Lead Guitar Solos

    I my opinion there are three basic types of lead guitar solos. There is the melodic solo which is basically an instrumental version of the verse melody. An example of this is George Harrison’s acoustic guitar solo on the Beatles’ And I Love Her. A second type of solo is the melodic instrumental break that is a unique part of the song and not a repeat of a verse. An example of this would be the instrumental break in the Left Banke’s classic Walk Away Rene where the instruments take the melody into a completely different place. The third style of solo is called The Freak Out. Jimi Hendrix was a master at this. Eddie Van Halen and most of the Heavy Metal soloists play this style. It is flashy and impressive and if well done, full of emotion, although usually limited in its emotional range (anger, fury, rage, excitement, etc.) and too abstract, and fast, to be able to hum. The Power Ballads of the 1980s had some ridiculously shredding guitar solos that seemed incongruously imposed onto the slower melodic love songs, but I guess that’s what made them “Power” ballads. My list of all time favorite guitar solos are (in no real order, it depends on my mood):

1. Stairway To Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

2. Badge (Cream)

3. As My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)

4. Crossroads (Cream)

5. Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream - Yes, I’m a big Clapton fan)

6. All Along The Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix)

7. Hotel California (The Eagles)

8. Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield)

9. Sunshine Superman (Donovan) (Jimmy Page)

10. Drawings From My Mind (The Tooners)

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1 comment:

  1. Pretty good list ...
    Mine is:

    1. All Along the Watchtower ( Jimi )
    2. Crossroads ( EC )
    3. Stairway ( Page )
    4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps ( EC )
    5. Comfortably Numb ( David Gilmour )
    6. Reelin' in the Years ( Elliott Randall )
    7. About My Imagination ( Jackson Browne - Played by Mark Goldenberg on a rare Soundstage performance DVD )
    8. 'Cause We've Ended As Lovers ( Beck )
    9. The Brother ( Robben Ford )
    10. Help the Poor ( Robben Ford )

    Of course, just my personal faves. Credit goes to all you've mentioned above as well as so many others.