The Electric Guitar (or How I Hate Long Guitar Solos)

I may lose my membership in the Headbanger’s Club for writing this, but I must publicly declare it…I HATE long guitar solos. Hate them. Any guitar solo over about 30 seconds is too long in my book. Honestly, I’d rather suffer a root canal than listen to the solo at the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird (which lasts a whopping 6 MINUTES!).

-courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
-courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hard rock of the 70’s is the biggest culprit. I guess all the musicians back then were high, and everyone listening to their music was high, because how else can you explain songs that have not 1, but 3 solos? Songs with guitar solos that last for, well, 6 minutes? Being completely wasted is the only explanation I can fathom for solos that go on interminably. That’s my theory.

I will turn off those 70’s songs where the guitar solo hits at the end. In fact, I appreciate that the artists put the solo at the end, because it makes it so much easier for me to skip. More tricky are the long solos (or multiple solos) in the middle of songs. If I’m motivated I’ll scan through past it to get back to the actual song.

If I’m not motivated I’ll just ignore the solo and focus my attention on the drums and bass. I’m a rhythm person. I love the drums, bass, and even rhythm guitar. I could listen to a rockin rhythm for hours. I don’t need lyrics, I don’t need a lead guitar. I just need a good groove.

That’s why I love AC/DC. They rock and they groove.

Now, I don’t hate ALL guitar solos.

I like solos that fit seamlessly into a song. Solos that are brief and only there to enhance the song, not overpower it.

Melodic solos are okay. David Gilmour is brilliant, because he can make his solos absolutely sing.

I like solos that I can hum along to. I know Metallica isn’t a great example of short solos, but check out this footage at about 4:00 in…the whole crowd starts humming and singing the solo.

So, now my secret is out. I’m a headbanger who doesn’t like lead guitar or long guitar solos. I wonder if they’ll kick me out of the club?

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