Greatest Guitar Solos of Rock and Metal

Restricted to rock and metal for an easier comparison of song styles. Please consider talent, originality, and technique for your selections of these solos. Really think and research before you vote. Thank you!

Also, when you add a song, please format it like this:
Song Title- Guitarist/Second Guitarist(if applicable).

The Top Ten

1 Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page

BEST solo, listen to the live vesion, its so complete solo. you could take 20 riffs out of it! It's almost 3 minutes of improvising, and it would take a work of years to other guitarists

why is Zoo and Afterlife before STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN?
I can see that some people doesn't now what a real solo is, this solo from Jimmy Page is full of feeling; nobody can beat Jimmy in that...
although Eruption is great too - rock2metal

STAIRWAY is only before BAD MEDICINE?!?!?!? that's a disgrace, really. poor jimmy, what a slap in the face. this whole list is jacked up. every other list has stairway's solo ranked up at number one.

Still under its spell, Man. 💘

V 38 Comments
2 Eruption - Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen's Eruption is only second to Hendrix "Star Spangled Banner" solo at woodstock, but since Hendrix solo isn't on this list (Why?. ) I had to go with eddie who is my personal favorite.
Other notable solo/riffs not on this list that should be.
Slash-Sweet Child of mine is his signature riff.
Chuck Berry-Johnny B. Goode started it all.
Angus Young-Back in Black.
Jimmy Page-Stairway to Heaven.
And of course Malmsteen, and Satriani, that is all they did in the 80's was solo's!.

Its hard to say what song is the best. But, I do agree with this. I heard it when it first came out and was blown away. I still say WOW whenever I hear it. I'm 47, I've heard it thousands of times. OK, number one.

WTF! why is the zoo at no. 1! this is the best! - livinglegend

1:42 that changed guitar playing forever

V 22 Comments
3 Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour

One? Afterlife? Forsaken? All these are great songs but the solos are trash. Then there's Through The Fire And Flames. If that is your favorite then you are probably voting for the fastest/longest/one thats on Guitar Hero, it is the most uncreative solo I've ever heard. This is a real solo that, along with Stairway to Heaven and Sweet Child O' Mine are the basis for all solos to follow. - CaptainComedy17

It is amazing what David Gilmour can do with a guitar. It's not that he's fast but the beautiful solos he writes. It's almost like he puts all of his emotions into a song through his guitar and the audience feels that emotion as he plays. He is also one of the nice guys in rock. Never got the big-head as many have.

you should listen to the solo in PULSE (the concert) Gilmour truly put his heart in it - BigZ

Amazing. Gilmour's voice is also spectacular.

V 30 Comments
4 Free Bird - Collinsworth/Rossington

Let's get this one correct. Gary played rhythm guitar only. Allan C. Played the entire solo. There is a great video on utube from the BBC in 1974 that will show you all you need to know. They did use two guitars in concerts later on when Steve Gains joined the group.

This is the ultimate finale for any song. A masterpiece solo with two guitars to own all others.

I love the intergration into the solo and the length of it.

Fast doesn't make it good

V 8 Comments
5 November Rain - Slash

This is one of the most truly moving Rock anthems of all time. The guitar solo's cut through me like electricity and raise the hairs on the back of my neck like nothing else... perhaps this is why I insist on having this as music at my funeral...

Most Emotional Solo I've Ever Heard
- robertlead37

I love how the solos are dissected into 3 pieces. The first is very mellow and very slash like, the second solo takes it a step further by really announciating the emotion coming from Slash, then the final solo tops it off with a bombastic impression of both sorrow and emotion pouring down his fingers.

I am never bored when listening to this solo by slash..probably the greatest guitarist of all times

V 34 Comments
6 One - Kirk Hammet

I think kirks guitar skills is amazing and I like him because he's not simaler to anyone he has his own heavey metal guitar style

This is a Badass solo. But my favorite solo from Metallica is "The day that never comes"

What a solo. I love this song and kirk hammet makes even better with his solo. I don't think anyone else can do this. witout a doubt, Metallica is extrodinary

Its just insane

V 30 Comments
7 Tornado of Souls - Marty Friedman

I love petrucci, van halen, syn but none of those solos compare to the one that marty does in tornado of souls. This solo is perfect in everyway.. It lasts 60 seconds, and has 6 parts of 10 seconds each, besides it is very sentimetal and extremely hard to play. THE BEST! LISTEN TO TORNADO OF SOULS BEFORE VOTING IN SOMETHING ELSE.

Changes your perspective on what constitutes a perfect solo. Heavy on speed, technique, melody, and the "goose-bump, spine-chill" feeling that both you'll get when you hear it and your family and friends get when they hear it played at your funeral.

Played almost every solo in the top ten, but none of them can even compete with this. Marty's twisted techniques make it harder to play, and musically how complex it is, I like syn's afterlife, but that's a pretty basic shred, yeah, that's creative, but this even more... JUST LISTEN N VOTE

I agree, the other solos are amazing but you can't argue with the best metal solo ever

V 27 Comments
8 Sweet Child o' Mine - Slash

Sweet Child O mine is epic and Iconic, not everybody know about Eruption, but Sweet Child O mine is on of the most wildly known songs and the solo is just amazing.

Epic Song. Epic Solo. There are players that are technically better than Slash but absolutely nobody can beat his delivery and phrasing on his solos. The Last Proper Rock Guitar Hero.

Listening to this song at full blast has ruined my ears, but it's worth it.

This song introduced the world to Slash’s genius. - AndyIXL

V 14 Comments
9 Afterlife - Synyster Gates

Synyster Gates is the Greatest Guitarist ever.. He is Young and Talented Musician from One of the Greates bands Ever.. Yes, Avenged Sevenfold.. !
He Played Soo many Awesome Solos But this one is Just Amazing..
I've seen Loats of Fans play this solo but they have to skip some notes Because it's Very hard to Play..
He Played so many Melodic & Slow Guitar solos too..
SYNYSTER IS THE GOD OF GUITAR.. Van halen, Kirk, Slash, John Petrucci Hailzzzz too..

I gess this is about Generation.. Each Generation Becoming better and Better.. So in this Generation Synyster, Alexi, Paget, Mark Tremonti these guys are Awesome..

Cheak out the Band Called MUTINY WITHIN.. Brandon Jacobs is the lead guitarist & His solos are just Amazing..! He is One of the Fastest Finger pickers I've ever seen..!

Cheak out AFTERLIFE SOLO You'll vote Synyster.. Sevenfoldism &. O.

This truly is a great song and solo. All the people who say that "People don't know the difference between a good solo and a fast solo" are just crazy. This is both fast and very great. You can hear every note itself as it is played as opposed to some songs on this list that are just 5 guitarists that all play different solos and make it sound like it's 1 player. But Syn went totally insane on his guitar and makes Matthias Jabs (some guy nobody has even heard of) sound like a baby playing a guitar it doesn't even deserve. Enough said. Synyster Gates is the best.

This truly is a great song and solo. All the people who say that "People don't know the difference between a good solo and a fast solo" are just crazy. This is both fast and very great. You can hear every note itself as it is played as opposed to some songs on this list that are just 5 guitarists that all play different solos and make it sound like it's 1 player. But Syn went totally insane on his guitar and makes Matthias Jabs (some guy nobody has even heard of) sound like a baby playing a guitar it doesn't even deserve. Enough said. Synyster Gates is the best...

This is too low

V 49 Comments
10 The Zoo - Matthias Jabs

What can I say - it's fantastic solo on Voice Box. It very truly and emotional. It's good song with interesting guitar riff. Magnificent game Matthias on Voice Box selects him from the general crowd of musicians!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, MJ really stirs the soul with his talk box! I really love this solo LIVE! RAWK ON MATTHIAS!

Matthias kicks major butt on this song. This song is a total turn on and the solo makes me HOT! WooHoo! You the man Matthias! #1 forever...


V 5 Comments

The Contenders

11 Fade to Black - Kirk Hammett

The last 2 minutes of that song are indescribable!

This and Mr. Crowley are by far the Greatest metal solos with Dance of Death up there, Stairway is the best overall but this is still my favorite solo by my favorite band, one question where's some
Joe Satriani on this list?

I have heard Fade to black many times, before I had even heard of Metallica
and it just blows me away - Trivium

Timeless, always get the chills.

V 7 Comments
12 Master of Puppets - Kirk Hammett

every time I hear this solo, my mind blows away!
all the song is awesome, I could say is a perfect song: the riff, the vocals, the two solos, the ending, the beat..... you can't hate this song!

and since James play that slow and emotional solo and Kirk plays the legendary fast solo, every metalhead should like this song - rock2metal

This is the BEST solo ever! I virtually die listening to this one heck of a solo... No one... No one beats kirk!

I think this should way up above

FIX ME! And then Kirk solo, easily best part of the song

V 1 Comment
13 All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

I was torn between tornado of souls and this, but I had to go with all along the watchtower. Any guitarist can have skill, you just have to spend a lot of time in the shed. While it's not the most complex solo from a theoretic standpoint, staying mostly in the good old minor pentatonic with some slight modal extensions, the phrasing is beyond immaculate - it's godlike. Phrasing is the single purest expression of a guitarist's musical talent -- in my opinion. Anyone can learn theory or spend 8 hours a day to click tracks and metronomes to get lightning accuracy. You can't force phrasing, either you have it or you don't... This is what leads a lot of guitarists down the road of technique and theory. Hendrix didn't give a care, he expressed himself more eloquently with a more limited vocabulary than any of the other guitarists on this list who followed after him, and directly in his footsteps.

Shame on everyone who votes otherwise

It's sound of the notes that gets me. Not the most complex solo by far, but it's the whole feel of it. Number one spot? Probably.

are u fricken kiding with the wah pedal and hendrix doing what he does best easily nuber 1

How come this ain't top 5

V 4 Comments
14 Bad Medicine - Richie Sambora

He's the King of Swing. His fingers are flying on the fret board. He's a true genius that helps guide the world's greatest rock n roll band. - vadnj0

the best guitarist ever is playing a really difficult, fast and technical solo - richie4life

He is the best guitar player! I love Richie, he is the King of Swing!
I wait of his new solo album!
Richie forever! Nobody is better!

Just listen to DRY COUNTY...

V 1 Comment
15 Mr. Crowley - Ozzy Osbourne

The feel and the intensity blows anything.. best solo for me in my opinion

Randy not in the top 3? Shameful...easily one of the best Rock/Metal guitarist of all time.

Randy's solo for Mr. Crowley gets my vote - Johnnyt800

Whoa that's a wondeful solo.

V 6 Comments
16 Through The Fire and Flames - Herman Li/Sam Totman

I have never ever heard anything like this. First time I heard this song I couldn't believe how fast this guy plays and how long too! His guitar solo is like more then 2 minutes long - ziggy22

Oh My God. So, fast... Herman li is the craziest. How fast he plays. Most probably they fastest solo of metal.

Are you kidding me? This is EASILY the most intense song on guitar EVER. The whole song is a solo! I love afterlife- A7X too but seriously over THIS? - cowboyskid2


V 8 Comments
17 Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May

Number seventeen. Proves people are retarded. Seriously, Brian May is a genius with the guitar. One of my favorite solos, if not my most favorite one. In short, excellent. Should be in top ten.

if you have seen Wayne's World you can't help but bob your head. - Queen-aholic

Its actually quite short at 26 seconds still an amazing solo - Greenday

best ever

V 3 Comments
18 Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughan

soulful song with a solo full of emotion

He was one of the greatest guitar players of all time
My favourite guitarist and my third favourite solo - Rocker00

19 Child in Time - Ritchie Blackmore

So fast and so intense at the same time. Really the best song from Deep Purple.

This song would be amazing even without the solo but the solo still makes the song

Highway Star is better, but I don't see that on the list.

Such an underrated solo. It really is one of the best guitars solos of all time. The electric guitar reached perfection in this solo

V 3 Comments
20 Crazy Train - Randy Rhoads

Is my favorite solo of all time, I love to play and listen to it, I love how it starts off with the tapping and plays a little bit of slow then fast and then switches to one handed taping and does the finish, rip randy rhoads

I think this solo is better than the solo from The Man Who Sold The World, and I love that song. This deserves to be in the top ten!

Awesome solo that everyone has probably heard.

Randy could play with only 1 string and be #1. I think his Suicide Solution Live is his best though.

V 1 Comment
21 Highway Star - Ritchie Blackmore

Marvelous - this is for Top 10.

Definitely the Best Solo Ever
It is Hard, Sounds great and fits the song perfectly

Highway Star by Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple is definitely a blast...he's my number 1...

I agree with Metal_Treasure
this solo is one of the fastest solos of 70s. Though the first licks weren't very fast. But the last licks of this solo were played very fast. - zxm

V 1 Comment
22 Hotel California - Don Felder/Joe Walsh

Best song, Best Solo of the 20th century. Hands down.

It should be top 5 at least :(

Wow! This is so top 5! I'm so disappointed, most of the top tens are just fast, there's no thought.

I'm disappointed this solo had so much feel.

V 5 Comments
23 Rising Force - Yngwie Malmsteen

Wow, this is a masterpiece - why so low?

Once again another AMAZING guitar player absent from the top 10. Slash, Gilmour and others in the top 10...are you F'ing kidding me? This poll is a joke.

24 Dry Country - Richie Sambora

very long solos!
the first is about 30 seconds and the second is about 90 seconds... - richie4life

This solo should be in the top 5! The greatest solo ever! - taladini

25 Cemetary Gates - Dimebag Darrel

What is this? Are you serious Darrel on 26.. You should know he is one the greatest guitarist in the hostory

LOVE this song! Especially the solo :D

List should be as follows :
1. Fade to black-Metallica
2. Cemetary gates -Pantera
3. Crazy train - Ozzy
4. Blackbird - Alter Bridge
5. November rain - Guns and Roses
6. Afterlife -A7X.


V 1 Comment
26 La Villa Strangiato - Alex Lifeson

One of my all time favorites. Definitely one of the most successful solos when it comes to accurately portraying a unique emotion that no one else has portrayed - song about some of Alex Lifeson's nightmares apparently. Wow, very unique solo; can't think of another solo that has as delicate a build and as good an explosive ending.

Most complicated and exceedingly impressive well done and thought out guitar solo. Who would ever have thought that a cult band like this one could create such a master piece work of beauty?

Great technical skill and the way it builds and builds is incredible. Lifeson will never be a fashionable choice but he really delivers with this solo.

Jesus this guy can play... Have you heard this... No.. Hell you should
The solo is almost a song in its own right
You can honestly sing the notes
I can listen to this non stop
I will gladly email anybody who wishes to hear this, this file

V 1 Comment
27 Sultans of Swing - Mark Knopfler

Guitar solos are more than just something fast and difficult to play on Guitar Hero. When you listen to the guitar playing in Sultans Of Swing it almost feels like an angel is taking care of it. Your mind is floating with the sounds of the strings and you never want the song to end. It's one thing to be able to play really fast, but to be innovative and make the guitar sound special and moving is a different story. The top ten, in my opinion, would be

1. Sultans Of Swing - Mark Knopfler
2. Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour
3. Star Sprangled Banner - Jimi Hendrix
4. Free Bird - Rossington & Collinsworth
5. Eruption - Eddie Van Halen
6. Cortez The Killer - Neil Young
7. Stairway To Heaven - Jimmy Page
8. Hotel California - Felder & Walch
9. All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
10. Crossroads - Eric Clapton

Alchemy Live version please.

I'm literally in love with this song it's the first solo I ever learnt, but I love it

Men, just listen to the Alchemy live Version.

V 3 Comments
28 Altitudes - Jason Becker

I actually like sweet child o mine but this one also has feelings in it. At one point its slow as if someone is hurt inside but then suddenly it slips into an uplifting solo which makes you want to play air guitar

Best guitarist ever. Listen to anything he has or in Cacophony with Marty Friedman, it'll blow your mind. Too bad he came down with Lou Gehrig's disease, otherwise if he had kept going he would be more famous than all these guitarists on this list.

29 Crossroads - Eric Clapton

Sadly, not enough people have heard Clapton's version of Crossroads that he played in 1968 with Cream live at the Winterland. If they had, they would have been blown away and voted for this to be number 1 on this list.

Hands down best solo ever written and played

amazing - guyritchi

30 Estranged - Slash

Great 9 min song

My gawwdd.. what a masterpiece!

31 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Kurt Cobain

Way TOO low

32 Alive - Mike Mcready

Wiked solo it just comes out of nowhere and the awesome sound just hits u

33 Fermented Offal Discharge - Muhammed Suiçmez

Neo classical shredding at its finest... Definitely puts muhammed suicmez on the same level as Bach, Beethoven, Mozart... Only man to combine technicality and soul and provide an infinite amount of these things. One of the smartest guitarists

34 The Glass Prison - John Petrucci

How the hell is this and all the other great John Petrucci solos below smells like teen spirit. - jimicenafromintempo

Stupendously good!

35 Blackbird - Mark Tremonti

This is one of those solos that actually grabs you emotionally when its played. The myles/mark combo just works out perfectly for me on this one. This band has two phenomenal guitarists, it just so happens that one of them is the singer of their primary band. Mark Tremonti is a legit lead guitarist and should be mentioned when talking about the best guitar players of his generation in my opinion

Possibly the best song in the world, 8 minutes of emotional rock perfection reaching the climax of kennedy and tremonti's solo.

Myles and Mark split this solo and it is fantastic. The solo starts on the first note of the song and doesn't stop until it rips your heart out. Not just my opinion Guitar magazine voted this the GREATEST solo ever!

Best song I've ever listened to.

V 8 Comments
36 Forsaken - John Petrucci

Totally underrated, he and his solos could be at the top of the list. He has more feelling than anyone. Any doubt? Watch the "Hollow Years" live solo at Budokan. - DreamTheater_Venezuela

awesomly amazing... though highly underated! - hereisHorizon

Why is this solo so far from the top? It is a beautiful solo

Any guitarist above couldn't match his skill

V 2 Comments
37 Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson

It's so good though

38 Children of the Grave - Tony Iommi
39 Nottingham Lace - Buckethead

I can listen to this again and again. It is my favourite guitar solo. Hard choice though; so many other great ones. - wizardryuk

This is one of the best guitar solos that I've heard. This Solo should be in top 10 at least. Fast, energetic and mind blowing!

40 The Hypocrite, Undying - Anton Svedin
41 Painkiller - Glenn Tipton
42 Invincible - Matt Bellamy
43 The Man Who Sold The World - Kurt Cobain

Was a bowie cover but still a great solo

44 Hellrider - Judas Priest

It's performed by K. K downing and Glen Tipton

45 Wanted Dead Or Alive - Richie Sambora

great guitar solo!
in the official top 100 solos of all time - richie4life

46 Cast Down the Heretic - Karl Sanders
47 Alison Hell - Jeff Waters
48 Hangar 18 - Dave Mustaine/Marty Friedman

Mustaine and are they not in the top list.

49 20 Buck Spin - Victor Griffin
50 Reila - Uruha

It is really cool solo! And pretty Uruha (The GazettE) do this perfect!

Stunningly Epic!
Never heard such an emotional solo. - AresRed

His skill is fantastic he catch me!
Song's emotion is very touch my heart!

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List Stats

9,000 votes
273 listings
11 years, 80 days old

Top Remixes (40)

1. Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page
2. Eruption - Eddie Van Halen
3. Through The Fire and Flames - Herman Li/Sam Totman
1. Dry Country - Richie Sambora
2. Mr. Crowley - Ozzy Osbourne
3. Estranged - Slash
1. High Hopes - David Gilmour
2. Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page
3. Afterlife - Synyster Gates

View All 40

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