It’s All About the Riff

I once dated a guy who didn’t like music. I refer to that dating period as the dark ages.

The relationship ended upon realizing that I would never be able to truly connect with someone who lacked appreciation of a melody.

To compensate for the months of harmonic emptiness, I began dating a musician whose obsession with music was as strong as his predecessor’s aversion to it. While I was taken with his talent as a guitarist, I admit that I dug the music much more than the guy. Needless to say, that one didn’t last very long either.

Fortunately, every relationship, no matter how fleeting, concludes with a parting gift – a cognitive souvenir of sorts that helps us uncover something about ourselves. Ironically, both men helped me recognize the need for music in my life.

In addition to opening my ears to new chords, the musician taught me about the magnitude of the riff.

A riff is a sequence of notes or chords that typically shape a song. Riffs are often repeated throughout an arrangement, making them a tune’s most indelible feature. The riff is the hook that attracts listeners to the song, keeps them singing along and playing it back over and over again in their minds.

If you are seduced by the riff, you’ll fall in love the tune. On the other hand, if the riff isn’t appealing, you’ll be switching the station every time the song comes on the radio – like most people do when this very painful tune from Miami Sound Machine is being played.

When you think about it, relationships are as simplistic as a catchy riff.

86 blog posts down – 279 more to go…

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