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Riff Writing Techniques – Whole Step Transposition

By Darren DeFranco


Hey guys,

Today we’re going to be looking at a classic trick used to write riffs. Basically, we start out with a simple riff, typically using a pentatonic or blues scale. Then, we take it and transpose it, or move it up, a whole step (or 2 frets). It’s super simple, but sounds awesome! Guys like Led Zeppelin would use this to create some of their best riffs. We hope it works for you too!



Create a simple riff of your own, then try to transpose it up a whole step and see how it sounds!


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