Greatest Guitar Solos


The Top Ten

1 Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page

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.

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.

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!

With you on this one...but Sweet Child O' Mine, gimme a break, Try "Goodby Pork Pie Hat" by Jeff Beck on the Wired album at #2 "Hotel California" at #3 and "Pali Gap" Jimi Hendrix on the Rainbow Bridge album at #4

the rest are too difficult to decide... and the besides a solo is like a wine, it needs context and environment...

V 70 Comments
2 Comfortably Numb - David Gilmour

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!

it should atleast be on top 5! and why is barracuda, livin in a prayer and bohemian rhapsody on here? sorry but this list sucks! - livinglegend

Greatest solos of all time

V 158 Comments
3 Eruption - Eddie Van Halen

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.

Eddie is absolutely the best guitar player in my generation if not ever. He's proven this many times over. He is also a total musical freak! I am sure he holds more patents that any other guitar player. But it still comes down to which band and musical style you prefer. Jimmy Page playing " Stairway to Heaven " is beautiful, but not the best solo ever.

So amazing! - Oliwally

V 29 Comments
4 Sweet Child O' Mine - Slash

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...!

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

Its sound of the guitar is almost perfect by slash, it's the perfect sound

V 46 Comments
5 Hotel California - Joe Walsh and Don Felder

it's a great song and finishes with a great long solo! - rock2metal

The greatest solo of all time!


Greatest of all time. best chord progression

V 25 Comments
6 Freebird - Collins/Rossington

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? - Rocker00

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

Ok guys don't you hear what's happening with that solo? All the notes heard like a singing don't have to be a guitar player to understand this

V 23 Comments
7 November Rain - Slash

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.

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! - Barlek

Should be top 3

V 29 Comments
8 Bohemian Rhapsody - Brian May

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!

In the top 10? They must be taking the piss, this is the most boring and soulless solo I've ever heard, Bran himself has done way better. Listen to the solo to We Will Rock You for starters, then Brighton Rock

V 15 Comments
9 Mr Crowley - Randy Rhoads

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?

The second solo in this song is the greatest ever, my top 3 would be this hotel California and tunnel of love - wolphert

Should be higher it I so beautiful ;3; nothing can top it!

V 17 Comments
10 Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix

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?

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.

Come on, guys... vote for this one... put it just under stairway to heaven

V 12 Comments

The Newcomers

? Mean Street - Eddie Van Halen
? Cathedral - Eddie Van Halen

The Contenders

11 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

Let's not mess about. This solo is one of the most impressive solos ever written, and Syn is one of the best guitarists to reach fame this side of the year 2000. Agreed, melodically it's no comfortably numb or stairway to heaven, but sometimes it's not just about that. We all know he can write incredible melodic solos (just listen to Dear God or Betrayed), but this solo incorporates so many different guitar playing techniques and sounds at impossible speeds whilst retaining it's melodical value that it deserves to be in the top 10. It's fighting the modern guitarist corner, and it deserves to win.

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.

V 35 Comments
12 Master of Puppets - Kirk Hammett

I mean, like, master comes out of the part where james shouts master! Master! Where's those dreams that I've been after! And it comes to a building that finishes with kirk's solo, simply amazing, he said that when he really got a kick out of it, he destroy one of the guitar strings, AWESOME

This solo deserve 1st position... Best solo I ever heard... All solos ok Metallica are best.. Solo of one, fade to black, creeping death... There should be a different list for metallica solos... They all are best... Put this solo at top...
1. Master of puppets
2. One
3. Fade to black
4. Whiskey in the jar
5. The unforgiven
6. Creeping death
7. The day that never comes
8. The unforgiven 3
9. The unforgiven 2
10. The Judas kiss...
This is perfect list..
Metallica only

And, most important, do you listen to something different than Metallica? - Rocker00

Kirk is killer. One is better. Neither deserves to be on this list. Who the hell makes these stupid lists? I can go no further with this stupidity since there has been not mention of Jimi, Stevie Ray, Les Paul, Robert Johnson (look it up you idiots), Robert Cray, Eric Clapton I could go on for hours And by the way, a special thanks to Ozzy for Tony, Randy, and Zakk. Three greats.

This solo is so fast, so melodic and so emotional. To play this solo is an achievement but to have composed it is completely otherworldly

V 14 Comments
13 One - Kirk Hammet

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.

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

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

To be honest this is the worst list I have ever seen. This riff deserves to be 1st.

V 9 Comments
14 Fade to Black - Kirk Hammett

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.

44th place. 44th firetrucking place. Way to go people, you just brought my confidence in you down. And Master of Puppets is in 9th. I love that song, but the solo is just about playing as many notes as possible, then using the whammy as though your life depended on it.

It's funny how Kirk Hammett has 3 solos in row for best solos list. Also I just realized solos is the same backwards - Redhood654

V 10 Comments
15 Highway Star - Ritchie Blackmore

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. - Metal_Treasure

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.

This ones way better than stairway to heaven

V 3 Comments
16 High Hopes - David Gilmour

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.

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

A great artist.

V 6 Comments
17 All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

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."

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.

This belongs on number one- just ahead of led Zeppelins very own stairway to heaven

V 11 Comments
18 Tornado of Souls - Marty Friedman

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

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...

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.

Listen to it, and then you WILL vote for it.

V 21 Comments
19 Hollow Years - John Petrucci

Never heard a solo with that much emotion. - Clyx

The Studio-Version is good, but the Solo on Live At Budokan is the greatest solo ever played in history.

Anybody who doesn't vote this up seriously needs to listen to it - the Live at Budokan version.

Its AMAZING. It's the only solo I've ever heard that successfully combines kickass virtuoso shredding with Gilmour-level emotion.

20 Whipping Post (Live) - Duane Allman & Dickey Betts

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

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Greatest Guitar Solos of Rock and Metal Best Metal Guitar Solos Best Avenged Sevenfold Guitar Solos Top Metallica Guitar Solos Most Underrated Guitar Solos

List StatsUpdated 19 Feb 2017

8,000 votes
438 listings
9 years, 244 days old

Top Remixes (54)

1. Something - George Harrison
2. Bold as Love - Jimi Hendrix
3. White Room - Eric Clapton
1. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
2. Dogs - Pink Floyd
3. Sultans of Swing - Mark Knopfler
1. Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
2. Child In Time - Deep Purple
3. Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin

View All 54


Out Of Tune Lists #2: Greatest Guitar Solos
Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.