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The greatest guitar songs of the 21st century

The greatest guitar songs of the 21st century – 2014

Gathering Of The Ancient Tribes – Goat

The mysterious Swedish group channel Hendrix and world music to create a ritual in the form of a daring psychedelic rock song.

Little Killer – Merchandise

Channeling New Order and The Cure, Florida’s Merchandise tap into their romantic side for pop hooks and layers of smooth guitar.

Red Eyes – The War On Drugs

Don’t know the song? Wait until the chorus and you’ll realise it’s been omnipresent since releasing!

Flying Golem – Wand

Prog, psych and garage rock have never sounded more unified thanks to Cory Hanson’s laser-focussed riffs and hypnotic solos.

Figure It Out – Royal Blood

Bassist Mike Kerr’s huge tone on Figure It Out is the result of splitting his signal into multiple amps and using pitch shifters for octave-up fun. Achieve a similar effect with a standard guitar by using an octave-down setting. Pop a compressor on the octave-down signal to tighten it up.

The End Of The Affair – Ben Howard

Ben Howard is that rarest of beasts: a virtuoso guitarist with mainstream success. The End Of The Affair is one of his toughest songs to play, with cunning use of delay, harmonics and muting in the song's emotionally wrought climax.

Steep Climb – Eric Gales feat. Zakk Wylde

After some truly mouth-watering slow bends from Gales at the beginning, the torch is then handed to Zakk Wylde for a masterclass in pentatonics.

Budapest – George Ezra

Festival favourite Ezra is unfeasibly popular, but even we’ll admit this number had us tapping our feet.