Riffs and lick
A riff is thematic. It serves as the main musical idea for a (section of a) song. Often it's repeated and developed, sometimes with variations, sometimes in different.
Riff's & Lick's!!! Believe it or not, this is one of the most common questions I receive, and to think we play licks and riffs all the time on our guitars, it still surprises.
Licks, Riffs, and Tricks
Guitar Lesson World
Description:It serves as the main musical idea for a section of a song. Often it's repeated and developed, sometimes with variations, sometimes in different keys, but always recognizable as the same main musical idea. Because a riff is a main theme for a song, it often becomes inextricably associated with that songif you heard the riff out of context say, someone trying out guitars in Guitar Center , you'd associate it with the song. If the song is a hit, the riff becomes quotable, and anyone else who plays the riff is making an allusion to the original song.