Here's what you voted the best guitar solo of the 21st century

Jake Kiszka performs with Greta Van Fleet at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California on March 28, 2023
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Last month, we asked you to cast a ballot for your favorite guitar solo of the 21st century.

The responses that came in were numerous, and stylistically all over the map, but ultimately, a clear winner emerged – and it was released more recently than you might think.

To answer your first question, no – even with the benefit of recency bias, it wasn't Rise, the fire-breathing comeback single from Nuno Bettencourt and Extreme that set the guitar universe ablaze when it came out three months ago.

However, the solo that did end up taking the crown is indeed from the 2020s. The best solo of the 21st century, according to your ballots, is the extended electric guitar spin-out that closes Greta Van Fleet's nine-minute epic, The Weight of Dreams

The solo beat out some impressive competition, including the lead breaks from The Darkness's bombastic, operatic crowd-pleaser, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, Tedeschi Trucks Band's unforgettably evocative Midnight In Harlem, Polyphia and Steve Vai's generation-bridging Ego Death, and era-defining classics like Velvet Revolver's Slither and Slipknot's Psychosocial

Something that might make Greta Van Fleet, and their guitarist, Jake Kiszka, particularly proud of their win is that the White Stripes – whose blend of raw blues passion and Led Zeppelin-channeling power and bombast left a significant impact on the band as youngsters – could get no higher than 18th in the poll, on the strength of their own lengthy epic, Ball And Biscuit.

Though comparisons to Led Zeppelin have continued to dog Greta Van Fleet over the years, Kiszka has publicly pointed to The White Stripes as another significant influence on the quartet's strain of modern classic rock.

“The White Stripes were past pavers, in a sense,” the guitarist told Guitar World in a 2021 interview. “They were very influential from a blues standpoint. We listened to them in middle school.”

To read Total Guitar's full round-up of the best solos of the 21st century – and see the top 50 from the public vote – pick up the new issue of the mag at Magazines Direct.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.