20 best guitar intros


Hey there, music enthusiasts! Are you ready to embark on a journey through the realm of unforgettable guitar intros? From electrifying solos to melancholic melodies, these intros have left an indelible mark on the history of rock, pop, and everything in between. In this article, we will explore the 20 best guitar intros that have resonated with millions of listeners worldwide. So grab your air guitar and let’s dive right in!

The Appeal of Guitar Intros

🎸 Guitar intros have a magical ability to captivate our senses and evoke a wide range of emotions. They serve as the gateway to a song, instantly grabbing our attention and leaving us yearning for more. Whether it’s the wailing sound of an electric guitar or the delicate strumming of an acoustic, these intros have become timeless symbols of musical greatness.

1. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

With its iconic fingerpicked opening, “Stairway to Heaven” has secured its place as one of the greatest guitar intros in history. Jimmy Page’s intricate playing instantly transports listeners to a realm of ethereal beauty, setting the stage for one of rock’s most epic anthems.

2. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

🎸 Slash’s unforgettable riff in “Sweet Child O’ Mine” is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with the epitome of rock coolness. This intro showcases Slash’s unparalleled talent and sets the tone for one of the most iconic rock songs of all time.

3. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

🎸 The opening riff of “Smoke on the Water” is arguably one of the most famous guitar melodies ever created. Its simplicity and infectiousness have made it a must-learn riff for aspiring guitarists everywhere.

4. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica

🎸 The haunting guitar intro of “Enter Sandman” immediately engulfs listeners in a dark and mysterious atmosphere. Kirk Hammett’s skillful use of power chords and palm-muted notes sets the stage for one of Metallica’s most powerful songs.

5. “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix

🎸 Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic masterpiece, “Purple Haze,” starts off with a mind-bending guitar intro that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the 1960s counterculture movement. Its raw energy and innovative use of feedback make it a true guitar legend.

6. “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos

🎸 Eric Clapton’s emotive guitar intro in “Layla” is a testament to his unparalleled talent as a guitarist. The melodic opening sets the stage for a heartfelt ballad that has touched the hearts of listeners for decades.

7. “Hotel California” by Eagles

🎸 The hauntingly beautiful guitar intro of “Hotel California” instantly transports listeners to the sun-soaked beaches of California. Don Felder and Joe Walsh’s mesmerizing guitar harmonies have become legendary in the world of rock music.

The Pros and Cons of Guitar Intros

1. Emotional Impact

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros have the power to stir up deep emotions within us. They can evoke nostalgia, happiness, sadness, or even a sense of adventure. The right intro can set the mood of a song and create a strong connection with the listener.

🎸 Con: Sometimes, guitar intros can overshadow the rest of the song. If the rest of the composition fails to live up to the expectations set by the intro, it can lead to disappointment for both the artist and the listener.

2. Memorable Hooks

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros often contain memorable hooks that stick in our minds long after the song has ended. These hooks become instantly recognizable, making the song more memorable and increasing its chances of becoming a timeless classic.

🎸 Con: On the flip side, if a guitar intro is too repetitive or simplistic, it may fail to leave a lasting impression. A balance must be struck between creating a memorable hook and maintaining the song’s depth and complexity.

3. Setting the Tone

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros provide artists with a powerful tool to set the tone and atmosphere of a song. They can transport listeners to different eras, genres, or even imaginary worlds. A well-crafted intro can instantly immerse the audience in the artist’s intended musical universe.

🎸 Con: However, if the intro fails to align with the rest of the song, it can create a disjointed listening experience. The intro should seamlessly flow into the main body of the song, enhancing the overall coherence and artistic vision.

4. Technical Mastery

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros showcase the technical prowess of the guitarist and can serve as a demonstration of skill. They allow guitarists to display their virtuosity, leaving audiences in awe of their talent and pushing the boundaries of what is possible on the instrument.

🎸 Con: Yet, too much focus on technicality can sometimes overshadow the emotional core of a song. Guitar intros should strike a balance between technical brilliance and emotional resonance, ensuring that the listener’s heart is moved as much as their mind.

5. Iconic Status

🎸 Pro: The greatest guitar intros have achieved an iconic status, representing a specific era, genre, or even an entire generation. They have become cultural touchstones, instantly recognizable by people of all ages and musical backgrounds.

🎸 Con: However, this level of iconicity can also become a burden for artists, making it challenging to deviate from the expectations set by their legendary intros. Breaking free from the shadow of an iconic intro can be a daunting task for any musician.

6. Creative Inspiration

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros have the power to ignite creative inspiration in aspiring musicians. They often become the starting point for aspiring guitarists, motivating them to pick up the instrument and embark on their own musical journeys.

🎸 Con: Yet, relying too heavily on existing guitar intros can hinder the development of a unique musical identity. While learning from the greats is essential, musicians must strive to find their own voice and push the boundaries of creativity.

7. Live Performance Magic

🎸 Pro: Guitar intros can create magical moments during live performances. The excitement and anticipation build as the guitarist prepares to unleash the iconic intro, sending the crowd into a frenzy of cheers and applause.

🎸 Con: However, replicating the studio versions of guitar intros can be challenging during live performances. Artists must find innovative ways to recreate the same energy and impact on stage, sometimes leading to creative reinterpretations of the original intro.

The 20 Best Guitar Intros

Song Artist Year
“Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin 1971
“Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns N’ Roses 1987
“Smoke on the Water” Deep Purple 1972
“Enter Sandman” Metallica 1991
“Purple Haze” Jimi Hendrix 1967
“Layla” Derek and the Dominos 1970
“Hotel California” Eagles 1976

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What makes a guitar intro great?

🎸 A great guitar intro combines elements such as melody, rhythm, and tonal quality to create a memorable musical statement that captures the listener’s attention.

2. Can a guitar intro make or break a song?

🎸 Absolutely! A well-crafted intro can elevate a song to new heights, while a lackluster intro can be a missed opportunity to engage the listener.

3. Are guitar intros exclusive to rock music?

🎸 Not at all! While guitar intros are more commonly associated with rock music, they can be found in various genres, including pop, blues, jazz, and even classical music.

4. Do all guitar intros need to be complex?

🎸 Not necessarily. Sometimes, simplicity can be just as powerful as complexity. It all depends on the song and the emotional impact the artist wants to achieve.

5. Can guitar intros be played on other instruments?

🎸 Absolutely! Many guitar intros have been adapted and played on other instruments, such as piano, violin, and even flute.

6. Are there any female guitarists with iconic intros?

🎸 Certainly! Artists like Nancy Wilson of Heart, Joan Jett, and Bonnie Raitt have created iconic guitar intros that have left a lasting impact.

7. How can I learn to play guitar intros?

🎸 Learning guitar intros requires practice, patience, and a strong foundation in basic guitar techniques. Online tutorials, guitar lessons, and dedicated practice time can help you master these intros.


In conclusion, the 20 best guitar intros we have explored throughout this article are a testament to the undeniable power of the guitar in shaping the landscape of music. From the transcendental beauty of “Stairway to Heaven” to the rebellious energy of “Purple Haze,” these intros have become timeless symbols of musical excellence.

Whether you’re a seasoned guitar aficionado or a casual music lover, take some time to delve into the rich tapestry of guitar intros and discover new favorites. Let the magic of these intros inspire you, whether it be strumming your first chord or composing your own masterpiece.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your guitar, hit that first note, and embark on your musical journey. The world is waiting for your own iconic guitar intro!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any reliance you place on this information is strictly at your own risk.

Closing Statement

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of the 20 best guitar intros. We hope you’ve enjoyed this musical journey and gained a deeper appreciation for the power of the guitar. Whether you’re a guitarist, music lover, or simply curious about the world of music, remember that the joy of discovering new music is an endless adventure.

We encourage you to share your favorite guitar intros with friends, explore different genres, and support emerging artists. Music has the power to unite and inspire, so let’s celebrate the magic of guitar intros together!

Remember to always respect the rights of artists and support them by purchasing their music. Supporting musicians ensures that they can continue creating the music we love for years to come.

Keep strumming, keep rocking, and keep the spirit of guitar intros alive!

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