A selection of Riffs from Rock Band 3

Last week saw the release of Rock Band 3 so I thought it would be appropriate to feature some of the tracks played on guitar. I’m not here to preach about the benefits of spending time practicing for real rather than pressing buttons in time with a game as you know what, these games are actually a hell of a lot of fun and if gets more people into music then it’s a good thing.

It also seems as though this latest version has a lot more emphasis on learning to play the real instruments. I personally cannot wait to have a go on the keytar! Anyway, dreams of 80s stardom aside, these riffs were all recorded in standard tuning on my Telecaster.

Plush

Artist: Stone Temple Pilots | Album: Core | Year: 1992 | Difficulty: Medium

   G5        D/F#        F             C           Ebmaj7/Bb            F5
||-3-3-x-x-x-2-2-2-x-x-x-1-|-1-1-x-x-x-0-0-0-x-x-x-3-3-|-3-x-x-x--------------||
||-3-3-x-x-x-3-3-3-x-x-x-1-|-1-1-x-x-x-1-1-1-x-x-x-3-3-|-3-x-x-x-3-3-3--------||
||-0-0-x-x-x-2-2-2-x-x-x-2-|-2-2-x-x-x-0-0-0-x-x-x-3-3-|-3-x-x-x-3-3-3--------||
||-0-0-x-x-x-0-0-0-x-x-x-3-|-3-3-x-x-x-2-2-2-x-x-x-1-1-|-1-x-x-x-1-1-1-3--3---||
||-X-X-x-x-x-X-X-X-x-x-x-3-|-3-3-x-x-x-3-3-3-x-x-x-1-1-|-1-x-x-x-1-1-1-3--3---||
||-3-3-x-x-x-2-2-2-x-x-x-1-|-1-1-x-x-x-------x-x-x-----|---x-x-x-------1--1---||

The Verse riff features a common descending chord pattern but uses the Ebmaj7 chord to good effect. Use your thumb over the top of the neck to play the note on the 6th string in the D/F# chord.

Dead End Friends

Artist: Them Crooked Vultures | Album: Them Crooked Vultures | Year: 2009 | Difficulty: Medium

                            B5 Db5       B5 Db5
||---------------------x-x-|---------x-x------------||
||---------------------x-x-|---------x-x------------||
||-/18-18-14s17-17-17--x-x-|---------x-x------------||
||---------------------x-x-|---------x-x------------||
||-/16-16-12s15-15-15--x-x-|-9-11-11-x-x-9s11-11-11-||
||---------------------x-x-|-7-9--9--x-x-7s9--9--9--||

The Hardest Button to Button

Artist: The White Stripes | Album: Elephant | Year: 2003 | Difficulty: Easy

  A5      C5      A5      C5      A5     C5       B5      D5
||---------------|---------------|---------------|----------------||
||---------------|---------------|---------------|----------------||
||---2-------5---|---2-------5---|---2-------5---|---4-------7----||
||----2-------5--|----2-------5--|----2-------5--|----4-------7---||
||-0---0---3---3-|-0---0---3---3-|-0---0---3---3-|-2---2---5---5--||
||---------------|---------------|---------------|----------------||

No difficulties here- simple yet effective when in the context of the song.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Artist: Queen | Album: A night at the opera | Year: 1975 | Difficulty: Medium

     pm..             pm..                                 Bb5
|-----------------------------|---------------------------|-----------------|
|-----------------------------|---------------------------|-----------------|
|-----------------------------|---------------------------|-----------------|
|-----------------------------|---------------------------|-8---------------|
|-/6-------3-5-6--6-------3---|-6-------3-5-6s8-------5---|-8---------------|
|----3-4-6----------3-4-6---6-|---3-4-6---------5-6-8---8-|-6---------------|

Yep, it just had to be the head banging riff!

I have covered a few other songs that appear in Rock Band 3 elsewhere on the site: One Armed Scissor and Crazy Train