riff, Part 2Lesson 3

First Easy Riff, Part 2

Will continues in this lesson by showing you how to read basic tablature for his Black Sabbath style riff.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Chromatic ExerciseLesson 4

Chromatic Exercise

In this lesson, Will takes a break from riffs to show you a great tool for increasing your dexterity on the instrument: the chromatic exercise.

Length: 6:37 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Right Hand Technique, Part 1Lesson 5

Right Hand Technique, Part 1

A good foundation on the guitar has a lot to do with your right hand, or picking hand, technique. Will starts here with the basics: How to hold a pick and how to place your hand.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Right Hand Technique, Part 2Lesson 6

Right Hand Technique, Part 2

So far, Will has had you focus on playing on one string. Now he gives you the tools to play across multiple strings.

Length: 8:40 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Riff in the Style of Deep Purple/QueenLesson 7

Riff in the Style of Deep Purple/Queen

Now that you have some right hand technique under your belt, Will hits you with another classic sounding riff in the style of Deep Purple or Queen. This is an easy, yet great sounding single note riff...

Length: 9:43 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Riff in the Style of Bon JoviLesson 8

Riff in the Style of Bon Jovi

Will is back with another classic sounding riff! This riff is a great exercise that gets you using your fingers on more than one strings, and improves on your chromatic movement.

Length: 5:44 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Riff in the Style of Journey/Foster the PeopleLesson 9

Riff in the Style of Journey/Foster the People

Will uses this catchy riff to teach you how to mute open strings and fretted notes, and how to add some rhythmic depth to your playing.

Length: 5:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Riff in the Style of RATM/Led ZeppelinLesson 10

Riff in the Style of RATM/Led Zeppelin

Here's another catch, classic sounding riff from Will. This one will get you up and running with your alternate picking. A must have picking technique moving forward!

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Chromatic Graduation RiffLesson 11

Chromatic Graduation Riff

Remember the chromatic scale we learned earlier in this series? Well, Will steps it up a notch by adding a cool funky riff to help you earn your chromatic diploma!

Length: 10:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
E Minor Pentatonic ScaleLesson 12

E Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic is one of the core scales of rock guitar. In this lesson, Will shows you a super simple fingering for this essential scale!

Length: 8:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Em Pentatonic Riff In the Style of the BeatlesLesson 13

Em Pentatonic Riff In the Style of the Beatles

Now, take the minor pentatonic scale, add some rhythm, and you've got a super cool rock riff!

Length: 4:47 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Intro to Power ChordsLesson 14

Intro to Power Chords

Power chords are essential to any rock guitar playing. In this lesson, Will shows you the basics. Learn open string power chords and other classic power chord shapes!

Length: 11:09 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Power Chord Riff In the Style of Tom Petty/ACDCLesson 15

Power Chord Riff In the Style of Tom Petty/ACDC

Will's back with another classic sounding riff in the style of Tom Petty or ACDC. This riff builds off of what you learned in the previous lesson on power chords. Use both your open string power chord...

Length: 11:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Palm MutingLesson 16

Palm Muting

Getting a great rock sound has lots of different elements to it, and one of those is the palm muting technique. Will shows you a super easy way to get rolling on this great right hand technique!

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Power Chord Riff in the Style of Black SabbathLesson 17

Power Chord Riff in the Style of Black Sabbath

Now Will takes a riff he taught earlier in the series and adds the power chord element to it. This makes the riff extra heavy sounding and extra cool!

Length: 10:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Power Chord Riff with a Fifth in the BassLesson 18

Power Chord Riff with a Fifth in the Bass

Believe it or not, Ripley can show you a way to make your power chords even more powerful sounding! It's a simple fingering shift, but will add a lot of thickness to your power chords.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Power Chord Riff in the Style of Audioslave/RHCPLesson 19

Power Chord Riff in the Style of Audioslave/RHCP

Get ready to learn a super pro-sounding riff in the style of Audioslave or Red Hot Chili Peppers! Hidden in this riff are some more foundational guitar techniques that will increase your facility on the...

Length: 12:41 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Other Two Note ShapesLesson 20

Other Two Note Shapes

We've learned the interval of the power chord, now Will shows us some other intervals in the form of two note shapes that are easy, and add tremendous color to our playing.

Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Octave ShapesLesson 21

Octave Shapes

Will's back with an important and useful technique: Octave shapes. Learn not only the shape, but how to apply muting to get it sounding very professional!

Length: 8:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Muting TechniquesLesson 22

Muting Techniques

Proper muting can add a lot of passion to your playing. In this lesson, Will shows us how to play single notes without compromising any of the energy or intensity.

Length: 8:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Minor Pentatonic Scale - Second PositionLesson 23

The Minor Pentatonic Scale - Second Position

Will showed us the first position of the minor pentatonic scale in an earlier lesson. Now it's time to move on to the second position. It's a must know scale and technique!

Length: 5:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Reading Chord ChartsLesson 24

Reading Chord Charts

Up to now we've learned a lot of single note riffs and power chords. Now it's time to inject some chord playing into our technique. In this lesson, Will starts us off by showing us how to read a chord...

Length: 9:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Spanish Flavored Chord SongLesson 25

Spanish Flavored Chord Song

Continuing with chords, Will introduces us to some new chord shapes with this Spanish themed chord song.

Length: 6:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Sus and Slash ChordsLesson 26

Sus and Slash Chords

Sus and slash chords are very important when it comes to making you sound like a pro. Will walks us through a few of the most common ones, and how to implement them in our playing!

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The G Major ChordLesson 27

The G Major Chord

The G major chord is one of the most common chords used in popular music. In this lesson, Will shows some of the more popular and useful variations of the chord.

Length: 5:26 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Secret to Changing ChordsLesson 28

The Secret to Changing Chords

One of the biggest issues for beginning guitarists is changing chords. It can be a source of great frustration. Join Will as he shows us his secret to changing chords that will revolutionize your playing!

Length: 11:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Rhythmic SubdivisionsLesson 29

Rhythmic Subdivisions

By now you've learned what an important role rhythm plays in the process of learning guitar. Will gets more specific here by showing us some basic rhythms and how to count them.

Length: 14:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Acoustic Pop Chord SongLesson 30

Acoustic Pop Chord Song

Ever wonder how certain songs get really pro sounding chord progressions and strumming? Here's a peek behind the curtain as Will shows us a chord progression that is simultaneously easy and great sounding!

Length: 16:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Three Must Know Strum PatternsLesson 31

Three Must Know Strum Patterns

Strumming and rhythm is something that frankly gets taken for granted when learning guitar. But, it's just as important as the notes you play on the fret board! Will gets you started on the right foot...

Length: 11:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
All Major and Minor ChordsLesson 32

All Major and Minor Chords

It's time to get deeper into chords! In this lesson, Will shows us all the major and minor chords.

Length: 12:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
12 Bar Blues Song - Part 1Lesson 33

12 Bar Blues Song - Part 1

The 12 bar blues is a fundamental rock and blues song form. Will shows you the 12 bar blues, but puts a little twist on it to make it sound extra rockin'!

Length: 7:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
12 Bar Blues Song - Part 2Lesson 34

12 Bar Blues Song - Part 2

In part 2 of the 12 Bar Blues Song, Will gets into the meat of the 12 bar blues form.

Length: 11:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord Techniques in the Style of Neil Young/Guns and RosesLesson 35

Chord Techniques in the Style of Neil Young/Guns and Roses

Will brings together several chord playing techniques in this lesson that will challenge you and keep you on the road to sounding more like a pro!

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Pentatonic Scale - Third PositionLesson 36

Minor Pentatonic Scale - Third Position

Will now brings us the 3rd position of the minor pentatonic scale. This is one of the great rock guitar scales, and Will is building towards having you cover the entire fret board with this scale!

Length: 4:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chop BuildersLesson 37

Chop Builders

Here's a couple of exercises that will help build your "chops", otherwise known as your strength and dexterity on the guitar!

Length: 11:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Major Scale and Basic TheoryLesson 38

The Major Scale and Basic Theory

Don't let the phrase "music theory" scare you off! It's merely an aid to help you understand what you've been learning and playing so far. Will uses this lesson to show you a very important scale that...

Length: 10:59 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fourth PositionLesson 39

Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fourth Position

On to the fourth position of the minor pentatonic scale! As usual, Will shows us the scale, then shows us a way to connect all of the positions so far.

Length: 4:16 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Find Every Note on the Fret BoardLesson 40

Find Every Note on the Fret Board

Believe it or not, finding and knowing every note on the fret board is not as hard as it may seem. In this lesson, Will demystifies the fret board taking away that overwhelming feeling when you look down...

Length: 13:39 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Precursor to Barre ChordsLesson 41

Precursor to Barre Chords

Leading up to learning your barre chords, Will shares this lesson with us that gets us familiar with some of the basic shapes we'll need to know. Plus, you get to learn some super cool sounding chords!

Length: 9:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Four Shapes of Barre ChordsLesson 42

Four Shapes of Barre Chords

The "dreaded" barre chords are anything but dreaded here. Will gets you going on the four basic shapes, with some tips and tricks to make them frankly, quite easy!

Length: 15:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Barre Chord SongLesson 43

Barre Chord Song

Now Will gives you the chance to put those barre chords into practice! Here's a super simple little song to help you get more familiar with the shapes we learned in the last lesson.

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fifth PositionLesson 44

Minor Pentatonic Scale - Fifth Position

The Grand Finale of your minor pentatonics: The Fifth Position. Now that you have all 5 positions, Will shows you some cool ways to practice these, and consequently, the ability to begin using them in...

Length: 9:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Will Ripley

About Will Ripley View Full Biography

Will Ripley is a passionate guitarist who performs, teaches, and manages a successful music business. His wild stage presence and undeniable guitar skills transcend vibe and waveforms of the highest levels of energy.. His talents however, are directly related to years of staying “on the grind” and “paying his dues”. He has played with many bands, produced, composed and collaborated both solo and with top level musicians. He is a sought-after studio musician and works creatively with other musicians.



Coming from a blues and classic rock background, Ripley discovered 90?s rock in his late teens. Ripley’s style is unique. He’s been described as combining the blues guitar playing of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix with big riffs that are reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine with the booty shaking rhythms of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and N.E.R.D. Ripley also has a soft place in his heart for pop music ranging from The Beatles to Stone Temple Pilots to Kelly Clarkson.

In addition to creation and production of music, Ripley teaches guitar using a method he developed through his education and over countless sessions with learners of all ages and levels. This led to the development of a successful series of recorded lessons called Guitar Goals available from his website. As the founder of the Will Ripley Guitar School he has begun expanding as a franchise into other cities which has 1 location currently – the Vancouver Guitar School. Students the world over can learn guitar using this effective, rewarding, and enjoyable style at their own pace – with epic results!

Ripley seeks participation in authentic, professional-level music, with like-minded, enthusiastic, high-achieving musicians. With dreams of creating legendary songs, Ripley is open to new band mates, songwriting partners, and recording opportunities.

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