30 Grunge Guitar Riffs

So how do you define Grunge? The term “grunge” described both the music and the look of the bands: grimy, long-haired, scruffy, down and dirty. It’s an alternative rock genre and subculture that began in the mid 80s around Seattle WA. In fact, it’s sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound. Grunge fuses elements of punk rock and heavy metal, but without punk’s structure and speed. Lyrics are typically angst and irony filled and introspective, often addressing themes such as social alienation, self-doubt, abuse, neglect, betrayal, social and emotional isolation, psychological trauma and a desire for freedom. The term was coined by Bruce Pavitt of the Sub Pop label, referring to Green River’s Dry As A Bone EP in the summer of 87. Members of Green river would later become members of Pearl Jam and Mudhoney. By the early 90s, its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia, building strong followings. Some of the more significant releases would be Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten, Soundgarden’s Superunknown, Alice in Chains’ Dirt, and Stone Temple Pilots’ Core. Although most grunge bands had disbanded or faded from view by the late 90s, they influenced modern rock music, as their lyrics brought socially conscious issues into pop culture. We know all good thing must come to an end right? So here are 30 grunge riffs and maybe even a few others that were certainly influenced by grunge.