The following list is a compilation of the 47 best acoustic guitar solos. These are some of the most memorable songs that have been played by this instrument, and they all show off its versatility and beauty in one way or another.
So without further ado, here is my list of the best acoustic guitar solos of all time.
49. Eric Clapton – Layla
Eric Clapton is one of the most famous guitarists in history. He first recorded this song for his debut solo album ‘Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs’, but it was also released as a single by Derek and the Dominoes.
48. John Mayer – Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
John Mayer is a famous singer-songwriter who first became popular in 2001 after recording ‘No Such Thing’ as the lead single for his debut album. He’s sold over 15 million albums and he’s performed on many of the biggest stages around the world, including Madison Square Garden in New York City.
47. The Beatles – I’ve Just Seen a Face
In 1965, there was a little band from Liverpool that had only just released their first single ‘Love Me Do’ that didn’t necessarily look like it would become the biggest act in the world. But the Beatles would prove their doubters wrong as they released a series of ground-breaking records throughout the 60s, some that possess some of the greatest and catchiest melodies in history.
One such song is ‘I’ve Just Seen a Face’, written mainly by Paul McCartney and based on his relationship with Jane Asher. Although it didn’t make the final cut of 1965’s British release ‘Help!’, it was later featured on their 1965 US album ‘Beatles VI’.
46. Extreme – More Than Words
Extreme have a song entitled ‘More Than Words’ that’s thought to be the most beautiful love song of all time. The reason it’s so powerful is because of the lyrics, which will make you weak at your knees with their poetic brilliance and sheer honesty. It speaks about a man who can’t find the words to express his feelings for someone, but just hopes that he doesn’t have to – meaning that they do all the talking for him.
45. John Mayer – Neon
John Mayer is known for writing romantic songs that profess his love to his ex-girlfriends – songs such as ‘Daughters’ and ‘Your Body Is A Wonderland’ are perfect examples of how smooth and brilliant he can be with a guitar.
Although the tone of the song might suggest otherwise, it’s actually a song about a relationship that John has broken off, and to forget her he goes on vacation where he meets someone who looks just like her – and so the cycle begins again.
44. Helloween – In the Middle of a Heartbeat
German power metal band Helloween have been around for well over 3 decades now, releasing countless albums to varying degrees of commercial and critical success.
In 2007, they released a cover of the classic song ‘In The Middle Of A Heartbeat’ by the Danish band Michael Learns to Rock. It became a hit across Europe, charting in the top 10 in numerous countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands.
43. Deep Purple – Soldier of Fortune
Deep Purple are a legendary hard rock band from Britain who have influenced bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica. They’ve also managed to release songs that can be considered as some of the greatest and most iconic in the history of rock music, such as their most famous song ‘Smoke On The Water’.
In 1990, they released an acoustic version of the song that was introduced during live performances earlier on. It’s much slower than its original counterpart, and features a gut-wrenching guitar solo towards the end by Ritchie Blackmore, one of the greatest players in metal history.
42. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
There’s a lot of people who seem to think that Fleetwood Mac are a band that were just as popular in the 70s and 80s, and not much since. However, they still release albums to this day, such as their 2014 effort ‘Mirage’.
One of their biggest hits is ‘Landslide’, a song that has been covered by countless artists including Neneh Cherry and Stevie Nicks. It deals with the slow-burn breakup of a couple where they realise how much better life can be without each other.
41. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
The song ‘Hallelujah’ has gained a reputation for being one of the best songs ever written due to its enduring popularity and success. It’s been performed countless times by numerous artists, but Jeff Buckley was the first person to originally record it in his 1994 album ‘Grace’.
40. Kiss – Forever
Kiss are one of the most successful bands in history, and have been rivals with Aerosmith for band that’s closest to selling over 100 million albums worldwide.
They’ve found success largely due to their ability to create arena rock anthems that everyone loves. One song is ‘Forever’, a song that starts out with a powerful guitar riff that’s sure to get you out of your seat when played live.
39. Tesla – Edison’s Medicines (Acoustic)
Tesla are a well-loved band in America, but have never managed to become really successful outside of their native country. One of their biggest hits is ‘Edison’s Medicine’ – an ode to the famous inventor and his many revolutionary electrical devices.
38. The Beatles – And I Love Her
The Beatles are one of the greatest bands in history. They were also a band that would only record short and sweet songs – most of their songs will never reach longer than 3 minutes, this is mainly so they fit on to vinyl records.
When John Lennon wrote the song ‘And I Love Her’, it was originally called ‘I love Her’. According to Lennon, the reason he changed it was because of how corny ‘I Love Her’ sounded when sung – and that by adding an extra letter to the title increased the coolness factor.
37. Oasis – Live Forever
Oasis were one of the biggest British bands in the 90s, and released some iconic songs that are still listened to today. One song in particular is ‘Live Forever’ – a track from their second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
It’s about Noel Gallagher missing someone he loves dearly – and is one of the most iconic songs from their early years.
36. Bullet for my Valentine – Tears Don’t Fall
Bullet for my Valentine are a popular modern metal band that have sold over 3 million albums worldwide. They were also responsible for some iconic songs from the 2000s, such as ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ – one of their most loved hits.
It’s about lead singer Matthew Tuck reflecting on his past, and how his life is going to be moving forward.
35. The Smashing Pumpkins – Landslide
The Smashing Pumpkins are a very popular alternative rock band that were at the top of their game in the 90s. They’ve also found success with their more recent albums, such as ‘Oceania’ from 2012 – which featured this song.
One of their most successful songs is ‘Landslide’ – a song that would later be covered by Fleetwood Mac.
34. Mr. Big – To Be With You
Mr Big is a rock supergroup that was created back in the 80s by former members of the band Alice Cooper, and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora. They found success with their most famous hit ‘To Be With You’, which reached #9 on billboard charts.
33. Bryan Adams – Have you Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Bryan Adams was one of the biggest rock stars in the 90s, and he’s still performing today. He’s a prolific songwriter, with over 100 songs being made by him. One of his most famous tracks is ‘Have you Ever Really Loved a Woman?’ that topped charts for 10 weeks.
32. Bayside – Megan
Megan by Bayside features a classic acoustic guitar solo that is easily one of my favorites. It was originally performed by the band’s late vocalist Anthony Raneri, and was written about his girlfriend Megan.
31. Dream Theater – Hollow Years
Dream Theater are one of the most successful progressive metal bands out there, and have been going strong since 1985. They’ve found success mainly through word-of-mouth advertising – and their popularity was also helped by Mike Portnoy being an online celebrity in his own right due to all of his drum covers.
30. Eddie Vedder – Society
Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam is one of the best known frontmen in alternative rock. His lyrics are often introspective and it’s this that has helped his band become some of the most popular classic rock artists currently around.
29. Bruce Springsteen – The River
Bruce Springsteen is one of the biggest rock artists in music history. He had a band called ‘the E Street Band’ that toured with him throughout his career – and became famous for their epic live shows.
‘The River’ was the title track from the album of the same name
28. Def Leppard – Two Steps Behind
Def Leppard were one of the most popular hard rock bands in the 80s, and are still releasing music today.
Their best known song is ‘Two Steps Behind’ a track from their album Adrenalize that reached #1 on billboards charts several times.
27. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd are one of the most iconic rock bands to ever exist – and they’re still releasing albums today. Their best known songs include ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, which was released as part of their multi-platinum album The Wall , and one of my favorites is ‘Wish You Were Here/’
26. Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive
Bon Jovi are one of the most successful rock bands that have come out of America. Their debut album was released in 1984 and it has sold over 20 million copies worldwide – making them one of the best selling artists ever.
25. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold the World
Nirvana were a band that was at the forefront of grunge in the 90s. Their debut album Bleach became one of the most influential albums ever – with it being highly praised by critics and fans alike.
24. Guns N’ Roses – Patience
Guns N’ Roses are one of the most important rock bands to ever exist. They were so popular in their prime, that they were often called ‘the most dangerous band in the world’ – with a large number of fans being obsessed to a point where it became detrimental.
23. The Fratellis – Creepin Up the Backstairs
The Fratellis are a Scottish indie rock band that are still active today. They made a huge impact with their album Costello Music, which featured the song ‘Creepin up the Backstairs’ – which is one of my favorite acoustic guitar tracks ever.
22. Elvis Presley – Crying in the Chapel
Elvis Presley was one of the most famous musicians in history. A lot of his songs were written to fill out B-sides, but some like ‘Crying in the Chapel’ have become so popular that they’re now thought of as mainstays for him.
21. Saigon Kick – Love is on the Line
Saigon Kick were a band that had a lot of success in the 90s. They’re best known for their song ‘Love is on the Line’ from their debut album Saigon Kick , which has sold over 3 million copies to date.
20. Flipsyde – Someday
Flipsyde are a hip hop band that were active from 2001 to 2004, but unfortunately they split after just one album. They’re most famous for their song ‘Someday’ which is an awesome breakup track – as well as featuring a really soulful acoustic guitar solo.
19. Grateful Dead – Uncle Johns Band
The Grateful Dead are one of the most popular classic rock bands in history. Their song ‘UJB’ is a track that has been voted as one of top 100 greatest acoustic guitar songs of all time by Acoustic Guitar magazine, and it features some awesome fingerpicking action.
18. Neil Young – Look Out for My Love
Neil Young is one of the most respected artists in rock history. He was a solo artist but also had a band called Crazy Horse that he wrote all of his hits with.
17. Al Stewart – Year of the Cat
Al Stewart was a folk singer in the 70s/80s that had a lot of success. He’s best known for his first 3 albums, though – which were incredibly popular and sold millions upon millions of copies.
16. Jane’s Addiction – Jane Says
Jane’s Addiction were one of the pioneers of the grunge scene in the 90s, and their album ‘Ritual de lo Habitual’ is a heavy hitting album that has sold around 2 million copies.
15. Chicago – If You Leave Me Now
Chicago were a soft rock band in the 70s/80s that have sold over 120 million records worldwide. Their most popular song ‘If You Leave Me Now’ was nominated for multiple Grammy awards and it features really nice acoustic guitar playing.
14. The Eagles – Hotel California (Acoustic Version)
The Eagles are one of the greatest rock bands to ever exist. They’re most famous for their album Hotel California which sold over 16 million copies – and they still had huge success with it being stripped back.
13. Jack Johnson – Staple It Together
Jack Johnson was a singer/songwriter that had an incredibly large amount of success in the 2000s. The song ‘Staple It Together’ is probably his most famous – and it features awesome one of the best acoustic guitar solos.
12. Blind Guardian – The Bards Song
Blind Guardian are a power metal band from Germany that have been really active up until today. They’re known as one of the most influential metal bands of all time – and their song ‘The Bards Song’ (from their first album) is often considered to be their signature piece due to it being so popular.
11. Bayside – Devotion and Desire
Bayside is a band that formed in 1998. They’re a pop punk group from New York and have sold over 1 million copies of their album Shudder, which features the song ‘Devotion and Desire’ that has an awesome acoustic guitar intro – as well as featuring some great soloing throughout the rest of it.
10. Nirvana – About a Girl
Nirvana are one of the most famous grunge bands in history. Their song ‘About a Girl’ was recorded for their debut album Bleach , and it features a really soulful, and in my opinion, one of the best acoustic guitar solo that has become very popular over the years.
9. Foo Fighters – Stranger Things Have Happened
The Foo Fighters were formed in 1994 by Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain. They’re one of the most popular bands on this list, as well as being one of the most influential grunge groups – and their song ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’ features awesome fingerpicking guitar playing throughout.
8. Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man
Mumford and Sons are an English folk rock band that formed in 2007. They’ve sold over 7 million copies of their first album – ‘Sigh No More’, which features the popular song ‘Little Lion Man’ which was written about a girl whom the lead singer liked at school but never told her how he felt.
7. Cat Stevens – Father and Son
Cat Stevens was a singer-songwriter in the late 60s and early 70s. He’s sold over 45 million records during his career, and he’s best known for his religious songs that feature heavy blues influence. His song ‘Father and Son’ is one of his most famous pieces – it tells the story of a father and son who go hiking together.
6. Scorpions – Holiday
The Scorpions started out as a heavy metal band in the 70s, but they’re now considered to be more of an arena rock band. They still sell out stadiums all around the world and have sold over 100 million copies of their song ‘Holiday’ that features awesome fingerpicking acoustic guitar playing.
5. Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven
Eric Clapton is one of the most famous guitarists in history. He’s sold over 120 million records during his career with The Yardbirds, Cream, Derek and the Dominoes – I could go on for days. His song ‘Tears in Heaven’ (recorded for the soundtrack to the movie Rush ) features awesome fingerpicking acoustic guitar playing over a beautiful chord progression.
4. No Doubt – Don’t Speak
No Doubt are a pop rock band from Anaheim, California. They’ve sold over 60 million records and they’re best known for their album Tragic Kingdom which has sold over 17 million copies.
3. Bob Marley – Redemption Song
Bob Marley is one of the most famous reggae stars ever – he recorded his songs in Jamaican Patois, English and also Spanish. ‘Redemption Song’ was written after spending over a year in prison – it features awesome acoustic guitar playing throughout, as well as some very catchy lyrics.
2. The Beatles – Michelle
The Beatles are the most famous rock band of all time – there’s no denying that. They formed in 1960 and they quickly became one of the world’s most popular bands.
1. Queen – Innuendo
Queen are one of the most famous arena rock bands – they formed in 1970 and they’re still going strong today. Their song ‘Innuendo’ features an awesome acoustic guitar solo that’s played on a 12-string, as well as some awesome fingerpicking throughout the rest of it.
Alex is a man of many talents. He’s been playing music since he was young, and has been the main content writer at Tone Start for the past few years. Alex loves to play around with different styles of music and enjoys listening to anything from country to classical.