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.

This guitar solo is a masterpiece! A guitar solo of the best song, made by greatest rock band, containing best guitarist: jimmy page, best vocalist: robert plant, best drummer:john bonham and one of the best bassists:john paul jones nothing can compare to this AMAZING solo

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.
Clapton-Cocaine.
Chuck Berry-Johnny B. Goode started it all.
Angus Young-Back in Black.
Santana-Smooth.
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

This is easily the best guitar solo I have ever heard. I have never heard anything anywhere near the capability of Eddie Van Halen. This is easily the number 1 guitar solo.

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3 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.

Great transition in the song to one of the most epic solos in rock history, that truly fits the meaning in the song and uses a metaphor in my opinion of a free bird!

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4 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.

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

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

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5 One - Kirk Hammet

Its just insane

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

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6 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 such an amazing solo, why on the hell would this be 3rd, its got everything one likes, instead almost every Avenged Sevenfold song has kick-ass solo- MIA, seize the day, second heartbeat, victim, nightmare, god hates us, critical acclaim, beast and the harlot! Where are they... Avenged Sevenfold foREVer! 1

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7 Sweet Child o' Mine - Slash

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

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.

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8 November Rain - Slash

The better of the two between this and Sweet Child, and definitely deserves to be ranked higher than some dumb Avenger Sevenfold song.

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.

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9 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

Brilliant Guitar work and a song that is stilled played regularly in the metal scene!!! METALLICA!!!!!

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10 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

To me, what Gilmour has contributed to the song is truly beyond words. And specially the pulse version of the 2nd solo of the Comfortably Numb was the best I heard till date. He just not only rolled over the notes on the fret board over the same chord progressions but also gave the song an announcement of the climax of the theme as the last solo starts. And at the end, the higher pitched fading away gives a perfect end to the message the song conveys to us. It is the best psychedelic rock solo I have ever heard.

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The Newcomers

? Run to the Hills - Dave Murray
? One - Kirk Hammett

The Contenders

11 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

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12 Mr. Crowley - Ozzy Osbourne

Whoa that's a wondeful solo.

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

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13 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

This should be easily in the top 10. This song is unbelievable. Herman li is my idol! He rocks. Why isn't this #1. This song is awesome to play on Guitar Hero.

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14 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.

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15 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

This guitar solo is one of the best moments in music ever!

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16 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

Hendrix the guitar god! No questions!

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17 Highway Star - Ritchie Blackmore

amazing

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...

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18 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...

Yeah, MJ on the talk box really stirs the soul! This song is fantastic LIVE! Rawk on Matthias!
ScorpsSistah

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19 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.

UListen to Sample
20 Seize the Day - Synyster Gates

This solo might not be the fastest but it is still amazing and the most emotional solos I have ever heard.

Amazing solo makes me so happy. Not the fastest but it sounds amazing, maybe my first love.

21 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

22 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.

Smh. When will people learn? The guitarist/s for dragonforce suck; they sped up through the fire and flames. The only reason it is on this list is because of the kids who played guitar hero and thought it was cool. Heman Li has no skill.

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23 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

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24 Bat Country - Synyster Gates

Are You Kidding Me. This Solo is Amazing

Love it one of his beat

25 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
26 Hotel California - Don Felder/Joe Walsh

I'm disappointed this solo had so much feel.

It should be top 5 at least :(

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

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

V 5 Comments
27 Second Heartbeat - Synyster Gates

Best Avenged Sevenfold solo

Vote for this, can't see this down at 61

28 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Kurt Cobain

Way TOO low

29 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

30 Estranged - Slash

Great 9 min song

My gawwdd.. what a masterpiece!

31 She's Not There - Carlos Santana UListen to Sample
32 Alive - Mike Mcready

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

33 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!

34 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!

This solo is art! And music! The way it sounds is so unique!

V 1 Comment
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!

One of the greatest solos by one of the best shredders of 21st century. No one can play such emotionally. Ya but I respect Jimi and slash. But it should be top 5 in place of Afterlife.

V 8 Comments
36 Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson

It's so good though

UListen to Sample
37 Mr Crowley - Randy Rhoads

This is one of my favorite songs yet alone one of my favorite solos of all time, deserves to be higher

I can't believe this solo isn't even on the list yet. Rhoads was a genius and this was his masterpiece

38 Children of the Grave - Tony Iommi
39 Fear of the Dark - Dave Murray
40 Creeping Death - Kirk Hammett
41 Painkiller - Glenn Tipton
42 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

43 Invincible - Matt Bellamy
44 The Man Who Sold The World - Kurt Cobain

Was a bowie cover but still a great solo

45 Hellrider - Judas Priest

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

UListen to Sample
46 Wanted Dead Or Alive - Richie Sambora

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

47 Alison Hell - Jeff Waters
48 Hangar 18 - Dave Mustaine/Marty Friedman

Mustaine and friedman.how are they not in the top list.

49 Miracle Man - Zakk Wylde
50 20 Buck Spin - Victor Griffin
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List Stats

9,000 votes
279 listings
11 years, 207 days old

Top Remixes (41)

1. She's Not There - Carlos Santana
2. Sultans of Swing - Mark Knopfler
3. Creeping Death - Kirk Hammett
truckturner
1. Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page
2. Eruption - Eddie Van Halen
3. Through The Fire and Flames - Herman Li/Sam Totman
cyclone1248
1. Dry Country - Richie Sambora
2. Mr. Crowley - Ozzy Osbourne
3. Estranged - Slash
benhos

WRemix
View All 41

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