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!

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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"

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9. RHCP "Scar Tissue"

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8. Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody"

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7. Nirvana "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

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6. Pink Floyd "Time"

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5. Eagles "Hotel California"

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

4. Megadeth "Tornado Of Souls"

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3. Ozzy Osbourne "Mr. Crowley"

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2. Led Zeppelin "Stairway To Heaven"

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1. Pink Floyd "Comfortably Numb"

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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!

460 comments sorted by best / new / date

    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?!
    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.
    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
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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
    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.
    samrocks135
    WHAT THE HELLL...??....wher's SLASH??JIMI??EVH??JOE SATRIANI???..KIRK HAMMET??ANGUS YOUNG???.....are u nuts???
    Holoogamooga
    Kind of surprised no DT made the list, but it looked like votes were spread out between quite a few of their songs. Quite a few people mentioned AB's "Blackbird" as well. Regardless, good list.
    iammclovin
    The solo for Hollow Years Live At Budokan is the best solo I've ever heard. Gives me chills every time.
    Miseryfields
    I was really wondering why that wasn't on there. I've actually seen two people cry when that solo hits. The entire list here, though, is more of a "Hey, that's pretty cool" kind of solo.
    PowerStruggle
    was just thinking, The Spirit Carries On has an excellent solo to name but one. Kinda predictable list. Not sure if that's disappointing or not.
    henrihell
    Yep, reading the comments on where we voted, you could tell the top 3 immediately. Stairway To Heaven and Comfortably Numb was not sure which one would be first, but glad it came out this way.
    niv0070
    At least they pick Comortably Numb that is really the best solo of all times... and BTW.. How the **** The Dance Of Eternity is not on the list?!?!
    phili666
    Smells Like Teen Spirit? REALLY? that solo is horrible
    rokr258
    I agree that it isn't top ten all-time, but I would argue that this solo is a powerful one in that it is the perfect solo to fit the song, and it is arguably an iconic solo in an iconic song.
    on3andth3sam3
    We all talked about this yesterday. Just because it isn't hard doesn't mean it's a bad solo. This song, and the solo are iconic.
    phili666
    I doesn't have to be hard, but it should at least be well written. the teen spirit solo is NOT well written. it's just the vocal melody played on guitar. thats it. you can literally write that kind of solo on every track that has a chorus, it's not impressive or well written, it's lazy. some RHCP solos are very easy, but still good solos. same goes for pink floyd, not hard but emotional and REALLY well written.
    DjangoUnstrung
    There are no easy Chili Pepper solos. JFs phrasing and use of subtle nuances are unparalleled, in my opinion. Anyone with a decent ear will have incredible difficulty notating his solos, and I have never seen anyone but him replicate them.
    link no1
    Iconic? I have never heard somebody give praise to that solo until today.
    GazzaCee
    Maybe he meant ironic. But that doesn't make sense either.
    on3andth3sam3
    How about you read what I posted farther down where link no1 was insistant on making opinions without knowing what he was talking about. Is it really that hard for you guys to go to a 2 day old article (The link is even on this page) and look up why this list is the way it is?
    miregal
    "link no1" how old are you? That solo was one of the first that I learned, its a great solo. Not everything has to be a thousand notes played. I still haven't heard a guitar solo like SLTS.
    plindqui
    Surprised there's no Jimi - All Along the Watchtower was my personal pick
    SwoobGuitar
    Listening to it right now, amen. Especially because it's actually two solos of which the first one isn't finished, so it sounds like one.
    Javis425
    There's a serious lack of Blackbird on this list
    RadioTape
    I love smells like teen spirit and it's solo because of everything behind it. But it doesn't deserve to be in the top 10 solos list.
    My Last Words
    I'd love to see some floods in this list :'( Neat list, tho smells like teen spirit shouldn't be in the top 10.
    Josh Reubenking
    Kirk Hammett's main solo in "One" Anyone?
    thrill606
    I can't believe there isn't any Metallica on this list but there is Nirvana.
    Josh Reubenking
    Agreed. Kirk Hammett has composed incredible solos. There's so many to name off. "Blackened," "Master of Puppets," "Fade to Black," "Ride the Lightning," list goes on. Anybody could play solos better than Kurt Cobain. R.I.P Kurt. I respect the dead, but still.
    Dr. Knox666
    This. People always complain that Hammett is a way overrated player but it's a fact that this guy wrote some of metal's most recognizable solos. He definitely deserves to be on this list.
    SOAD_SoG
    Who the hell voted for Smells Like Teen Spirit Solo? That's ****ing terrible compared to others.
    on3andth3sam3
    Read the article when we chose them to understand why.
    link no1
    Or you could just tell us? Was it for the lols? It was for the lols wasn't it?
    on3andth3sam3
    Since you're being an ass about it: "I doubt this will be thumbed up (and might even be thumbed down), but Smells Like Teen Spirit's unbelievably simply solo after the ridiculousness of the late 80s was so refreshing and (in a 'me-reading-too-far-into-things' kind of way) really symbolic of a change in popular music." - notaconotaco "It was almost the anti-solo, IMO. It was kinda cool, just play the verse vocal line on the guitar and call it a solo. Not the best, I think, but I couldn't imagine SLTS without it and that makes it good." - TombOfHorror
    Baphometronic
    it was somthing about "it doesnt have to be the most technically skilled, it could be cultural significance or how it fits with the song" im butchering it but that was the gist
    Mack888
    Intriguing that in the voted list of greatest ever solos there's not a single mention of the voted greatest guitarist. Good to see plenty Gilmour though!
    ToolCreedence
    What do you mean? Gilmour has two spots..
    turkeyjerky214
    He means Hendrix who was voted the greatest guitarist a few weeks ago.
    PIMO
    Well EVH was voted recently by Guitar World lol Brian May beat Hendrix in that poll lol controversy? I'm surprised that didn't make UG News...
    benstrange99
    Bad list, Smells like Teen Spirit solo is just playing the vocal line, on guitar, how can that get into the top ten guitar solo list?!
    kzkzkz
    What is this? There is not best solo of all time. A virtuoso solo doesn't means that it is good, the only thing to evaluate from a solo its the context that the author made to it in relationship with the entire song. What about this one?:
    #at=90
    haa666
    Poll to find the best what-ever... 90% of readers complain that their favorite was not on the list... It's the UG way
    dewitt
    I think these lists would be better (as well as likely generating more traffic) if they were top 25, instead of top 10. The lists would [possibly] be more diverse, it [maybe] wouldn't be the same things over and over, it would [potentially] introduce more people to more things they hadn't heard before, and more people [theoretically] would be satisfied with the final outcome.
    Elegitii
    Very surprised to find that November Rain wasn't on there. Or any Hendrix or Van Halen. I was actually a little embarrassed that Nirvana were on there.
    weorge
    Obviously the list isn't perfect, but I'm glad to see 'time' in there. Personally I think it's gilmour at his best but I've never met anyone who agrees!
    crossd
    This should be called most popular solos of all time not the best solos of all time.
    HiImAlec
    Very bad list. Muy mal. Muy mal. And there isn't a band I hate more than Pearl Jam. So yeah, this list is gross. >
    kratos379
    I guess if I were to make a top ten it would be: 10. Dream Theater - Under a Glass Moon 9 Rainbow - Stargazer 8 Paul Gilbert - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (it's a great cover, look it up) 7 Testament - Disciples of the Watch 6 Metallica - The Four Horsemen 5 Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower 4 Between the Buried and Me - Selkies: The Endless Obsession 3 Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb 2 Led Zeppelin - Achilles Last Stand 1 Megadeth - Tornado of Souls
    rebreh
    Here are some honerable mentions by me Cementary gates-Pantera Master of Puppets-Metallica Bulls on Parade-Rage Against the Machine Free Bird-Lynyrd Skynyrd Just pick a song by Jimi Hendrix Just pick a song by Stevie Ray Vaughn
    CoolMcAwesome
    yea, this is list is terrible sorry guys, but hat is my opinion. Any list of greatest guitarists, or best solos that includes Cobain can't be taken seriously. I don't argue that he shouldn't be on a list of most Influential guitarists, but face it - the man wasn't a very good guitar player, and his solos are boring as **** (normally just follow vocal melody). ... at least Tornado of souls made it.
    Kueller917
    I love Nirvana but really? Even Cobain knew he was never a very good guitarist.
    N7Crazy
    He could actually play the guitar very skillfully, but he didnt like it, mainly because of his hatred of hair metals ridicoulus, and unnecessarily "the faster, the better" attitude, and his love of punk rock simplicity - I saw a some few videos on Youtube, where he actually plays a bit more complex guitar solo quite well - but he never incorperated it to his music, because of the influence from The pixies, Black flag, and R.E.M on him.
    link no1
    Oh wow, no joke entries in this list! Oh wait, Nirvana...k, I take it back, there is the joke entry.
    EternalDeath666
    Weird list, but accurate with some solos like Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Eagles, RHCP, etc. Hendrix and shreds like EVH, Satriani, Vai, Gilbert, Petrucci, Yngwie should be on there. Also, Scar Tissue guitar solo on the studio version is great, but live solos are even better. Check this out.
    Aryan Death Man
    imo,i dont think great solos can be ranked.it relies on a person's choice. but,i cant believe u public voted for smells like teen spirit ,when not a single jimi hendrix solo made it to the list solos like sultans of swing(its a top 3 in my opinion),one,blackbird,november rain,cemetery gates,black magic woman is so much more deserving than the songs mentioned here
    Chocomalk
    This list is more like the favorite of UG's readers, hardly the best of all time from any genres viewpoint.
    Smokinjoerules1
    So many solos missing from this list, Joe Bonamassa has written a better solo than all of them, and Smells like teen spirit solo shouldnt be in the top 500, let alone the top 10, it's dull, boring and I could write a solo 3 times as good as it