My Top Ten Favorite Guitar Solos

These are my favorite guitar solos. Some of these solos are intricate but some are pretty simple. I picked ones out that I have always liked. Some of them are not considered great but I always thought they were memorable. They caught my ear for one reason or another.


1. Cream – Crossroads – A live solo by Eric Clapton. He pulls notes out of the air and turns this cover of the Robert Johnson song into a great rock track.

2. Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps – One of the few times someone else played on a Beatles track. This was Eric Clapton playing this solo. Eric played his guitar through a Leslie cabinet to make it more “Beatlely”

3. Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower – Jimi made this Bob Dylan song into his own.

4. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing – I can hum this one all the way through. I know it better than the lyrics.

5. Elvis Presley – That’s Alright Mama – Scotty Moore nails this solo. It’s very simple but it’s perfect.

6. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil – Keith’s solo compliments the song perfectly.

7. Led Zeppelin – Heartbreaker – My favorite solo by Jimmy Page

8. Tom Petty – Breakdown – Mike Campbell’s solo is just as part of the song as the lyrics are…

9. Queen – We Will Rock You – Not a difficult solo but catchy. This solo was one of the first ones that I ever noticed. Brian May plays solos you can hum.

10. Badfinger – Baby Blue – A very simple solo but it fits this great power-pop song.






Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

54 thoughts on “My Top Ten Favorite Guitar Solos”

  1. Some great stuff! I agree that these are all awesome! Like ajeanneinthekitchen said, I think ANY Stevie Ray Vaughn solo is just brilliant. I would say BB King should be in there, too. Brian May – I agree. I think I read somewhere that he hated it, or maybe it was the guitar he was playing, but I loved his solo on Crazy Little Thing Called Love. There are SO many more – just can’t pull them off the top of my head right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh there are many great ones out there…these just appealed to me…not the greatest ever…especially Baby Blue…but they just did it for me.
      Now a few of these would be considered some of the top ones.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m often not a fan of big, overblown solos, but some are good- glad you had #4 on there. the very first song I thought of off the topofmy head was “Sultans of Swing.” Great solo in a great song, lyrically and musically.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not a fan of those either. I have to have a melody in there in the solo…most of these do…Baby Blue and Break Down would not be on a real list… but to me they work so well.
      I want to be able to hum the solo after it’s done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All excellent choices, Max. Jimmy Page’s Heartbreaker is my favorite of that bunch. For fans of electric guitar solos it’s tough choosing favorites from so many. One of my favorite solos is the intro to this Midnight Oil song:

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Of those, my favourites are All Along the Watchtower (particularly the one he played at the Isle of Wight – I had the album many years ago. Curiously, a cousin of mine who wasn’t into this sort of music bought it for me as a birthday present! Quite a surprise!) And Dire Straits. But two of my most fave solos are from Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd, played by David Gilmour) and Hotel California, The Eagles. Trouble with listening to the latter is it then becomes an earworm for days!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really do like Gilmour…anything he plays has his style stamped on it. I got to see them once at Vanderbilt in the early 90s…without Waters, unfortunately.

      What I wouldn’t have given to be at the Isle of Wight in 1970…I have the Who video. The video of them blows me away…they were so powerful. I’ve watched some of the Hendrix tonight there…he was great as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s good – that you saw Gilmour. I’ve never seen Pink Floyd live, but I saw David Gilmour at an open-air concert for Tibet in the mid-1990s. That was at Alexandra Park in north London. Other half and I are divided over whether it was an acoustic or electric set. There used to be some info about it online as well as some videos (albeit not of Gilmour) but most of it has gone now.

        My best friend of the time, and I, wanted to go to the I.O.W. in 1970, but our parents wouldn’t let us! I wish we’d just gone anyway. The photo in my first Roundhouse post was taken on a holiday we both had just a month or two before that, as far as I recall. So it seems we were okay to go to Southern England by ourselves, but not across a tiny stretch of water to another bit of England!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a shame…1970 or 1969 Isle of Wight would have been great.
        Dang parents! I got to go to more places than my older sister was allowed.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes my power pop leanings are showing through!
      I picked…for the most part…short but sweet solos. Love Brian Mays solos on everything.


  5. I’ve got three to add to this impressive list.

    David Lindley on “These Days” by Jackson Browne from his For Everyman LP.

    Richard Thompson on “Shoot Out The Lights” from the Richard & Linda Thompson LP Shoot Out The Lights.

    Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King & Buddy Guy on “SRV Shuffle” from the A Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan LP.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like these. If I had to choose just one quickly which isn’t on your list, but I just adore, it would be Dire Straits ‘Tunnel of Love’ solo. That leaves me breathless and it brings back such great memories.


  7. If I’m not mistaken, Crossroads by Cream is a cut & paste job done in the studio of a much longer version. It came out great!
    3 other solos that kill me are:

    Zappa, Inca Roads from One Size Fits All. Just a perfect example of Frank proving to the ages that he was the absolute best.

    Duane Allman, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed from Filmore East. The 1st solo is Dicky Betts, who wrote the song, and his solo is excellent. But Duane’s solo just destroys!

    Jesse Ed Davis on Doctor My Eyes by Jackson Browne. Such a strange and soulful solo by a strange and soulful man. I cant name another solo by him although he played on tons of songs by big names.

    Also, every solo by Elliot Easton of the Cars. Each one is an explosion of power pop perfection in under 20 seconds. Brilliant player.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for bringing up Elliot Easton. I always say he gets overlooked…and I overlooked him. His solo in My Best Friends Girl is outstanding. I love his solo bursts…not to mention his fills.

      All three of those are great. Allman I could use for all ten. Zappa was just a pure musician. My jaw drops at some of the pieces he plays.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love Breakdown and Baby Blue!

    No particular order…
    Van Halen: Hot For Teacher (along with the great drumming; everyone else likes Eruption)
    The Eagles: Hotel California
    Guns -n- Roses: Sweet Child ‘O Mine
    Jefferson Starship: Find Your Way Back (three different solos)
    Petty & Nicks: Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
    Boston: More Than A Feeling
    Fuel: Hemorrhage (the fuzziest, wonderful solo I’ve ever heard)
    Peter Frampton: Do You Feel Like We Do
    Zep: Whole Lotta Love
    Styx: Snowblind
    Night Ranger: Sister Christian

    And, anything Chuck Berry, Brian Stetzer, Spyder Giraldo, Phil Collen, Neal Schon & George Thorogood.

    Bettencourt’s Bumblebee is fascinating but, annoying.

    God. There are SO many more…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unlike many…I do not like Van Halen’s playing…it seems like he does the same solo over and over and over. That finger tapping stuff wore thin with me very quick…see I’m a heretic now…


      1. LOL! And, here I thought you would rag on Frampton. Bettencourt did a lot of that, too. And, believe it or not, I do agree with you on the whole. But, specifically to Hot For Teacher, it works really well for the song.

        Showing dexterity with a guitar (or piano or bass or whatever) doesn’t necessarily translate to something worth listening to. It’s more about how each solo “speaks” to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Frampton is a hell of a guitar player…

        If I walk away and can hum the solo…it’s a good solo for me. Queen’s Brian May has many like that.

        Yep I agree…some/most of these would not fit on any best of list…


      3. Mine…Baby Blue, Breakdown and a few more…they just stand out and make the song stronger to me.


    2. Oh…WP strikes again. I had to publish today’s post 3 different times with 3 different headings…this is getting old


      1. I’m not surprised. Another suggestion…after you post, check the Reader in a browser, then check your actual site. I found that the Reader, in a browser, will show up but, the actual site lags.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I usually check the reader…I have one scheduled for 6:45 AM every morning. I got to work with no recent views…that doesn’t happen…it would not pull up in reader in any browser…I reposted it and it disappeared again. It took a 3rd time before it would pop up…Each version was on my site though.


      3. Heh. You have the opposite of the problem I ran into. Damn. I’ve also read of issues with the scheduler, something I’ve never used. I am about my blog like I am about my truck…I don’t use the scheduler and I don’t use cruise control. I’m too “hands-on”. LOL!


      4. LOL…
        Oh I use scheduler ever day…now I have noticed scheduler with the phone app isn’t very good.


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