Five Solos That Changed You As A Player

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  • #180580
    Brian Haner Sr.
    Brian Haner Sr.
    Keymaster

    So I was thinking of the 5 solos that influenced me the most as a player. That is to say – the FIRST time I heard them, they changed my direction as a player. Here’s my five – with a brief explanation:

    1. Green River CCR. I was listening to a lot of complicated solos when I was first learning to play; Beatles, Hendrix, etc. This solo was literally a pent scale. (I didn’t know it was called that). It was so simple and effective. It gave me an instant insight into rock and blues.

    2. Four Day Creep – Humble Pie. This is Peter Frampton at his best. He somehow manages to play swinging lines with a jazz feel over an otherwise pretty straight ahead rock song.

    3. Kid Charlemagne – Steely Dan. Larry Carlton schooling us all on how to weave a solo through difficult changes.

    4. Talk To Your Daughter – Robbin Ford. I could have picked several Ford solos that affected me, but this one is sublime.Blues – with enough jazz influence to make anyone happy.

    5. The Wicked End – A7X. Up until this solo, I had been a spectator in the world of sweep. It was so flawless that it set me upon a path of adding that technique to my toolbox.

    OK! Your turn. Gimmie your five!!!

    #180581
    Ed Seith
    Ed Seith
    Participant

    Oh, that’s a good one.

    1. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing. I heard this on the radio when I was a kid living in New York in probably 1981 or 82. I recorded it onto a cassette, from the chorus before the first solo, and I listened to it over and over and over again until the end. The DJ didn’t announce who it was and there was no internet, so for two years this was a mystical beast that made me want to play guitar, but I had no means of finding a way to buy the record since I didn’t know who it was and there was no nearby record store to even ask someone.

    2. Steve Vai – For the Love of God. I convinced myself that if I fasted for 3 days and had the right wah pedal, I could play like this. Holy fucking delusions, Batman. Never could go 3 days without eating, so I guess it could still be the truth. But seriously, the fast wah part here convinced me that fast playing could still be spiritual and emotive.

    3. White Lion (Vito Bratta) – Wait. Melody is king (still working on that one) and a guitar solo is a song within a song – it’s its own composition, with structure and form and purpose.

    4. Avenged Sevenfold (Syn, duh) – Bat Country. After many years of dormancy thanks to grunge, this song gaining popularity told me that playing excellent guitar was coming back in style and the years of shred guitar being niche and underground were ending. Hallefuckinlujah.

    5. Bruce Springsteen – all the lead playing on Live 1975-1985. Attitude CAN be everything. You don’t NEED to shred. You don’t NEED to play a million notes. Putting every ounce of everything you are into one note and shaking it like a polaroid picture is exactly the right thing to do sometimes.

    #180582
    James Thomas
    James Thomas
    Participant

    Year of the Cat – Al Stewart: I first heard this song in the film “Running With Scissors” when I was around age 12 or so and was completely entranced. It turned me on to Al’s entire fantastic discography and the solo still is one of my favorites of all time. I learned it on guitar a year later and I still Use it to warm up almost daily. Such a beautiful song and solo.

    Stairway to Heaven – Led Zep: I know, I know, stairway is stairway haha but to this day Page’s work and especially the solo still stand out to me as one of the greatest moments in musical history. This is probably the song and solo that made me want to pick up a guitar.

    Killer Queen – Queen: This song is one of the first songs I ever actually remember hearing and processing, I was probably about three. The solo was unlike anything I’d ever heard and to this day is one of my favorites to play. Brian May is a brilliant player and human in general.

    Cemetery Gates – Pantera: I was about 13 when I discovered Pantera and it was a whole new world for me. This tracks solo (hell every solo Dime ever laid down) brought me into a whole new world musically. Where I had been playing tons of classic rock before, this track made me want to start learning heavier modem modern tunes. I got a Dean for my birthday that year and started learning tons of Pantera and attempted some Trivun haha Such a cool solo.

    Fermi Paradox – Avenged Sevenfold – This is one of my favorite tracks a7x has ever done. In my top 3 for sure. Largely due to the fantastic guitar work. I can’t play this solo yet, it’s a tricky devil but man oh man, I sure as hell can’t wait until I can. This is my favorite solo that’s Syn has ever laid down. Every time I listen to it or sit down to practice it I’m blown away but what he’s doing here. Absolutely Mind blowing guitar work.

    I could go on and on but these are the 5 that instantly came to mind. Honorable mention, While he didn’t ever really play solos, the playing of Nick Drake changed my life and entire perspective of music and what one could do with a guitar. I advise everyone to check out his short discography. Tragic life, but one of the greatest guitar players of all time in my humble opinion!

    #180583
    Ed Seith
    Ed Seith
    Participant

    PS: #1, Sultans of Swing, was what made me want to play guitar – failed to include that bit. It feels wrong that Randy’s outro to “Tonight” is not on this list, either.

    #180584
    Ids Schiere
    Ids Schiere
    Participant

    Ooh nice! I’m seeing some very nice choices so far! Here’s mine:
    1. A7X – Beast And The Harlot. It used to be my favorite A7x song and it really introduced and taught me how to shred and do it kind a tastefully. Also I realised later it trained my Economy picking a lot(maybe something on that later.
    2. Django Reinhardt – Minor Swing. This is the one that really made me fall in love with gypsy jazz. So needless to say it influenced my playing a lot when I learned it a couple years ago.
    3. Megadeth – Tornado Of Souls
    Simply melodically and technically one of the greatest solos IMHO. Marty also really introduced me to all the exotic stuff you can do when you solo. Which made me fall In love with all the exotic scales and arpeggios.
    4. Anything off of Jason Becker’s Perpetual Burn. One thing Jason Becker really showed me was ways you can use arpeggios in a very cool way. Like use different positions and stuff like that and I love it!
    5. This one is a more recent one and I have a hard time deciding between the where the light is version of Gravity by John Mayer and Thrill is gone by B.B. King but for now I will go with Gravity. Basically that solo just shows me how I want my solos to be build up and how I want it to sound. It’s pretty much pure feel and I think he improvises the whole thing. The first time I heard it I was still mildly under the impression that John Mayer is one of those pop guitar players and when I heard this one I was truly blown away and thinking I want to be able to do THAT!

    #180587
    Ids Schiere
    Ids Schiere
    Participant

    Afterwards I made my list I realised there’s some other stuff that Is like to mention. That’s pretty much any solo off of Rainbow’s on stage, Technical Difficulties by Paul Gilbert and Wet Sand and a live Jam by RHCP.

    Damn making choices is hard😅

    #180597
    Gabriel Corso
    Gabriel Corso
    Participant

    Lets see…

    1- Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) – I get goosebumps every time i hear this solo. And i got so satisfied the day that I learned that I had to open a beer haha.

    2- Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd) – Simply one of the best songs ever recorded ( for me ).

    3- High Hopes – Huge solo, great effects, so much feeling. That LapSteel work, for me, makes this one of the most beautiful solos ever recorded.

    4- Sidewinder (A7x) – That flamenco guitar + drums were such inpiring. However i never managed to play it correctly. Always practicing though!

    5- Slow dancing in a Burning Room ( John Mayer ) – I really like this solo, but I think that most of this song is very dynamic. So much mojo and bluesy licks. That whole song inspired me to give a blues approach to my guitar playing.

    I think that those are the ones. I am really bad at those types of questions haha.

    G.

    #180598
    Noah Berends
    Noah Berends
    Participant

    1) Detroit Rock City – KISS / This is actually the first solo I ever learned and it was the first solo I wanted to learn. I was so enamored at the time by the fact that you could have TWO GUITARISTS playing at the same time in harmony.

    2) Through The Fire And Flames – DragonForce / This song was my first exposure to shred, playing Guitar Hero at my buddy’s house. I didn’t think it was humanly possible to play that fast and I knew immediately that one day I wanted to learn to do everything Herman Li was doing. This is probably the solo that singlehandedly set me on the course I’m on the most.

    3) Cliffs of Dover – Eric Johnson / This is the first solo I ever heard where I thought “Wow. You can play fast and be so articulate and clean at the same time.” This is the solo that encouraged me to focus less on high-gain shredfest and to start to make every note count.

    4) Paradise City – Guns n Roses / Slash was a pretty big influence on my playing during my first growth years and this was my all-time favorite GnR solo, no competition. I listened to the song so many times I grew to hate the entire rest of the song except for the solo. The way he plays simply rubbed off on me a ton and I couldn’t get enough of it.

    5) Afterlife – A7X / This is the song that truly fine-tuned my dream of how I wanted to play one day. I remember the first time I heard it, I was in 9th grade browsing YouTube for good music and I remembered the name Avenged Sevenfold (I guess this also ties into the story of how I first heard A7X). I listened to a couple tracks just in a skim-through fashion (I think they were Bat Country and Critical Acclaim) and I thought at first that it wasn’t super outstanding but I did like what I was hearing. Then I played Afterlife and was immediately hooked when the verse riff started and when Matt began singing. Then once the solo hit, I can say for certain I was floored. I still hold to this day that it’s probably the best solo Syn’s ever written (in my opinion of course.)

    #180602
    Nadim Captan
    Nadim Captan
    Participant

    1-Hotel California- Eagles: This song made me think outside the box more. I was amazed by the different techniques that were used and how it all came together in a great way. When I got to learn it I appreciated the techniques more than when I was just listening to it. The solo influenced my playing out of everything I’ve heard.
    2-44 Minutes- Megadeth: I was still a beginner and my guitar teacher had given me the song’s intro to learn. I listened to the whole song and it made me realize that shredding can be incorporated really well to create a beautiful melody.
    3- Don’t Stop Me Now- Queen: This is one of the first solos I ever heard and it it’s one of my all time favorite solos. It was also the song that introduced me to the band but it also got me to listen to solos by other bands and made me want to explore as many different genres as I could listen to.
    4- Afterlife- A7X: My first A7X song. I still remember walking up to my brother and my cousin and they had it playing at full volume. When the solo came I was just mesmerized. It got me hooked and made me want to become a shredder. The amount of skill in that solo alone inspired me to get an electric guitar.
    5-The Trooper- Iron Maiden: The song that introduced me to metal. I loved the power throughout the whole song, especially the solo. The bends, hammer ons and pull offs made it a very interesting solo to listen to.

    #180604
    Jak Angelescu
    Jak Angelescu
    Keymaster

    Oh jeez ONLY five? I’ll try my best!

    1. Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns N’ Roses)- This was THE song that inspired me to drive from punk rock powerchords to full-blown rock n’ roll. I remember my singer bought the tab book for me with what little money she had when I was 17, and she spent HOURS (and I mean HOURS) encouraging me as I was hunched over that book learning that song. It still remains today one of my biggest goal solos. As I can get most of it except for the wah-wah buildup right when the wah kicks on. It is STAINED with attitude, and I love it! It’s the reason I have Slash’s actual signature tattooed on my arm. He’s my main man that made me want to play rock n’ roll and lead guitar. And also the man who inspired me to pack up my bags and run out to Los Angeles without my family knowing.

    2. Hail To The King (Avenged Sevenfold)- The solo was large for me when I heard it on the cd. But when Syn performed it live it was another turning point in my musical journey where I said, “That’s it. I will stop at NOTHING to be like that guy.” It’s larger than life, and was an awesome mix of achievable difficulty that made the crowd go “Wow!” It’s got excellent phrasing, a lot of good feel with the rhythmic aspect of it, and when I watched him play it live I never wanted music so badly in my entire life. It inspired me to actually want to delve deeper into music theory to be able to be like him.

    3. Life Goes On (Poison)- C.C Deville’s guitar literally cries in that song. When I heard it, it really showed me how much you have to make sure that your guitar solo actually caters to the song’s melody AND song’s content. You wouldn’t want a solo from Herman Li on such an emotionally hard song. From that moment on I really desired to make sure melody and purpose was the driving force behind my guitar solos.

    4. The Stage 2nd Solo (Avenged Sevenfold)- A lot of people really like the first one right before the calm interlude. But man. The music and that second solo starts and gets you ready for such a melodic journey. I FEEL myself playing that solo and imagine myself playing those amazing bends live. It makes me feel good even though it’s 10000x more simple than the first one. It just gives me life and the willpower to make sure I LIVE that moment one day where I’m on stage eventually. It’s transitions are so smooth, it’s a melody you can sing. When I first heard it, I literally replayed that one solo at least 20 times that day and still to this day, that one solo will always be my favorite solo ever written. Period.

    5. Hellrider (Judas Priest)- OMFG. If you guys haven’t heard this song. You need to. This entire song changed my life. But the solo section. OMG. That solo section. When I first heard it my head about exploded. I love both parts that go on (rhythm and lead) as they give way to this classical sound and it showcased to me just how awesome two maniacal lead parts can sound together. It has so much energy and psychotic rage to it yet it blends with a classical movement melody so well. I love when solo sections deliver a sense of tension right before the ride of the solo starts. And this song does it SO damn well. It made me want to get into whammy work, too!

    #180617
    Jake Arnold
    Jake Arnold
    Participant

    Chiron (All That Remains)- The first time I heard/saw this solo Im surprised I didn’t crap myself, Oli Herbert played so ridiculously smooth and effortless that I will forever be jealous of him after hearing this guitar solo.

    Seize The Day (Avegitable sephenfold)- This is the solo that made me want to learn lead guitar. Its a few steps back from insanely intricate and has so much feeling it could make you cry under the right circumstances.( you all already know that though)

    Rise and Fall (The Confession)- This solo is killer, it helped me realize that you don’t need a chunky guitar going to make a solo sound super heavy, and if you have just a trolling bass line chugging away underneath your lead you can f*ck Sh*t up! lol

    John5 (Season Of The Witch)- the whole song is basically a solo but there is a bridge piece that he is just pressing the low E against his pick-ups making it squeal out while hammering on higher notes and it sounds like absolute madness, it is brilliant and helps you realize you can make something insanely awesome by just making noises with your guitar.( now I just annoy my roommates by trying to make up funny noises. :D)

    Layla (Eric Clapton)- I honestly don’t even know if its a guitar, It sounds like it could be a lap steele but whatever it is, it is howling and absolutely gorgeous, It taught me that you can do a screaming solo with just a few notes and a theme and you don’t have to load it up with all you can.

    #180618
    Ids Schiere
    Ids Schiere
    Participant

    Jake-The Outro solo of Layla is actually Duane Allman playing slide guitar.

    #180620
    Jake Arnold
    Jake Arnold
    Participant

    I did not know that!!! Nice! Duane Allman is awesome. I didn’t think it was guitar, wasn’t sure but it still tickles my brain. Lol
    Thanks for the heads up Ids!

    #180628
    Richard O'connor
    Richard O’connor
    Participant

    Wonderful Slippery Thing – This was the first song I heard from Guthrie. It was also the first song that got me into jazz fusion, which was completely different to what I was used to.

    Waves – Another Guthrie song, and a complete motherfucker to play. It’s one thing to learn the notes but another to really nail the fluidity of the song. This was also a song that really got me thinking as a player, a song that really made me sit down and think about what I was doing instead of just mindlessly soloing. This song is a tongue twister for the fingers and id highly recommend any player to attempt this song.

    Sweet Child O’ Mine – This song basically shaped the player and person I am today. The early part of my guitar playing was me just trying to be slash. Like any young player trying to be there favourite rock star.

    Chapter Four – This was one of the first A7X songs that I heard, and I heard it pretty early on in learning guitar. This song opened my eyes to harmonised guitar solos/ riffs. Its also because of this song that i started my first metal band!

    You Waste Your Time – This song by Tremonti was the first solo where I was able to nail any sort of legato lick, which has now become a staple in my playing.

    #180672
    Sayonil Mitra
    Sayonil Mitra
    Participant

    My four (unable to find a 5th one):-

    Tomar Chokher Kalo (Fossils) – So Fossils is a local band here. This is the band that made me start playing guitar. The first rock band I listened to in my life (that is after introduction to what rock music sounds like). The guitar solo is simple but GOD!!!, it is so melodic. Realised the power of simple but powerful melodies.

    Buried Alive (A7X) – That was the first hammer on my head how beautiful dual guitars can sound. I have heard dual guitar licks before but failed to realise its power. Those arpeggio runs in Buried Alive solo made me a permanent fan of dual guitar phrases.

    Kano Korle (Fossils) – This band again. So this song has a crazy solo which first showed me the beauty of different chord progressions in a single solo.

    Sweet child o Mine (GunsNRoses) – pardon me if this one sounds weird. That was the first song I heard from this band. After that introduction, my other guitarist friends (who I used to jam with) told me that my playing is changing slowly. It has some touches of Slash. Although I am not sure of this, I consider that “It has some touches of Slash.” as a great encouragement to continue exploring my playing style.

    Thanks Papa Gates for this question. I realised that while I was writing this, I had to think really hard. Because I had a hard time to distinguish between the solos which struck me and the solos which influenced my playing. That is why I could not a find a 5th influence.

    I am almost sure no one on this forum has heard of Fossils unlike other solos bands mentioned here. So I will include the links to those songs so that others can enjoy them also. You may not understand the language though but both of the songs are about the heart break after a break up.

    Tomar Chokhar Kalo (Fossils) – Solo at 2:51

    Kano Korle – Solo at 3:44

    I suggest you listen to full song especially the 2nd one. It has beautiful piano pieces too.

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