Best Guitar Solos Of All Time

Your votes have been counted, and now we can present to you the top 10 best guitar solos ever - complete with tabs!

Best Guitar Solos Of All Time
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On Wednesday we asked a question that was sure to get the UG crowd fired up: what is the best guitar solo of all time?

It's no surprise that the article got over 700 comments and thousands of votes. As usual, you guys proved to "know your st", as they say.

We've set the videos to start playing from when the solo kicks in, and added a link to the tab for that song so you can dive right in and start learning. If you're a guitar ninja who's learnt them all already, there's no better time to practice again!

10. Pearl Jam "Alive"

(Tab)

9. RHCP "Scar Tissue"

(Tab)

8. Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody"

(Tab)

7. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

(Tab)

6. Pink Floyd "Time"

(Tab)

5. Eagles "Hotel California"

(Tab)

(Note: Lil' Wayne came in joint 5th place. You crazy pranksters!)

4. Megadeth "Tornado Of Souls"

(Tab)

3. Ozzy Osbourne "Mr. Crowley"

(Tab)

2. Led Zeppelin "Stairway To Heaven"

(Tab)

1. Pink Floyd "Comfortably Numb"

(Tab)

Did you have fun learning the solos? Do you agree with the list voted for by your fellow UG readers, or would you have added something different? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for voting!

459 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    502Megadeth1320
    Seriously, spell Megadeth right, UG....
    hendrix04
    Good list. But I'm very surprised that Eruption by Van Halen didn't make it on here.
    gkex
    Yeah, Nirvana makes it with their little A-shape songs and solos, but EVH gets snubbed. Typical. Also, no Jimi. Do the people who vote even actually play guitar? Not saying that all the other solos on here suck or anything, but better than Hendrix and Eddie? No
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    eruption is all solo though but watchtower should be in and teen spirit as much as i love it should be out.
    Challenger440
    yeah Nirvana rocks but definitely not for their solos. And also Stairway is definitely not Page's best solo. Just a crowd pleaser
    Parkl
    My problem is that there's a picture of Eddie on there, but no EDDIE?!
    hotdogs585
    how did nirvana make it on here? let me guess, bc SLTS is the anti-solo. PUNK ROCK IS THE ANTI SOLO. Been around before nirvana. How is "Party like a rock star" not on here? just because its not a metal song? give me a break thats a sweet solo and you guys know it
    VertigoViking
    I don't get this anti-solo thing. Playing vocal melodies is a typical thing to do in solos. It's not anti-solo, but for the same reason it is nothing spectacular either.
    rubbert
    RHCP - Not Metal Pearl Jam - Not Metal Eagles - Not Metal Pink Floyd - Not Metal... i think i made my point...
    henrihell
    Metal solos usually suck, because their only shredding and lacks melody pretty much. don't get me wrong, I love metal, but most of these solos really are better than most metal bands can accomplish.
    Shaade_Darkpaw
    Clearly you don't listen to Iron Maiden, responsible some of the best melodies in all of musicdom. Or Ozzy, or Megadeth despite the perfectly good examples on this list. Or Metallica of old. Probably no Machine Head, Arch Enemy or Pantera either.
    paulohd2
    Iron Maiden responsible for some of the best melodies in all of musicdom?? Kid, you just went full retard.
    henrihell
    Yes they are, but it's the singing melodies, not the guitar. With some exceptions of course, and by that I mean the slower songs like "Afraid to Shoot Strangers" or the slower breakdowns, like the one in "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner"
    henrihell
    not megadeth much, but all of the others belong in my favorites, and seriously, I don't find much of melody in panteras solos, not all metallicas either, maiden have some that's pretty much shredding. Solos in my opinion should be done the way Gilmour does them, or like the slower songs by Vai.
    cac89
    you actually have no idea what you're talking about do you?
    Firehawk2410
    Oh, yeah, I forgot that only metal guitarists play "good" solos. Screw rock guitarists! Those guys suck because they don't constantly play 16th and 32nd notes! I think I made my point.
    dewitt
    What solo in Party Like A Rock Star? I just listened to it because you made me curious, but the only 'solo' is the little repetitive lick that is featured in the chorus, with an extra guitar playing the same thing over top of it with a little more vibrato. ...not to mention the fact that that riff is completely unoriginal and was used (not as the main part) in every other classically-influenced hard rock song from the 80s, it had been used in millions of rap songs up to that point (albeit on a synthesizer with a different sounding 'instrument').
    hotdogs585
    hahahahahahahaha yes I WIN! somebody actually went through the trouble of listening to that shitty song the whole way through. tbh i havent heard that song in 5 years nor did i ever endure the song all the way through.
    FlyingPirahna
    Do we really need to put the same guys in the top ten every single time, though? We all know Jimi Hendrix and the like are awesome and influential, but we need to move on too.
    60s&70s
    Smells like teen spirit is a great song, but the solo it self is not greater than Bohemian Rhapsody, come on!
    Iron Johnson
    Why isn't Fade to Black by metallica on here. The intro solo is beautiful!
    RC52190
    And the end one... And the middle one. They're all really great. That entry alone could be a three-fer of awesome solos.
    death4077
    I'm actually not a fan of eruption. Yeah it's a fast tapped solo but there's no emotion and IMO that's what makes a good solo. But there definitely should have been some jimi
    TFK_62
    Agreed. Not that Eruption is bad, but there are other much better solos.
    gkex
    Oh my god, just for that I'm going to go eat a baby in front of it's parents. This is all your fault. Remember this moment when you arrive in hell.
    qrEE
    Well I think "emotion" is an overrated thing to attribute a solo to. If you take emotion at face value, literally every solo has "emotion" by being written by a human. So if you don't have "emotion", then how have you even written a song? And what people mean BY emotion is "play slower, rhythmic, and use natural minor scale only" - emotion doesn't matter. Creating the best sound out of a song does. Not every song needs a solo, and those that use solos just need to use them in context. For example, would you honestly expect a Cannibal Corpse solo to have "emotion"? No, because the band focuses on aggression. The reason CC isn't on this list is because their solos, while they fit for the songs, don't stand out, they are just there to serve their purpose, and not do anything more than that. Meanwhile, Buckethead turns every solo into an event, and each event captures a mood wonderfully. Solos are about context, and Eruption lacks the context to make it a good solo. The ending tapping part? That's when the solo first starts to get context, and it ends really shortly after. Not enough build, too much of the good stuff at the end. I think there is no soloist better than Buckethead.
    RC52190
    That is an incredibly insightful stance on soloing. Something for everyone to take with them when they leave this page is this info.
    rip3149
    The funny thing is on wednesday I was so quick to comment Comfortably Numb...then I thought of Eruption...then I thought "**** number one is really highway star by deep purple"...and somehow it didn't even make the list
    Fridl
    Amen to that my good sir, highway star should be on the list.
    Lightning_Ray
    That or "Spanish Fly" which, to make it sound less impressive than what it really is, is basically "Eruption" played on a classical guitar... Most of these lists are subjective, no one's ever going to be happy with most of the results. This one for me is... strange. I do like all of the guitar solos in it but there are so many others... One that I believe that nobody mentioned is Dire Strait's "Private Investigations", a purely genious piece by Mark Knofler, a very underrated solo.
    JMZ08
    Eruption? How come people get downvoted for mentioning Buckethead but EVH gets credit? Something's a lil' askew around these parts.
    Bob_Rock
    And what's funniest thing is that they put a picture of Eddie Van Halen on top of this article
    samrocks135
    WHAT THE HELLL...??....wher's SLASH??JIMI??EVH??JOE SATRIANI???..KIRK HAMMET??ANGUS YOUNG???.....are u nuts???
    Purcell
    Agreed, I wish that they had put that song in this list. It may be regarded by a lot of people as overplayed, but that song is literally what inspired me to play guitar. I worked my ass off just to develop myself to a point where I could play that solo at tempo, and after that, I was free to use my skills to make guitar playing something sonically personal... That is just this one's opinion/anecdote though.