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Top 10 Guitar Riffs of All Time

  • Published on Mar 21, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • These guitar licks really get under your skin, stick in your head and bring out the guitar hero in everyone. Welcome to www.WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 guitar riffs of all time. Check us out at WatchMojo, watchmojo and www.Facebook.com/WatchMojo
    Special thanks to Thomas Gorsuch, CliffPaul07, Martin Acoustics12, Izzyff, theleprechaunman5, Caneathia Watkins and oldguy for submitting the idea for this video on our www.WatchMojo.com/suggest page!
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Comments • 15 168

  • MonkeyBoo
    MonkeyBoo Year ago +747

    “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits
    It should be in this list!

    • Lee R
      Lee R Month ago

      Then you saw that it's on the list.

    • Rohan Singh
      Rohan Singh Month ago

      Yeah man its so great harmonics and everything

    • Rz Z
      Rz Z 6 months ago +2

      Actually yes ,. This list is a complete joke

    • _ JDP2104 _
      _ JDP2104 _ 11 months ago

      An honorable mention isnt bad for an all-time list

    • Laimonas Lemon
      Laimonas Lemon Year ago +1

      for sure 100% money for nothing cant be left out

  • Skinny Nugget Smith
    Skinny Nugget Smith 2 years ago +748

    4:09 can we just appreciate how badass that transition was?

  • Chris Brown
    Chris Brown 2 years ago +193

    Thunderstruck, Barracuda and Spirit of Radio all deserve at least an honorable mention

    • Purple Rocker 31🎸
      Purple Rocker 31🎸 2 months ago

      ​​@Owen B if we gotta do Rush Riffs other than Spirit of The Radio you Got to mention Limelight!!!!

    • Revenant63
      Revenant63 4 months ago

      @Falcon Main whos gonna tell this guy spirit of radio =\= smells like teen spirit

    • Sunrisepyro
      Sunrisepyro 5 months ago

      Money for nothing - greatest riff of all time

    • Mikey Babes
      Mikey Babes 5 months ago

      Guys, Guys!! Come on now….
      I can’t believe that no one has said:-
      “YES, Owner of a lonely heart”
      Why is that not on this list?

    • Owen B
      Owen B 8 months ago +2

      Spirit of the radio absolutely

  • NyBSfP —
    NyBSfP — 7 months ago +45

    Not a Clapton fan by any means…and definitely a metal head…but Layla gets my vote for best riff of all time. It’s just untouchable.

  • Matthew Taylor
    Matthew Taylor Year ago +550

    “Money for Nothing” is a requirement when talking about the best riffs. I can never get that one out of my head.

    • Emmanuel Oluwaleye
      Emmanuel Oluwaleye 11 months ago

      For real it should. Dire Straits deserves more respect

    • Jason Night
      Jason Night Year ago

      @MrYo888779 ur opinion

    • Jason Night
      Jason Night Year ago

      Back in Black more-so

    • Alton McCullough
      Alton McCullough Year ago

      Came to this video because of this song.

    • StupidSnake
      StupidSnake Year ago

      After dire straights broke up mark knopfler continued as a solo artist, I recommend listening to 'what it is' and 'boom like that'

  • Michael Taylor
    Michael Taylor Year ago +21

    I'm glad to see Iron Maiden and The Trooper get any acknowledgement, as they often get far too little, but I think they really should have made the top 10!

  • Cliff
    Cliff 3 years ago +1420

    Ozzy when he sings you can understand every word perfectly.. When he talks you can't understand a word.

    • Chaos
      Chaos 7 months ago

      If you’re a brummie he’s easier to understand but having a stroke doesn’t exactly help in that aspect.

    • Shane Robinson
      Shane Robinson 7 months ago

      @Mystic_Apollo and he’s about 200 years old (human years)

    • kusogaki shion
      kusogaki shion 9 months ago

      @Chris Pennington oh...

    • Anubhab Ghosh
      Anubhab Ghosh Year ago

      Just like Matt Bellamy

    • A T
      A T Year ago +1

      The intervening 40 years and piles of drugs might be part of the problem.

  • Mari Balde
    Mari Balde 3 years ago +23

    I'm so glad The Kinks finally got the recognition they deserve

  • The Supporting Cast
    The Supporting Cast 2 years ago +26

    That AC/DC riff still makes me happy when I hear it lol! My mom raised me on harder rock from the 70's and 80's. So it has good memories lol

    • DinoLuga
      DinoLuga Month ago

      🤟🤟🤟 don't let AC/DCs songs die

  • edward licence
    edward licence Year ago +5

    I’ve loved Layla for over fifty years!

  • Kevin Hine
    Kevin Hine 2 years ago +27

    Smoke on the Water is always the one guitar riff everyone must learn beginning to play, just how is that not #1

  • Lewis Byrne
    Lewis Byrne 2 years ago +28

    Shine on you crazy diamond still gives me goosebumps when gilmour plays that note

  • Levon11
    Levon11 3 years ago +2783

    I can’t get no satisfaction from this list

    • alandrian
      alandrian 8 days ago

      ​@TK-46 no santana at all, no ram jam-black betty or any stevie ray!

    • Janet Keith
      Janet Keith 13 days ago


    • DinoLuga
      DinoLuga Month ago

      for me ,led zep- kashmir, ac/ dc - Highway to hell & Thunderstuck

    • DinoLuga
      DinoLuga Month ago

      This lady ain't a fan of rock 😂

    • David Rockey
      David Rockey Month ago

      Number one in my book 📖

  • davkarshobby2468
    davkarshobby2468 3 years ago +4

    Love the way Keith dealt with the fan who tried to get up onto the stage - and the band didn't miss a beat.

  • Daniel Dwight
    Daniel Dwight 3 years ago +216

    Sweet child "o" mine should've been number 1. When you hear that riff, you either jump for joy or roll your eyes; but EVERYONE knows that one!

    • Ryzen
      Ryzen 2 months ago

      @Gord Gray what makes them bad?

    • Ryzen
      Ryzen 2 months ago

      @Bob Stalder probably bc u cant play it

    • ceddieraven
      ceddieraven 9 months ago +1

      The biggest not the best riffs. And what's about smells like teen spirit?

    • jeff jackson
      jeff jackson 2 years ago

      "When you hear that riff, you either jump for joy or roll your eyes". God that's so spot on! I personally loath that song now, because stations play it to death. But you have some people who can just hear the same shit over and over again and be content. Probably the same people who eat McDonalds every day, completely unaware of the dozen other restaurants in their town that can make a burger 10 times better.

  • A modern day warrior

    Nothing beats the holy wars riffs for me. The raw energy, and the amount of joy I get from listening to that song. I just love megadeth

  • Snuff
    Snuff 2 years ago +817

    The honourable mentions make more of a good list than the actual list.

  • Jesus Calderon
    Jesus Calderon Year ago +8

    Like many of you out there, I also have some favorites that are not included in the list but, for most of the picks I agree. Van Halen's Jump, The Guess Who's American Woman, Jethro Tull's Aqualung, The Hollies' Cool Long Woman; also La Grange by ZZTop or Purple Haze by you know who may have at least been mentioned, but all this is so subjective and depends on taste and favoritism. There will never be a list on which we all concur.

  • Philip Frandsen
    Philip Frandsen 4 years ago +46

    As a guitar player, I have to say that Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode" riff (which actually he used variants of in many songs) is ESSENTIAL. So much in rock depends on that riff, that it's inexplicable.

    • Kurt Sudheim
      Kurt Sudheim 3 years ago

      Totally agree with you, burst the list is not the most influential, but rather the greatest, & usually the first attempts at something are not the greatest

    • Bull Kellhofer
      Bull Kellhofer 4 years ago +2

      I agree with you. The Beatles and the Stones both talked about the influence of Chuck Berry.

    • Dave Standiford
      Dave Standiford 4 years ago +2

      Philip Frandsen , for me he’s The Godfather of Rock Guitar,

  • DangerNoodle
    DangerNoodle 3 years ago +18

    How did they forget one of the most iconic classic rock songs of all time, stairway to heaven

  • Hey There
    Hey There 3 years ago +8

    That transition from paranoid to back in black was smooth af

    TBREEZY Year ago +354

    The fact that stairway to heaven wasn’t on the list or even an honourable mention is a tragedy

    • _ JDP2104 _
      _ JDP2104 _ 11 months ago

      Led Zeppelin has better riffs than Stairway. Whole Lotta Love, Kashmir, When the Levee Breaks, to name a few. Stairway is their best solo

      TBREEZY Year ago

      @Trey Bailey so true

    • Trey Bailey
      Trey Bailey Year ago +1

      Or Eruption

      TBREEZY Year ago

      @Joe Heid true

    • Joe Heid
      Joe Heid Year ago +1

      @TBREEZY Oh I agree! If I gotta pick a Led Zeppelin riff it's stairway. But this channel went a different way

  • EJR77
    EJR77 4 months ago

    This might be the only watch mojo list where I love and know every single thing on it. Rock and roll forever 🤟

  • Vansh Sharma
    Vansh Sharma 2 years ago

    How strange ... Jimmy plays right handed @8:31 to @8:56 and left handed @9:20 to @9:36 ..... Just a legend.

  • Riley Selvig
    Riley Selvig 3 years ago +1699

    *This is coming from people who have probably never picked up a guitar.*

    • robert w
      robert w Year ago

      Yeah of course], but hey man that’s the audience, that’s all that matters…. I play a little guitar and none of these make my top 10, but I don’t have triple platinum records either so….

    • Francois Pellerin
      Francois Pellerin Year ago

      Not sure….. I’ve been playing for 41 years; relevant for me….

    • EVoLGRiM
      EVoLGRiM Year ago

      @Riley Selvig Here you think you can play I challenge you to a duel

    • Christian
      Christian Year ago

      @Riley Selvig well I think your ok to me since you love pokemon even if your bashing watchmojo

    • Riley Selvig
      Riley Selvig Year ago +1

      @Christian yes pokémon is very cool

  • Drew
    Drew 3 years ago +3

    It’s guitar riffs that truly make a rock song memorable. It’s easy to recognize the song just from the opening riff

  • andrew barbarash
    andrew barbarash 2 years ago +7

    No way... I can't believe smells like teen spirit wasn't on there... It's the hook that sparked a generation and changed music overnight.

    • Expresso
      Expresso  Year ago +1

      yes, I agree, this list is dog balls

  • Hugh Jorgan
    Hugh Jorgan 10 months ago

    CCR’s ‘Up Around The Bend’ riff deserved at least an honourable mention.

  • Sam Sipprell
    Sam Sipprell 3 years ago +366

    "only Jimi Hendrix was really capable of producing it"
    SRV: "am I a joke to you?"

    • Karen Long
      Karen Long 2 months ago

      Hendrix was soon over rated! Stevie was awesome!

    • Ismail Oea
      Ismail Oea Year ago

      Jimi Hendrix he's a legend stays at number one

    • Gregory Taylor
      Gregory Taylor Year ago

      Wow, cant understand your thinking. Look at scuttle buttin and say SRV is a joke.

    • Naim's guitar and outdoor adventures
      Naim's guitar and outdoor adventures 2 years ago

      @Abinav V all I said is Stevie played it a lot better

    • Abinav V
      Abinav V 2 years ago +1

      @Naim's guitar and outdoor adventures No Jimi = No Stevie

  • Robert Benton
    Robert Benton 2 months ago

    Crazy Train is number one, it's by far, the greatest riff ever. Metallic Seek and Destroy should be on the list.

  • M Mitchell
    M Mitchell 3 years ago +66

    Stevie Ray Vaughn did incredible justice to Jimmy Hendrex’s “Voodoo Child”.

    • Terry Mooney
      Terry Mooney 10 months ago

      Stevie also did "Superstition" some fantastic justice!

    • alanont the1
      alanont the1 Year ago

      SRV brought Jimi back for too short of time . Incredible talent.

    • El Sock
      El Sock 3 years ago +1

      *Jimi Hendrix*

    • Conor Murphy
      Conor Murphy 3 years ago +4

      His version of little wing is great

    • Duke Ronveaux DD
      Duke Ronveaux DD 3 years ago +3


  • Felcher 100
    Felcher 100 3 years ago +6

    How is Heart not on the list at all? Barracuda and Crazy On You both have great and catchy riffs

    • Mari Balde
      Mari Balde 3 years ago

      I agree. Barracuda's riff is iconic

  • Michael Kaine
    Michael Kaine 2 years ago +7

    I would definitely put Satisfaction by the Stones on top of the list....simple incredible riff...but I think an equally simple yet amazing riff would be Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols. That riff is as unforgettable as Crazy train.

  • ben johnson
    ben johnson Year ago +7

    I think “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie should be In this list the opening riff was amazing

  • Joey Smith
    Joey Smith 4 months ago +1

    The riff from Freebird really needs to be on this list.

  • Coopsie
    Coopsie Year ago +1

    Not even the band drummer could hear anything like jimmy hendrix....He's amazed.

  • Zack Thompson
    Zack Thompson 3 years ago +905

    Stairway to heaven, dream on, iron man, thunderstruck, smells like teen spirit all shoulda been on this list

    • Expresso
      Expresso  Year ago

      @Evan Cawley I do know what I'm talking about, you was being disrespectful first so I simply replied, I do not abuse people over the internet, all I'm asking is that you stop commenting on things you do not know anything about, that's all

    • Expresso
      Expresso  Year ago

      @Evan Cawley I have manners and courtesy but when your being rude about something you know nothing about then I have to comment, my other point, thanks for pointing out you have dyslexia, I apologise sincerely, and my other point is that I do not resort to insults, you brought those in first, I respect your opinion but when you start commenting on things you don't have a clue about then expect somebody else to have a fact about your opinion so yeah...

    • Evan Cawley
      Evan Cawley Year ago

      @Expresso you must of never of payed attention to your parents when they were trying to teach you manners and common courtesy.

    • Evan Cawley
      Evan Cawley Year ago

      @Expresso I'm dyslexic so ni matter what I will allways get some word worng. But at least I'm not a guy that types abuse at people over the internet and results to insults when he doesn't know what he's talking about

    • aaebs ss b
      aaebs ss b Year ago

      @Expresso Well i guess its subjective

  • fun_paparazzi
    fun_paparazzi Year ago +3

    Shame about excluding instrumentals, because the “Orion” riff is truly epic

  • Jeremy Webb
    Jeremy Webb 2 years ago +13

    Even though no thunderstruck at least they got acdc riff. Back in black is Malcom Young's finest creation its so awesome

  • Paihamu
    Paihamu 9 months ago +1

    Fade to Black deserves to be on this list, such an underated riff.

    • Datskat
      Datskat 2 months ago

      They said only one song per band

  • Nicholas Whitney
    Nicholas Whitney Year ago +3

    Wow! For the most part this was actually a good list. Only a few things, one I wouldn't have chosen I Can't Get No satisfaction as number one but the riff does make the top ten. Another: Whole Lotta Love would be one of my last picks for Jimmy Page's greatest riff: I would've chosen Communication Breakdown, No Quarter, The Ocean, How Many More Times, The Lemon Song, Heartbreaker, Moby Dick, Black Dog, Immigrant Song, Out on The Tiles, Rock and Roll, When The Levee Breaks, Misty Mountain Hop, Stairway to Heaven, The Rover, In My Time of Dying, Houses of The Holy, Kashmir, Ten Years Gone, The Wanton Song, Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In The Evening, heck even Hot Dog before I chose Whole Lotta Love (sorry for the long list I won't do it again). Also Ain't Talking bout Love is far from Eddie's best riff, I think Unchained, Mean Street, Panama, or 5150 should've made the list (not just the honorable mentions)

  • Travis H
    Travis H 11 months ago

    I can't believe that Sweet Child O' Mine was only in the Honorable Mentions. I feel like it should've been much higher, its so iconic. That's just my opinion though.

  • shaman welder
    shaman welder 4 years ago +19

    I think sultans of swing should have a place in this top 10. The Alchemy live version is just amazing.

    • Bruno Ceballos
      Bruno Ceballos 4 years ago +4

      They can't even spell Dire Straits correctly, much less put one of their great riffs in the top 10.

  • lyrick blake
    lyrick blake 2 years ago

    I'm a guitar player and singer, and I'm a fan of everything Beatles to Dokken to current day Metal or Prog rock. I can't believe that Soundgarden - Rusty Cage didn't even make honourable mention. That IS a classic, and very distinctive riff.

  • Hermaeus Mora
    Hermaeus Mora 2 years ago +2

    Personally, I am in love with the riff from Heartbreaker and Victim of changes

  • Finn Reynolds
    Finn Reynolds 2 years ago +8

    War pigs by Black Sabbath is also really memorable. Also I think the only thing they got right was smoke on the water

  • Sebastian Kirby
    Sebastian Kirby Year ago

    The transition between Paranoid and Back in Black was *yes*

  • Amer Gigolo1
    Amer Gigolo1 11 months ago +1

    Decent list. Smoke on the Water was the first song I learned on guitar...

  • cancerous memes
    cancerous memes 3 years ago +1406

    Yo guys I found this track called Stairway To Heaven, it's not bad lol

    • John Keller
      John Keller 6 months ago

      If I never hear that fucking song again it'll be too soon

    • matheus gomes
      matheus gomes 7 months ago

      Sweet home Alabama

    • Doug Colafella
      Doug Colafella 8 months ago

      Stairway is a legendary tune but not really a riff. Personally I think heartbreaker is Zepp‘s best riff. killer

    • levi sellers
      levi sellers 9 months ago

      Nah bruh you found the greatest rock song by the greatest rock band in rock history bro bro you gotta go back and listen to their first album to their last man it’s so great so a little research on them too as well bub you’ll grow to love them they’re so nice as people out side of music

    • MoonWalker
      MoonWalker 10 months ago

      The live version is better

  • zeraS
    zeraS 6 months ago

    Van Halen - Unchained (1981) is the greatest guitar riff of all time. If you know, you know!

  • vato rudo
    vato rudo 3 years ago +3

    Spirit in the sky will always be in my top 3, immediately recognizable

  • MicrowavedChopstick
    MicrowavedChopstick Year ago +7

    Where is “Money for Nothing”? One of the best riffs of all time, instantly recognizable and iconic.

    • s1ash
      s1ash Month ago

      Bro didn’t watch the video💀💀

  • Tyler Asheuer
    Tyler Asheuer Year ago +3

    No matter what u think, ACDC puts out ANTHEMS

  • Erik Lewis
    Erik Lewis Year ago +1

    one of the first and only times watchmojo actually got their number 1 pick correct

  • Curt Mader
    Curt Mader 3 years ago +171

    Barracuda by Heart has one of the most instantly recognizable opening riffs of all time!

    • Willgregg10
      Willgregg10 3 years ago +5

      I love Barracuda's riff, It's definitely in my top 5 favorite riffs, and Heart is in my top 5 favorite bands.

    • Nick Wilson
      Nick Wilson 3 years ago +3

      As does Crazy On You

    • Dory
      Dory 3 years ago +4

      Omg yess and crazy on you

    • Richard Garrett
      Richard Garrett 3 years ago +3

      @greg garey That's another good one.

  • JoeShooe
    JoeShooe 2 years ago +1

    I’m surprised Walk by Pantera wasn’t even in the Honorable Mentions. I agree with most other parts of the list. It shows a great variety of great riffs throughout rock history!!

    • Ed Spirko
      Ed Spirko Year ago

      Cowboy from Hell has a mean riff in it too!!

  • Goliath Projects
    Goliath Projects 3 years ago +30

    I could fill an entire top ten list with iconic riffs from ACDC alone.

    • Fawn Hill
      Fawn Hill Month ago

      I was thinking the same thing. I couldn’t choose just one to be on a list like this…

    • no name
      no name 2 years ago


    • Daniel Martinez
      Daniel Martinez 3 years ago +4

      Or Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath

  • Music Lover
    Music Lover Year ago +1

    How isn’t American Jesus by Bad Religion even an honourable mention? That riff is so good probably my all time favourite, but man it’s so underrated so no wonder it wasn’t included on here. Seriously though anyone who hasn’t already heard it, go listen to American Jesus by Bad Religion now it’s so good!

  • Ernitorinco
    Ernitorinco 5 months ago

    Man, sweet child top number one, nobody can do better than slash's creation

  • MrRoundb
    MrRoundb Year ago

    More than a feeling is probably the most recognized intro to any popular song ever

  • dame soumbi
    dame soumbi 6 years ago +21

    The last few honorable mentions like Sunshine of Your Love, Sweet Child O' Mine, and Seven Nation Army definitely should've been on the list.🎸

    • dame soumbi
      dame soumbi 6 years ago +2

      (No disrespect to WatchMojo)

  • Lucid
    Lucid 3 years ago +70

    Layla rift is just so beautiful. Bad list still though XD

    • sean pet
      sean pet 2 years ago +5

      Its riff not rift

  • Randy Bobandy’s Cheeseburger Picnic

    Kirk Hetfield and James Hammett's guitar playing is very good

    • Jimbo
      Jimbo Year ago

      Marty and Dave just ice the cake though they are undeniably talented

  • ian ingrassia
    ian ingrassia 4 months ago

    "Any Way You Want It" by Journey
    That song needs to be on the list

  • Samuel Wall
    Samuel Wall Year ago

    A lot of people won’t agree but for me paranoid by black sabbath is the one for me just purely because of dad, it’s the song I always remember from when I was younger, and to this day it’s the reason I love rock

  • john U.S.
    john U.S. 2 years ago +31

    jimmy made enough songs to make the list for himself.

  • ismelljello
    ismelljello 8 years ago +18

    Cowboys From Hell as an honorable mention would be nice.

    • marianasreality
      marianasreality 8 years ago

      Cemetary Gates had a wickedly good chorus riff!

    • Marcus
      Marcus 8 years ago

      Yeah,I think they didn't put Pantera because is groove metal,not trash / heavy..

    • Extreme Kiwi
      Extreme Kiwi 8 years ago


  • Music4Hire
    Music4Hire 2 years ago +1

    With Lead Zeppelin it was the intro of Stair way to Heaven. Can still remember walking in to some guitar stores and seeing a sign saying :Please No Stairway to heaven" lol! It's still a great riff even today!

  • Entropy4All
    Entropy4All Year ago

    Very good list. Only complaint is that the Cult have a few riffs that should have at least made honorable mention; She Sells Sanctuary, Fire Woman, Love Removal Machine and probably the best of all Lil' Devil.

  • Nade Cha
    Nade Cha 10 months ago

    Prince- Purple Rain has some of the best guitar riffs Ever!! Of course Mojo wouldn’t mention it

  • Nick Crane
    Nick Crane Year ago

    The best-sounding riff in my opinion, has to be that of Still of the Night by Whitesnake

  • Yeet Sos
    Yeet Sos 2 years ago +38

    This is a list that can’t be finished with only 10 songs

  • vgames89
    vgames89 7 years ago +82

    I would give don't fear the reaper at least an honorable mention.

    • Lovisa
      Lovisa 7 years ago

      +vgames89 thank you

    • whutzat
      whutzat 7 years ago +5

      vgames89 MORE COWBELL!

  • Todd Wagester
    Todd Wagester 2 years ago +1

    RIP Randy!!!!! And thank you, for all your gifts to music!!!

  • Nick Stoermer
    Nick Stoermer 3 years ago +3

    I’m glad to know that I can play the #1 riff of all time without breaking a sweat, and I only need one string!

  • James Fitzgerald
    James Fitzgerald 7 months ago

    Any riff by JIMI HENDRIX gets my vote.

  • Zooter Jr
    Zooter Jr 2 years ago +30

    My top 10:
    10. Back in black
    9. Day Tripper
    8. Stairway
    7. Can’t get no satisfaction
    6. Sweet Child
    5. I Feel Fine
    4. 7 Nation Army
    3. Do I Wanna Know
    2. Hey Bulldog
    1. She’s So Heavy
    I know 4 of these are Beatles riffs, but you gotta say they were great

    • lord carter
      lord carter 12 days ago

      List would be perfect if it had “ 4:11 dire straits money for nothing “

    • Deliverant
      Deliverant 6 months ago

      @E V sultans of swing is a better mark knopfler riff

    • Zooter Jr
      Zooter Jr 8 months ago

      @E V it’s up there. Also… with a year more of music listening experience, I can say that 4 Beatles riffs don’t belong on that list. I had just recently gotten into them at the time and I thought that everything they did was great. I still do, but none those 4 are in my top 10 anymore. 😂😂

    • E V
      E V 8 months ago +1

      Money for Nothing has the single greatest opening riff of all time imo

    • Billy Shears
      Billy Shears 10 months ago +1

      I agree with you.

  • Jack Tyler
    Jack Tyler Year ago

    Really, nothing worth arguing over here. I might have switched 3 and 4, but this is the most spot-on list I've seen in a while. I would accord 'Working Man' by Rush an honorable mention, as well as 'Walk This Way' by Aerosmith. Oh, and an edit: 'Holy Diver' by Dio.

  • TheLumberjack2015
    TheLumberjack2015 3 years ago +22

    That transition between Paranoid and Back in Black. You just got a like WatchMojo.

  • Alain St-Pierre
    Alain St-Pierre 2 years ago +8

    Hard to do a top 10 of that nature without offending anyone. From a learning guitar player, Smoke on the water should be # 1 because that is probably the first one all guitar player learn when they begin. Based on the understanding of the video, you could probably alternate all songs presented and all of them could be # 1. From a notable riff, you have also missing : Rock You like a Hurricane from Scorpions, which is also one of those riffs guitar players learn early and Judas Preist - You've got another thing coming which present a very wide known classic riff. Nirvana - Smell like teen Spirits - should be in top 10

    • Brice Fleckenstein
      Brice Fleckenstein Year ago

      For the Scorps, it's a tough call between Rock You Like A Hurricane and Winds Of Change - do you want shred or do you want melodic?

  • Aggelos M.
    Aggelos M. 2 years ago +196

    Dire Straits ''Money for Nothing" shoulda been at least 3rd and not just a honorable mention

  • Aiden Allen
    Aiden Allen Year ago +1

    Can we just take a moment to appreciate the transition from paranoid to back in black

  • Catherine Williams

    You know you are a guitar god when you appear twice in a Top Guitar Riffs of all times (Eric Clapton -Layla and Sunshine of your love)

  • Alexandre Estanislau99

    "Message in a bottle","Every Breath You Take" and "Roxanne" from The Police should have at least a honarable mention.

    • xSayPleasex
      xSayPleasex 2 months ago

      Dude I love the police too but your really saying that 'metronome-like' riff from Roxanne is a top of all-time lol? Effective sure.

  • bicnicky
    bicnicky 3 years ago +33

    Smoke On The Water is THE guitar riff. Literally everyone who's ever picked the instrument up has played it.

    • eric stoepker
      eric stoepker 3 years ago

      @Tango Nevada I'm saying Smoke on the Water should have been higher, the list was supposed to be for famous riffs difficulty wasn't involved. I think it should have been higher because a casual listener is more likely to recognize SOTW then the riff from master of puppets.

    • Tango Nevada
      Tango Nevada 3 years ago

      @eric stoepker First, it was and is considered a great R&R Song. So as a Guitar Teacher, if I can easily teach a new student how to play a really popular all time great guitar riff in the first few lessons, it both gives them confidence that they can play a great R&R riff and they can thus keep playing and become great themselves. So it's inspirational, because of how easy it is. It's a paradox, or conundrum or whatever. But the bottom line is it makes new players feel like they can be great. This is why it's one of the perfect riffs ever. Super Popular, but any newbie can learn it quickly, which gives them confidence that they can also be great.

    • eric stoepker
      eric stoepker 3 years ago

      It's recognition of the riff not difficulty. I'd guess more people that don't really listen to rock know the opening riff from Smoke On The Water then Master of Puppets. Best is a relative term what's best for one ain't best for all, it's all opinion.

    • Tango Nevada
      Tango Nevada 3 years ago

      Yes, everyone,. because it's so fricken easy to play, not because it's great.

    • Hakan Çevikel
      Hakan Çevikel 3 years ago

      one of the simplest riffs in rock history IMO

  • Kalin Watkins
    Kalin Watkins Year ago

    Fortunate son - Credence Clearwater Revival
    Hotel California - The Eagles
    These two deserve some recognition

  • DiamondPlayer
    DiamondPlayer Year ago +1

    Scorpions Top of the bill is one of the best imo, I know it's not as popular as these but it goes so hard!!

  • Ivan Ivanov
    Ivan Ivanov Year ago +9

    Totally agree with #1: always count "Comfortably numb" a greatest solo in musician history, especially in
    P. U. L. S. E. Live at Earls court 1994.

    • jai t
      jai t Year ago

      For me the best. All greats tho. Dave gilmour

  • Carolyn Michalsky
    Carolyn Michalsky 2 years ago +97

    This list is bogus. Purple Haze has one of the best guitar riffs ever.

    • _ JDP2104 _
      _ JDP2104 _ 11 months ago +1

      Definitely better than voodoo child imo

    • Brice Fleckenstein
      Brice Fleckenstein Year ago

      Jimi had so many great riffs - even if a couple of them were covers done much better (Watchtower).

    • Nathyn Goss
      Nathyn Goss Year ago

      @MrYo888779 Wow it's almost as if this list left out one of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time and this person actually had a point

    • MrYo888779
      MrYo888779 Year ago +1

      Wow it’s almost as if people have opinions not exactly the same as your own. Grow up.

    • Tom Woolford
      Tom Woolford 2 years ago +1

      Day Tripper

  • Octavio Andrade
    Octavio Andrade Year ago +3

    Deep purple smoke in the water is the best riff ever!! No doubt about

    • Brian Korbelik
      Brian Korbelik 9 months ago

      Sorry Octavio, that credit goes to Sunshine of Your Love by Cream. Hands down!

  • XxDaFluffyFTWxX
    XxDaFluffyFTWxX 8 years ago +14

    I don't know about you guys but Pink floyd Shine on you crazy diamond was stuck in my head for ages great riff

    • Rick Faassen
      Rick Faassen 8 years ago +1

      Nirvana smells like teen spirit or the man who sold the world

    • XxDaFluffyFTWxX
      XxDaFluffyFTWxX 8 years ago

      ***** ahhhh 2 very good points

  • Arturo Ramos
    Arturo Ramos 2 years ago

    Faltó La Grange de ZZ Top, ese riff siempre saca a todos a bailar

  • Gray Watkin
    Gray Watkin Year ago +3

    Totally agree with Ain't Talkin Bout Love VH... Gives me shivers every time.

  • Jesse
    Jesse Year ago

    ‘Dammit’ by blink-182 has an incredible beginning riff. Check it out.

  • ray ham
    ray ham 2 years ago +1

    If I define rock guitar Riff as just a shortish instrumental piece with a unique signature sound that tells it apart from any other song (and wants to be heard at high volume) then the great intro and riff of Money for Nothing is the GOAT !

  • Chico Man
    Chico Man Year ago

    I do think that QUEEN had a handful of songs that Could have made their ways through this group. 😁

  • Sarcastic Person
    Sarcastic Person 3 years ago +1571

    Honorable mentions are better than the actual list lol

    • Johnny B
      Johnny B 2 years ago

      @MikeFraser UK Mojo is better.

    • Bafftubz10
      Bafftubz10 3 years ago

      In your opinion

    • Wh7eFace3 Bg
      Wh7eFace3 Bg 3 years ago

      lmao true

    • Saffron B
      Saffron B 3 years ago

      Ikr I mean The Trooper by Iron Maiden and Sweet Child of Mine seriously

    • metal head
      metal head 3 years ago

      Master of puppets and crazy train are good

  • Lance 411Schroeder
    Lance 411Schroeder 2 years ago

    The fact that back in black is above master of puppets really says a lot about watchmojo

  • Keeper Lit
    Keeper Lit 2 years ago

    Keith Richards dealing with a stage invader in proper style @13 mins no hesitation guitar straight off and wrapped round head legend 💚🤜🤛

  • Turn a 2 to 4
    Turn a 2 to 4 5 months ago

    Love how ozzy made it two times