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EPIC RIFFS | Is this the hardest riff to play on guitar? - Frusciante
- Published on Mar 20, 2023 veröffentlicht
- Is this the hardest riffs to play on guitar? I read this on the internet, so it must be true... or is it?!
In this video we're find out! ALSO My new intermediate course: nextlevelplaying.com
▶My brand new intermediate guitar course launching October 23rd! Get a free sneak peek :) ◀
Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.
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Hi, my name is Paul Davids! I am a guitar player, teacher, producer, and overall music enthusiast from the Netherlands! I try to inspire people from all over the world with my videos, here on Clip-Share.
If you want to know more about me, check out PaulDavidsGuitar.com
Thank you for watching!
Comments • 2 748
I honestly thought I would never be able to play this. And here we are, 5 years later, I was right
You got this G
@EZcu some songs that helped me learn to tremolo really well are “forever” by as I lay dying, and “circle the sky” by Mychildren mybride. The fret hand doesn’t have to do much so it gives you the ability to focus on the picking.
In terms of other skills like hammer ons and pull offs “dogs can grow beards all over” by the devil wears Pradas intro was useful for me.
For sweeping the beginning of “one body too many” by winds of plague starts off with a harp, but the end has a breakdown sweeping the same scale that was easy in terms of the notes the fret hand has to play.
For tapping the intro to “smile in your sleep” by Silverstein is fun and fairly easy but gets you decent with the technique.
For pinch harmonics just throwing them on random notes gets you enough practice.
None of these are pure death metal btw, just on the heavier side- they are the songs I used to learn and if you apply those techniques to more technical songs you get proficient pretty quickly
Oh, and alternate picking comes pretty natural if you’re good at tremelo
@Jmack7861 what death metal songs should i learn? I would like but im not much into this genre any suggestions?
You said never-it’s only been 5 years….
John's probably like "ohh so that's what I did"
@Chinaski Sounds kurt cobain
Actually that makes him even more of a genius
@Corrupted Studios Entertainment it's not learning his songs there's a specific theory he goes for in his progression.... how he's able to harmonize with flea and vice versa might be the ummm wtf part.
It's the fact he can sing backing vocals as well that makes him truly extraordinary
John Frusciante is definitely a genius musician. Not because his riffs are very hard to play, but because he turns conventional guitar playing inside out & upside down in such a uniquely melodic style. Have a very, very close listen to Blood, Sex, Sugar, Magic....... bloody epic!
Who else remembers thinking "i might learn snow today" and 15 minutes later thinking "actually no I won't! :D"
I tried and gave up on this song years ago , then put the guitar down for years/ but decided to pick the guitar back up and start playing again and this time I learned this song. mid life crisis i think but wanna actually learn how to play guitar this time.
I learnt it in 2 days (2 months if you count the days before i gave up the guitar and picked it up again)
I learnt it in a week 😅
The thing about this riff is that it makes you feel like your fingers are becoming creatures of their own and are doing the opposite of what your brain tells them to do
I agree. My fingers feel like they're alive and doing their own thing when I play this. The second I start trying to think, they stop obeying me.
in "c'mon girl" flea makes me feel the same
The hardest thing about this riff is definitely endurance
@Josh Dougherty Master of puppets ain't hard. Your wrist does all the work and if you stil can't play it you can play it from your elbow. A good warm up is all you need.... Snow riff isn't like that it is way harder.
Try holy wars
So run some Marathons😎.
What's impressive is if you listen to the entire guitar track isolated John played it through without cut and paste. That's what's ridiculous.
Literally is!, currently trying to pick up the speed to play the riff, at 0.8 atm lol slowly getting there but it’ll be worth it. The song riff will never bore me
I thought this rift was amazing before I knew all John was doing, but now I know just how godly this was. That’s why josh had such big shoes to fill. John made technical challenging, complicated rifts like this into hugely popular songs. It takes a master to do this.
@max hocks ..but Josh did play this song & more. He knew all of BSSM since his teens & knew b-sides too. He really did his homework. It also became kind of tradition that he got an encore spot pretty much every show where he played a cover..probably played more covers than John ever did at that point haha
@RPBS no he didn’t. I saw the peppers at lollapalooza when josh was playing. Josh was ok. He could play the big hits, but he couldn’t improvise and jam the way John did. For most of the set flea was leading things. I saw the peppers years before that with John. Him and flea improvised and jammed between the big songs. And John didn’t play every song exactly like the album version. He would embellish or mix up the solos, and randomly play covers during the set. I don’t dislike josh but the band just had a different vibe with him in it.
Did Josh play it the same way live as John did?
You’re a wonderful guitar teacher. I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years now and I’m inspired by your approach. Stay cool ;)
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@MoonwalkerKOP It depends what you are playing... the fact that the pick is always plucking in the same direction simplifies things but is not an efficient way of moving. If you find it easier either you have a deficiency in your alternate picking or you are playing something that always has you moving in the wrong direction for the string transitions.
Am I the only one who finds downpicking easier than alternate picking?
@Daveyboyz I agree, it's the obvious.
@Jared Priestley Music Also some issues can arise from alternate picking some of these riffs. For instance in one riff if you alternate pick it you end up with an up stroke right before you change strings, meaning your hand has to then come back and skip a string which takes longer than two consecutive downstrokes; it just messes up the rhythm of the thing.
I think there is still one part missing: After the last pick of every chord, John lets it ring while he is continuing to play the next chord. It's so hard to get this right..
@Björn Göthenqvist so much this. We snagged up a worn out, cheapo, yard sale acoustic and had my 9yo learn some basics. 6mos later got him a 3/4 Ibanez and he had Thunderstruck nailed in an afternoon. 👍
Not really that hard, you just have to be precise when fretting. Finger tips straight in. This is how you play classical guitar where the action is much higher. Practice this on a guitar with high action.
Probably just one of his effect pedals
Paul..From a fifty year old man’s perspective I feel you have an incredible gift for conveying information not only about “end game” guitar but also musical and life philosophies extremely well. Another excellent video! Keep it up!
I really love how Paul really is breaking down these songs, he gives me very useful Information that I cannot find anywhere else here on Clip-Share
What do we want? More Frusciante lessons! When do we want them? Now! 😂
There are just a few teachers who are able to describe all the particular nuances in such a manner. Without any doubt - Paul Davids is one of the best!
Thank you, Paul.
8:41 was so satisfying. The build up of the explanation paid off beautifully. I involuntarily smiled when he launched into the whole riff.
How does a band like RHCP, who have been around 40 years, still get forgotten in so many conversations?
I reckon you could make a dozen of these videos about their tracks with both Fruschiante and Navarrro
Just wanna take this comment to appreciate the work you do here In allowing us the explore deeper and more complex music, whether that'd be a riff, lick, or song! Really amazing work here as always!
You are such an amazing and gifted guitarist and teacher! There is so much to the JF sound, so beautiful and lilting, so difficult to hear everything in order to try playing it. Thank you so much for sorting through the layers of his unique style of phrasing, timing, and movements. Absolutely spot on. I will be signing up for your course in Feb. Any chance you could similarly sort through RHCP "Road Trippin'"? JF plays with a very classical fingerstyle, looks like pulling up on strings, high wrist position and "running" fingers... and the timing/rhythm has a syncopated "up-beat" if you will and a stealthy base rhythm that seems to float under like a cold current undertow in the surf. It's like he interprets the playfulness of the surface waves they ride on and their joyful friendship bonds simultaneously with the lower vibration of the weight of getting through Life. Godspeed.
@mma 1st That is definitely true my man!
Yeah dude his vids are always top of the line. Professional and easy to understand.
@Christoph T. Schneider Is just mad that he can't play the riff 😂
@Christoph T. Schneider I don't see that to be a problem quite frankly, unless I am in some way causing harm to someone else
Hands down my favorite guitar instructor. I appreciate you so much.
This is amazing. Didn't like that song that much but actually understanding the artistic craftsmanship put into this makes you instantly appreciate it more.
he seems like such a mature musician. having the track panned to one side, and the nature of it, means that his legendarily difficult riff plays as a background to the vocals. a non musician might have trouble even realizing this is a tough right
I love this video. I remember watching it when it first came out and me practicing for hours but I couldn't get it down. Now after alot of improvements in my playing I tried the riff once again and my god I can play it!
You are just amazing! I love to watch you play! And even though I'm nowhere near your level, I learn so much from you! As a matter of fact, you helped inspire me in writing the music for the first song I wrote on guitar( as opposed to piano). The first video I saw you do was about a 1- 2m-5 chord progression, & I started fooling around with it, built on it, and came up with a great chord progression for some lyrics I wrote, as a tribute to Bowie🥰💖
The riff is easy to learn but very hard to master, especially the endurance
Yeah, it's easy to do it multiple times, it's playing it throughout the whole song that's the issue. John definitely is a master, cause he's singing at the same time and everything. Gotta respect the man
It is quite easy. This guy just uses an awkward technique to play it called string hopping. With circular motion you could play it twice as fast (if you can move your hand that fast).
You stole that
Also, I've met/seen a lot of people that can "play this song" but often it sounds like shit or much more "clumsy"
One of the first songs I learned how to play. Always one of my warm ups when I haven’t played in awhile. Makes you regret putting the guitar down and getting rusty. Still gets the best of me sometimes lol
When I first learnt this riff I thought it was supposed to be fingerpicked! I am amazed at how fast Paul picks and how clean the tone is. I have decided to challenge myself to play it with a pick.
True. It's easier to play snow fingerstyle than with a pick.
I can play this riff once or twice through, but I think the hardest part about it is the endurance it takes to play it throughout the whole song!
This guy's videos are just different in a unique way.
His voice also is so soothing
Your voice is even more soothing
I wish there was a tutorial like this for Can't Stop. I find that the hardest! :(
Anyway, thanks for all the awesome videos Paul! 🤘🏼🤘🏼
It's taken me flippin ages to get this riff to sound recognisable. Yet John just probably picked it out the air and nailed it straight away.
The guy is a genius.
No, you, yes YOU, are a genius!
@GuitarHero you‘re a genius
@Kitchen F. Sink you're a genius
@findus_52 you're a genius
@omnitrac you're a genius
Rules to learn your favorite riffs:
1. Exercise your picking and fretting hand every single day.
2. Learn first your chords and scales.
3. Play every day.
4. Play every day.
5. Play everyday.
6. You guessed it...
Remember good guitar players weren't born with a guitar in their hands. Mastery requires practice.
Learn to love the journey of learning.
Love you all, keep it up.
As a former guitar teacher I would tell all my students. It's not about how many years you have been playing, it's about how many hours a day you practice.
@Korkunç TheTerrible I'm going to give it a go and I'm 45 and not much of a guitar player. .... I'll let you know
Power to you...⭐
Or use simply guitar
I quite easily got the gist of blackened intro riff, but just after a few days of not playing it i couldn't play it at the same tempo i could play easily before
Guitar takes looots of different practise, barre, power, open, 7th, inversion chords, alternate, downstroke, upstroke, speed and inbetween-the-strings picking, different strumming and different modes, scales and keys, all this needs practise or else you fall behind
30 years ago my guitar teacher, when I was 13, focus so much on teaching me alternate picking in the beginning which has certainly paid off. The endurance of this riff is hard. The key to this sort of thing is to practice it slowly, Perfectly, over and over and over until you’re blue in the face and you can hold a conversation while playing it. Eventually playing at its speed won’t be that hard. The other key is to relax your arm your wrist in your shoulder and play freely, which is really hard to do until you play it 1000 times and make it muscle memory
Thank you man, i have recently discovered you and i love the way you speak and discuss about guitar and all the things about playing it! You always put the topics from a particular point of view which is totally different from the stuff someone can find on Clip-Share!
Keep on rocking! \m/
Its a really REALLY great alternate picking warmup. It's in sets of 7 which changes the starting picking direction of each set, there are changing directional string changes (the inside picking stuff), string jumps between sets, and it skips from straight alternate picking to the hammer-on part, which stutters the picking hand. Oh and it's moderately fast, Its a really good tounge twisters on multiple levels.
I've been playing for 20 years; I learned Snow in 2007.
I've been returning to try to master it for the past 14 years.
It really is that tricky.
The core notes are easy enough to get down, even the tempo isn't the worst thing to nail really. For me, the absolute hardest thing about this riff is returning to the chord shape of the beginning of the riff in time with the tempo consistently. The chord shape on this is way more difficult than it seems like it ought to be once you start trying to fall into a groove with it.
To this day, my performance of this song is still underwhelming. I can do all sorts of crazy flamenco strumming, I can play metal on a grand concert style acoustic without a pick; I can do things one "doesn't do" with a guitar essentially.
All the same, simply playing "Snow, Hey Oh" is still beyond me. I remember when my friend taught me to play this lick for the first time. Once I got it down more or less, I said "Damn!"
He looked back at me and praised Frusciante: "How does a person even begin to write a lick like that?"
Still totally outside my ability to comprehend. Frusciante is amazing.
This was a great video.
@Ryan kafi sure you did
I got its down in 15 minutes and can play it in speed and I’m 14 it’s not too hard
makes me feel better about still not having this perfectly down after over a year and a half of practice lol
Ya this is what gets me about this riff. Changing chord shapes in time is hellish
Play some jazz for awhile then come back to it... just need to be familiar with or as comfortable with those cords as you are with others...
Guitar skills? Scratch that, I've always knew Paul had this in the bag. But the amount of hard work and meticulous editing skills that have been put into the video is amazing! Keep it up my man
as a very skilled fingerstyle guitar player i found this song very easy to play if i finger pick it the whole time, but using a pick it was extremely difficult for me
Luca Stricagnoli played this riff with just one hand by utilizing hammer-ons and pull-offs, with a custom tuning of course, and proceeded to play the whole song with percussions included. I was just blown away.
I was never really impressed by that song (or RHCP in general), but when I went to learn it, I was shocked by how hard it was to keep that picking pattern at that speed for that long. It's an endurance test for sure. I'd still never call it the most difficult, but it's one I still haven't mastered like 10 years later
I think the true reason why it's considered so hard is that this riff made a lot of people to pick up the guitar - and by the time you have the technique to play it flawless 2 years might have passed especially if you just want to be a good guitarist but do not really practice very often! After two years on and of with this riff I'm finally getting a handle on this and I'm very close to getting it down at full speed! And there is one thing you forgot Paul - if you closely listen there is also a slide ;)
Most people don’t really understand what is difficult unless they play the guitar. All of the things you noted were spot on bu pt the trick pay part is playing it consistently throughout the song. I enjoy your videos and your playing ability. Looking forward to the next one! Take care!
Paul you're gonna get copyright striked by playing that accurately 😂
Even a beginner trying to play that riff would get copyright striked at this point.
I started learning guitar two months ago and this is the first thing I tried to learn. When I realized how fast you actually supposed to play it I could not believe it.
Great video! Perfect balance between showing how hard it is to play the riff and not taking motivation from the audience to give it a shot.
Your videos are very informative. And the way you deliver speaks about your experiences. You inspire me to play guitar again.
This is a very cool riff. It is one to try to master. Has great picking technique and the tempo is fast but you can play this slower and work your way up to the fast tempo. As always Paul, great lesson and explanation.
Fantastic explanation of one of the most beautiful riffs in popular music. Now let’s go a slightly different direction and give us an explanation of the main riff from “When Life Meant More” by All Shall Perish
The thing is: it's hard for the whole duration of the song to stay perfectly clean, and singing it along is very hard (I play and sing simultaneously and we never covered this song with my band due to this)
Oliver Zendejas maybe I just need to practice. Charlie is also hard to sing and play along, the tempo messes up my head
I think once you mastered the guitar part, the singing isn't too hard. It's mostly muscle memory and the singing melody corresponds very well with the cord changes.
I think the hardest part is following the chorus where you go from struming back to the picking
Guillaume THOMAS ahaha that is a CHEAT 😂
Just make a loop ;)
Excellent and clear tutorial as always Paul, thank you so much.
Bro, really epic lesson... you absolutely nailed the main points and the intricacies... I started playing guitar 30 years ago (but mainly a drummer) and i was a bit lost in the beginning of this lesson. I replayed it quite a few times and paused it, and the flow absolutely came to me once I practiced the mechanics several times. Brilliant! Keep up the good work 😎
This song was the song that inspired me to pick up the guitar in high school. I spent over a year trying to play this song while learning other songs at the same time. Never got it right
Guys I'm doing it!!! It's been 1 month and I'm already at 90 BPM and all I have is my acoustic. I'm so happy with my progress and don't be afraid, once you learn the picking pattern it's just ingrained in your mind.
The second I saw the title I knew it had to be Snow xD
It might not be that hard (well, it kind of is), but damn it's exhausting to keep it tight throughout the entire song.
On a random note, I just love how the drums kick in. Just brilliant.
I remember having a hard time when learning this back in the day, and would probably have to practice a bit to get it back since I haven´t played it in years.
It would be interesting to know your opinion on other "hard" riffs in fairly well known songs explained in detail like this.
I've never felt the urge to try this song, didn't realize it was considered to be a hard song but I guess it is. To be honest I never really cared for it that much. But now I think I will learn it just because.
Great content as always! It takes some practice but theres sooo many harder guitar riffs, but the avg person doesn't get exposed to them.
You're like the chillest guitar guy. Much appreciated. Thanks for the vids
This is one of the most fun riffs for me to play, never gets old
I rehearsed this endlessly and it stays a huge challenge and when I don’t rehearsed it every single day it evaporates to mist… huge thanks Paul I recognize all hurdles you emphasized 🤣🤣🤣
I remember, back in highschool we all played metal riffs as the epitome of guitar technique, and I wanted to learn this riff just for fun, and because we loved that song. I thought I really suck at guitar becasue it was so hard for me to play it correctly - especially at the right tempo -, and I couldn't comprehend how on earth could it happen when I can play those tricky metal riffs quite easily. Well, now I know :D Thank you Paul!
I could mostly play it at a slower tempo after an hour or so, but I never committed to it more than that. When I eventually decide to learn it proper (probably when I buy a strat) I'm sure it won't be too bad.
I love your videos. You are funny and excellent guitarist as well :)
I absolutely dig your approach to your videos. I especially love love love the humor of your alter ego (or just plain ego 😉). I don’t usually watch instructional videos because I am not a player. I have been in love with music my whole life. And I love, appreciate and respect all aspects of it..the music, songwriting, musicianship. Keep them coming! Thank you Paul🤘🏼
I don’t know why, but I never really struggled with this when I started learning the Chillis catalog. Not bragging because I’ve struggled with other songs people have found easy. Alternate picking cams fluid to me. It was my “impress the room” riff back in school haha
Paul your an inspiration. I’ve been wanting to start playing for quite awhile and I finally got my first guitar last Thursday 4/22/2021 I bought the fender cd 60 Sce I’m really excited learning and have really sore fingers lol but I’m pushing threw the pain. I think I should rest but just wanna kept learning As much as possible.
I've been playing acoustic for 13 years but decided to make the shift to electric and bought an electric guitar just a week ago. Playing electric for the first time can be quite daunting! I've decided to make Snow my first song goal and have been working solely on that and some scales for the past week. So it's really quite cool that this video comes out at this very particular time!! Quite encouraging and insightful video! I will definitely keep at it. Thanks for the good videos.
@Dirkie Myburgh good luck!!
@Merijn I did but I only got to about 80% speed. I've moved on to other things but I still want to come back at some point and get it to 100%. Looking to do the nextlevelplaying course once I'm done with studies and have bit more time.
So did you do it?
I love how hard the guitar is but the bass line is super easy to play, shows how simplicity matters within basslines
I wish I had you as my teacher in 97 I'd be much better . You're an amazing teacher!
Thanks for this walk through. I really like your in depth explanations. I had been sweep picking before and muddling the notes a bit.
That's a good technical break down man. I learned to play this song by ear a long time ago. I didn't realise it was considered difficult.
Subbed. Perfect explanation and grasp of music in an advanced yet understandable way!
Ik vind je echt de beste gitaardocent op youtube, werkelijk waar. Je lijkt altijd echt veel moeite in je video's te stoppen en ze goed te editen. Buiten dat kan je extreem goed gitaar spelen en kom je heel fijn en rustig over. Ik volg je al een aantal jaren dus ik vind het leuk om te zien dat het zo goed gaat met je kanaal nu! Ga zo door man!!
You are incredible at explaining this stuff.
I completely agree with Paul on this one! I started learning this a few days back, it definitely takes time to get down, and while I don't have it flawless yet, i can see light at the end of the tunnel. My thought on the subject is if I think ill be able to play this, no way its the hardest riff ever.
You are such a good instructor ...aside from a gifted guitar player. You are appreciated
saw RHCP play this live on stadium arcadium tour and John played this song so easily and beautifully.
So, I had a pretty big break in my guitar playing and recently started playing more again. I must say, it's not easy but if you have the basics down it's actually pretty simple to pick up. I needed to practice it a few hours but eventually was able to play it up to speed.
Definitely thought it was gonna be Neon until I heard “while singing backup vocals”
@Engin Serttaş neon is actually pretty easy
For people that has experience at slap bass because their thumb are coordinated
Umm.. john FRUSCIANTE. Not john MAYER 🤭
@Camille Frank ,1
For someone who is struggling here’s a tip you may like:
play the first note with the pinky at the 5th string. This allows to change the chord way easier by just sliding it.
Not to mention the endurance it takes to play this, it’s in like the first 100 seconds of the song before the chorus
Over the hills and far away is an amazing sounding easy riff to play
Awesome riff and complicated for sure, to make it sound right. It was actually the first thing i learnt on guitar and took me months or just repeatedly practicing every night over and over, i didn't understand the fundamentals , what the notes were or the chords, or the picking techiniques. But just like with a video game you stick with it and you can build up your muscle memory and get fast and fast etc.
Tbh i think there are much harder songs out there which i still can't get, pretty much anything by Wintersun, for example.
Im grateful I waited until now in my guitar journey to attempt this. Too early would have made me give up. Now I was able to just watch his hands and do it. Feels like magic. Sweet riff
Honestly, I've never found the riff that difficult to play but the stamina you have to have to go through the whole song is incredible.
Hey Man, your videos are really excellent exposition and quality. Great learning for a slacker guitar picker like me 👌
Great analysis. Been practicing this wrongly for months and after watching this video made much progress. Now I see a path to success!
Cool video. Good job explaining the riff! :)
I agree that it's not that hard of a riff on its own but at the end of the song your hand really cramps up and the riff becomes very tricky to play right
Paul, love your Clip-Share videos! You are such a likable person across the web! Thanks!
Thank you for this, it's these little details about John's style of playing I love to learn about. Videos like yours really make people think about exactly why some of the songs we like are so good and helps us appreciate the details you might not think about at first
Awesome breakdown of an absolute classic.
As an aside, if you watch the live footage of Live From Abbey Road, it actually takes John three attempts to start this song before he's happy enough to continue. Twice he starts the riff and then thinks, "Nope, that's not right" and starts again.
One more reason why it is so difficult...... you have to sing in perfect harmony while playing it live. Like John does.
first time on the channel. what a good introduction. very detailed and well explained breakdown. I will "gently like and subscribe" : )
I look forward to more riffs I cant play well
I use this song as an exercise. No chance of playing it at tempo the whole way but it helps improve my accuracy/technique.
I’ve been playing for 3 years now and started it just a year ago when I first learned my Em chord. Now I’m able to play that and even more improvs and I couldn’t be happier with myself.
I do really love his high camera quality, his camera angles and his jacket
And his beard
I think Paul's analysis of this song is spot on. It is tricky, but it's not the hardest thing in the world to play. What I wish Paul had touched on is what makes this song (and Frusciante's other songs) special is the writing. All you other guitar players out there try to imagine what it takes to come up with a riff like this.
I would add a fifth reason: which finger on the left hand are you using to execute the hammer-on? I prefer using the second (middle) finger because that way I can let the other strings ring during the whole beat, but it's challenging at the same time because there is not much space left to maneuver this finger. What finger does John use?
You can feel every note frusciante plays
When Stadium Arcadium came out I tried to play it on bass. I ended with "somewhat recognisable but not there yet" and moved on because it didnt get me to ultimately want to finish it. Since then i occasionally played it rather crappy as a finger warm-up, which i bet it was in the first place and then to be taken into rehearsal room by John and soon to be a hit record..