The Best Guitar Solos of All Time

Musician playing guitar while performing on a concert on a festival

The Best Guitar Solos of All Time

What are the best guitar solos of all time? The guitar solo used to be a mark of the artistry of a band’s lead guitarist. In its purest form, they serve as melodic interludes. Today’s guide isn’t going to cover simple little solos you might hear in a song from the 1960s, instead, we’re going to be looking at the solos that truly melt faces.

Comfortably Numb

best guitar solos
Comfortably Numb’s solo will capture your attention right from the start.

Starting off our list is an all-time classic. Pink Floyd ignited the world with its mix of psychedelia and blues rock. However, David Gilmour’s best moment is the final solo that closes out Comfortably Numb. It is a masterclass in understatement, using Gilmour’s signature deep bends and phrasing to draw in the listener.

Purple Rain

best guitar solos
Prince knew to save the best for last with this scorching guitar solo.

The Purple One was a certified prodigy when it came to instrumentation. This is best demonstrated in the title track of his landmark album, Purple Rain. Prince’s guitar work gets a heavy showcase, demonstrating his skill and ear. The solo itself bounces between two separate keys and sounds seamless while closing out this emotional classic.

Highway Star

best guitar solos
Ritchie Blackmore is one of the unsung heroes of hard rock guitar.

Anyone who has worked in a guitar shop likely has a bit of disdain for British hard rockers Deep Purple. However, the solo on their release Highway Star is one of the best guitar solos of all time. Ritchie Blackmore’s fretboard work demonstrates his love of classical music while also showing a sign of things to come in the world of rock and metal.

25 Or 6 to 4

best guitar solos
Chicago’s Terry Kath knew the value of a good guitar solo.

While Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4 is famously referenced in Green Day’s Basketcase it is home to an absolute blistering solo. As one of the best guitar solos committed to tape, Terry Kath shows deft fretwork over multiple minutes. The track itself might have been ho-hum with a catchy riff if note for the captivating solo it contains.

Sultans of Swing

best guitar solos
Mark Knopfler’s skills haven’t diminished with age in the slightest.

If you should know anything about Dire Straits, it is Mark Knopfler’s prowess on the guitar. This is best shown in Sultans of Swing, which was already a masterclass in guitar playing. This gets the nod as one of the best guitar solos due to Knopfler’s wholly unique phrasing and melodic sense of progression. The solo fits into the song like a glove and keeps the flow like his own vocal lines.


best guitar solos
EVH’s contributions to the world of guitar are immense.

The world of hard rock and heavy metal owes a heavy debt to guitarist Eddie Van Halen. The guitar master came swinging out the gate with Eruption, a showcase of Van Halen’s talents. You won’t find a blistering vocal line from David Lee Roth here, but rather a completely solo guitar piece. What makes this one of the best guitar solos in the world is the sheer number of techniques it showcases while staying entertaining.

Maggot Brain

best guitar solos
Funkadelic is an unusual suspect for guitar wizardry, but it is well-deserved.

Admit it, you likely don’t think of Funkadelic as a guitar-centric band. The more uncouth counterpart to Parliament had chops to spare thanks to guitarist Eddie Hazel. Maggot Brain is a ten-minute epic, showing Hazel’s melodic chops and musicality. It ranks as one of the best guitar solos in the world thanks to the fact that it draws you in and tells a story the whole time.

Liam Frady, Author for History-Computer

Liam Frady is a writer at History-Computer with his primary focuses being computing, EVs, and home audio equipment. Liam has been involved in tech for over a decade and holds multiple technical certifications and an Associate's in Information Technology from Trident Technical College. Prior to engaging in writing, Liam was involved with a number of tech startups, operating as a network administrator and cybersecurity officer. Liam currently resides in South Carolina. When he isn't writing about tech, he is an avid tape collector and moonlights as a mixing engineer for audio post-production.

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