Great guitar solos have often marked the best songs in history. Something about their intense difficulty and melodic nature contributes something special to a song.
For many, looking back at guitar solos they once rocked out to is nostalgic, and perhaps you have some favorites of your own.
Keep reading to see if they make this list of greatest guitar solos of all time.
Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven
Of course, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven makes the list and is a great place to start. There’s a reason everyone, including those who aren’t Zeppelin fans, knows this song.
The song’s guitar solo contains a crazy amount of twists and was actually voted the number one best solo by Classic Rock Magazine.
The Eagles: Hotel California
Another top-rated song, Hotel California is known for its killer solo.
What many don’t know is that the solo is actually performed by both members Joe Walsh and Don Felder who take turns playing before coming together.
The Beatles: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
The Beatles have quite the discography but their greatest guitar solo is without a doubt in While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which was later covered by Prince.
Members of the band George, Paul, and John were all known for playing Epiphone guitars, which actually make affordable beginner guitars like the Epiphone DR 100.
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Free Bird
Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird has to be included in any list of greatest guitar solos of all time.
Played by band member Allen Collins, this long solo measured different lengths depending on the medium. It’s said that at live concerts, he would often solo for over 14 minutes.
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody
Queen is a champion of hits having created popular classics like We Will Rock You and Another One Bites the Dust.
It’s the unique guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody, however, that makes this list. It could be because guitarist Brian May had a desire for this solo to stand on its own and not just copy the vocal melody as many do.
The song wasn’t even initially going to have a guitar solo, but Brian told Freddie Mercury that it needed it.
Rage Against the Machine: Killing in the Name
Rage Against the Machine helped define the genre of rap-rock, and their song Killing in the Name has a solo performed by Tom Morella that’s funky and strong enough to make this list.
The song and solo appear on the band’s first album that quickly earned them a name for themselves.
Prince: Purple Rain
Prince was one of the most famous musicians in history, and his death four years ago still feels like yesterday.
Due to his talent and ability to play many instruments, however, he was rarely recognized for his guitar playing specifically.
Even so, he was an extremely talented guitarist and it shows in his solo in Purple Rain.
A Few of the Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time
There have been hundreds of famous guitar solos throughout history, but the seven above are noteworthy standouts.
Whether it’s in terms of length, complexity, melody, or all three, they’ve made a name for themselves and we are all familiar with them for a reason.
Think we left one out? Comment your favorite greatest guitar solos of all time below.