50 Easy Guitar Solos That Every Player Should Know

For those of you that have read some of my previous posts you may recognize that I frequently refer back to my formative years hanging out at the music store. I’d reference the older players and teachers and their conversations. As I look back at those times I wonder what my guitar and music life would be like without those experiences.

Then I come back to the present, my current and most-recent student roster and, more importantly, my oldest boy—he’s 14 and for the past two years has been pursuing his growing interest in electric guitar and lead guitar playing.

His questions and fascination with rock music and the history of rock helped me realize the responsibility that we older players have in passing along our experiences much in the same manner as the music store guys, older players from my neighborhood and seasoned pros on the bandstand did for me.

Which brings us to this article, a collection of 50 easy guitar solos that every player must know. Although this is not a comprehensive list, it is a list (like so many of the music site lists) designed to engage in conversation and friendly debate. Like, “Who’s the greatest guitar player?” The answer is somewhat based on personal taste.

This list is made up of:

  • Personal teaching favorites

  • Recognition of important players and artists

  • Examples of melodic and technical concepts

  • And, introducing some off-of-the-radar session players

It’s also arranged in chronological order to avoid any bias and offer an objective overview. So, let’s get to it.

The 50 Easy Guitar Solos

Maybellene (1955)

As Rolling Stone magazine once put it. “Rock and roll starts here…” So, we begin with Chuck Berry as his place in the history of rock cannot be denied.

The solo is trademark Chuck Berry licks, bluesy pentatonic riffs and chordal jabs.

Artist: Chuck Berry

Guitarist: Chuck Berry

YouTube Link

TAB Link

Wikipedia Link

Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

“Heartbreak Hotel” was Elvis Presley’s first single to hit the million mark. The song features Floyd Cramer on piano and the great Chet Atkins on guitar.

The guitar solo displays double-stops with quarter-note bends that reflect the song’s melody.

Artist: Elvis Presley

Guitarist: Chet Atkins

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Jailhouse Rock (1957)

“Jailhouse Rock” was recorded by Elvis and was the title cut of the soundtrack to the movie, Jailhouse Rock. And, if you’re the “King of Rock and Roll” then you have your choice of the best guitar players in the world. Scotty Moore was one the pioneers of rock and roll and he filled the guitar seat for Elvis’s early years.

Double-stops, sixths, Chuck Berry licks are displayed in the solo. Also, boogie bass riffs and sliding chords are used to make up the rhythm parts. The perfect building blocks for future guitar hero status.

Artist: Elvis Presley

Guitarist: Scotty Moore

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Johnny B Goode (1958)

We revisit Chuck Berry with his most well-known tune. The epitome of Chuck Berry licks and flashy blues runs are an absolute must for every aspiring guitarist. Enough said!

Artist: Chuck Berry

Guitarist: Chuck Berry

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Wikipedia Link

La Bamba (1958)

In 1958, Ritchie Valens, an American with Mexican heritage, adapted this Mexican folk song by adding a rock beat and making it one the best-known rock and roll songs of the day.

For our purposes, I encourage you to check out the Los Lobos version where guitarist, Cesar Rosas, performs some flashy, open-string runs that are based on the C major scale complete with hammerons, pulloffs and tremolo picking. Not exactly an easy solo, but, some great exercises to get that major scale under your fingers.

Artist: Los Lobos

Guitarist: Cesar Rosas

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Wikipedia Link

Peter Gunn (1959)

“Peter Gunn” was the theme song to a TV show of the same name. Written by Henry Mancini, the song was also a popular hit for guitarist Duane Eddy.

Duane Eddy was known for playing lead guitar on the bass strings with his trademark twangy sound. One of the first instrumental guitar heroes, Duane Eddy influenced a who’s who list of rock and roll legends.

Artist: Duane Eddy

Guitarist: Duane Eddy

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Sleepwalk (1959)

I know what you’re thinking, that’s a pedal steel guitar, not a guitar guitar. But, let me state my case. “Sleepwalk” is a beautiful melody that lends itself to double-stops and chord melodies as well as bluesy pentatonic licks. Just listen to the Brian Setzer version. I’ve also referenced Larry Carlton’s version which has some beautiful motifs and minor third bends.

The reason that it’s on this list is that it makes a wonderful instrumental and is easily adapted to the guitar guitar. Check out the original and then compare it with the versions from the two axe slingers previously mentioned. I’ve included links below to all three versions referenced here below.

Artist: Johnny & Santo Farina

Guitarist: Larry Carlton and/or Brian Setzer

YouTube Link

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Wikipedia Link

Apache (1960)

What’s “Apache”? Who’s Bert Weedon and Hank Marvin? Why is this song on the list?

As I did my rock and roll research, I discovered many of the 60s British bands (especially the guitarists) referencing Hank Marvin as an influence. So, if my heroes are talking about him then I’m gonna look into this a little more.

To me, Hank Marvin was the UK version of Duane Eddy—an understated and often overlooked guitar hero. “Apache” is a guitar instrumental originally recorded by The Shadows with Bert Weedon on guitar. But, many British guitarists attribute Hank Marvin as having a major impact on their playing.

That’s why it’s on the list. And, it’s easy to play.

Artist: The Shadows

Guitarist: Bert Weedon and Hank Marvin

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Hideaway (1961)

One of the three kings, along with B.B. and Albert. Freddie King was a major influence on Eric Clapton who recorded “Hideaway” with John Mayall’s Bluebreakers.

Here’s why we’re talking about it: the main melody is a perfectly constructed blues solo. It has a main theme and variation. It uses a call and response in the main melody and skillfully demonstrates how to play over the turnaround changes.

Freddie King also uses hammerons, pulloffs, slides and bends to beautifully execute this tune,

BTW, sometimes you’ll find Freddie King spelled with a “y” (Freddy).

Artist: Freddie King

Guitarist: Freddie King

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The Stumble (1961)

“The Stumble” was a must-know tune when I was cutting my teeth at local blues jams. It has a lot of similarities with “Hideaway” except that the tune uses an AB blues form, starts on the IV and has some variations with the licks and techniques used in “Hideaway”.

If you want to work on your blues playing then “The Stumble” and “Hideaway” are great places to start.

Artist: Freddie King

Guitarist: Freddie King

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Wikipedia Link

Pipeline (1962)

I have to admit, I always thought of “Pipeline” as a fun tune and not much else. That is, until I heard Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale tear it up. It’s an easy melody that uses arpeggios and scale tones. You have to bring the attitude though. It’s easy to let this tune fall flat unless you kick it in the pants.

Artist: The Chantays

Guitarist: Bob Spickard

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Can't Buy Me Love (1964)

“Can’t Buy Me Love” holds a special place in my teaching repertoire. I use this tune to teach the 12-bar blues (the verse) and the four-to-the-floor rhythm guitar technique (also is the verse) and the Charleston rhythm technique (used in the chorus).

However, George Harrison does a brilliant job of creating Carl Perkins-inspired pentatonic and blues licks. A great solo to get started with.

Artist: The Beatles

Guitarist: George Harrison

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Secret Agent Man (1966)

Although the Johnny Rivers version of “Secret Agent Man” is the most-widely known, the Ventures’ Bob Bogle was the original guitarist on the recording. This tune features the iconic chromatic riff, single-note bass line passages and cool arpeggiated fills. A shmorgasbord of must-know techniques.

Artist: The Ventures

Guitarist: Bob Bogle

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Wikipedia Link

Hey Joe (1966)

Another tune from my teacher’s toolbox. I use “Hey Joe” to teach the C, A, G, E, and D first-position chords (and, introduce my young apprentices to Jimi Hendrix). But, the iconic cascading intro riff with unison licks, hammerons, pulloffs, and bends with trademark Jimi double-stops is absolutely gorgeous.

The solo uses the E minor pentatonic scale while targeting chord tones.

Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Guitarist: Jimi Hendrix

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Wikipedia Link

Light My Fire (1967)

When I was 13, I discovered The Doors. To be honest, it was their band logo and talk amongst the music store guys that intrigued me.

I began working my way through the solo with my guitar teacher and a few years later, while learning the modes, I noticed, “Wait a minute, it’s the Dorian mode!” I have since used this tune as an introduction to playing the Dorian scale.

Artist: The Doors

Guitarist: Robby Krieger

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Fire (1967)

Okay, I admit it… I’m a Hendrix fanatic. However, that doesn’t cloud my judgement. “Fire” is total attitude. The song, in and of itself, is technically not that difficult. There are a couple of rhythm guitar moves (the chorus) that can present a bit of a challenge. But, the solo is similar in context as “Hey Joe”. E minor scale with targeted chord tones.

Technically, it’s relatively easy. The real challenge is replicating Jimi’s attitude and swagger.

Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Guitarist: Jimi Hendrix

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I Can See for Miles (1967)

Pete Townshend is a great songwriter and rhythm guitarist and, he played larger than life. The solo in “I Can See for Miles” is a unison lick that is masterfully performed. This lick is played using the 1st string open and the 2nd string, 4th fret with a half-step bend.

In addition, the 16th-note tremolo picking is a great exercise for pick control.

Artist: The Who

Guitarist: Pete Townshend

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All Along the Watchtower (1968)

I’ll be the first to admit that this solo is not so easy; however, Jimi’s playing here is truly amazing. We begin with the intro lick (the easiest of the solos) that uses a pentatonic scale while adding the 9th and the 6th degrees giving it a decidedly Dorian feel.

The solos between the verses use unison licks, bluesy phrasing, fluid hammerons and pulloffs, legato melodies, etc. The list just goes on and on. All well placed, majestically executed and, more importantly, appropriate for the song.

Artist: The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Guitarist: Jimi Hendrix

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Born to Be Wild (1968)

A barroom and motorcycle rally staple, “Born to Be Wild” is one of those guilty-pleasure songs that people are embarrassed to admit that they enjoy. I often felt that it was a kind of hokey, but, having played my fair share of Harley Davidson bike rallies, I’ve also enjoyed the rush of breaking into the opening riff followed by the roar of the crowd that would drown out the rumble of the motorcycles.

You wanna feel like a rock star? Add this tune to your setlist and play it for the rowdy crowd type. Adoring fans (draped in leather and covered with tattoos) will raise a beer glass while shouting the lyrics.

BTW, the solo is easy… Very easy.

Artist: Steppenwolf

Guitarist: Michael Monarch

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Come Together (1969)

The bluesy main riff also reminds me of “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream. However, the solo in “Come Together” is played by George Harrison. And, he is an master of understated brilliance. Again, we see a recurring theme of pentatonic licks mixed with targeted chord tones.

Lean into the bends and aim for an even vibrato on the long notes.

Artist: The Beatles

Guitarist: George Harrison

YouTube Link

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Wikipedia Link

Communication Breakdown (1969)

Next, we arrive at Jimmy Page, the fretboard wizard behind such classics as “Stairway to Heaven”, “Black Dog”, “Dazed and Confused”, et al. His riffs are Classic Rock Royalty and his solos are iconic.

“Communication Breakdown” is filled with Chuck Berry licks on steroids. He magically shifts between E minor and major pentatonic scales adding emotionally-charged bends. Try to capture the energy behind the phrases on this one. Also, the repeating licks make for great exercises and starting points for your own solos.

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Guitarist: Jimmy Page

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Whole Lotta Love (1969)

I had the pleasure of taking a few lessons with Tommy Bolan when I was 14—I think he was 14 at the time, too. I had been playing guitar for about a month and was working on the E minor pentatonic scale. Tommy then introduced me to the “Whole Lotta Love” solo.

With my mind blown, I ran to the record store (yeah, records, vinyl records, I’m old what can I tell ya?) and picked up my copy of Led Zeppelin II and dragged the needle to 3:04 of the opening track (3:18 on the YouTube link below). Stop reading and go to the link...

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Guitarist: Jimmy Page

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Proud Mary (1969)

John Fogerty wrote some classic tunes and “Proud Mary” is one of his best-known songs. Single-note pentatonic licks, double-stops and triad chord riffs are found in this tune. The main motif of the solo also reflects the song’s melody nicely. This solo packs a lot of substance in 12 bars.

Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Guitarist: John Fogerty

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Sympathy for the Devil (1969)

Beggars Banquet is the seventh British and ninth American studio album by The Rolling Stones. “Sympathy for the Devil” is the opening track of that record that also includes “Street Fighting Man”.

The solo uses the C shape of the E minor pentatonic scale. Keith Richards uses agitated licks that are skillfully placed while showing restraint by using space between his 16th-note bursts. He then uses whole-step and quarter-step bends to add some emotion.

Keith also played bass on the song and Brian Jones played acoustic guitar. Bill Wyman was reduced to maraca duties. Why I mentioned that? I don’t know...

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Guitarist: Keith Richards

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Mississippi Queen (1970)

Okay, here’s the deal… When I was first approached to write this article, this was the first tune that came to mind. Powerful playing, strong melody, not a lot of flash and pure attitude. You only have to wait about 6 or so measures before the intro solo kicks you in teeth.

Leslie West begins with the G major pentatonic shape over the E chord riff. He uses beautiful, melodic bends that reference the melody. When the chords transitions to the A chord riff, he shifts the pattern up a whole step to A major. More lyrical bending and strong vibrato.

Artist: Mountain

Guitarist: Leslie West

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Let It Be (1970)

“Let It Be” was written and sung by Paul McCartney. This was The Beatles last single and then Paul announced his departure from the band. What a way to go out?

George Harrison, again, does a marvellous job of playing a melodic solo that is song appropriate. He uses the right amount of flash with a masterful use of restraint while acknowledging the song’s melody.

This solo is strictly in A minor pentatonic but weaves through all five box patterns. You really see his maturity as a guitar soloist in “Let It Be”. Compare this solo with the previously mentioned “Can’t Buy Me Love”.

Artist: The Beatles

Guitarist: George Harrison

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Won't Get Fooled Again (1970)

What a great riff! This song is what rock is all about. The Who would use this as their closing number during live shows that ended with Pete Townshend smashing his guitar and Keith Moon destroying his drum set (and many hotel rooms a few hours after the show ended).

The fills and solos throughout the tune demonstrate Townshend’s crafty use of major and minor pentatonics that always serve the song.

Artist: The Who

Guitarist: Pete Townshend

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Can't Get Enough (1974)

The song is credited to guitarist Mick Ralphs, who tuned his guitar in the open-C tuning C-C-G-C-E-C. Ralphs stated that "It never really sounds right in standard tuning. It needs the open C to have that ring”. However, you can still play it in standard tuning and the tab is in standard tuning.

The solo is Blues Rock 101 with tasty licks, bluesy motifs, and slick bends.

Artist: Bad Company

Guitarist: Mick Ralphs

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Bad Company (1974)

“Bad Company” was the B-side to the 45 RPM of “Can’t Get Enough”.

Long before 90s rockers started detuning their guitars a whole step and a whole step and half, Mick Ralphs was experimenting with tunings in C and C#. In “Bad Company”, Ralphs displays his understated blues rock licks by using the major pentatonic that also includes a note or two from the parent major scale.

Artist: Bad Company

Guitarist: Mick Ralphs

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Wish You Were Here (1975)

“Wish You Were Here” was ranked No. 324 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. A brilliant piece of songwriting by Roger Waters and David Gilmour. This song features Gilmour on lead vocal and guitar.

The intro solo uses the E minor pentatonic scale and includes some beautiful double-stop licks in the third measure as the solo builds.

Artist: Pink Floyd

Guitarist: David Gilmour

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Detroit Rock City (1976)

“Detroit Rock City” was more of a fan favorite than a radio hit; that aside, it is a rock classic worth looking into. Pop culture aside, this is a well-written tune complete with minor-key riffs, power chords and a twin-guitar solo.

The solo uses the C# minor pentatonic scale with a couple of notes from the natural minor added. After 8 bars, the second guitar part comes in—the solos are played using diatonic thirds.

Artist: Kiss

Guitarist: Ace Frehley

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Wonderful Tonight (1977)

This is one of my go-to solos for teaching the major scale while introducing my young proteges to the greatness of Eric Clapton.

In the tab, it’s presented on the 2nd string in 8th position. I suggest playing it in 12th position beginning on the 3rd string, 14th fret with your third finger. Also, stay in the E minor pentatonic box shape. And, use some vibrato on the long notes.

Artist: Eric Clapton

Guitarist: Eric Clapton

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Ain't Talkin' About Love (1978)

This tune holds a special place in my heart. It was the first song that my band was able to play from beginning to end—and, I got to use my flanger pedal.

The solo uses the A natural minor scale. It’s tough to find a good tab for this tune that clearly reflects the solo. I like playing all of the fretted notes on the 2nd string while sliding up the neck and letting the open-E string ring out. The guitar was originally doubled during the recording and this technique allows me to capture the vibe of the original recording.

Artist: Van Halen

Guitarist: Eddie Van Halen

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Who Are You (1978)

“Who Are You” is the title track to the album of the same name and the last album released before Keith Moon’s untimely death.

In the opening licks Townshend demonstrates multiple bending techniques while creating a texture that echoes the song’s lyrical content. The story of the song’s inspiration is chronicled in the Wikipedia link below.

If you take the time to work out the song then you’ll find plenty of power-chord and single-note riffs as well as quarter-note and three-quarter-note bends with a few double-stops thrown in. A veritable potpourri of Rock 101 techniques.

Artist: The Who

Guitarist: Pete Townshend

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Wikipedia Link

Running with the Devil (1978)

“Running with the Devil” and the previously-mentioned “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” are off of Van Halen I. If you don’t have the entire album then download it (legally of course) right now—Van Halen fans will recognize the pun. It should be in your library and will provide enough guitar techniques to keep you busy for a long time.

The solo uses A and G major arpeggios. The phrases are great for getting started with the sweep-picking technique.

Artist: Van Halen

Guitarist: Eddie Van Halen

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Comfortably Numb (1979)

This is an iconic solo. The phrases are gorgeous, Gilmour’s tone is pristine, and his note selection is unmatched.

I use the first solo to teach arpeggios, chord tones, target-tone playing and how to play over changes.The second solo is a perfect example of effective use of the pentatonic scale. Too many young players put their heads down and throw every lick and technique that they can muster in that box pattern without playing a melody. Professor Gilmour takes us all to school with this masterful display of fretwork.

Artist: Pink Floyd

Guitarist: David Gilmour

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Living After Midnight (1980)

This was song two on my 8th-grade band’s setlist. The even-eighth-note and offbeat-eighth-note power-chord riffs provided just the challenge that us young rockers needed to get our band-playing skills in order.

My challenge was harnessing the power of the E pentatonic scales (both major and minor) while building to the crescendo of the 1st string, 22nd fret D note with a whole-step bend to E.

Artist: Judas Priest

Guitarist: Glenn Tipton & K.K. Downing

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You Might Need Somebody (1981)

Although Randy Crawford is a great singer, this tune was chosen to present Steve Lukather’s guitar prowess. “Luke” is mostly known for his work in Toto, but for those of you who don’t know of him, Steve Lukather is quite the in-demand session player having played on over 1500 albums.

There are also some tasty licks during the intro but many fretheads may want to jump to 1:52 for the main solo in the YouTube link to hear why “Luke” is on this list. There’s also some slick fills that begin at 3:35 played during the outro.

Artist: Randy Crawford

Guitarist: Steve Lukather

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Billie Jean (1982)

“Billie Jean” is the second single off of the world’s best-selling album of all time, Thriller. And, just as the “King of Rock” had his choice of hot guitar players, so did the “King of Pop”. And, David Williams does not disappoint. Also, rumour has it, that Williams was Michael Jackson’s favorite guitar player.

His funky arpeggios and staccato, single-note fills are a rhythmic masterpiece. The guitar break is a funky F# minor pentatonic line.

Artist: Michael Jackson

Guitarist: David Williams

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Maniac (1983)

Michael Sembello cut his teeth as a session musician and was one of the players on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life album (a personal favorite). Aside from enjoying the montage sequence of Jennifer Beals doing her dance workout in the “Maniac” video, Sembello plays a pentatonic-infused solo and adds some Van Halen-esque tapping.

The solo itself is tricky but not terribly difficult. Take it one phrase at a time and slowly put the parts together.

Artist: Michael Sembello

Guitarist: Michael Sembello

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How Am I Supposed to Live Without You (1983)

I realize that I’m risking my credibility by having Michael Bolton on this list; but, he’s not the guitar player on this track. Simply, fast forward the YouTube video to 2:44 and listen till 3:12 and meet Michael Landau. You can thank me later.

The beautiful legato fretwork cannot be denied and his effortless weaving through changes will keep you busy for a while.

Artist: Michael Bolton

Guitarist: Michael Landau

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The Heat Is On (1984)

Glenn Frey was a bonafide rock star prior to his solo career. As a founding member of The Eagles, he shared lead vocal and songwriting duties with the equally great Don Henley. However, his guitar work was overshadowed (and rightfully so) by Joe Walsh, Don Felder and, in the end, Steuart Smith.

But, Frey could play… And, this solo shows his subtle use of blues riffs and quarter-note bends.

Artist: Glenn Frey

Guitarist: Glenn Frey

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Top Gun Anthem (1986)

Harold Faltermeyer was a top songwriter in the 80s Hollywood movie scene. He also penned the previous entry, “The Heat Is On”.

The “Top Gun Anthem” features Billy Idol’s axeman, Steve Stevens. It has always surprised me as to how underrated Stevens is. The guy kicks major a**. His Billy Idol work is incredibly inventive, his work on Vince Neil’s solo project was the envy of guitar shredders from NY to LA and he’s a great acoustic guitar player (check out his flamenco work).

BTW, this line is another great example of the power of the major scale.

Artist: Harold Faltermeyer

Guitarist: Steve Stevens

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Sweet Child O' Mine (1987)

This tune was G ‘n’ R’s one and only number one hit. It initially began as a joke (for more about the song’s history check out the Wiki link below).

For this list, I’m referring to the solos after the first and second chorus—not the main solo at the end.

Slash’s ear for melody is displayed in these sections where he uses bluesy bends and targets the chord tones resulting in beautiful, lyrical phrases.

Artist: Guns n' Roses

Guitarist: Slash

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Hysteria (1987)

Def Leppard burst on the scene in the early 80s and, with the release of their fourth studio album, Hysteria, became one of the biggest bands in the world. “Hysteria” is the power ballad that shares the name of the album as well.

Although guitarists, Phil Collen and Steve Clarke, can burn up the fretboard, their playing on this tune displays a masterful sensitivity to melody. The guitar lines are performed with beautiful vibrato (finger and whammy bar), slides, hammerons, and pulloffs.

Artist: Def Leppard

Guitarist: Phil Collen and Steve Clarke

YouTube Link

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Wikipedia Link

Talk Dirty to Me (1987)

The 80s… Hair metal was at it’s peak and Poison was at the forefront of the scene. Their radio-friendly melodies, stage shows and MTV videos delighted fans while “Talk Dirty to Me” became Poison’s first big international hit.

Because of the band’s image guitarist, C.C. DeVille, never received the recognition that he deserved and this solo is a proper representation of his guitar skills. Here’s a couple of things to look for: double-stops in thirds open the solo followed by double-pulloffs with open strings. The solo closes with double-picked scale notes, bluesy bends, and, for the grand finale, a triple-picked arpeggio.

Artist: Poison

Guitarist: C.C. DeVille

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Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (1987)

Another movie soundtrack song, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” was written for the 1987 movie Mannequin. The song was performed by the 80s revamped version of Jefferson Starship, renamed simply Starship. The band featured guitarist Craig Chaquico who’s a versatile player also known for his contemporary jazz, blues and new age guitar work.

The solo uses string skipping, staccato and legato phrases to create pretty melodies that culminate with some fancy fretwork as the solo comes to a close.

Artist: Starship

Guitarist: Craig Chiaquico

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Come As You Are (1992)

This dropped-tuned, grunge classic is in standard tuning down a whole step. This was Nirvana’s second single released on the heels of the unexpected success to their single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (which could have certainly been included on this list).

The solo is pentatonic based and echoes the melody brilliantly.

Artist: Nirvana

Guitarist: Kurt Cobain

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Man! I Feel Like a Woman (1999)

You may have noticed that I have a penchant for studio players and Dan Huff’s guitar work on this Shania Twain hit is nothing short of spectacular. Skip to 2:30 on the YouTube link to see what I’m talking about.

The solo uses A minor pentatonic box patterns, slick bends, thirds and sixths and a tasty run at the end. There’s also some slick pedal steel licks during the verses that may interest some of you.

Artist: Shania Twain

Guitarist: Dan Huff

YouTube Link

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Wikipedia Link

Californication (1999)

The title track from the Chili Peppers seventh studio album closes our list. And, John Frusciante’s guitar playing is certainly worth taking a closer look at. Not necessarily considered a guitar hero, nevertheless, his creative approach to guitar parts is evident on this tune.

The verses contain some open arpeggios where he demonstrates his string-skipping skills. But, it’s his subtle use of space and texture that create the mood of the solo. His note choice is more chord tone based than pentatonic based.

Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Guitarist: John Frusciante

YouTube Link

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Outro

That wrap’s it up for this article. It’s my hope that you found this list useful and will refer back to it from time to time. I encourage you to bookmark it, I find lists like these convenient when I’m looking for something fun, cool and functional when I’m teaching. Especially if I need to find it quickly—as in, I’m walking into the lesson room with an unexpected student.

Thanks for hanging with me.

P.S. For you Spotify fans, I’ve created a playlist for this article. Enjoy!

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Ed Lozano
 

Ed Lozano is a professional guitarist, instructor, producer and published author. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and lives in the Andes mountains.

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