Sunday, July 08, 2012

Guitarist Plays 100 Famous Guitar Riffs in One Take

Awesome . . . doing that in one take is so impressive. This was shared on the MSNBC site.

Chicago guitar salesman Alex Chadwick takes YouTube viewers from 1950s hit "Mr. Sandman" through surf rock, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Springsteen, alternative, grunge and modern rock, playing the catchy guitar riffs from an even 100 songs without a break or even, seemingly, a breath.

"The reaction has been overwhelming," Chadwick told "I don't think anyone here expected it to take off the way it did, and we've had a ton of positive feedback."

Chadwick played the medley on a 1958 Fender Stratocaster that belongs to the store where he works, The Chicago Music Exchange, which helped him put together the video and features it on the store's page. The store specializes in new and vintage guitars, basses and drums.

Chadwick acknowledges that he wasn't the first to take on the "100 riffs" idea. Earlier versions didn't arrange the riffs chronologically, making Chadwick's a fun musical history lesson.

While Chadwick did play all the riffs in one take, smoothly and effortlessly switching from song to song, it wasn't that way on his first try.

"I ruined a few good takes just by knocking over the slide I had to use on a few tracks, and I completely missed one of the re-tunings on one take," he said. Since he's a practiced musician, his fingers weren't sore after the marathon session and all the practicing that led up to it, but admits "my shoulder was pretty destroyed after weeks of running through the tunes."

While Chadwick doesn't claim that these are the absolute best 100 riffs ever, of course music fans had to point out favorite riffs that he missed.

"We've had a lot of people asking for Radiohead -- which was an oversight on my part, as they're one of my favorite bands and I meant to put in at least a few of their tunes," Chadwick says, noting that readers also requested he add riffs from Motorhead and Iron Maiden. "You can't please everyone, and we do plan on doing some kind of follow-up where I'll try to include as many of those as possible."

Every music fan probably has a favorite riff, and Chadwick names Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing" as his top pick from the 100 he played. "Mark Knopfler has a really fantastic technique and it's a lot of fun to try and mimic that," he said.

What do you think of the video? Were any classic riffs left off? Tell us your favorite on Facebook.

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