The 10 Best Slow Guitar Solos
John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
The Perfect Slow Burns
Great guitar solos are never just about the speed. Sure, being flashy and dramatic can work too but sometimes it’s better to go for slow but with more soul. You can express more emotions the slower you go. This approach works best if you want the listeners to feel things. Face-melting shredding may often be the mark of a real guitar hero but slow and melodic never fail to tug on anyone’s heartstrings.
And of course, it takes more than just skills to pull it off flawlessly. You need an impressive amount of control too. Now let’s a look at some of the best slow guitar solos ever played.
10. Pearl Jam (Mike McCready) – “Yellow Ledbetter”
This song hits you hard no matter what your current state of mind is. That feel during the guitar solo will always leave us breathless.
9. Prince – “Purple Rain”
This song highlights Prince’s impressive guitar playing which has always been underappreciated. And the solo also proves why he deserves to be in the roster of guitar gods.
8. The Beatles (George Harrison) – “Something”
Anyone who hears the solo will be reminded that George Harrison was more than just the Quiet Beatle. And when it came to talent, he didn’t pale in comparison to John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Clearly, he could hold his own.
7. Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Riviera Paradise”
One of the great things about SRV was that he could go from lightning fast to relaxing and delicate solos. It’s like he just let the music take over.
6. Pink Floyd (David Gilmour) – “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
One word to describe the solo – PHENOMENAL. We’re pretty torn between this and “Comfortably Numb” because the solos easily moved us. Music is pouring out of Gilmour’s fingers.
5. Jeff Beck – “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”
Some guitarists play the guitar, then there’s Jeff Beck who makes it sing beautifully.
4. B.B. King – “The Thrill is Gone”
B.B. King’s solo on this timeless piece earned him a spot as one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time – that should be enough.
3. Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler) – “Brothers In Arms”
Sometimes, less is more. It’s soulful, emotional and hits you right in the feels.
2. Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page) – “Since I’ve Been Loving You”
That solo is enough to move you to tears. If there’s such thing as musical perfection then this is it.
1. Derek and the Dominos (Eric Clapton) – “Bell Bottom Blues”
You can feel his desperation and pain especially in the solo. “Slowhand” knows how to weave a spell on us.