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100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N' Roll)

by chicagomusicexchange • 12,882,078 views

Alex Chadwick plays 100 famous guitar riffs in one take giving you a chronological history of rock n' roll. To hear original music from Alex Chadwick, go to http://westernautomatic.com/ See the...

This video inspired to go out an learn a shit tonne of guitar songs, i even kept a list. After like 120 i lost count. I can sit play for days and I know at least, ten songs for each tuning. That's all fine an dandy but I'm still tiny tim when it comes to writing my own shit. I'll start on that sometime this year.... I hope
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Somewhere on the the Imbored website, is a really awesome presentation. The person who posted the video, cobbled together a half dozen or so country and westerns songs, with different titles, using the exact same chords, the exact same lead, the exact same words, played by different artist and bands. The songs were presented to the public over a period of multiple years as unique songs. These were not presented as covers, but as unique one of a kind songs. All the Presenter had to do, was to transposed all the different keys to unify them all, then just cut and paste. I fell off my chair, it was that eye opening. We as artist are told not to copy other folks songs, they tell us "Its copyright infringement", yet the very industry that produces it, does so to maximize their profits. It's been my experience, that as we write/compose new songs, that somewhere in the background of our subconscious, there are all kinds of music playing, that becomes the inspiration for our composition. So the key here is to master themes and styles of music, then write original tunes from that position instead of doing a copy of somebody's else song. The only reason one would copy note for note, is to simply master their instrument. Look at all of Michelangelo's and Di Vinci's students. They copied their Teachers style stroke by stroke, only later to break out with their own style. Copying a master can save you years of practice.
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I did the same thing
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What if he messed up on number 100...
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+BDK if he would upload it ,this video would attract guitar fans + random people watching it for fun (the 100 and last messed up song) .... so in my opinion it would attract 1 or 2 million viewers more (maybe more than 2million )
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Awesome video and talent!  But no Doors makes me sad in the pants :(
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I was thinking the same thing!
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Hotel California should have been on here
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+thescowlingschnauzer hey, the milky way is not made by milk, and it's not even a way.. like the power chord is not made by power, or chords.. What's commonly called "power chord" is a base note and it's fifth. Full stop. Is it a "real" chord (commonly used until 1950)? No. Is it used to play music? Yes. Rock n roll revolutioned music and the distortion played it's part revolutioning chords...
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+Joe Mauri Smoke on the Water is not base notes and their fifths. It's notes and their fourths. So much for your full stop. If you're going to be that inclusive when talking about power chords, then you'd best extend the definition to a note and its fifth OR a note and its fifth and its octave OR a note and its fourth OR a note and its fourth and its octave OR a note and its octave OR a note and as many fifths and octaves or inversions of those as you can get on your instrument because if you search far enough you will find someone who calls that a power chord. And then you can still get into arguments over whether Frank Zappa's ninth chords are power chords or not. And if you detune any of your strings then all manner of things count as well. Not so useful anymore, this word "power chord".
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What no, Radiohead, Kinks...........................
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+Frasse Holm I'd say Def Leppard is more hair metal than rock n' roll.
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What no Skrillex? What no Darude? What no Sex Pistols? What no Baauer? What no Lil Wayne? Lil Wayne is the most underrated guitarist in the history of rap. His chops are sick, dexterity is crazy, precision at its finest, perfekt feel. He even cuts down trees for his own guitars and skateboards. + He ghostproduced thriller. + He organized Woodstock 69 + He gave birth to Elton John + He taught Satriani how to breathe. So the next time you compile such a list take Wayne into consideration please.
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Otherwise awesome playing :)
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Purple Haze?.. that's all for Hendrix?! And No stairway to heaven?!!?! :-O
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Call me immature, but Enter Sandman by Metallica is at 69
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+GrakAttack Hahahahaha it's so immature but funny.
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37 into 38 was awesome :)
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it fit so well didn't it?
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i'm sad because i went metal and now i cant go back to rock. im missing out on decades of amazing music. fuck my time
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Actually I can play several sweeps, but I play them clean. Learned them trying to play a few of Les Paul's songs from the late 50's. It's funny that you assume metal requires talent and anyone who doesn't enjoy it lacks said talent. I guarantee you are the skinny jean black hair kid in guitar center playing the same obnoxious harmonic minor scale thinking they're a theory genius and exhibiting what tiny bit of hand eye coordination they learned while trying to replicate some lame ass Malmsteen lick on an 8 string or some other novelty. Anyone can exhibit technical skill. You know what can't be learned though? Soul. Feeling. Quality married with originality. The act of simply noting a guitar is no harder than pressing a button. The act of doing it fast only requires repetition. The improvisation or fabrication of a memorable, soulful groove or melody can't be taught.  At best metal is for the skilled, not the natural born talent. It sounds forced because it is forced. Get real. 
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+Dan L It's just a matter of taste. We were all having a nice time being metal-heads before you came along with your Les Paul elitism (I like Les Paul...Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed too). I've heard plenty of metal with plenty of feeling and soul. I doubt you've heard any but the mainstream pap that is popular among non-instrumentalists (which is evidenced by the fact that you refer to the worst songwriter of all time, Yngwie Malmsteen). The fact of the matter is that metal is where the instrumental talent and creativity is these days. The best of it is pretty far underground like the jazz (that you seem to have a great big boner for) was back in the '20s and '30s. Regardless of your talent (you may be awesome), there is no doubt that you are a walking choda. So, fuck you very much, Danny.
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ONLY one fatal floor. No Radiohead.
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Because Radiohead sucks
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I really wish i could get a guitar and start learning some of these songs but sadly im broke and cant afford a guitar, amp, anything.
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save ur money and dont buy a cheap guitar and be willing to play AT LEAST 300$
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I'm 13 and proud to say some of my favorite songs are played here
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You should be grateful that someone of this generation is into decent music. An era where when bands recorded, it's actually what they sounded like. I'm 15 and I'm totally on your side :D
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I want to learn stuff like this, and I'm about 2 years into guitar. I don't really have a teacher and I'm not really interested in getting one. Where can I start learning stuff like this (technique wise?) Is a teacher really the best way?
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Teach yourself. It's hard, it's a bitch, but then you've got the world at your fingertips. My only advice is use your pinky and practice with a metronome. But work more on your tone, technique naturally follows.
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what do you call the thing he puts on his finger when he plays 7 nation army
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I don't know whether the guitar sound good or your skill is good.
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Sex Pistols, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, The Clash, Iron Maiden, Misfits, Minor Threat, MC5 are left out but you put fucking 2 Green Day songs, 2 Guns n' Roses songs and a CAKE song in your montage? You need to get your priorities straight. Anyway, you played what you picked well, good job.
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WHAT?!!! Only one Rush song and one The Who song!?? REPORTED +Not enough Hendrix
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I felt like more Guns n Roses should have been there. You can't get enough of the Guns
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Your profile pic is badass
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Funny thing is, he gets tons of riffs wrong :p
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What guitar is that and which cable and amp did you use??
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Squier affinity strats are a great starting guitar! I'd definitely go for that (especially with amp included)
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Aren't some of these in Eb standard though? Like Say it Ain't So?
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+Mustlehard not for say it ain't so, there are open notes so it sounds wrong if you move down a half step
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where's jimi hendrix 
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Purple haze is in it?
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Purple Haze is near the beginning
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'I am -3 years old and I love Classic Rock. OMG nobody else my age does, look how special and unique I am everybody! Give me the attention that I crave!!1!' These comments are the fucking worst...
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Uhh...I don't think -3 years old is humanly possible, must he aliens, or...illuminati?...
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+UltimateNova434 Why not both?? Didn't expect that didja? 
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I know how to play 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 45 (one of my first), 46, 47, 48, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 63, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 84, 88, 90, 92, 95, and 97.
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No November Rain? okay ._. Good video! keep it up!
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No one will ever be pleased! No matter what 100 songs he would've chose, someone would've complained no matter what ! I'm just glad alice in chains was in it lol!
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+joe Costello I was pleased. I promise lol, but in my opinion November Rain could have topped it off lol
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Wow, wow, wow, wow..........awesome !!!! If only I stuck to playing guitar when I was 10 yrs old.........hmmm !
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2 guns & roses songs but no Elvis? No Little Richard? No Jerry Lee Lewis? the three who actually started the rock n roll genre
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Wrong dude. Allen Freed actually created the genre. They just happened to be around when he did.
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I expected to see some Sum 41. 
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Yeah, I kinda thought I'd hear maybe Blink's "dammit" around welcome to paradise, but I guess they don't consider that genre that bands like sum 41 or blink are in "rock". Which I can absolutely understand, even though I am a fan of them XD in working with the grand scheme of rock overall, it's very plausible they didn't think of those bands even to begin with xD
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Their Does This Look Infected album is more rock than their other ones. I think Hooch or Still Waiting would have been good for this list.
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Personally, I think californication or under the bridge should have replaced give it away or scar tissue, because even though those songs are iconic, they don't quite have as iconic riffs to go along with them.
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 8:00 effect name, please? :O
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Very good.  A little disappointed there was othing i there by Boston.  I mean, growing up in the 70s and 80s, you could not turn on a rock station without hearing More than a Feeling, Don't Look back, Peace of Mind etc.
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More Than a Feeling for sure.
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Michael Shane David Shared on Google+ · 2 months ago
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Oh! +Michael Shane David he plays the Guitar as a Angel... I play the Spanish Guitar with my band as a amateur, but never at his level. I don't ever try the Acoustic 'cause that's too much for me, but I loved it! We were listening the guy, and we've got in shock! Congrats to the rock's guy! Thank you Dear Michael for share this video! I could tell you that I've been receiving many pretty and lovely things today through G+ There are so magic on the air!
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He would be a fun addition to any party +Nel Pa 
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What? An upstrum on blitzkrieg bop? Lol.
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Some riffs sounds awful and the Sweet child Intro sounds absoluty shit, too fast and no emotion. Sound is shit.
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+Thom Thumn Then how come I'm able to play the entire solo in 7months-ish? :/ Players like me that finished it under a year are offended by your comment lol
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Wow. Around half of my favorite songs are here. They are numbers: 1, 4, 12, 13, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 40, 41, 43, 45, 46, 50, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60, 62, 64, 66, 69, 70, 71, 72, 75, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 88, 91, 92, 94, 97.
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Yeah, for me they were 1-100 and then some lol
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Where's Bohemian Rhapsody????
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+slvzp Oh Yeah... heheheheheheheh
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where's highway to hell or TNT from AC/DC?? where's highway star from purple? you choosed green day but there's no scorpions or judas priest, and you call that "a brief history of rock n roll"?? you have no idea, mate...
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I've missed Elvis, Grand Funk Railroad, Motorhead, Scorpions, Clapton Maiden, Priest, Audioslave, But you made a cool selection of riffs...
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Ive NEVER seen someone go back and forth from standard to drop D as fast as you!!! lol Good job bro!
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multiple times throughout. At first I thought he was just fixing his tuning then I realized he was playing songs in drop d, then standard. Then drop d again, then standard etc.
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Maria Bulsara Shared on Google+ · 2 months ago
100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N' Roll): http://youtu.be/xiC__IjCa2s
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Thanks for adding the link for the Spotify playlist. I was thinking "I wish I had a playlist of all of these songs" 
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If it's a chronological history, then why include covers that were recorded decades after the original riffs became so popular? Pictures of Matchstick Men for example.. and while I appreciate Oh Well being there, Peter Green's Black Magic Woman was so much more memorable than Santana's cover. Riff wise.
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That aside, nice list. Hopefully introduces some great classics to those that recognise them but have never known who they were by.
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how do you drop the e and retune it again so easily??? :O
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Memorize what the peg looks like. Tune back and forth easily.
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there's no led zeppelin... why
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oh well, i guess im retarted
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There are so many better songs that you could have included. A large gripe for me though was 1.) having 1 band take up several songs/places and 2.) Runnin' with the Devil instead of Eruption? Really?.-.
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Maybe eruption is beyond his skill level, but no disrespect to him because he is very talented
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There is no riff in eruption. Eruption is just Eddie dicking around, runnin with the devil is a real song
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There's not Anastasia - Slash ? Though it was a quite good Riff , Am I wrong ?
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It was a great riff, but this is a brief history, so Slash is less likely to be on here. 
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You played no songs of my boy Bieber. :/
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Kike Rodríguez Shared on Google+ · 2 months ago
impresionante como las enlaza!!
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It would have been very helpful to put the year in which these songs were released, helping much to get a historical perspective. Still an awesome video!
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Look at the top of the comments someone did it for you :)
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Man, the more modern riffs are so garbage compared to the classic stuff
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props for st. vincent
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Video is great but if I'm not wrong the famous  Money riff was on bass
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nah, that is definitely guitar. the bass doubles the part though.
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How long does it take to be good at tapping on a guitar?
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Lol for reals I heard its pretty easy but really all honesty 
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Oh god, i keep coming to this video for like the tenth time
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Strat was a bad choice for this, much too chimy for many of the riffs! Should have used a JACKSON!! Best guitars in the world!!!
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Yes thank you, I know that! That doesn't mean they sound like a strat MEATBALL! You think everything fender makes sounds like a single coil strat ? LMFAO!!
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Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Satriani, Clapton, and a dozen more....
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They had Crossroads by Cream. Even though he kinda messed it up and it wasn't the Clapton we deserved. He still did a great job though overall.
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+Geoff Plays I didn't say that he did a terrible job. By the way, it was a great job. But he put aside some unique and exclusive bands.
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omg where the fuck is VOODOO CHILE ???!!,?.??. OMG
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"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is by Status Quo
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I think you may have forgotten Stairway to Heaven...
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What the fuck happened with AC/DC ?
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Probs watch the video Again!
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Stairway to heaven <\3
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You played Rush wrong you dumbass
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Spelled Blitzkrieg bop wrong too
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Darude - Sandstorm
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Pictures of Matchstick men = Status Quo! Whisky in the Jar? Anybody?
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Thinn Lizzy brotha!
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Megadeth? Thin Lizzy? Motorhead?
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Thin Lizzy was in there
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No stone roses 😭😭😭😭
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Did you hear that loud crashing sound? That was me throwing all my guitars down the stairs.
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What a talented man....excellent
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Most relevant question here: How does he change the Amps while playing? I get that he can switch it via the switch (quite obvious) which, as far as my guitars are concerned, are used to change the working pick ups (or however they are called.. The "string vibration microphones". You know what I mean.), which would allow to use each "microphones" signal to go in a different amp, but: He is using only one cable, which looks like the usual jack to me, so all signals go in the same cable and therefore in the same amp. So... what am I missing? I just don't get it.
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A/B box would do it, but I'm not sure that he is using more than one amp.
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can anyone tell me what play method to play those guitar riffs?
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OMG this is so amazing ! But where are the Animals and their house of the rising sun ? Anyways, you're freakin talented
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Well, he can't include EVERY iconic classic rock song... there's way too many of them, and he had to make room for some modern tracks.
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5:30 what the name of this technique?
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No doubt there is some serious hard work and talent here, but you're telling me that KISS had no effect on the course of Rock and Roll?? KISS should've replaced every damn RHCP song on here.
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KISS was more of a gimmick band and not many really take them that seriously as far as musical statements are concerned.
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Rhcp is much better then shitty generic sellout kiss
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Wish I knew what pedals and amp he was using :(
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or blur? i guess the 90s english rock get no love
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The Beat It- Michael Jackson, is actually Van Halen.......
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EVH made it... yes MJ obviously used it.
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How is it possible that this guy is unknown? That's a lot of riffs to have stored in your head and able to come out the fingers that way. Wow!
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+The chook I agree with you. I am a guitarist and yes most of this would be considered "easy" if just being done by themselves in one take but as you said, it is admirable to have 100 separate riffs in your head and be able to deliver all of that in one take with no mistakes. 
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3 out of 5 stars. Too sloppy and out of tune.. Good lord.
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If there was a video of the top 100 dumbest comments made on YouTube, your comment would be number 1 !!!
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shows how much i suck 
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Props on the sultans of swing part for not using the plectrum, like Mark Knopfler doesn't!
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So, no Pink Floyd. Okey.
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There is a song Lol check it out again
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Я уже раз тысячу смотрел это видео.
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Marry me, please... Ahahhahahahaaaaa... :P
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I say it as a frustrated guitar player ;)
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Icky Thump by white stripes would have been a much better candidate than the other 2 white stripes songs.
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All the tones in this video sounded just great
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very interesting, but the executions are very very bad!
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You try doing this in 1 take
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+treyston paaso if you had asked me it four or five years ago I would have done it...believe me. i'm not saying it with vanity or presumption...probably playing all those riffs seems to you more difficult than it is. I'm not anglophone, i hope my english is correct and understandable. Bye bye
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no Led Zeppelin? common dude. still, great video
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+SolidShark100 oh shit you're right, just watched it again. my bad.
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I find it annoying when a 12 year old says they love these songs and everyone thinks they're such a great person. ALL 12 year olds should like these songs and it should be normal. This is coming from a 12 year old.
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+Harry Dykhoff haha give it a rest dude..People should listen to whatever they damn want to
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Clap, clap , clap... Maybe are you good giutar player, but the kids dont know to learn nothing from this shit.... Congratulations...
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Who even watches this for educational purposes? This is just a cool way to listen to 100 great riffs...
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Maybe you should make an actual sentence before talking about learning.
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I think it is spelled Fortunate Son. ?
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GAY GUITAR IS FOR FAGS
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The video is amazing! But it lacks some thrash metal imo :/ Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, more Metallica. These are the biggest and most popular bands in metal
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Of course in metal the video is titled 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N' Roll) Rock N' Roll not metal...
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+TheMostAmericanGamer metal originated from rock which originated from rock n roll. Metallica isnt rock n roll but there was one riff of it there
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That was a real downer. You screwed up The Spirit of Radio. It does the A to E pull-off then the G# triplet pull-off. And no Zeppelin?! Still, pretty freakin' awesome in my book.
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+XxAUSSIEGAMERxX Oops... yeah, I must have confused this list with one I watched just before...
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