The Top 5 Guitar Solos Of All Time

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read More

It can be difficult to choose the top 5 guitar solos because music is a very subjective field. However, you can be sure of one thing. Any solos by a guitarist are integral parts of a song. The guitarist is able to bring his talent and skill to the attention of fans.

For a few brief moments, the listeners have the opportunity to realize how much heart and soul these musicians really have. People finally understand that it really isn’t all about the vocalists and front men. Songs are about music, and guitars play a big role in any song.

Technique is a key element that anyone must have if they want to amaze an audience with their ability on a guitar. It is also important to have the desire to be innovative. The best guitarists in the world are known for their abilities to find the right chords and keys on a guitar but they also have the dreams, imagination, and talent to take it a step further. They are not satisfied to follow in the footsteps of others. Instead, they create new musical worlds and amazing magic with the strings of their guitars. Some of these solos are impossible to do even if you have the best acoustic guitar or electric guitar. It is all based on skill and experience.

The Top 5 Guitar Solos Ever:

Stairway to Heaven

YouTube player

It is not only one of the best selling songs of all times it brought guitar solos to the forefront of the music world. It would be difficult for anyone to disagree that the best guitar solo in history was played by Jimmy Page in 1970. Page used his Fender Telecaster for the recording of this classic Led Zeppelin hit, but for any of the live shows he would use a double neck Gibson guitar instead.

According to the band’s biography, Jimmy Page actually recorded multiple guitar solos in the studio. Then he listened to these recordings over and over before selecting the one that he felt had the right qualities to blend perfectly with the other tracks of “Stairway to Heaven”.

This song had enough musical and vocal legs to stand on its own but ridiculous claims that Led Zeppelin had included Satanic messages boosted the sales. Naysayers were adamant that the band had produced the song to play “devil worshipping” lyrics if it were ever played backwards. Naturally most of the world wanted the chance to find out if this fact was true or not, but the magic guitar solo by Jimmy Page survived this public debacle and mesmerized all listeners.

November Rain

YouTube player

The solo at the end of this song is nearly 3 minutes long and captures all of the passion and musical versatility of this guitar maestro. The riffs and slides that Slash was so able to perform were responsible for inspiring millions of teens and adults to try their hand at learning how to play a guitar for the first time.

Hotel California

YouTube player

Hotel California features solo and duo performances by Don Felder and Joe Walsh. However it is the guitar mastery by Walsh that has most fans enthralled with this “Eagles” classic rock song. This is one of those instances where the lyrics really are overshadowed by the magic produced in the guitar solos.


YouTube player

Layla is a rock masterpiece that was first played by a band known as Derek and the Dominoes. The guitar solo in the song is a display of magnificent fretwork and leaves listeners longing to hear more. The soloists who demand your attention with their guitar playing abilities are Eric Clapton and Greg Allman. If truth be told Clapton outperforms Allman on “Layla” by a mile.

Bohemian Rhapsody

YouTube player

Brian May and his extraordinary guitar playing dazzled the music world when he showed his complete domination of the instrument in the song Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen was a band with a stand out vocalist in Freddie Mercury but May’s unbelievable chords and riffs could hold their own against the vocal range and stage antics of the lead singer. Guitar solos by Brian May can be heard on all Queen songs but on the extended version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” he is finally given the chance to really explode on those strings.

There are some other solos that demand recognition as well. Many fans would argue for their inclusion on a list of top guitar solos, but in this instance these musical pieces just fell a bit short of the mark.

Eric Johnson fired off a stringed solo on the album “Ah via Musicom”. The song was “Cliffs of Dover” and Johnson nearly stole the show when he displayed his guitar skills in his solo stint.

“Evil Empire” was a top selling album produced by the band, “Rage Against the Machine”. The song, “Bulls on Parade” gave Tom Morello a chance for one of those uniquely different guitar solos that dazzled anyone who listened.

Metallica has always been a heavy metal band that has shown they are ahead of the times. Guitarist Kirk Hammet was at his best when he performed the riveting guitar solo on the song, “Fade to Black”. This song remains one of the favorites of fans around the world.

Many songs by the group Nirvana may become distant memories but not the song, “Smells like Teen Spirit”. This was the group’s masterpiece and the emotional guitar solo by Kurt Cobain is still one that is being imitated by many musicians.

Jimmy Page gives fans another special treat when they are able to hear his musical genius during his long guitar solos on the song “Heartbreaker”. This was one of the most popular songs the group recorded during their time together and it was included on the “Led Zeppelin II” record album. Page will always be included in a listing of any top 5 guitar solos and he well deserves this honor.

Whether you want to learn about guitars, guitar equipment or other instruments, Guitarsquid has all the answers.