Greatest Guitar Solos

The Top Ten

Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page Cover Art

This is without even a shadow of doubt the greatest solo ever played, in my opinion. Everything about it is incredible; the arrangement is melodic and beautiful, the tone is impeccable, and the lead up to and the fazing out (if it can even be called as such) of this solo are both epic beyond compare. This solo is the main reason why Jimmy Page is one of the most legendary guitarists and Led Zeppelin one of the most legendary bands in all of rock history. Oh, did I mention that Pagey improvised it? Not much else needs to be said.

Eruption, is difficult not great, Eddie didn't put any emotion into it, Stairway to Heaven is proof that fast paced playing doesn't make a solo great (although it can, Jump in the Fire)it is emotional intensity.

A perfect composition with a perfect solo... I absolutely love it

When one hears the studio version of this solo, from the moment that bend just comes in with a bang but giving that anticipation for the rest of the solo, right until Plant ends it with the unbelievable extrose... One just thinks "oh man, if only I could hear this for the first time again...", well, Jimmy is just too good to produce just one great solo, and this invention of his is just too much to be contained in one minute: for that, Jimmy has improvised and IMPROVED the solo to a billion times of the heavenly feel it already has, in the live versions of this song: especially the madison square garden live in 1973... So yes, you get to listen to it for the first time over and over again!

Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour Cover Art

In one of the most psychedelic, calming rock songs ever composed, David Gilmour plays what is almost certainly the most otherworldly guitar solo ever created. Each notes seems to find its way into your head, invading your thoughts and leaving a deep, complex mental mark. This is reason why Pink Floyd is really the greatest space rock band that ever existed.

Its not psychedelic. after of meddle they stop making that kind of music

Pink Floyd, I feel, is the most intelligent music ever crated in our time. The poetry, the composition. There desire to truly help us understand what is important in life... Nobody can bent a note like Mr Gilmore, his well never runs dry playing guitar fast may have its respectabilities, I agree, but to play slower with a high degree of creativeness is what I find to be very respectful David is the man and roger is the other man too!

Greatest solo of all time, every note is literally perfect. Hands down, the GOAT of solos and the GOAT of guitarists, David Gilmour

It's a long shot saying, someone in the future might top this solo. Unlike most solos, this one has a story to it. The first solo is a bright and happy one, which contrasts the second one. The song's transitions from dark and gritty to bright and happy truly stands out.
The dark melody goes perfectly with the bright undertone.

It seems almost impossible to create a greater tone than Gilmour, let alone a do an entire solo. I've always been a fan of Gilmour's tone in songs such as, "Hey you", "Time", "Another brick in the wall - part 2".etc,...

The careful selection of notes and the right time for it is ineffable. With Rogers' lyrics and songwriting along with Gilmour's songwriting and lead, makes this song a true gem, ahead of its time. And the solo, an out-of-place experience.

Considering the fact that this was made almost 50 years ago, and it still is being talked about is a remarkable feat only few bands achieve.

Pink Floyd's music breaks the ...more

Eruption - Eddie Van Halen Eruption - Eddie Van Halen Cover Art

This was the song that is credited for redefining guitar playing

This is insane, WOW. I'm not even a big Van Halen fan, but this might be the best guitar playing that's ever entered my ears.

A Totally wicked amazing guitar solo ever. One of the best guitar riffs ever written So powerful Amazing and fast really shows Eddies true talent as tapping was one of the techniques he is best known for

This solo may not be the best solo ever, there are many very underrated guitarists out there, sure Eddie is pretty overrated in the guitarist world... But I still believe his is one of the best guitar players to ever pick up a guitar. Stairway to heaven is a beautifully crafted song, but is highly overrated. It is fairly simple, and if you sit in any guitar shop you will hear someone playing it... Not eruption which takes way more skill.

Sweet Child O' Mine - Slash Sweet Child O' Mine - Slash Cover Art

Greatest solo ever. Must be at least at 3rd place. Sweet solo. Among the best solos that I had ever listened. Classic solo by slash. This song takes me to heaven...!

It does have a good solo, but the intro is wack. Some stations cut it out.

When I heard this solo, I was just blown away. Now I have heard many more solos and many more great guitarists but this one remains my favourite for years and slash my favourite along with jimmy page, dimebag darrel and dave mustaine.

My favorite guitar solo of all time. I bet anyone who plays a guitar want to solo this song. not the toughest but great one. wanna play this everyday.
All the guitar riffs are also sweet. never mis it

November Rain - Slash November Rain - Slash Cover Art

One of the last great slow-burning solos in my opinion, the first guitar solo, and to a lesser but still large extent the second solo, in the Guns N' Roses masterpiece November Rain is absolutely beautiful. Passion and energy seem to flow out of the strings with each extended, stabbing note, and the wailing nature of those notes really help to convey the sad emotions presented in the lyrics and Axl Rose's beautiful vocal performance.

Without a doubt the best solos Slash has created. The three are just incredible

Best three solos I ever heard. I become spellbound while listening this song. Those three solos are SOLOS OF THE MILLENIUM. Can't be matched by any other though comfortably numb solo is quite great but not as november rain

Why is this not even in the top ten? This is the best friggin solo ever! Bon jovi doesnt even get close to the awesomeness of the solo in this!

Freebird - Collins/Rossington Freebird - Collins/Rossington Cover Art

Sorry, Collins/Rossington, but your ranking of the Free Bird solo, as being the best even, is hands-down proof that you don't understand anything about music other than your own gut feelings, which is to say that you don't understand anything about music. I enjoy Free Bird also but the solo is very redundant. For somebody with musical training who knows how to truly pay attention to what's being played, the actual solo-lines in the Free-Bird ending get boring very quickly, which is why I prefer to not hear Free Bird any more than about once per year, because, that way, I can enjoy it without being bothered too much by the mindless-repetition. Compare, for one of many possible contrasting examples, Clapton's solo in Sunshine of Your Love. I'm not saying that repetition is always a bad thing but there are good ways of doing repetition and bad ways. If you want an example of a good way, listen to Stephen Stills' solo in the extended-jam of the 4-Way-Street version of Carry On. If you ...more

Worst list ever! Free bird is the best solo ever! Heres the real one!
1. Free bird-Lynyrd Skynyrd
2. Master of puppets-Metallica
3. One-Metallica
4. Sweet child o mine-Guns N' Roses
5. Cliffs of Dover-Eric Johnson
6. The day that never comes-Metallica
7. Hotel California-Eagles
8. Whole lotta love-Led Zeppelin
9. Stairway to heaven-Led Zeppelin
10. God is dead? -Black Sabbath

You can't put three Metallica solos in the top ten, it's just impossible, and there are way better solos by Black Sabbath than the one in God Is Dead?

I cannot believe I HAVE to say...are you KIDDING. Way too good for this garbage heap. Take it to the top...5-10 at the least.

This solo is amazing! You can find a whole lotta different sounds and techniques in this single epic 5 minute solo

Hotel California - Joe Walsh and Don Felder Hotel California - Joe Walsh and Don Felder Cover Art

it's a great song and finishes with a great long solo!

The greatest solo of all time!

JUST BEST SOLO EVER

This song has the most iconic guitar solo and it is on #7 oh come on! It should be at least #2 after stairway to heaven

Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May Cover Art

Bohemian Rhapsody is incredible and deserves a higher rank than this!

What a way to top of our list then with Bohemian rhapsody by Queen. The guitar solo for this songs is just out of this world and The way Brian Plays it Is just Spine tingling. He nails it with so much motion that you can feel the motion of the song and how awesome it was put together. Brian is well known for having awesome guitar solos (crazy little thing called love (hammer to fall (These are the days of our lives etc Queen rules and so does Brian

Brian May deserves to be higher than this. I love this solo, perfect solo for the best song of all times. I mean, it's playing over and over in my head right now.

An excellent guitar solo for and excellent song!

Mr Crowley - Randy Rhoads Mr Crowley - Randy Rhoads Cover Art

Finally the first actually unique solo on this list. Mostly, this is just a reworking of the classic rock solos list, with some... oversight by putting Stairway first. This is the greatest metal solo ever.

Rock fans vote for their favaourue songs while they haven't even listened to songs like Domination, Tornado of Souls, Me Crowly. Listen to these songs then cast your vote.

Hands down, the greatest solo ever! It has melody, it has speed, it has talent, and it has classical tunes! Definitely guitar playing at its peak. People don't realise the power of this, listen to a slower version of the solo and you will realise how every note is astonishing.

Whats up with this list? Definitely to best guitar solo in music history by phenomenal Randy Rhoads only at 55th place?

One - Kirk Hammet One - Kirk Hammet Cover Art

In my opinion, better than Master of Puppets. This song is just all around good. The gloomy beginning solos and the crafted lyrics. Although the guitar playing gets crazy at the end, it still feels clean and well constructed. It doesn't stray too far from the core of the song. Solos like Eruption and almost any Hendrix song have you clawing and grasping for notes but they are flying out too fast. One still has that intense element but is bottled nicely and can almost be compared to Stairway, in a song structure sense.

I may like other Metallica songs more overall, but One is the greatest piece on guitar. The guitar is not simply there to supplement the sound and hit a few catchy riffs; the guitar sets the mood so much in this song. It begins with some eerie, gloomy riffs, which are perfectly complimentary to the lyrics of a traumatized soldier. After two verses, it goes into a great solo that most people would consider enough for a song. But instead, the song is only halfway over, and it kicks into a much harder sound. The heavy riffs again control the tone of the sound, where now the lyrics are of the soldier losing his mind. It then finishes with two minutes of pure thrash and the greatest guitar solo in history.

this is probably one of kirk's best solos that he has done. It is one of the best!

I should have voted for some megadeth solos, but kirk hammet is the man for making the most melodic solos. and one is #1 :P

The Newcomers

? Sunshine of Your Love - Eric Clapton Sunshine of Your Love - Eric Clapton Cover Art
? Layla - Duane Allman

Love Duane Allman but you should give Clapton a lot of credit and solo should be at least top 10.

Are you kidding - Layla not in the top 20? And Eric Clapton had a part in the solo too...

All duane.. Simply the best.

Why is Clapton's magnum opus not in the top ten?

The Contenders

Highway Star - Ritchie Blackmore Highway Star - Ritchie Blackmore Cover Art

Technical guitar master Ritchie Blackmore is most well known for his incredibly recognizable riff in Smoke on the Water, but his solos in Highway Star, particularly the second one, are perhaps just as strong achievements. The second solo seems a bit like the musical version of being shot out of a cannon at ultra-relativistic speeds. The arrangement has a classical touch to it, resulting in what probably would happen if Mozart got extremely drunk and then decided to pick up an electric guitar and wail away.

Actually the first solo is a keyboard solo. I used to think too that it was a guitar solo because of the distortion used. - RalphSaad

Every 'Top 10 Solos' List is lame without this solo in the Top 3!
METALHEADS, where are you? Without this piece - no speed metal and even thrash (thrash is speed metal mixed with hardcore punk).

This solo is just breathtaking and was so ahead of its time - way later speed and thrash metal guitarists started play such fast, technical and thundering solos.
Based on Bach-like chord sequences, this solo and the song in general were the best prototypes of metal music.

This definitely belongs in the top 10, not only for its technical perfection, but because of its sheer energy level. There are lots of fast solos out there, but few get my attention like this one.

Top 10 for sure. Blackmore's masterpiece still kills 45 years later. I doubt this will be the case with Synyster Gates, Kirk Hammet, or even Slash's entries.

Fade to Black - Kirk Hammett Fade to Black - Kirk Hammett Cover Art

This is the worst list I've ever seen... It actually sickens me that people are simply voting for their favourite song instead of the solos, you have solos like FTB, Comfortably Numb and Freebird outside of the top 5. This is such an intricate solo and quite emotional for metal. The only reason I would buy a Bon Jovi album was if I ran out of toilet paper

This is Kirk Hammett's best solo. Unlike all of his other shred solos like master of puppets (the first, more tasteful solo is James's) and One, which get quite repetitive, it seems like Kirk actually put a lot of time and effort into this one. It still manages to add shredding elements while incorporating aspects of solos like comfortably numb. Its easily his magnum opus and deserves to be higher on this list.

How is this and "highway star" out of the top 5?
Tornado of souls and Shine on you crazy diamonds should also be higher on the list

One of the most iconic bands' most iconic solo. Stfu and put it up there.

All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix Cover Art

Regarding creativity and originality, Joe Satriani said this about Hendrix; "I can very easily figure out what he did; but I have NO idea how he thought of it."

Just what I wanted.Jimi's best. I have no idea how anyone keeps this out of the top 5, let alone 10. In the way Deep Purple were the pioneers to a Hard Rock and Metal genre, Hendrix was on a path that only he saw, but everyone wants on it. It's beyond malice having this steamroller behind the planners and thinkers. He's a dreamer.

Total shock that Stairway to Heaven is number 1. #sarcasm

A guitar solo from another dimension, performed by an immortal guitar virtuoso born on another planet.

High Hopes - David Gilmour High Hopes - David Gilmour Cover Art

I strongly believe that Dave Gilmour is the greatest and best-rounded guitarist in all of rock. And this song is his magnum opus. 4 minutes of pure guitar nostalgia, perfect top to bottom. No solo is better crafted, structured or executed than High Hopes. Yet, people overlook it.

Impeach these votes... No way does ANY David Gilmour belong near the top ten.

When it comes to guitar solo in this song, David Gilmour nailed it! This is the best solo I heard in my life...

How is this not in top 5. By far the best solos I have ever heard

Tornado of Souls - Marty Friedman Tornado of Souls - Marty Friedman Cover Art

Marty doesn't get enough credit. He's an awesome guitarist and this is one of his best solos to date.

This solo deserves to be in the top ten man, I don't get how can such a majestic composition be way down in here with this other load of garbage

In my humble opinion, this is not just the best metal solo ever composed, but THE best guitar solo I have ever heard. Only Comfortably Numb can come close to the sheer epicness, intensity, soul and complexity of this one. It has got a little bit of everything and the buildup to the solo is just perfection. It says a lot about Marty Friedman's talent that many great guitarists still fail to capture the essence of this solo while playing and the fact that nobody dares improvising much on this one cause it just won't work. This one deserves to be way higher on this sad mainstream popularity contest list.

Best solo ever period. Ticks ALL the boxes.
1. Feeling: No one can much Marty on his vibrato, bending and melody.
2. Shredding: Insane runs and amazing arpeggios.
3. Character: Builds up nicely, fully memorable and you can sing along.
4. Unmatchable: Amazing guitarists tried to replicate it live ever since in Megadeth line up. More or less, they ALL failed to catch the vibe and fluidity.
5. Epitome: NOT one of the HUGE lead guitarists ever tried to changed it even slightly.
6. Approved: By Metal GOD and FOUNDER of Thrash himself. Reportedly he shook Marty's hand after the recording speechless. 'enough said...

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix Cover Art

Come on!? How is this not at least in the top 3? Anyone who plays guitar knows that this song is awesome and hard to recreate. Hendrix was one of the most original guitarists of all time. Seriously?

Now this man is an instrument with an instrument, within movements on a powerful groove. It's hard to endure the disrespect associated with trailing a studio musician like Gilmour.

Amazing phrasing, but I think the solos in Machine Gun are more nuanced and of course without overdubs, either way Jimi's work should rate #1, no one has ever combined soul, artistry, and technical wizardry to the same level since.

It sounds like there are ten guitars in that solos. But no! It's just one guitar in the Rock Nirvana. The entire song is a guitar solo. And it's awesome.
Man. I just can't describe it with words. You HAVE TO listen to it. Do it. You will be convinced.

Hangar 18 - Dave Musatine/ Marty Friedman Hangar 18 - Dave Musatine/ Marty Friedman Cover Art

This song isn't great from one solo its fun cause it has 11 which is why it shouldn't be on this list none of the single guitar solos are as good as lets say mr crowley

hanger 18 has an awesome sol. mustaine and friedman are amazing as a team, shame friedmans gone now. one sucks. its overrated cause of guitar hero

Number 13? You gotta be kidding, this song has 12 solos and they're all incredibly creative and fast, this list is mostly voted on popularity, although I still love led zeppelin

Must be higher. And where's tornado of souls?

Whipping Post (Live) - Duane Allman & Dickey Betts Whipping Post (Live) - Duane Allman & Dickey Betts Cover Art

An emotional roller coaster of a series of solos Live from the Fillmore West. The solos fit very well with the emotions and desperations of the song.

Slide guitar licks and driven southern rock takes it home

Beyond the Realms of Death - Glenn Tipton Beyond the Realms of Death - Glenn Tipton Cover Art

This solo speaks to me... of course it's one of the best ever. So sad people often vote for crap. This solo deserves to be in the top 10 and I put it on my personal list - this will move the solo up (higher than #42) but not enough to get it to the top 10.

I've been listening to Heavy Metal Since I Was Teenager But never tried to listen to Judas Priest ever not sure why...

A talentless guitar solos like Sweet child of mine November rain Afterlife Takes first spots and beyond the realm of death doesn't get 10?

Those solos you've mentioned are very good, but none of them is as good as this one. - ShahryRKnoT

Undoubtedly the best guitar solo which has ever been composed. I guess it is the only piece of music that makes me feel something so profound every single time I listen to it.

And I am never going to be tired of it.

The best guitar solo of ALL TIME in my opinion. How can this song and Judas Priest NOT be in the top ten? For those who haven't heard this song, look it up on the YouTube.

Machine Gun (Live) - Jimi Hendrix

It's hard to describe why this beats out all other solos. To be ranked outside of #1 is an absolute travesty, but with that said you could describe any of Jimi's solos that way, which in and of itself is diminishing the song as a whole. I know people have differing opinions and more power to them. I cannot sit by and say that anyone in the history of guitar holds a candle to Mr. Hendrix. It just would not be right. To write something that absolutely transcends time and space is not something to be taken lightly. There are many artists throughout history who have been given this privelage. BUT, to do it on so many instances only shows that the hand of the Almighty was resting upon Jimi. Say what you like. Listen to the music. Compare it to anything you like. When God Himself shows up in music you can tell. Jimi wasn't the only one to receive this honor but for whatever reason, and believe me if wasn't because Jimi was a saint, God Himself decided to particularly bless Jimi's music. ...more

This is one of the reasons I like to consider him the coolest person to live

Still blasting at to he wall, from up on the tower looking down at, BLAH! His presence left, and left us other's blase.

No one else has ever had such amazing control of feedback and harmonics. Controlled chaos and raw emotion! All done with a minimum of fuss, live on stage. Also the gnarliest sound ever recorded from 8:56 - 8:58. Chills every time! #1

Heartbreaker - Jimmy Page

The shredding in this solo easily compares to eruption. Sadly it doesn’t last that long. Anyways, this should be at number 15

This is exactly the opposite of Gilmour's droll that is needed to sink that pink. Swap them out so I can take this needle out of my PINK eye.

He plays it so fast that you can barely hear it!!!

This should be WAY higher up. This is one of the best solos of all time. He improvised it as well.

White Room - Eric Clapton

This is fine but not 21. I would submit that "Let It Rain" on "Derek and the Dominos In Concert" ranks this high. And "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" has got to be higher than White Room.

Listen, I love the song, I loved Cream. My third album was History of Eric Clapton. Just being honest though.

That wah wah sounds so awesome. Also the rhythm guitar in this song could be my favorite of any song behind When the Levee Breaks

It's Clapton. Totally awesome.

Most underrated guitar solo of all time! Claptons best and arguably the best of all time!

Afterlife - Synyster Gates

This solo is so boring. IT. IS. JUST. FAST. Anyone could play triplets as fast as they can in the box and call it a solo (see Scream by Avenged Sevenfold) It's so straightforward. There's nothing creative about it. Good solos don't need to be just fast to grab someone's attention. One of the best solos of all time is Comfortably Numb, which is slow and psychedelic. That solo's not great because of its speed. It's great because of its creativity and melody.

Kick yourselves Everyone!..
Have you ever listened AFTERLIFE?.. By Avenged Sevenfold?..
Synyster Gates is just AWESOME.. His solo is great!.. And very fast!...

Speed doesn't define a good solo, a guitar solo may not be very fast, yet be awesome, such as stairway to heaven's, if speed was actually important free bird or through the fire and flames would be on first place

Why the hell on 6th position, this solo should be on the 1st position

I love stairway to heaven and comfortably numb but this solo is just so amazingly badass. It's creative, original, and just mind-blowing. And, unlike most other solos in the top 10, this solo has a bite to it that hard rock lacks but is characteristic of metal. Listen to this solo even watch the music video so you can see him playing it it's just incredible.

Moment of Surrender - The Edge
Time - David Gilmour

Oh my god, don't even ask, I could go on all day about why this solo is great

I don't know how this isn't in the top 5 every note leaves an emotional mark and adds to the epic sound of time. One of my favorite solos, but, stairway to heaven jimmy page is in it's right spot at number 1

Honestly up there in the top 10. It is often overlooked even though its one of the bests bits of this legendary song. This and burn solo are so underrated.

Realistically, Comfortably Numb should be Number 1 or 2, Time should be 8, 9 or 10, and High Hopes should be around 13, 14. David Gilmour is, in my opinion, the greatest guitarist ever, and doesn't fill his solos with 100bpm arpeggios and sweep picking. He packs perfect notes and guitar techniques (vibrato and definitely his bends) along with his awesome, punchy tone, to create the best guitar solos ever.

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