10 best hard rock guitar solos of all time

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The guitarist always has a certain power in a hard rock band. While the singer can go through long barrages of notes and keep the audience entertained, the riffs coming from the guitar are what help drive the whole song. The riffs are only one side, however; it’s more interesting when you really have to shred.

Contrary to popular belief, it takes a certain finesse to do a good solo. Rather than just mindlessly knotting for a few bars, the best guitarists in the rock genre have done solos that come across as mini musical statements in the tracks.

There may be a few times when the guitarist can be a bit flashy, but that’s not really the point of the solo. The main job of any solo guitarist is how to improve the song rather than making the song an opportunity to flaunt your technique.

These are just a few examples of guitarists who never lost their focus doing classic solos that touched the listener. Solos like these are so ubiquitous that it almost feels like writing songs without lyrics. Here are the guys who took the dirty distortion of hard rock and turned it into some of the brightest musical pieces the pop world has ever heard.

The guys from AC / DC really had a tough job ahead of them when they started recording Back in Black. Not only would this be their landmark album, but it would also be their first record without Bon Scott’s magnetic vocal presence. When most bands throw in the towel, the Young Brothers overcame adversity early on on the record.

The entirety of “Hells Bells” illustrates the band’s provocative refusal to be shot, as they tear up some of the greatest riffs they’ve ever made.

Malcolm Young’s work has just the right amount of crunch, but his brother Angus’ main playing is what really takes the song above it. Young is known as one of the biggest players in the business, but the beauty of this solo is in its simplicity.

These bends would probably be second nature to any seasoned guitarist, but they serve the song in the right way. It’s flashy in some places, but also incredibly simple and true to the groove of the song. Most guitarists see a solo as a showboat opportunity, but Angus Young has proven that you don’t have to shred to make an impact.


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