The Top 10 Slow Guitar Solos
04. “Brothers In Arms,” Dire Straits (Mark Knopfler)
The title track from Dire Strait’s chart-topping 1985 album is often overshadowed by the flashier “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life,” but this somber, G# minor track has found a place as background music in films such as Spy Game, and television shows Miami Vice and The West Wing. While Mark Knopfler opens and closes the song with a tasteful indulgence of front-pickup soloing, it’s the longer, tone-soaked lead at the end that showcases his soulful, fingerpicked sound.
05. “Parisienne Walkways,” Gary Moore
Moore is no slouch when it comes to burning a fretboard, and the Irish rocker does taper off unto some excessively speedy bits towards the end of this instrumental version of his 1979 U.K. hit (the long, descending trill at 6:15 is particularly note-worthy). The majority of this live version of “Walkways,” however, is laden with Moore’s subtle vibrato and stratospheric string bending. The song was intended to show off the former Thin Lizzy guitarist’s blues prowess, and has left few Moore detractors in its wake.
06. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” Pink Floyd (David Gilmour)
It took David Gilmour little more than a heavily compressed Stratocaster, some reverb and a mound of mourning for his detached former bandmate, Syd Barrett, to create the melancholic opening to the nine-part centerpiece from 1975’s Wish You Were Here. Supposedly, Barrett visited Abbey Road Studios in London during the album’s recording, but as the story goes Gilmour, along with the rest of his band, didn’t recognize the former Floyd leader due to his drastically altered appearance.
07. “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page)
“Since I’ve Been Loving You” was outfitted in Zeppelin’s live set before the recording of Led Zeppelin III began and remained a staple of their show until the band’s dissolution in 1980. Though for the song’s main solo Jimmy Page delivers screaming C minor and C minor pentatonic runs, he opens the tune with a 45-second passage of beautifully restrained phrases.