OT - Best guitar solos

Submitted by Sommy on January 22nd, 2011 at 2:39 AM

I'm not much of a guitar solo guy, but man, Eddie Hazel's work on Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" is just sheer awesomeness.

What are your favorites?


Super J

January 22nd, 2011 at 6:46 AM ^

Not the best but I still like:

kerry king No Sleep til Brooklin

eddie van halen Beat It

david gilmore Sorrow

any song by Vio-lence

Every Alex Skolnick solo

all those cats that plays solos for King Diamond

These are just a few...


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:27 AM ^

I can't remember which song it is, but it is in A-minor.  And it has almost all of "Jimmy Page's" minor blues licks played on an acoustic in about a minute and a half.  This was, of course, at least thirty years before Page. 

As for solos, there is a reason almost all beginning guitarists try to tackle Stairway to Heaven.  I really like the solo in Aqualung for the same reasons as most like the solo in Stairway.  The structures are almost the same, with very nice building in the beginnings and theatrical climaxes at the end. 

As a live music afficionado, my favorite solo ever is very, very long.  I am biased because I was there: Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead, Eyes of the World, 6/10/73 RFK Stadium (Grateful Dead/ABB co-headliners).  There is a nice "toggle point" where the key subtly shifts from E to D (or B Minor), and most of what he did that day was textbook on how to seamlessly shift keys back and forth in the Rock idiom without being obvious about it. 

Also, that is the only solo I have ever heard him do that made me remember that Garcia is a Spanish name.  He showed a lot of Spanish guitar influence that day while staying within his preferred idiom.   Since he did somewhere around 3,000 shows in all, YMMV if you are a Deadhead/Garcia fan.


January 22nd, 2011 at 7:42 AM ^

Alex Lifeson is one of the must underrated guitarists in the world.

"Freewill", "Limelight", and "La Villa Strangiato" contain some masterful solos

Sorry so late to the party.


January 22nd, 2011 at 7:53 AM ^

Dating myself here ...

My first concert was (believe it or not) the Moody Blues at Crisler Arena in '83.  (Fan of classic rock, etc. ...)  SRV was the opening act and I knew almost nothing about him prior to the show.  I think he opened with Testify.  It was awesome from the get-go and it got better.  He pretty much blew the 'Blues off the stage.  He was famous for that.

Benoit Balls

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:45 AM ^

since 1995. First time i saw them was $5 at a little hole in the wall local bar. I've seen them live about 20 times (mostly during my own college days). Last time I saw them was 2 years ago, and man did I feel old. Where are my Zig-Zags?

contra mundum

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:10 AM ^

Agree with the Lifeson comment..always loved "The Trees", "Digital Man" and "Subdivisions".

Big Mark Knopfler fan as well..."Down by the Waterline" is a personal favorite.

Zeppelin..."Over the Hills and Far Away"...wish I was good enough to play the accoustic intro.


January 22nd, 2011 at 8:30 AM ^

It may be appropriate for American sports fans to open with Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock.  Then, in no special order (borrowed from a "child of the fifties"):

Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry); Rebel Rouser (Duane Eddy); The Thrill Is Gone (B. B. King); Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker and Whole Lotta Love (Jimmy Page - Led Zeppelin); November Rain and Sweet Child O’ Mine (Slash- Guns ‘n’ Roses); All Along the Watchtower and Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix); Money for Nothing and Sultans of Swing (Mark Knopfler - Dire Straits); Comfortably Numb (David Gilmour - Pink Floyd); Free Bird (Allen Collins, Gary Rossington - Lynyrd Skynyrd); Won’t Get Fooled Again (Pete Townshend - The Who); Hotel California (Joe Walsh, Don Felder - The Eagles); Crossroads (Eric Clapton - Cream); Layla (Eric Clapton, Duane Allman - Derek & The Dominos); Crazy Train (Randy Rhoads - Ozzy Osbourne); Reelin’ In The Years (Elliot Randall - Steely Dan); Jessica (Dickey Betts - The Allman Brothers Band); You Really Got Me (Dave Davies - The Kinks); You Shook Me All Night Long (Angus Young - AC/DC); Misirlou (Dick Dale); Blitzkrieg Bop (Doug "Dee Dee Ramone" Colvin, John "Johnny Ramone" Cummings - The Ramones); All I Want Is You (David "The Edge" Evans - U2)


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:35 AM ^

Absolutely amazing.

I'm a big Clapton fan myself. Saw him at DTE last year for the first time, I spent the first like 12 minutes of his set just saying "Wow". By far the best guitarist I'm ever going to see live.

His new album "Clapton" is pretty good too. It's a little bit of softer blues, and it's great


January 22nd, 2011 at 4:04 PM ^

Agreed that Jimi Hendrix on ‘Johnny B. Goode" is fantastic. Thank goodness for YouTube clips. Have to get Chuck Berry on a Baby Boomer Playlist, so I start with the original duck walker, and even after seeing Chuck perform at Mohegan Sun Arena back in 2002, have to say that he was still very good then.

Saw Eric Clapton with Cream at the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston in 1967 and with Blind Faith at their first performance in the U.S. at Madison Square Garden in July 1969, so I understand how you rate him at the top. If you don’t have Cream’s Royal Albert Hall reunion concert on DVD, I’d recommend it along with the DVD/CD from the 2008 MSG concert with Steve Winwood. And consider the Delaney & Bonnie and Friends CD "On Tour With Eric Clapton".

So many guitar greats to choose from. Always loved Pete Townshend and John Entwistle during Who concerts in the 60s and 70s. Also saw B. B. King open for the Stones at the old Boston Garden during the Let It Bleed Tour in November 1969, and that was a night of great guitar work. Probably should’ve added songs from George Harrison, Keith Richards and Neil Young to the Baby Boomer Guitar Solo Playlist.

Among the underrated whom I’ve seen in the past couple of years and thought were surprisingly good in their later years are Stephen Stills (who, sadly, seems to have lost his vocal abilities) with CS&N and Nils Lofgren with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. One who wouldn’t make the Baby Boomer List, but who’s very good – Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine who played with the E Street Band at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concert in October 2009.

Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll and The Victors!

03 Blue 07

January 22nd, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

Yeah, I went to U of M from 99-03, and had a fraternity brother who swore that Prince was the best live guitarist he'd ever seen, and the dude (my friend) had great taste in music. I remember scoffing at him and thinking he was out of his mind- I mean, "how can Prince be a great guitarist?" I thought. And then I saw some live clips of Prince later, after I'd graduated, and I kind of understood where he was coming from. Prince IS actually one hell of a guitarist. Who'da thunk it?

Benoit Balls

January 22nd, 2011 at 8:50 AM ^

but ever since the first time I heard "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin, I was hooked. I love all types of music, I have Dave Brubeck, Garth Brooks, OutKast and Josh Groban on my i-pod, but in that "desert island" scenario, I'm taking Zeppelin above all others

My favorite Jimmy Page riff is most likely Heartbreaker. Especially live versions of it.  However, White Summer/Black Mountainside makes me wish I was coordinated to this day. Damn thes sausage like fingers


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

I've seen quite a few great ones, Jimmy Page, SRV, Clapton mentioned. Mark Knopfler.

I'd add Joe Satriani, in particular the solo from summer song. Also, some motor city madman, Stranglehold. I went and saw him in concert a couple times and once it intro'd it as the sweetest guitarlick ever. Maybe not the most technically impressive ever, but damn good guitar work.


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:28 AM ^

Props to Stevie Ray, Frank Zappa, and the other masters honored here. Also, congrats on not mentioning wank artists like Steve Vai and Vinnie Moore (Satch is OK, though). Good thread. My contribution:

Stanley Jordan -- Eleanor Rigby


The man's entire body of work is solo guitar mastery. Plays with a trio as well.


King Crimson -- Vrooom

Fripp is one of the greatest. Gotta give the man respect ... no flash photography! Douches!

And I would be remiss to exclude a metal solo. From the fantastic hands of Muhammed Suiçmez, "Fermented Offal Discharge" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SRD6mjrUMo&t=3m03s


January 23rd, 2011 at 11:44 AM ^

He still tours a bit and has an album coming out soon as well. I saw him live a couple years ago in Southfield with his trio. One of the best musical performances I've ever seen -- right up there with Ravi Shankar and Dave Brubeck, true masters of their craft.


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:30 AM ^

As fas as technical solos are concerned I'd say Yngwie Malmsteen - Flight of the Bumblebee is right up there.

My personal favorites:

Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan

Blue Sky - Allman Brothers

Cemetary Gates - Pantera

Call of Ktulu - Metallica

The team the t…

January 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 AM ^

Chuck's double stops rule....Maybellene!

If we're talking about rock music, it has to be about attitude/feel, not technical playing.   So, how about Keef's solo in Sympathy for the Devil (He plays the bass on that, too).

Mad props for starting the thread with Maggot Brain!