Favorite solos, on any instrument

As the topic says, what are some of your all-time favorite solos, appearing in a song of any genre? I imagine there will be a ton of guitar solos linked, but anything goes, instrument-wise.

I’ll kick things off with Adam Holzman’s fantastic Moog solo, on Steven Wilson’s Regret #9. Might be sacrilegious to say, but I even prefer it to Guthrie’s guitar solo which follows.

I’ve cued it up to where the solo section begins, but if you’re into prog, it pays to listen to the entire track (and album, and nearly everything Steven Wilson has had a hand in haha).


I’ll do the obvious

I don’t know that I so much like the solo or even the chord progression, but to me it’s awesome that he came up with it and had such a command over it. Back when I was young and ambitious I had transcribed the first pass or 2 and I was astonished that he was mainly just hitting chord tones lol! A couple places where he’d do some flat 9 stuff or similar.

One of the first things I did (which I’m sure I’d need to dust off) after I learned about “escape motion” and that I was DSX, was make my own “worked out” version, all DSX


I’ll start here: “What are your favorite Satriani solos?” And to that I answer “YES!”

As for the rest:

Zappa: Watermelon In Easter Hay and Inca Roads. Muffin Man from Roxy could fit but I want to limit myself to 2 each, aside from the above lol
Vai: FTLoG is the best instrumental song ever recorded, but I’m sick of that song so I’m going with Windows To The Soul (all of it) and Rescue Me or Bury Me
SRV: Lenny and Riviera Paradise
Hendrix: Power To Love and Machine Gun (both Band of Gypsys)
Blues Saraceno: Tommy Gun
EJ: Desert Rose and Lonely In The Night (duh, haha)
Larry Carlton: Kid Charlamagne and Pump (from Live at Osaka)

Countless jazz and fusion that I don’t remember from who or what, but I can live with this list. For now lol


Now for a cheat, because this isn’t really a “solo”…But technically it is because no one else is playing but Victor lol

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My picks for non-guitar solos first

The Astounding Eyes of Rita by Anouar Brahem

Black Market by Weather Report. The purest expression of joy I have ever heard.

Now, electric guitar solos. The first two tracks resonate within the very fibres of my being.

Desert Rose by Eric Johnson. I know, I’m already cheating, there are two solos.

Devil Take The Hindmost by Allan Holdsworth.

Declan by Donal Lunny, as performed by Jeff Beck.

Spoonful by Cream

Boston Rain Melody by Steve Vai

Have A Cigar by Pink Floyd

Hey Tee Bone by MVP, featuring Brett Garsed and Shawn Lane.

Miss Mistreater by Racer X

Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits

Well To The Bone by Scott Henderson

Gli Angeli by Vasco Rossi, featuring Michael Landau

And many, many more more. I might collect some acoustic pieces in the next comment.


Not if you use my “Eric Johnson songs without vocals, solos only” edit I made in like ‘98 that I don’t have anymore lol


I love Eric’s vocals. I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to listen to those edits.

Battle We Have Won is my favourite song on Venus Isle (my favourite Eric Johnson album). That song was a light that found me in the darkest time of my life.

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I completely understand. I made it because I was planning on doing them all as a medley but didn’t realize I bit off more than I could chew. Thought I could do it at the time, but nope… And here were are 25 years later, hahaha.

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Ah, nice! I also spent a bit of time with Giant Steps, long ago.

Morbid little fact: he passed away in a hospital about 2 miles away from where I grew up (though a dozen years before I was born). He also had a home in the area they were (rightly) trying to preserve as a historic site - I’m not sure what came of that.

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Since we’ve been METAL!! here lately, an old favorite from my youth. I’ve always loved this particular spazz-out from Trey, accompanied by the dramatic, sudden shift in tempo. Fitting stuff for a song that mixes Babylonian/Sumerian mythology, Satanism, and HP Lovecraft. haha

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Trey had some of the best guitar playing in the early days of Death Metal. So damn creative!!

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100% agreed. I can name a ton of guys who are more technically proficient, but he just had these wild ass ideas that were super fucking cool.

not really a solo, it is just a crazy performance of a headache of becoming the daw. he will occasionally add a bit of his own embellishment throughout. the bass station 2 has some serious sonic capabilities that turn it into an alien like drum machine with the afx patch allowing each key to be programmed with a unique sound. this is some serious display of micro managing a live set, it is unreal the level of difficulty involved.

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this is one i recently like and kind of have been listening to and trying to pull little phrases from every few days. lmao and no i am nowhere near this guys speed…

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Paul Franklin’s Pedal Steel Guitar solo on Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” from the On the Night live album (bonus two for one with Knopfler’s superb playing as well)

Gilmour on “Comfortably Numb” from Pulse

Vai on “For the Love of God”

Glenn Tipton on Judas Priest’s “Beyond the Realms of Death” and “Painkiller”

KK Downing on Judas Priest’s “Blood Red Skies”

Marty Friedman on Megadeth’s “Tornado of Souls”

Michael Schenker on UFO’s “Rock Bottom”

Bill Steer and Michael Amott on Carcass’ “Heartwork”

Michael Romeo on Symphony X’s “Sea of Lies”

Richie Blackmore on Deep Purple’s “Child in Time” and Rainbow’s “Gates of Babylon”

Yngwie Malmsteen on Alcatrazz’s “Hiroshima Mon Amour”

Uli Jon Roth on Scorpions “We’ll Burn the Sky”

Muhammed Suiçmez on Necrophagist’s “Fermented Offal Discharge”

Jari Mäenpää on Wintersun’s “Death and the Healing”

Dave Murray on Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave”

Adrian Smith on Iron Maiden’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”

Chris DeGarmo on Queensryche’s “The Mission”

Syu on Galnyrus’ “Angel of Salvation”

Andy LaRocque on At the Gates “Cold”

Duane Allman’s slide solo on Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla”

Buddy Cage’s insane pedal steel solo on New Riders of the Purple Sage’s “Death and Destruction”


The piano solo from Song to the Pharaoh Kings on Al Di Meolas Tiramisu album. Starts at 6:25. I must’ve listened to it hundreds of times. Excellent.


I know it’s pentatonic work but Randy Rhoad’s solo on Mr.Crowley has always stuck in my mind as kick ass for some reason. This is live but check out the studio version.

Also Joe satriani’s “Big Bad Moon”

I could name more and probably will :slight_smile:

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I love this back n forth in far beyond the sun between guitar and keyboard. The keyboard solos are just as good as Yngwie’s guitar, real education on dancing around the instruments. Yngwie got the advantage on tone and expression, but thats guitar for you, love the definition of the piano.

Love this too, makes me wana learn piano.

And I think this is gorgeous

And this from Cacophony, I think it’s Marty first, and then Jason comes in hard at 3:27

I mean just imagine trying to come up with something to rise the energy and agression after Marty Friedman. I love it.

Top gun ofcourse. Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens, wow.

And ofcoure The wait solo by Vito. Magical.

Last one, awesome.

Ok one more lol, I love this I think Ed is acually doing some improvising on this, it’s simple shapes he always does but I just love it, It’s what you do in the areas you’re comfortable with and when you do it right, thats music, thats jazz. So much expression, really in the flow. He was in the zone for the whole show. My favorite.

And idk if this would be classed as a solo, but it’s one of the most awesome musical expressions I’ve seen, singer and guitarist screaming.


Jens Johansson is amazing, and he’s played for loads of people. I particularly like his fusion records Heavy Machinery (which has Allan Holdsworth), and Fission (which has Shawn Lane on a couple of tracks).

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