The majority of musicians or bands average about 3-4 minutes per song – this means 3-4 minutes to say every word they want to say and to sing every note they want to sing. Then why put a two minute guitar solo in the middle? Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page has unarguably one of the greatest guitar solos of all time in Stairway to Heaven, coincidently (or not) also one of the greatest songs ever written. Of course, to some, guitar solos are heard as no more than an interruption, or an unnecessary interlude in the midst of greatness. But to the other 90% of the world, guitar solos provide a cathartic beginning, middle, end, or even pause in the emotional chaos which is a song. A guitar solo speaks for itself; it carries its own melody, its own movement, its own feeling, and its own tempo. You can hear each string resonating, each chord buzzing. You can understand every pain or joy. You can FEEL the guitarist’s passion in every callous behind every note. You can interpret every emotion the solo makes you feel, and feel the ringing somewhere deep inside you and you might not even know where that is. While lyrics, orchestras, and ornamentations force you to think or understand, a guitar solo allows you to purely appreciate, brainless-ly but not mindlessly.
Even though you’ve most likely heard it before, listen to it again. You’ll appreciate it even more this time.