Guitar solos are some of the most harmonically complex pieces of music ever played, difficult to play, to dictate, or to create. The benefits of learning from some of the guitar greats provide massive benefits to one’s lead playing. This list will include the three most important solos that pushed me to improve my ability and are the pinnacle of lead playing in my opinion.
3. Kid Charlemagne – Larry Carlton
From my personal favorite guitarist, L.A session legend Larry Carlton came screaming into the mainstream on this Steely Dan’s “Royal Scam” record. Kid Charlemagne was my first introduction into jazz-blues fusion and has remained my favorite of Carlton’s endless catalog of top quality playing.
2. In the Dead of Night – Allan Holdsworth
During the 70’s, the progressive rock super group U.K. released their self titled album. On the track “In the Dead of Night” fusion legend Allan Holdsworth played one of the greatest progressive rock solos, and one of the greatest of all time, period.
1. Brother to Brother – Carlos Rios
Gino Vanelli’s sixth studio album “Brother to Brother” included a title track with Carlos Rios on lead guitar. For what is technically considered a “pop” song, Rios’ solo contains many similar aspects to many late bebop players playing over extremely harmonically dense chords with amazingly fast lines.