Riff Of The Week Melting Mallows Nowhere

Riff Of The Week 08/16/2018

Melting Mallows are a Belgian modern-sounding-60’s-pop-band who capture the sound of surf rock, garage rock and alternative indie. The duo is comprised of Bishesh Man Mali on lead guitar and Brian Jon Pittoors on drums. Today we’ll take a look at their first single “Nowhere” and the opening riff that will get you hooked. If you like Chuck Berry and Dick Dales guitar playing make sure you check out the solo. You can listen to the the single here.


Melting Mallows Nowhere

Melting Mallows, Belgium, 60’s pop, Nowhere
Melting Mallows Nowhere single cover


Theory Analysis

For arguments sake were going to assume the Major Pentatonic position is being utilized  in position 5. If you’re unfamiliar with that “box shape,” google 5 pentatonic patterns and you will find hundreds of diagrams.  Continuing on, the song is in the key of A and the main riff is played over the A major and F#m chords. The lovely juxatapostion between the relative minor and root chord gives it that signature surf-rock sound. However, this tune is not a traditional 12 bar format as you’d expect (think Pipeline) and has some wonderful chord changes over the chorus.  The first note of our opening riff starts on the major third of the the A chord (fret 6 string 3).  The C# note is plucked four times followed by the E and F# notes (fret 5 and 7 on string 2), and finally we hit the root note 1 octave above (fret 5, string 1) to finish the phrase. After you repeat the phrase you answer the question with a descending line down the Major Pentatonic.  Starting on the F# note (fret 7, string 2) you pluck it four times then play the E (fret 5 string 2) C# and B (fret 6 and 4 string 3) notes. The riff is strummed twice so play your “question” ascending up the scale twice and then “answer” descending down the scale twice. The second time you play the riff you’ll notice a slight variation but the same pattern and notes apply.

Leave your comments below with the notes to the “final answer” that finishes off the phrase 0:11-0:13 secs. Fantastic little bit of guitar playing here and we look forward to bringing you more from this band with a full single review coming up on August 21st, 2018.  Melting Mallows are set to start recording their debut album September 1st full of guitar riff licks and melodic pop sensibilities.


The Eclectic Social Music Club

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