Top Ten Catchiest Riffs

Published on 16 April 2020

Every day we are constantly inundated with guitar riffs. This isn't a bad thing mind you, but only very few can make such an impact on us, that we instantly want to pick up our guitars and riff out. You know the ones. A great riff in our eyes are the ones you can't wait to learn, the ones you catch yourself singing, and the ones that you've most definitely air guitared too! Don't worry, we're all friends here. We know that you shamelessly air guitar in the comfort of your own home. 

We've created a list of what we think are the top ten catchiest riffs of all time. So, dig into these classic and timeless tracks below and grab your air guitar (or a real one if you wish) and get ready to rock out. Enjoy! 

1. Aerosmith - Walk This Way

If you don't suddenly develop a swagger when you listening to this song... are you okay? This one has really stood the test of time, with Joe Perry's unbelievably outrageous groovin' riff paired with Steven Tyler's phenomenal vocals, this song is a real rock classic and is our go-to when we're wanting to feel a little more pep in our step. 

2. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love 

Coined as the 'most important guitar riffs of the 20th century' by record producer Steve Levine, this Zeppelin song is instantly recognizable. Two notes in and we're already air-guitaring, and we know you are too! Don't be shy about it, just let the riff take control.  It's undeniable that this album opener revolutionised the round of rock vocal and guitar. Jimmy Page came up with the riff in the summer of '68, on his houseboat on Thames after being inspired by his love for big rockabilly intros. 

3. Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

All aboaaaaaaard. Taken from his debut solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, this track is an absolute beast. Not only does this have one utterly outstanding riff (in the delicious. heavy key of F# minor - hello!), it also has one stupendous face-melting solo. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving and is a must-learn for all guitarists! 

4. AC/DC - Back in Black 

Quite possibly one of the best riffs of all time, in our opinion, and definitely the catchiest!  Yeah, that riff. If you've never air-guitared to this tune... like, seriously? Are you OK?!? I mean, it's only the title track of one of the biggest-selling albums in history. No biggie. Now that we've mentioned this epic tune, the odds that you'll be singing it for the rest of the day are very high. We're not sorry about this.  

5. Metallica - Enter Sandman 

No questions asked - Enter Sandman is one of the most universally loved and instantly recognisable metal songs of all time. Taken from what is better known as "The Black Album", this track is an utter masterpiece with its bluesy menising riff!

6. David Bowie - Rebel Rebel 

Ah yes, Rebel Rebel.The riff that never dies! A true catchy riff at its finest! 

7. Cream - Sunshine of Your Love 

In our eyes, Cream can do no wrong and I'm sure you'd agree with us! Even from the first note of that instantly recognisable riff, we're up and raring to go. WOO!

8. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze

Jimi Hendrix once stated, "When I die, I want people to just play my music, go wild and freak out, do anything they want to do." And I think we can all agree, without a doubt, whenever we hear a Hendrix song, we sure do go wild and freak out! Even decades after his death, Hendrix's guitar work still inspires players everywhere and the iconic 'Purple Haze' riff is no different. 

9. The Rolling Stones - (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Here's one for you. Did you know that Keith's guitar riff in this classic Rolling Stones track was intended to be replaced by horns? Which is very weird to think, since, from the get-go, the guitar part really opens and drives this song forward. 

10. Deep Purple - Smoke on The Water 

We've made it to lucky number 10 and you could say we've saved best for last. If you thought we were gonna make a blog all about the catchiest riffs ever and not mention this beast, well my friend - you thought wrong. Raise your hand if you've come into one of our stores, picked up a guitar and played this tune? YUP! We see you. It's an absolute classic and it's a riff that has undoubtedly influenced a lot of people, like us, to pick up the guitar. 


Well, there you have it, folks. Our round-up of the catchiest riffs ever made. How did we do, did we forget any of your favourites? 


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