Jimmy Page’s hauntingly beautiful guitar solo on “Stairway To Heaven” has probably made hundreds – or thousands – of people want to pick up the guitar. The 1971 Led Zeppelin track has made it into several “Top” lists of the best guitar solos ever, often at the No. 1 spot. Well, it really is a piece of genius, a work of musical art that is – or should be – in every guitarist’s list of solos to master.
If you have mastered it and can even play it backwards, then you can try other popular electric guitar solos by notable guitarists. Just make sure you have the best electric guitar for the job to nail that signature sound – some useful tips you can find here. Here’s our list of some of the most iconic guitar solos ever created – aside from “Stairway,” of course.
Interestingly, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour regarded “Comfortably Numb” merely as a bare-bones track. This is according to Bob Ezrin, who co-produced the band’s 1979 album The Wall. Ezrin wanted the record to have an orchestral intro, Gilmour didn’t. But vocalist and bassist Roger Waters sides with Ezrin, so the guitarist eventually gave in.
Gilmour recalled that he didn’t come up with that unforgettable solo right away. He made five or six solos, listened to each, and made a chart that noted which parts he considered good. He then followed the chart to create a single composite solo – which we, along with many others, consider to be one of the best ever created.
“November Rain” in the 1991 Guns N’ Roses album has an interesting history. It was initially part of a demo tape that featured ‘early versions’ of what would become the band’s top hits. The song, a piano-driven ballad, would be included in the band’s 1987 debut album Appetite for Destruction along with others on the demo tape.
The song would resurface as an electric version in 1991 on Use your Illusion. Guitarist Slash remembers how doing the guitar solo for the new record felt natural for him that he didn’t even know if he made changes to it when they did the electric version. He didn’t even listen to the demo. It’s the thing with a melody for a guitar solo, Slash said, “it comes to you the same way every time.” Again and again and again.
This Queen track from the 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack is widely considered to be the song that shot the Freddie Mercury-fronted band to international fame. Queen’s “heavier” songs from their previous albums didn’t quite make it to the charts, but the band quickly gained mass recognition with “Killer Queen,” which reached No. 2 in the UK.
We’d like to highlight guitarist Brian May’s multi-tracked guitar solo, which creatively makes use of the bell effect he heard in the music of Mantovani. May wanted to recreate the shimmering, cascading effect using guitars. He did this by placing multiple overdubs in calculated intervals in the mix, with each overdub having a distinct tone.
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