To play a guitar riff is to do more than simply to memorize a short musical phrase. Guitar riffs are like any other musical exercise; practicing them can be a terrific means of building manual dexterity and improving your overall playing technique. We can say of riffs, then, that they are not so much about rote repetition as making available to the guitarist new and different ways of playing. Every new riff you learn will make you a more able and versatile guitarist and better equip you to stay away from rock clichés. In this installment from his Riff of the Week series, Dave Weiner discusses chord tones and how they can kick start your improvising as well as scale tones and how can they spruce up said improvising. For more, or to get started using chord tones on your own guitar, watch this free video guitar lesson.