The forbidden riff is a guitar riff that was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant for the song “Stairway to Heaven”.
In the intro of the song, this riff is played on a guitar as an instrumental break.
The first two bars are played with a D Major chord, then there’s a quick switch to G Major for two bars, and then back to D Major. This back-and-forth motion between major chords gives it a sense of suspension which gives way to anticipation for the final chord change in the next section.
Some people believe that this riff is one of the best ever written because it has such an emotional connection with listeners who have been listening to it since 1971 when “Stairway To Heaven” was released.
Stairway to Heaven is an iconic song by Led Zeppelin. Many people and aspiring guitar players enjoy it, and this is matched by others who would like to compose it but have been unsuccessful so far.
Many guitar stores have banned the song’s opening sections from being played near guitars. Although they find it funny, this trend has led to a nickname for the intro, known as “the Forbidden Riff”.