best rock guitar intros


Hey guys! Welcome to this exciting journal article where we’ll explore the seven best rock guitar intros of all time. Music has always been a powerful medium to express emotions, and these legendary guitar solos have become iconic in the world of rock music. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or have just started your journey into the genre, these intros are sure to captivate you and leave you craving for more.

Rock guitar intros are often regarded as the heart and soul of a song. They have the power to instantly grab your attention and set the tone for what’s to come. These electrifying moments can make your heart race, send shivers down your spine, and even transport you to a different era.

In this article, we will delve into each of these guitar intros, discussing their strengths and weaknesses while providing a comprehensive analysis of what makes them truly exceptional. So, let’s dive in and explore the magnificent world of rock guitar intros!

1. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin 🏰

One cannot talk about the best rock guitar intros without mentioning “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. This masterpiece begins with a hauntingly beautiful melodic intro played by Jimmy Page on his Gibson Les Paul. The delicate fingerpicking combined with the enchanting arpeggios create an ethereal atmosphere, drawing listeners in.


  1. The intro perfectly captures the essence of the song, gradually building up to a crescendo.
  2. Jimmy Page’s impeccable guitar skills shine through, displaying his mastery of both rhythm and lead playing.
  3. The mesmerizing chord progression and intricate fingerstyle technique make it a timeless classic.


  1. The intro might be challenging for beginner guitarists due to its complexity and intricate fingerpicking patterns.
  2. Overplayed on radio stations, which might diminish its impact for some listeners.
  3. Some critics argue that the intro’s length could have been shortened without losing its magic.

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

Guns N’ Roses delivered one of the most recognizable and influential guitar intros in rock history with “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” Slash’s opening riff is instantly recognizable and has become a symbol of the band’s musical legacy. The catchy melody combined with Slash’s signature bending and vibrato techniques make this intro unforgettable.


  1. The intro is catchy and immediately grabs the listener’s attention, making it perfect for live performances.
  2. Slash’s guitar playing showcases his unique style, blending bluesy licks with a hard rock edge.
  3. The intro seamlessly transitions into the rest of the song, setting the stage for Axl Rose’s powerful vocals.


  1. The intro’s popularity might have overshadowed other equally amazing guitar parts within the song.
  2. It has been excessively covered and imitated, leading to a potential loss of originality.
  3. Some listeners might find the intro repetitive, especially after multiple listens.

3. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple 🎶

Next on our list is the iconic guitar riff from “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s unforgettable intro has become a staple for aspiring guitarists around the world. Its simplicity and raw power have made it an everlasting presence in rock music.


  1. The intro is instantly recognizable, making it a favorite for cover bands and aspiring rock guitarists.
  2. The repetitive nature of the riff makes it highly memorable, allowing listeners to easily sing along.
  3. Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar tone and choice of notes are perfect for capturing the essence of the song.


  1. Due to its popularity, the intro might be overplayed, leading to a potential loss of impact.
  2. Some critics argue that the simplicity of the intro limits its musical depth.
  3. Aspiring guitarists might find it relatively easy to learn, diminishing the challenge and sense of accomplishment.

4. “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin 🎵

Another unforgettable rock guitar intro comes from Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” Jimmy Page once again asserts his brilliance with a riff that perfectly sets the stage for the song’s sheer power and groove. The interplay between Page’s guitar and John Bonham’s drums creates a mesmerizing rhythm that captivates listeners.


  1. The intro’s catchy riff instantly hooks the audience, creating an irresistible urge to move along with the music.
  2. Jimmy Page’s guitar tone and raw energy add depth and intensity to the overall composition.
  3. The intricate time signature changes within the intro showcase Led Zeppelin’s musical prowess.


  1. Some listeners might find the intro repetitive, as it sets the foundation for the entire song.
  2. Beginner guitarists might find it challenging to master the complex timing and precise picking techniques.
  3. There is a possibility of overshadowing other equally remarkable guitar parts within the song.

5. “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos 🎺

“Layla” by Derek and the Dominos features one of the most emotional and captivating guitar intros ever recorded. Eric Clapton’s genius is on full display as he weaves together a beautiful tapestry of melodies, showcasing both his technical prowess and heartfelt expression.


  1. The intro’s combination of acoustic and electric guitar creates a unique and mesmerizing sound.
  2. Eric Clapton’s emotional playing manages to convey a profound sense of longing and melancholy.
  3. The intro seamlessly transitions into the rest of the song, enhancing the overall impact of the composition.


  1. The intro might be challenging for less experienced guitarists due to its complex fingerpicking patterns.
  2. Some listeners might find the intro’s length excessive, as it lasts for more than two minutes.
  3. Overplay on classic rock radio stations might reduce its impact for certain audiences.

6. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica 🎹

Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” kicks off with an explosive guitar riff that has become synonymous with the band’s iconic sound. Kirk Hammett’s powerful and aggressive playing sets the tone for the song’s heavy and intense atmosphere. The intro serves as a perfect introduction to Metallica’s unique blend of thrash and heavy metal.


  1. The intro’s heavy and aggressive guitar riff instantly grabs the listener’s attention.
  2. Kirk Hammett’s precise and lightning-fast guitar technique showcases his exceptional skill as a guitarist.
  3. The intro sets the stage for the explosive energy that follows throughout the entire song.


  1. Some listeners might find the intro too simplistic and lacking in musical complexity.
  2. Due to its immense popularity, the intro has been subject to countless covers and imitations, potentially diluting its original impact.
  3. Non-metal fans might find the aggressive nature of the intro off-putting.

7. “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry 🎼

Our final pick for the best rock guitar intros takes us back to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is a timeless classic that features a captivating guitar intro that still resonates with audiences today. Berry’s energetic playing and catchy melodies make this intro an all-time favorite.


  1. The intro’s catchy and infectious nature makes it impossible not to tap your feet and move along with the music.
  2. Chuck Berry’s pioneering guitar style heavily influenced numerous rock guitarists who followed in his footsteps.
  3. The intro perfectly captures the essence of rock ‘n’ roll, combining blues, country, and R&B elements.


  1. Some listeners might find the intro’s simplicity lacking in musical depth.
  2. Aspiring guitarists might find it relatively easy to play, which could diminish the sense of challenge and accomplishment.
  3. Overplayed on oldies radio stations, which might reduce its impact for certain audiences.

Table: Best Rock Guitar Intros

Intro Guitarist Strengths Weaknesses
“Stairway to Heaven” Jimmy Page Captures essence of the song, Page’s mastery, timeless classic Complex for beginners, overplayed on radio, could be shorter
“Sweet Child o’ Mine” Slash Catchy and attention-grabbing, unique style, seamless transition Overshadows other parts, excessive covers, repetitive for some
“Smoke on the Water” Ritchie Blackmore Highly recognizable, memorable, perfect tone Overplayed, simplicity criticized, easy to learn
“Black Dog” Jimmy Page Catchy and energetic, Page’s brilliance, intricate time signature changes Repetitive, challenging for beginners, overshadows other parts
“Layla” Eric Clapton Unique blend of acoustic and electric, emotional expression, seamless transition Complex for less experienced, excessive length, overplayed on radio
“Enter Sandman” Kirk Hammett Explosive and powerful, exceptional technique, sets the stage Simplistic for some, excessive covers, aggressive nature
“Johnny B. Goode” Chuck Berry Catchy and infectious, influential style, essence of rock ‘n’ roll Perceived simplicity, easy to play, overplayed on radio

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a guitar intro?

A guitar intro is an opening section of a song where the guitar takes the spotlight, often setting the mood and capturing the listener’s attention.

2. Who is the greatest rock guitarist of all time?

There are many contenders for this title, but some of the most revered rock guitarists include Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Eddie Van Halen.

3. Can beginners learn these intros?

While some intros may be challenging for beginners, they can serve as great learning exercises and sources of inspiration to improve their skills.

4. What makes a great guitar intro?

A great guitar intro is characterized by its ability to captivate the listener, set the tone for the song, and showcase the guitarist’s unique style and technical proficiency.

5. Are these intros limited to a specific rock subgenre?

No, these intros span different subgenres of rock, from classic rock to heavy metal, showcasing the versatility and impact of rock guitar intros.

6. Are these guitar intros suitable for acoustic guitar?

While some intros may sound best on electric guitar, they can also be adapted and played on acoustic guitar, allowing for a different interpretation of the songs.

7. Are these guitar intros original compositions?

Yes, each of these intros is an original composition created by the respective guitarists or bands.

8. Can these guitar intros be considered as guitar solos?

Although some of these intros may have solo-like qualities, they are more focused on establishing the song’s foundation rather than showcasing extended soloing.

9. Have any of these guitar intros influenced contemporary music?

Absolutely! These guitar intros have had a profound impact on countless musicians and continue to inspire new generations of guitarists and songwriters.

10. Can I use these guitar intros in my own compositions?

While you can draw inspiration from these intros, it’s important to create your own unique musical identity rather than directly copying them.

11. Are these guitar intros recognized by music critics?

Yes, these intros have received widespread acclaim from both music critics and fans alike, contributing to their status as all-time classics.

12. Are there any live performances of these guitar intros available?

Absolutely! Many live performances featuring these guitar intros can be found online, showcasing the energy and skill of the guitarists.

13. What other famous guitar intros deserve mention?

There are numerous other famous guitar intros that deserve recognition, such as “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream, and “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix.


After exploring the seven best rock guitar intros, we hope you’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the artistry and impact of these iconic moments in music history. Each intro possesses its own unique qualities and continues to inspire generations of guitarists and music enthusiasts.

Whether you’re a beginner guitarist looking to learn and expand your repertoire or simply a rock music aficionado seeking to revisit these timeless classics, these guitar intros provide an incredible starting point. Let their power and innovation infuse your own musical journey as you explore the vast world of rock music.

So pick up your guitar, crank up the volume, and let these best rock guitar intros ignite your passion for the timeless genre of rock ‘n’ roll!

Closing Statement

In conclusion, the world of rock guitar intros is a treasure trove of captivating moments that continue to leave an everlasting impact on music lovers worldwide. It’s crucial to recognize the immense talent and artistry behind these iconic guitar intros, as they have shaped the course of rock music and inspired countless generations.

However, it’s important to note that while these guitar intros serve as a source of inspiration, musicians should strive to develop their own unique style and voice. Aspiring guitarists should study the techniques and approaches of these legendary guitarists, but it is equally important to find their own creative path.

Music is a constantly evolving art form, and it is through innovation and personal expression that we can contribute to its growth. So, let these guitar intros be a starting point for your own musical journey, and let your voice be heard in the ever-expanding world of rock music!

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