Almost everything I write for Affinity is about good ol’ rock and roll. I believe everybody can appreciate the clear sound of a guitar during a solo and appreciate the amount of skill it takes to produce those sounds.
I’m also a huge fan of making lists. So, without further ado, my favorite guitar solos:
All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Let’s face it, Jimi Hendrix is one of the most important guitarists of all time. His solos are almost always legendary, so it is definitely saying something that, at least in my opinion, this is some of his best work. The smooth transition and sound create a melody that is incredible! You can listen to this song here.
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
This song starts off slowly, working its way up to full-on rock and roll in the course of about eight minutes. The initial sounds are almost relaxing and eventually lead towards vocals that perfectly compliment the deep lyrics that accompany the instruments. When it comes to the solo, few things are as impressive as hearing this guitar and understanding the incredible amount of talent needed to play like this. You can listen to this song here.
Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan
This is quite honestly one of my favorite rock songs. I love the lyrics, and the way the sound and words make me feel. I can’t really compare the feeling of singing this song out loud to anything else, but it is thrilling. The opening guitar is incomparable and paves the way for the rest of this incredible song. You can listen to this song here.
Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
This song is definitely a feel-good. It starts off incredibly cool and transitions into a mind-blowing guitar solo. But, what else can we expect from the band that gave us Sweet Home Alabama? There isn’t a lot I can write about this song, except that it’s is definitely worth a listen. Sure, it’s slow going, lasting over 9 minutes, but if you’re willing to commit, it’ll be worth it. You can listen to this song here.
Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile) – Santana
Now, I might be a little bit biased in favor of Santana, being that we are both Mexican, but this man is right up there with Jimi Hendrix on my list of best guitarists in history. From the first note to the last, I absolutely love it. This song is feel good in the saddest way, bringing up feelings of nostalgia in a way that makes you glad to reminisce. The higher the notes go, the more intense the feeling. There is nothing else I can say besides that if it were possible to make poetry with a guitar, this would be the result. Santana is legendary. You can listen to this song here.
Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses
This is probably Guns N’ Roses’ most famous song. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that doesn’t know at least the chorus – and for good reason. Nothing short of iconic, this song immediately dives into a guitar riff that makes hearts skip a beat. You can listen to this song here.
Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin
Repeating the intro riff with a few variations until the beginning of the lyrics, this song immediately hooks you in. The lyrics, as is custom with Led Zeppelin, leaves us wanting more. This song is probably the most “hardcore” on this list; the guitar is heavy, so I’m only able to drive it as pure rock n’ roll. It’s definitely not for everybody, but boy is it amazing. If you’re willing to dive a little deeper into rock and roll, this is a really good place to start. You can listen to this song here.
Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
Of course, there’s more Hendrix. This is my absolute favorite of everything Hendrix ever played. This icon is so good at playing the guitar that he deserves to be on this list twice, and it is definitely worth a listen. You can listen to this song here.
Hotel California – The Eagles
The first time I ever heard this song I was probably younger than 10. My parents, mostly my dad, are huge fans of the Eagles and this song is one of their most iconic. The lyrics go into great depth and the symbolism they use paints an incredible picture. But the real reason this song is on this list is that the solo, and general guitar, is one of my favorites of all time. I truly believe rock would not be what it is if it weren’t for this song (and the other songs on this list). You can listen to this song here.