I’m a guitarist and have been playing for over 14 years now. So when I hear a guitar riff that makes me want to snap my neck whilst headbanging, it’s a special moment for me. So I decided that I wanted to share my Top 25 Guitar Riffs That Make You NEED To Headbang. Keep in mind that these are guitar RIFFS and not SONGS. I’m going to put down the album and the exact time that the riff I’m thinking of comes in.
Another theme you’ll notice running through this list is the idea of the “build up”. You see, for me, a headbang worthy guitar riff rarely comes at you straight off the bat. Instead, the music builds and builds until that crushing moment when you can’t help but throw you head back and forth, straining the very tendons and ligaments that keep you whole.
So join me below as I begin a full week of guitar riffs that will make you headbang like a madman!
Tenacious D – “Master Exploder”
Album: The Pick Of Destiny Soundtrack
Start of the riff: 1:13
Starting off with a fast-paced acoustic guitar and some blues soloing, this doesn’t seem like the type of song to make one headbang. Suddenly, 1:13 into the song, after a big drum fill, electric guitars, bass, and drums all coalesce together to create one helluva guitar passage that simply rocks. No, correction. It simply RAWKS! Tenacious D is a master at exploding my spine!
Sepultura – “Ratamahatta”
Start of the riff: 0:34
Tribal drums? Yeah, that’s always a good sign on my end. Toss in some ethnic drums and I’m ready to throw myself about like I’m in my own mosh pit. Throw in Max Cavalera’s frantic “OI!”s and this is a riff that has me seeing red.
Rob Zombie – “Demonoid Phenomenon”
Album: Hellbilly Deluxe
Start of the riff: 0:22
The perfect intro for any horror fan, this song immediately throws itself into the realm of heavy with blistering staccato guitar chugging. However, the riff 0:22 seconds in is all the more intense because of how open it is. Four sustained chords that are just undeniably evil, this is a moment that inspires the most Satanic of headbanging.
Symphony X – “Wicked”
Album: The Odyssey
Start of the riff: 0:05
It’s the simple drums here that make this guitar riff so damn effective. Sticking to the modern rock beat, the guitars have full opportunity to shine with a syncopated riff that is just so damn deliciously heavy and groovy. This song comes on and I feel like I need to strut throughout town like a totally badass.
Deadlock – “Virus Jones”
Album: Bizarro World
Start of the riff: 0:16
Sometimes it’s not what the guitar does that makes a riff so heavy and catchy but the open spaces in between the notes that cause such chaos in the mosh pit. This is a perfect example of one such riff.
Tune in tomorrow for riffs 20-16!