Top 10 Guitar Solos of All Time

Published on 04 August 2022

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided by the guest blogger and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of guitarguitar.


Whether you’ve been practising your air guitar along to your favourite records for decades, or have only just got into rock music from Stranger Things 4 (thanks Eddie Munson), we all love a bit of a guitar solo.

You can sit in the pub and argue all night about who brings the most emotion to a record, or who can shred the most effortlessly, or even who looks the coolest doing it, but some solos just stick out as the crème de la crème of guitar playing so, here’s my top 10 guitar solos.


10. Don’t Stop Me Now - Performed by Brian May

Although other Queen songs may be higher on other people’s lists, Don’t Stop Me Now is the perfect addition to this high-energy classic.

The lyrical build up before the sweet release of Brian May’s fingerwork make this solo one that will never disappoint and have the whole dance floor “neaowwww-ing” along with it.

9. Beat It - Performed by Eddie Van Halen

The King of Pop certainly knew how to drop a rock song now and again, and the solo that decorates Beat It manages to knock some of the most prolific rock ‘n’ rollers off this list.

Performed by one of the most famous guitar soloists: Eddie Van Halen, Beat It’s solo is gritty and fantastically over the top in order to complement the background riff we all know and love.

Van Halen initially thought the invitation to play on the track a joke and was mocked by his other band members. Thank God he saw it through.

8. Purple Rain - Performed by Prince Rogers Nelson

The first emotional entry on this list is Prince’s one and only Purple Rain, a reflective guitar solo that mirrors the emotion behind Prince’s vocal performance.

In 2007, the musician performed Purple Rain at the Super Bowl half-time show, coincidentally in a very real downpour, and thus was born one of the most iconic Super Bowl performances of all time.

7. Sweet Child O’ Mine - Performed by Slash

The Guns N’ Roses track has undeniably one of the best rock guitar solos. Sweet Child O’ Mine instantly has you envisioning trucking along the coast of America, no worries in your head and a valley of possibility ahead of you.

Slash's solo makes you feel like you can take on anything or become anyone you dared. This is highlighted by the repeated “Where do we go now?” immediately after. The answer? Anywhere.

6. Crazy On You - Performed by Nancy Wilson

Although perhaps not ‘technically’ a guitar solo, the opening riff of Heart’s Crazy on You is notoriously difficult to master and is expertly played every single time by acoustic guitar goddess, Nancy Wilson.

For that reason alone, it deserves a spot in this list and is, in fact, the only acoustic guitar entry.

5. Eruption - Performed by Eddie Van Halen

When Eddie Van Halen shreds the guitar, he feels it. There’s no doubt he puts his everything, and then some, into his playing.

Taken from their 1978 self-titled album, Eruption is a mind-bending, soul-blazing guitar instrumental that inspired a generation (or two) of future guitarists.

The tapping, the tone, the hammer-ons, the whammy bar all harmoniously synchronise together for a guitar experience so insane it’ll singe your eyebrows right off.

Who’d have thought that there was actually a mistake in it too…

4. All Along The Watchtower - Performed by Jimi Hendrix

It would, quite honestly, be a sin to compose a best guitar solo list without including Jimi Hendrix considering the multitude of guitar techniques the legendary guitarist uses in stages such as bends, wahs, slides, delay and reverb.

What makes this solo so special is the man behind it. Hendrix is an icon to many guitarists and for good reason. His playing style was so other-worldly, it’s baffling to believe that he could come up with such masterpieces, and at such a young age.

His creativity and nuance when it came to playing guitar shines through in All Along The Watchtower and soon gave Hendrix pioneer status for the genre. It’s truly one of the best solos that will ever grace this world.

3. Hotel California - Performed by Don Felder and Joe Walsh

Hotel California is one of those guitar solos whose appeal expands beyond fans of classic rock. Most people will recognise those notes even if their most listened to Spotify artist is Taylor Swift.

The whole vibe of the solo leaves you in awe, especially when you take into account the last lyrics you hear before it kicks off. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Wow. The guitar helps you digest those heavy words and forces you to think back on what was being talked about the whole time.

Using two guitarists to perform a duet gives this piece such weight, it’s almost unbelievable to believe that it wasn’t as planned as you may think. Joe Walsh and Don Felder played off each other in a more spontaneous session to create the now iconic melody.

The Eagles’ classic simply sends you to another place and time, a whole different world to our own and yet somehow, as familiar as the street you grew up on.

2. Stairway to Heaven - Performed by Jimmy Page

Considered by some as the best song of all time, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven contains one of the best guitar solos of all time too.

The title of the track is certainly on the nose as it’s exactly the feeling you get when listening to Jimmy Page’s expert guitar playing.

This is the kind of solo where you wish you could hear it again for the first time. It simply warps your mind and makes you rethink all the music you’ve heard so far in your life and you’re never the same after.

The solo reaches a perfect climax within the song and the satisfaction you feel at its conclusion is simply one of the best experiences you’ll have as a human being.

1. Comfortably Numb - Performed by David Gilmour

David Gilmour always pulls off the most emotional, heart-wrenching guitar performances; Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb is the rawest example of this.

Even the toughest Marlon Brando-esque gangsters will struggle to not feel overcome when hearing this solo. It’s got everything you could want in a piece of music - drama, emotion, talent, and vulnerability.

It will hit you right in the gut and spread throughout your entire body until a piece of your soul is forever changed by this overwhelming display of human warmth translated through a fretboard and an amp.

Author: Becks

Bio: Becks is a music marketer from West Sussex who specialises in helping up-and-coming musicians find their fans and grow their following. Find out more on

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