7 Best Guitar Solos Of All Time

Have you ever found yourself in a deep, trance-like state, utterly absorbed by a guitar solo that seems to transcend time and space? There’s just something about a well-crafted guitar solo that can make us feel things deeply, right from the depths of our souls to the tingling sensations on our skin.

Whether it’s a face-melting shred, a soulful melody, or intricate fingerwork, a great guitar solo is akin to storytelling – capturing emotions, painting pictures, and taking listeners on an unforgettable journey. From blues to rock, jazz to metal, the history of music boasts countless breathtaking solos, but some just have that extra sprinkle of magic. And today, dear reader, we’re diving into seven of the most epic guitar solos of all time. Whether you’re an aspiring guitarist looking for inspiration, or simply a fan of pure musical genius, this list is your ticket to a sonic wonderland. So, grab a comfy seat, maybe a cup of your favorite beverage, and let’s get lost in the mesmerizing world of strings and fingers!

1. “Stairway to Heaven” – Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page)

If there was ever a “Hall of Fame” for guitar solos, “Stairway to Heaven” would undoubtedly have its own shrine. Played by the legendary Jimmy Page, this solo is a testament to his genius as a musician. Starting with a soulful touch, it escalates into a crescendo of emotion, blending perfectly with Robert Plant’s iconic vocals. A mix of technique, feel, and raw emotion, it’s a must-listen for every music lover.

Behind the Notes:

“Stairway to Heaven” wasn’t just a hit; it became an anthem for an entire generation. Page’s choice of a Gibson Les Paul and a Supro amplifier added a unique tone that still resonates with audiences today.

2. “Comfortably Numb” – Pink Floyd (David Gilmour)

Deep, haunting, and profoundly emotional, David Gilmour’s solos in “Comfortably Numb” are nothing short of mesmerizing. The song features two solos, with the latter being arguably the most iconic, characterized by Gilmour’s signature bends and soul-stirring melodies.

Behind the Notes:

The beauty of this solo lies in its simplicity and raw emotion. Gilmour’s choice of a Fender Stratocaster gave it a smooth, sustained tone that complements the song’s ethereal mood.

3. “Eruption” – Van Halen (Eddie Van Halen)

Get ready for a two-minute instrumental track that revolutionized guitar playing! Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” is a masterclass in tapping, whammy bar dives, and lightning-fast scales. It’s the kind of solo that leaves both guitarists and non-guitarists in awe.

Behind the Notes:

Van Halen’s innovative techniques inspired countless guitarists. His use of the Frankenstrat, a guitar he built himself, added to the uniqueness of the sound.

4. “Hotel California” – Eagles (Don Felder & Joe Walsh)

“Hotel California” is a sonic masterpiece, and the guitar solos are the cherry on top. The interplay between Don Felder and Joe Walsh creates a dueling guitar soundscape that is both intricate and harmonious.

Behind the Notes:

Felder and Walsh’s contrasting styles – Felder’s lyrical melodies and Walsh’s rawer edge – made this solo a perfect blend of technique and emotion. The 12-string guitar introduction and the twin solos are now legendary in rock history.

5. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – The Beatles (Eric Clapton)

Yes, you read that right. Eric Clapton played the heart-wrenching solo in this Beatles classic. George Harrison, the song’s writer, invited his friend Clapton to play the solo and boy, did he deliver!

Behind the Notes:

The melancholy of the song is perfectly accentuated by Clapton’s emotive playing. Using a Gibson Les Paul, Clapton’s solo added depth to an already profoundly touching song.

6. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” – Jimi Hendrix

No list of guitar solos is complete without a nod to the master, Jimi Hendrix. “Voodoo Child” showcases Hendrix’s raw talent, with a wah-wah pedal-infused introduction leading to an explosive solo.

Behind the Notes:

Hendrix’s unparalleled ability to fuse rhythm and lead parts seamlessly made this solo a rhythmic wonder. His aggressive yet melodic approach showed the world the true potential of electric guitar.

7. “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses (Slash)

A ballad with a solo that can evoke tears. Slash’s work in “November Rain” is a musical journey, moving from melancholic melodies to faster, passionate runs that mirror the song’s themes of love and loss.

Behind the Notes:

Slash’s use of Gibson Les Paul and Marshall amplifiers created a warm tone that resonated with the song’s ethos. The solo, set against a backdrop of rain in the music video, remains one of rock’s most iconic moments.

Guitar solos, when done right, are like the heartbeats of songs – giving life, emotion, and depth. They become moments in time, capturing feelings and etching them into musical history. While this list is by no means exhaustive, these seven solos are undeniably some of the most influential and awe-inspiring pieces of guitar work out there. They span decades, genres, and styles, yet they all share a common thread – the ability to touch the soul and ignite a passion for music. So, the next time you’re yearning for some sonic magic, revisit these classics, and let the guitar do the talking!